शनिवार, 25 अगस्त 2012

Development Communication

February 27, 2012 at 2:04 pm · Filed under Development Communication

(Snake rescue in Coimbatore has become a big business!

(List of rescuers at the bottom of this blog)

Since Coimbatore is surrounded by mountains and forests on three sides, and we have an ideal climate for snakes and its major prey - rats and frogs abundant in the district, sighting of snakes is a common phenomenon.

Conversion of agricultural lands into real estates and concrete jungles also adds up to the woes of snakes. When they are found by human beings, it results in a conflict and ultimately both of them are on the losing side.)

Capitalising on this situation, there are some snake charmers who are making a big money in the name of snake rescue. They collect Rs.1000 for every foot length of the snake. Normally a non venomous snake like a Rat snake measures around 5 feet. Hence they collect Rs.5,000 and call taxi charge of Rs. 500 for that. If they do not find snakes, they tie a piece of wood to the gate and say, that the particular wood would drive away ‘evil’ snakes and collect the Rs.5,000 charge.

Since the Forest Department and Fire Service Personnel are not available to rescue the snakes or the people in this case, these snake charmers are making money. In few of the districts some of the NGO’s including NWEA has been addressing this issue by training young forest staff and students in rescue. In Coimbatore it is being done periodically at Corporation’s VOC Park Zoo.

Here is a list of genuine snake rescuers in Coimbatore and neighboring places. I have found them not demanding any money from house owners who call them to take the snake out. I personally feel that they need to be compensated for their travel and risk expense ( I find them denying the travel charges too). But I would leave it to the conscience of the rescue needy people. I have recommended their names because I have faith in them that they are not misusing the snakes after rescue. They inform the forest officials and release the snakes in the jungles.

Rescuers from Coimbatore

Nirmal ( Resident of Sulur, An IT student from a City College in Peelamedu) - 99441 00422

Amir ( Ukkadam) - 90475 31628.

Snake Isha Program ( Isha Ashram ) - 94898 94898.

For Kovai Pudur only - Dhaval - 98944 43871


Madhusudhanan ( Gudalur based conservationist) - 97862 61670.

Sadiq Ali (Ooty based conservationist) - 96550 23288.

Ravi kumar ( Coonoor based conservationist) - 94430 33645.


Vimal (Conservationist) - 90801 53456.

Please refer some more genuine snake rescuers if you know them. Let the people get relieved from superstitions and snake fears.

Note: Many people mentioned in the list may not have any official license to rescue snakes. But even the Forest Department calls them in cases of emergency. Hence this blog is posted with an intention to to conserve snakes only.

Rescue seekers have to bear in mind that any mishaps during rescuing has to be faced by them.

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International Conference on Birds at Coimbatore

September 20, 2011 at 7:59 pm · Filed under Hot Topic, Development Communication, Coimbatore, Education, Eco Club, Environment

Dear friends,

We all are aware about the winged visitors of Coimbatore. These birds - Pelicans, Painted storks etc., have arrived in smaller numbers this year is a worrying factor for us.

The problem of pollution, exploitation and encroachment is the deterring factor. The efforts of NGO’s - to fight for the visitors is gaining pace in Coimbatore. It was the scientific reports of SACON which helped us to prevent commercial exploitations.

Now to strengthen the documentation, their International Conference will help us to conserve the migratory as well as the local birds which depend on our 800 year old heritage structres.

Your participation in the International Conference is welcome. I am submitting the following message from SACON for your consideration and I am forwarding this message as my personal option.

SACON is organizing an International Congress on Indian Ornithology during 19-23 November 2011 at Coimbatore. (The brochure which contains a brief on the Congress and various symposia envisaged, can be accessed in the conference website (www.iciosacon.in) also for more details).

The Congress would offer a platform for sharing experiences of researchers, conservationists and policy makers from India and abroad, to take stock of the knowledge base, to identify gaps and to deliberate upon strategies for conservation of birds and their habitats. Senior Wild-lifers, scientists and Protected Area Managers would attend the congress. Scientists from 25 states in India and many countries abroad have already submitted their finding for presentation in this conference. We expect about 300 wildlife scientists from India and abroad converging to Coimbatore during the period.

Apart from the scientific deliberations, SACON want to conduct this programme as an event of Coimbatore, where people at large of Coimbatore will also have a role in it. We are planning an exhibition showcasing the wealth of birds and other wildlife in India for the general public in connection with this occasion. This will create environmental awareness among public particularly among thousands of school and college students who are expected to visit the exhibition.

In connection with the conference we are planning to publish a symposium souvenir which will be released during the programme and it will contain scholarly articles from leading scientists and conservationists in India and abroad with messages national leaders and legendary personalities in the field. This souvenir also will be uploaded in the websites and will reach all over the world. We anticipate your support for this cause in the form of a sponsorship / complementary advertisement of your firm in the souvenir. The cheque/DD may be given in favour of The Director, SACON payable at Coimbatore. Those who are willing to contribute may please send the DD within one week in the address below.

