Archive for the ‘Wild Life’ Category
Cheetah which once roamed freely across Asia is now only found in less than hundred found now only in Iran’s central desert with few sightings in Baluchistan – Pakistan. The head and body of the adult Asiatic Cheetah measure from 112 to 135 cm with a tail length between 66 and 84 cm. It can weigh from 34 to 54 kg, but the male is slightly larger than the female. Cheetah is the only specie which become extinct in India in last 100 years.
Percept as the trophy hunter for black buck & gazelle hunting. At one time Mughal Emperor Akbar used to had 1000 Indian Cheetahs as pets used mostly for his hunting expeditions, its depiction can be seen in paintings & miniatures of mediaeval era. Hunted for passion & driven near to extinction also because of the habitat loss & conversion of grasslands into farm lands. The survival rate is also low as there the fertility is very low & infant mortality rate is high, captive breeding has never been successful of Cheetahs worldwide & has never been attempted for Asiatic Cheetah. Cheetah’s presence in India known to have from many centuries, its name was derived from Sanskrit word chitraka.
The last three Indian Cheetahs were shot in 1947 in Sarguja Madhya Pradesh – India by Maharaja Ramanuj Pratap Singh Deo.
Indian Cheetah used to prey on black bucks, nilgai, hare, spotted dear, sambar.
The Rewilding Program: Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has initiated a program for re introducing Asiatic Cheetah in India under captive breeding program but the vets are concerned & has warned about the gene pool disaster as the pure gene pool is limited & lacks the fertility ration due to the near extinction numbers.
India a land of incredible diversity is also blessed by the extreme diverse bio diversity. During Imperial era it was the most favourite hunting ground for Europeans who used to come here for its exotic fauna & serenity. Yet India’s diverse wilderness areas encompass far more. In addition to rainforests, they include moist and dry deciduous forests, thorn forests, deserts, mangroves, grasslands, and coniferous forests in the Himalayas, not to mention a variety of freshwater and marine habitats. India’s diverse landscapes are home to numerous threatened and critically endangered species, including the Asiatic lion, Asian elephant, tiger, white-rumped vulture, Asian one-horned rhinoceros, and water buffalo. Many species of deer, antelopes, wild dogs, cats, and bears also live here. Resident primates include macaques, the hoolock gibbon, slender and slow lorises, and the golden langur—one of the world’s rarest monkeys. Besides mammals, there is a vast and diverse array of reptiles, amphibians, and birds, some of which are still unknown to science. The expeditions were also being lead by local Kings for big game hunting. Once available & roamed in plenty Indian jungles were full of life where the Lord & the King roams freely sharing their own spaces where people survives harmoniously with the beasts. As India moves towards achieving her independence the laws & importance of conservation has become a new driver for nationalism the first attempt was made to protect Indian Wildlife was through the Elephant Preservation Act passed in 1879. The first abode of bio diversity which was granted protection was Gir National Park which is also a last home of Asiatic Lions, once used to be hunting ground of Nawab of Junagarh is now protected & was initially conserved & preserved by the then Last ruling Nawab of Junagarh “Nawabzada Muhammad Mahabat Khanji III Rasul Khan Ji” in the early 20th century now since the King of the Jungle had got protection then how can the Lord of the jungle remain at the back stage it was ultimately in 1936 by British Govt in India declaring 1200sqkm forest in United Provinces at the foot hills of Himalayas a terrai region famous for its natural habitat for Tigers was made protected as Hailey National Park. When India gain independence & the wounds of partition started to showing the bio diversity was affected the most by the big game hunting during this period realizing the state of her valuable heritage was given protection finally under the famous Wild Life Protection Act of 1972. At the turn of the last decade of the 20th century India has now become an open victim of hunger of the Far East markets which resulted in the huge demand & poaching activities widespread, this not only made our forests empty & scarce of wildlife now taking its toll especially on the Indian National Animal “ Bengal Tiger” by the start of 1990s’ their population dwindled from 100000 to 80000 in 1950s’ to 20000 in late 1980s’ by the end of the 20th century India now left with only 4000 Tigers & handful of other wild fauna. With the introduction of Project Tiger, Project Rhino & Project Elephant Indian somehow lived up to the expectations of hope for the future generations. But by the end of first decade of 21st century the situation has became more critical & laws a failure. With the pressure of population increasing & Indian Government finds solution for economic prosperity & food security there is hardly any scope left for the survival of the once roamed in abundance the Indian bio diversity. The latest hustle & stiffness is now for the Asiatic Lions & Tiger Poaching which is now has become a hot topic of debate between the respective state governments & national interests. If we want to save our wild life we have to work together & eradicate the corruption from our system which hinders the execution of laws & conservation responsibility. With the clearing of the entire Tiger population in the reserves like Sariska & Panna the future looks more bleek & reminded us the extinction of Dinosaurs.
