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Critically Endangered – Why The Great Indian Bustard Might Need A Captive-breeding Programme

Few people are aware that the Great Indian Bustard could have been India’s national bird. Dr. Sálim Ali had recommended that the bustard would be an ideal choice. "This bustard is a large and spectacular bird, indigenous to India, whose numbers, in spite of the legislative ban on its killing, are dwindling at an alarming rate due to poaching by vandalistic gunners, and also encroachment upon its natural habitats,"…

Searching For The Cat’s Tail

Sometimes even seeing is hard to believe. Like the tigress who was sitting 80 m. from the road used by people and livestock all day long. She chipped away, piece by piece, my entrenched ideas of large carnivore behaviour and ecology.

Rhapsody Revisited: The Western Ghats In Black And White

For a region attuned to the sounds of forest streams, deafening cicadas and the meandering tunes of Malabar Whistling Thrushes, much less the sounds of mining excavators and hyperactive tourists, there has been a lot of noise surrounding the Western Ghats lately.

Wild Maharashtra

Anyone who has visited Maharashtra will agree that this is a land of stunning beauty and diversity. The state has mountains that rise out of the Arabian Sea; beaches that rival the best in the world; and forests populated by tigers, leopards, wild dogs, gaur, sambar, and a bewitching variety of birds and butterflies.

Tiger Doomsday Clock

India has lost roughly half of all its tiger forests in the past four decades. This alone is tantamount to a death sentence on Panthera tigris, which must survive intensified poaching, and rampant human encroachments in a greatly diminished land area.

Number 7826

The gloom of dusk inexorably enveloped the northern beech and coniferous forest. I was standing behind a large tree on a precipitously steep slope about 135 m. below the Khorli Poli cabin in the middle of the wilderness that is the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP). In the previous hour, I had gradually eased my way downward, one delicate step after another. I had steadily been losing hope of seeing my quarry as…

The Pong Dam Lake – A Birding Paradise

Way back in 1984, I was delighted to be posted as the Divisional Forest Officer at Dehra Gopipur, a well-known birding destination located near the Pong Lake Bird Sanctuary. The forest rest house at Dehra Gopipur lies on the left bank of the Beas river, which had beenimpounded for hydroelectric and irrigation projects n 1975 by the creation of the Pong dam, the highest earthfill dam in India, in Kangra district on…

Look Again!

An incredibly diverse group of animals learned to glide independent of each other. This includes reptiles such as the draco lizard, an agamid that is so well camouflaged on the bark of the tree on the facing page that most readers will probably conclude that it simply isn’t there (but it is!).

Pakke – 'Where There's A Bill'

They were coming! Their wing beats reverberated through the forest, sounding positively Jurassic. I strained to hear them better, but they did not get any clearer. The beats dominated wherever they sounded, like a drum roll building up the showstopper’s appearance. Enter showstopper.

The Strange Obsession Of Jadav Payeng

In 1979, Jadav Payeng, a.k.a. Mulai, a cowherd, started planting trees on a desolate, barren island formed by the ever-shifting sands of the Brahmaputra river, near his island home of Aruna sapori in the Jorhat district of Assam.

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