Advt. Tariff for souvenir
Full page colour : Rs. 20,000 Full page B/W : Rs. 10,000
Half page colour : Rs. 10,000 Half page B/W : Rs. 5,000

Anticipating to receive your positive response at the earliest.

With regards

Dr. P.Pramod
Organising Secretary, ICIO-2011
Senior Scientist,
Sálim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History,
India 641108
Phone 91 422 2657101
(m) 9443167773

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Documentary Photography

September 5, 2011 at 1:35 pm · Filed under Development Communication, Photography

Documentary Photography

What is a Documentary Photography?

A Documentary Photography is a form of photography that is used to portray and chronicle significant and historical events. Unlike the professional photography, Documentary Photography can be amateur, artistic and or academic pursuit which is covered in photojournalism. The result of this particular type of photography is realistic, true to life and objective.

Documentary Photography is usually a candid photography of a specific subject, most often pictures of people.
Documentary Photography refers to the area of photography in which pictures are used as historical documents. Rather than serving as a source of art or aesthetic pleasure, documentary photography is often used to incite political and social change due to its ability to capture the “true” nature of an image or location. In simple terms, this school of photography uses pictures as documented evidence of a particular situation.
Lewis Hine and James Van DerZee are two of the pioneers of documentary photography. While documentary and artistic photography are considered to be at opposite ends of the spectrum, Paul Strand is one of the few photographers famous for slyly blending these two opposing schools through his avant-garde style.
Oftentimes, pictures taken in the vein of documentary photography tend to be shocking, grotesque, vivid and intense to prove a point and evoke a viewer’s emotions. Some of the most common examples of documentary photographs are featured in modern newspapers and magazines.
Through these images, the public learns truth information about cultural, political and environmental situations. Given this fact, it is no surprise that documentary photography exploded into the American consciousness during the Great Depression of 1930s when photographers were documenting the pervasive poverty.

Types Of Documentary Photography
The genre of Documentary Photography evolved at the end of the 19th century. Nowadays this term has become contrast in the contemporary professional photographic language. It’s a genre, which reveals occurrences and events, usually of the social character. It unites the aims of photographic art and photojournalism.
There are the following kinds of photo documentary:
• Chronicles
• Street photography
• Typology and
Others, though these differentiations are rather relative and don’t have obvious borders.
• As a rule, documentary photography is a series of shots on the concrete topic represented in the chronological order.
• It’s also typical for this genre to be amplified with the text, describing the subject, place and time. The text can be either minimal or detailed and usually it is the work of the photographer himself.

Aims Of Documentary Photography

: Documentary photography is now beyond simple narrative fixing of the burning issues of the day, it becomes more and more subjective. The author’s view and style are highly appreciated.
By the way, it was American chronicle photographers, who managed to show that the art can play its role in solution of social problems. In the first half of the 20th century Lewis W. Hine exposed the immorality, horrors of child labor and homelessness. Jacob Riis published the book “How The Other Half Lives”, in which he revealed the life of New-York slums. Their photos became the material evidence of social injustice and the cause of the reforms the society needed.
To show the injustice of the world and to act so that the situation would be changed. That was the aim of the photojournalists, who created an international cooperative agency “Magnum” after the World War II, in 1947 in Paris. Its founders were such acknowledged masters of documentary photography as Robert Capa, David Seymour, George Rodger and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Now it has expanded with four editorial offices in New York, London, Paris and Tokyo, and a network of fifteen sub-agents.
And it is clear because social reportage is one of the most needed genres in photo documentation. In addition, documentary photography is a unique historical and artistic evidence. Such photos are notable for their plot culmination and serious issue and leave no one being indifferent.
Documentary essay

“The concept of documentary photography is the shot, which aim is to describe the reality and, perhaps, to transfer some important message or story. However, the European interpretation shows documentary photography as subjective. A documentary photographer is closer to an independent author or even a poet. The main task consists in finding the way of making your ideas visible.
Relying on the words of the war photographer Robert Capa, he says: “If the shot is not good enough it means:

1) a photographer wasn’t too close to the action;

2) a photographer hasn’t read about the event enough;

3) a photographer hasn’t had a close emotional contact with the object of his photography.”
Subjective Documentary:
• “Come closer to the stranger.
• Enter the new situation.
• Discover who you are.

It is about how to find the balance between the surrounding world and your place in it. How to tell about the reality of the world through your personal truth.”
Documentary Facts As A Propaganda

“Objective documentary photography doesn’t exist. A photographer, who insists on it, is naive. Here is always a political, commercial or personal interest. The border between documentary photography and propaganda is very thin. We should learn how to reveal the strength of the propaganda photography visual language.