The critically endangered species in India, as identified by the IUCN and WII include the Jenkins Shrew, Malabar Large-spotted Civet, Namdapha Flying Squirrel, Pygmy Hog, Salim Ali`s Fruit Bat, Sumatran Rhinoceros, and the Wroughton`s Free-tailed Bat. The list of Endangered species in India include the Asiatic Lion, Asiatic Black Bear, Desert Cat, Great Indian Rhinoceros, Hispid Hare, Hoolock Gibbon, Kashmir Stag, Lion-Tailed Macaque, Malabar Civet, Markhor, Nayan Ovis, Nilgiri Leaf Monkey, Pygmy Hog, Andaman Shrew, Andaman Spiny Shrew, Indian Elephant or Asian Elephant, Banteng, Blue Whale, Capped Leaf Monkey, Chiru, Fin Whale, Ganges River Dolphin, Golden Leaf Monkey, Hispid Hare, Asian arowana, Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Hoolock Gibbon, Indus River Dolphin, Kondana Soft-furred Rat, Lion-Tailed Macaque, Markhor, Marsh Mongoose, Nicobar Shrew, Nicobar Tree Shrew, Nilgiri Tahr, Parti-coloured Flying Squirrel, Peter`s Tube-nosed Bat, Red Panda, Sei Whale, Servant Mouse, Snow Leopard, Tiger, Wild Water Buffalo, and the Woolly Flying Squirrel.
Apart from the critically endangered and the endangered species in India, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources and Wildlife Institute of India also identified several species as vulnerable in India. These species include the Asiatic Wild Dog, Banteng Bos javanicus, Brow-antlered Deer, Brown Bear, Brown Palm Civet, Clouded Leopard, Common Otter, Ganges River Dolphin, Gaur, Goral, Grey Indian Wolf, Himalayan W-toothed Shrew, Himalayan Musk Deer, Himalayan Shrew, Jackal Canis aureus, Andaman Horseshoe Bat, Andaman Rat, Argali, Asiatic Black Bear, Asiatic Golden Cat, Asiatic Wild Ass, Macaque Monkey, Back-striped Weasel, Barasingha, Bare-bellied Hedgehog, Blackbuck, Brown fish owl, Central Kashmir Vole, Dhole, Dugong, Eld`s Deer, Elvira Rat, Eurasian Otter, Fishing Cat, Four-horned Antelope, Gaur, Himalayan Tahr, Humpback Whale, Indian Giant Squirrel, Irrawaddy Squirrel, Jerdon`s Palm Civet, Kashmir Cave Bat, Kerala Rat, Khajuria`s Leaf-nosed Bat, Kolar Leaf-nosed Bat, Lesser Horseshoe Bat, Mainland Serow, Malayan Porcupine, Mandelli`s Mouse-eared Bat, Marbled Cat, Mouflon, Nicobar Flying Fox, Nilgiri Leaf Monkey, Nilgiri Marten, Nonsense Rat, Pale Grey Shrew, Palm Rat, Red Goral, Royal Bengal Tiger, Rock Eagle-owl, Rusty-spotted Cat, Sikkim Rat, Sloth Bear, Slow Loris, Smooth-coated Otter, Sperm Whale, Sri Lankan Giant Squirrel, Sri Lankan Highland Shrew, Stumptail Macaque, Takin, Wild Goat, Wild Yak and the Lesser Panda. The species like the Indian Wild Ass, the Leopard and the Red Fox have been identified as the `Threatened Species in India`.
The Biggest lost of Wild Life is the extinction of Indian Cheetah once roamed freely & found in huge numbers last shot in 1947 was the worst loss at the very start of the new independent era. It is said that Mughal Ruler Akbar used to have the 11 cheetahs as pets. Acts like Forest Rights & Produce Act introduced in early 2000s’ meant for the protection of Wild Life & for Tribals living there are necessary in this modern stage where existence of every specie is important as humans.
