Saturday, May 28, 2011

Protected Area Update - June 2011

News and Information from protected areas in India and South Asia
Vol. XVII No. 3; June 2011 (No. 91)
The entire issue can be downloaded at

The business of reports
Train-elephant collision averted in Deepor Beel
Commercial fishing threat to Missamari beel
Genetic assessment of tigers at Manas TR
Three forest staff killed in animal attacks in Kaziranga NP since January

First satellite tagging of Whale shark in Gujarat
Mobile van to deal with human-animal conflicts around Gir
Maldharis petition government opposing their relocation from Gir

Master-plan for Sultanpur NP

Two day workshop on ‘Practicing Responsible Tourism’

MoEF issues draft notification for Dalma Eco-Sensitive Zone

Petitioner seeks stay on Banerghatta night safari in Supreme Court
Public hearing held to declare Konchavaram Wildlife Sanctuary
Small temples mushrooming in Bandipur, Nagarhole NPs

Proposal to declare Kattampally a Ramsar wetland
Prolonged summer rain reduces wildfires in Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary

Environment minister ‘No’ to rail and river linking projects for fear of impact on Panna TR
Fourth tiger shifted to Panna TR

Forest union threatens to shut down tiger reserves
High Court not against windmills in and around Koyna WLS
Reshuffle at the top of the Maharashtra FD
Naxals trying to make inroads into Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve
Corridor adjoining Tadoba Andhari TR threatened by Gosikhurd Canal project
Joint meeting to discuss conservation of Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary

More than 3.5 lakh turtles nest at Gahirmatha in February – March, 2011

Clearance to five major projects in and around protected areas
CEC orders stoppage of construction work inside Ranthambhore TR
Rajasthan Government announces Amrita Devi Vishnoi Smriti Puraskar
Forest Training Centre at Jaipur

Field Learning Centre at KMTR
Fear of forest fires results in closure of Mudumalai TR in April; mixed reactions

Rs. 65 crore for relocation of Sunderkhal village from Corbett TR
Villagers given land for relocation from Chilla – Motichur wildlife corridor

11th Carl Zeiss Wildlife Conservation Awards
Funding Assistance in 2010-11 for village relocation under Project Tiger
Army and ITBP help sought for snow leopard conservation
Population Estimate of Tigers in 2006 and 2010
Funds Released under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme ‘Project Elephant’
Recently released reports on wildlife and conservation issues…

Workshop on conservation of the Black-necked crane through regional cooperation
World Bank approves $36 million for conservation in Bangladesh and $3 million for Nepal

Red Pandas spotted in Ilam forests of Nepal
Elephant census in Sri Lanka

Positions at the Wildlife Trust of India

Course on Geo-informatics and its application for Biodiversity


SPECIAL SECTION: The Forest Rights Act, Protected Areas and Wildlife Conservation
New draft guidelines for declaration of Critical Wildlife Habitats
FRA blamed for forest destruction in Yaval WLS and adjoining areas
Concern over non-implementation of FRA in Bhimashankar WLS, surrounding areas
Surma, Golbhji tribals get land titles in Dudhwa NP under FRA

PERSPECTIVE: Wildlife and the media


One field of activity in wildlife research that is flourishing is the business of producing reports. Researchers, NGOs, the government - are all always busy and working hard towards this end. This issue of the PA Update (see Pg 18) has a brief list of reports on wildlife related issues that have been released in the last few weeks. There is a comprehensive report on human-elephant conflict in the country: a set of guidelines on management of human-leopard conflict; another on the status of the extremely threatened Lesser Florican; and one on the evergreen subject of tiger numbers in India.
That these and most other reports are the outcome of hard work, sincere effort and of commitment to find solutions to vexing problems is undeniable. That they are welcome and valuable is also something most will agree to. But the question, and this is what most researchers always dread, is related to what use these reports are being put to. Are they being used at all? Are they having impact? How does one evaluate the reach and influence of an outcome that so much time, money and energy has gone into? These are questions that have no easy answers and often there is disappointment and frustration that the reports get into the shelves of various institutions, particularly the government, and gather dust.
Comparing the reports of two government constituted task forces, one on the tiger and the recent one on the elephant, does throw light on what can actually happen. Many of the recommendations of the Tiger Task Force were implemented with considerable urgency and the National Tiger Conservation Authority was constituted with a renewed mandate and greater political commitment. Additional resources were made available and even a new method for tiger census was put in place. One may not agree with some of the policies or the way others have been implemented but there is no denial that things have moved on the ground.
The same can certainly not be said of the recommendations of the Elephant Task Force. Eight months have passed since it was agreed that the elephant would be the National Heritage animal and yet nothing is to be heard of the National Elephant Conservation Authority (NECA). The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has in fact decided against the constitution of the NECA. Some commentators have argued that the interests of the mining and industrial sectors might be playing a key role because if the NECA is formed and the recommendations are implemented, large land and forest areas will become unavailable for extraction. If this is indeed true, it points to a rather sorry state of affairs - one that can only invoke hopelessness.
If an animal like the elephant can be let down in this manner what hope might be there for the floricans, the leopards and the many other forms of less glamorous wildlife. What then is the use of all this research and towards what end are the recommendations sought and many reports commissioned? Wildlife surely does not have time on its side and the government certainly needs to show more sincerity and commitment than this.

Protected Area Update
Vol. XVII, No. 3, June 2011 (No. 91)
Editor: Pankaj Sekhsaria
Editorial Assistance: Reshma Jathar, Anuradha Arjunwadkar
Illustrations: Madhuvanti Anantharajan
Produced by: The Documentation and Outreach Centre, Kalpavriksh
Ideas, comments, news and information may please be sent to the editorial address:

Apartment 5, Shri Dutta Krupa, 908 Deccan Gymkhana, Pune 411004, Maharashtra, India. Tel/Fax: 020 – 25654239.

Publication of the PA Update has been supported by
- Foundation for Ecological Security (FES)
- Duleep Matthai Nature Conservation Trust
- Donations from a number of individual supporters

Information has been sourced from different newspapers and