Shooting in different places, take one of the sides: positive or negative. And photograph the objects according to your attitude, using the instruments of propaganda.”
However, documentary photography should perform the main function - information. It should be direct and truthful to become the unique historical and artistic evidence, creating the archive of time.
More about Documentary Photography

Documentary photography is a type of professional photojournalism. But even an amateur or a film student can make a documentary photograph. Documentary photography is more about capturing the truth in the social scenario around us. It is also referred to as Candid photography as the moments captured are true and real.

Documentary photography, to a certain extent, captures the real essence of the photographers mind. They depict a certain perspective of the mind of the photographer. These photographs are usually for exhibition in an art gallery or other public forum. Sometimes an organization or company will commission documentary photography of its activities, but the pictures will only be for its private archives. The challenge for a documentary photographer is to make pictures of sensitive scenes and moments without changing them by the presence of a camera.

People should not pose for the camera or else it won’t be real! The resulting pictures - the subjects facing the camera and seen from “top to toe” are a vivid historical documentary photography archive, and have established the posed “straight up” as a valid style of documentary picture-making. 

Eugene Smith from the U.S and Henry Carier Bresson from Europe are the two most famous documentary photographers. Others, being August Sander, Eugene Atget, Jacob Riis and the like.

In India Raghubir Singh was one of the finest documentary photographers of the twentieth century. 

Documentary photography has risen in recent times because of the rapid growth of the media. The rapid growth of documentary photography represents strong forces at work with a strong creative impulse to bring out the truth to the world. A documentary photograph says so much about the period it was taken in, the background, the prevailing conditions during that time. One has to analyze the picture carefully to gain a complete understanding of all this. These photographs serve as a record of social and political situations with the aim of conveying information.

Tips for a better Photograph:

1 Tell a story 
Use photography to tell a story. First you’ll need to choose a subject, which can be the hardest part of the process. Before you head off to far-reaching countries, try experimenting with story and ideas closer to home. Whether it’s the drudgery of life in an office or the joy of working your own allotment, you’ll find there are plenty of interesting stories nearby.

2 Do some research 
Even if the story is close to your heart or home, you should still do some research. Plan what you want to say. Ask yourself if you want to tell the story in just one shot or whether the subject might benefit from a series of multiple pictures. A photo essay, for example, could help you to reveal more about your subject.

3 Choose your style 
Think about the way you intend to shoot and how you want the final image to look and feel. Do you want the finished pictures to be in black and white or colour? Do you only want to use natural light to enhance the mood, or will hard flash light add to your story? A bit of planning will make your photos more coherent. Take a look at the best documentary category entries of Photographer of the Year 2010 for inspiration…

4 Be prepared
Once you’ve decided on an approach and style you’ll need to ensure you have the right gear to capture your shot. You probably won’t need to take your entire kit bag with you, so just select the tools you need. Be sure you’ve got the right focal lengths covered, and ask yourself if you might need a tripod. Are your camera batteries fully charged? Have you got spare batteries for your flashgun and plenty of memory cards? Don’t let a lack of preparation ruin a shoot.

5 Get permission 
It’s a good idea to seek permission, especially if you’re photographing people going about their business. Explain what you’re doing and you’ll often get a hearty collaboration from your subject, but sneak around suspiciously and you’ll be given a wide berth or asked to leave. If you’re working on a long-term project you’ll need to build a healthy rapport to get results.

6 Don’t rush 
The best documentary pictures are often the result of a long-term project, so try not to rush in an attempt to capture all the shots in one go. If you do end up with limited time in one location, try to maximise the time you have.

7 Get back-up 
One of the most important tasks for a digital photographer is to ensure if all of his/her images are safe. As soon as you get back from your day’s shooting, download your images and make back-up copies on an external hard-drive or DVD. It’s a good idea to keep your back-ups in a different location to your main computer.

8 Process your images 
Once your images are safe you can start to process them. If you shoot in RAW you can make most of your tweaks to colour, tone and contrast at the processing stage using smart software such as Adobe Camera Raw. For a documentary project it’s unlikely that you’ll want to manipulate your images heavily. Just make a few adjustments or try converting to black and white for added impact.

9 Think about presentation 
once you finish your project, think about portraying it off. If you’ve made a series of images, perhaps you could have them printed and framed to be hung in an exhibition, or perhaps they would be better suited to being viewed in a book format. There are plenty of online printing services that can make great books of your pictures for a reasonable price.

10 Learn from the best photographers
Magnum Photos is a photo agency that was founded by Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger and David “Chim” Seymour just after the Second World War. It’s since become one of the world’s most important photographic institutions. Check out the ‘In Motion’ section for slideshows of the members’ work, along with fascinating commentaries.