Badakhshan is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, consisting of 28 districts. It is located in the north-east of the country, between the Hindu Kush and the Amu Darya. It is part of the Badakhshan region. Badakhshan’s name was given by the Sassanids and derives from the word badaxš (an official Sassanian title). The suffix of the name means the region belonged to someone with the title badaxš (analogous to Azerbaijan, Isfahan, Tehran, etc.). Feyzabad is the capital of Badakshan Province. Badakhshan is primarily bordered by Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province and Khatlon Province in Tajikistan to the north and east. In the east of the province a long spur called the Wakhan Corridor extends above northern Pakistan’s Chitral and Northern Areas to a border with China. The province has a total area of 44,059 km², most of which is occupied by the Hindu Kush and Pamir mountain ranges. Badakhshan was a stopover on the ancient Silk Road trading path, and China has shown great interest in the province after the fall of the Taliban, helping to reconstruct roads and infrastructure in the province.
Economy: Despite massive mineral reserves, Badakhshan is one of the most destitute areas in the world. Opium poppy growing is the only real source of income in the province and Badakhshan has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the world, due to the complete lack of health infrastructure, inaccessible locations, and bitter winters of the province. Recent geological surveys have indicated the location of other gemstone deposits, in particular rubies and emeralds. Exploitation of this mineral wealth could be key to the region’s prosperity.
- The following Pamiri languages are spoken in Badakhshan by certain populations of Tajiks:
- small Kyrgyz minorities
- nomadic and semi-nomadic Uzbeks and Pashtuns, who migrate over long distances.
The residents of the province are largely Sunni, but many of the Tajiks who are speakers of one of the Pamiri languages in the northeastern districts of the province are Ismaili.
The picturesque Ferghana Valley is located in the eastern part of Uzbekistan where the Timurs’ ruled & where the first Mughal King of India Babur lost his Empire; is the land which he loved the most & remebered till his death , the description of this serene heaven was also noted in his famous book Babur Nama. It is the most densely populated region of Uzbekistan, with almost a third of the country’s population. The diamond-shaped valley is 300 km from east to west and 170 km from north to south.
The mild climate of the Ferghana Valley allows a growing season of 240 days per year. The primary emphasis on the production of cotton, silk and other agricultural crops has turned a large part of the valley into an oasis. With nearly 25,000 sq. km of fertile land, it is a great oasis surrounded by the Kuramin mountain range in the North-West, Chatkal mountain range in the North, Ferghana mountain range in the East, and the Alai and Turkestan ranges in the South. There is scarcely a hectare of uncultivated land, the primary crop being cotton. In ancient times, the exceptional flora of the region gave the Ferghana Valley the name “Golden Valley”.
The Ferghana Valley is divided into five regions: Ferghana, Andijan, Namangan, Khojand (located in Tajikistan) and Osh (located in Kyrgyzstan). The Ferghana Valley is rich in a number of natural resources, including gold, oil, copper and other raw materials. The Sirdarya, one of the great rivers of Central Asia, runs across the valley. It is fed by more than 70 mountain streams. However, most of these streams are diverted for irrigation purposes and do not reach the Sirdarya. A nature exhibit is devoted to the wildlife of the area. Birds, including seagulls, pheasants and crows, are plentiful on the shores of the Sirdarya. The mountains are home to birds of prey, as well as bears, foxes, wolves, jackals, porcupines, badgers and red groundhogs. Several animals in Uzbekistan are included in the “Red Book”, a world-wide list of animals in danger of extinction, which was completed in 1980. It is illegal to hunt these animals. The first ancient settlements in the Ferghana Valley appeared 5-6 thousand years ago. It has been assumed that the Ferghana of the 6thc.-4thc. BC was in cultural contact with Southern and South-Western civilizations. The valley’s richness includes its millennia-old history and the traditions of its master craftsmen in silk, ceramics, woodcarving and a bounty of other ancient arts of humanity.
Un-Regulated Eco Tourism destroying Wild Life National Parks in India
Resorts near & around Wild Life National Parks in India are a big menace. Slowly making the paradise a green caged zoo. This must be controlled. The govt must put checks on the progress & corruption of officials who are making / acting as a facilitators to investors ultimately increasing the numbers of tourism real estate in the vicinity. This not only giving rise to Poaching activities by making forest more accessible to high profile ones but also
“putting immense pressure on already crumbled & flawed system / infrastructure of the Indian Wild Life Parks.”
The most prominent ones like Corbett, Bandhavgarh etc. Where not only the precious forest land is being sold to greedy investors but also transform the heaven into the slowly intruding urban mess. Most of the people coming to these parks are neither being properly updated nor being controlled by the forest staff. & to add oil to the fire the resort owners are exploiting the serenity of the environment by providing “non Eco friendly activities & facilities which are major proving disturbances in the conservation as well as the non-blending of the human visitors to the park.”