Indian Wildlife News Update 2021-2022. While the whole world reels under the impact of the pandemic, there is some good news on the Indian Wildlife front. A ray of hope, which soothes the heart, mind and soul. There is something going right amidst the clutter and chaos of the pandemic.
INCREASING TIGER POPULATION
1. Having doubled the number of tigers in the wild in the last 14 years from 1400 to 2967, India now plans to increase the tiger population in the wild by about 35%. It is now officially admitted that increased tiger numbers and tiger safaris in India give a boost to the economy, ecology and the local community. This also implies that India needs to add well over 10 million hectares of land, as each tiger in the wild requires close to 10000 hectares of forest. More tigers, means more money in the area, means the locals benefit from the tiger safaris in the region directly and instantly.
INCREASING LEOPARD POPULATION
2. The leopard population in India has seen a substantial increase. From approx. 8000 leopards in 2014 to well over 12000 leopards is a hike of 50% in a short span of 6 years. This also could be partially reflective of the improved census procedures that have been implemented in last few years.
More area is now covered for the census. This definitely is a good sign again as it shows that the improved predator population also means that there is a sufficient prey base. Leopards mostly live around the fringe forests, and pick on their prey from the neighbouring villages, like cattle, goats, dogs etc. Leopards are more widely spread around the country, but can be seen in some national parks more easily than others. Gir, Tadoba, Bera, Kabini, and Kuno Palpur are some good places for Leopard Safaris in India.
FISHING CAT MAKES PANNA ITS NEW HOME
3. Endangered Fishing Cat was caught on camera for the first time in Panna National Park. It is about twice the size of a domestic cat, and is mostly found in the Sunderbans, some areas in North East, and in Dudhwa National Park. There were reports of Fishing Cat being sighted around the Ken river long time back, but this is the first occasion that it is recorded inside the tiger reserve on camera. Therefore, this is good news for lovers of small cats.
DOLPHIN CONSERVATION REINSTATED
4. A Dolphin Conservation reserve is expected to come up near Meerut in Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary in the state of Uttar Pradesh. It is an effort to boost Eco-tourism and conserve the highly endangered Gangetic Dolphin. The last survey in the area suggested about 41 Dolphins. Apart from this, Dolphins are also sighted in Chambal River near Dhaulpur and Bah in Agra. One can also visit Katarniaghat Sanctuary, near Dudhwa National Park to see the Dolphins.
After Jim Corbett National Park the state of Uttrakhand decided to open Rajaji National Park for tourism in the month of July. Located adjoining two of the temple towns of Haridwar and Rishikesh, Rajaji National Park is good to see wild Asian Elephants, Leopards in Ranipur range, and tigers in Chilla.
RAJAJI OPEN ONCE AGAIN
5. Two months back two tigers were also relocated from Jim Corbett to Rajaji National Park in the Motichur range. Rajaji National Park can be combined with Jim Corbett National Park in the itinerary. Besides visits to Haridwar and Rishikesh the spiritual towns of India also popular for the Kumbha Mela is an added attraction. For keen birders also Rajaji National Park is a good place to visit. This National Park is a conservation success story, being so close to such a dense human population the wildlife of the park is existing without much disturbing the adjoining humans.
WOMEN EMPOWERMENT: A SUCCESS IN RURAL INDIA
6. The state of Uttrakhand joins the state of Madhya Pradesh in promoting women drivers and guides in the national parks for tiger safaris. A batch of trained 50 women will be deployed in Jim Corbett and Rajaji National Park, which are teeming with a good population of tigers, elephants, and other wildlife. This concept was pioneered by Kanha National Park and followed by Pench National Park in Madhya Pradesh. No other National Park in India has woman guides and drivers yet. While women were employed in the forest department in different roles including the forest guards, this is the first time that they will be seen guiding during the tigers safaris in these national parks.
BUFFER ZONES OPEN UP DURING MONSOONS
7. All the buffer zones of several national parks, like Kanha, Pench, Tadoba, and Jim Corbett, which are currently open for tourism, are reporting excellent tiger sightings at this time of the year. Usually these buffer zones were closed during the monsoon from July until September. However, this year some parks opened the buffer zones.
This not only increases revenue in the area as tourists visit and get a glimpse of the National Park during the monsoon when it is at its prettiest best, but it is a known fact that tourism is helping conservation in a big way. Tiger Safaris in India during monsoon is a unique experience. A consensus existed that the tiger sightings are not so good during rains, but tigers themselves have defied it. We all know that the tiger is a territorial animal, so it is not leaving its territory and going anywhere. So should you be keen to do tiger safaris in India during monsoons do let us know and we will provide you suggestions.
Born and brought up in New Delhi, it was Sharad’s childhood passion to play cricket for India. While on a holiday in 1990, he saw his first tiger. Little did he know that this one sighting would immerse him into a realm where forests and tigers were all that mattered.
Sharad’s experiences as a wildlife photographer have inspired him to observe the tiger’s behavior for over 30 years and motivated him on his own journey as an entrepreneur. He started Nature Safari India Pvt Ltd, with a focus on “Conservation through Tourism.” to align himself to the mission of saving the regal species and repopulating them in India’s forests. In 2006, he set up one of India’s premier jungle lodges in Kanha National Park.
Sharad believes that there are many lessons to be learned from a tiger that can be applied successfully to leadership—both in business and in life. Here’s a new book by Sharad Vats on management and leadership skills to learn from a Tiger.