Preethi.S, September, 2011.

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Communication Conferences in 2011

August 29, 2011 at 9:22 pm · Filed under Development Communication

Get ready for the TWO CONFERNECES in COMMUNICATION at Bengaluru and Mumbai in November, 2011

1. Public Relations Council of India and Department of Communication are hoisting International Conference on Glocal Communication -2011 at Bangalore University on November 17 & 18, 2011.

This event is supported by 15 Universities in Karnataka, 102 Colleges with specialisation in Journalism, Karnataka Medical Academy, Bangalore Press Club and Karnataka State Journalism and Communication Teachers Association.

Deadline for Abstract submission: September 10, 2011.
Full text papers : October 15, 2011.

Contact: Conference Office: 91 -80 - 42467890
email: pooja@adwit.co.uk

The second Conference is at Mumbai.

Department of Communication & Journalism, University of Mumbai and Makhanlal Chaturvedi.

National University of Communication & Journalism are organizing a national level seminar on
Media, Literature and Language on November 11th -13th, 2011.

Is news writing literature? Is it literature in a hurry? Is it the responsibility of the media to
upgrade language? Can media shoulder this responsibility? What is the interface between media,
literature and language? These are the questions that the seminar will aim to address.

Proposed Themes

 Cinema, Literature and Language
 New media, Literature and Language
 Globalised media and Language
 Media and the emerging diasporic cultures
 Multiculturism, Literature and Language in Media

Submission of abstracts and full papers

Send the abstract and full papers to Prof. Meenakshi Upadhyay on the following email address:

All abstracts are peer reviewed by an expert committee in the respective fields. Only abstracts
accepted for presentation will be notified for submitting the final and full papers.

Abstract Submission September 15, 2011
Abstract acceptance
September 18, 2011
Paper Submission October 10, 2011
Paper acceptance October 15, 2011

Abstracts Submissions should include the following:
Title of abstract (maximum 150 words);
Names and titles of presenter and co-authors
Contact details of authors to include: Full name with preferred title, designation,
affiliation, address and email address

Registration Fee

Delegates (Outstation)
Boarding and Lodging Rs. 3000/-
Delegates (Local) Rs. 1000/-
Students (Outstation)
Boarding and Lodging Rs. 1500/-
Students (Local) Rs. 500/-

 Demand Drafts for registration to be made in the name of ‘The Finance and
Accounts Officer, University of Mumbai’.
 Please send the draft on the following address:
Department of Communication and Journalism,
2nd Floor, Health Centre Building,
Vidyanagari Campus, Kalina,
Mumbai 400 098.

Receipts of those registered will be given at the time of the conference.

Please note:-
 Accommodation is on a sharing basis
 The accommodation will be provided between 10th evening to 13th afternoon
 Accommodation is on a first come first serve basis. Seats limited.

For any query on registration of the programme contact:

Ms. Archana Ramesh
Email id: archana.ramesh11@gmail.com

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The News Beyond The TUSKER’s Death in Coimbatore

July 11, 2011 at 10:52 am · Filed under Development Communication, Hot Topic, Environment

The News beyond the Tusker’s death at Coimbatore

Tracker Project Turns Killer
Jumbo Dies as Foresters Get Basics Wrong
was the front page 4 lined headline in Coimbatore Edition of The New Indian Express on July 11, 2011.

Jumbo dies in botched collaring bid
was the third page lead story in The Deccan Chronicle.

Elephant tranquilised for radio collaring found dead
was the last page four coloumn story in The Hindu.

Radio Collaring goof leaves jumbo dead
was the front page 4 coloumn news in The Times of India.
Jumbos face the radio heat and Elephant Death puts Focus on Man Animal Conflict are other detailed supporting stories in the same daily.

Prominent Tamil Dailies too carried detailed reportage about this sad incident.

Follow -up on Tuesday (July 12, 2011)

Dinamani on Tuesday came out with a front page anchor about the toothless Hill Area Conservation Authority and disability of Officers in controlling the building violators in the fringes of the forest.

Follow up on Wednesday (July 13, 2011)

Almost all dailies carried the field investigation conducted by Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Inder Dhamija.

The New Indian Express came out with the statement:

Forest officials claimed that brick -kiln workers were making sound during the operation following which the jumbo got disturbed and moved in a different direction.

The Times of India came out with a detailed story, headlined

” Delay in locating tranquilised elephant resulted in its death”

on the investigation with following statements:

* “All necessary precautions were taken. There were some disturbances in the area where the brick kiln workers lived” - Investigation Officer Inder Dhamija.
* “Two other tuskers were in the same area. One of the elephant charged at them”.
* “One team initially went after the wrong elephant and had to return to the spot and search again”.
* “Operation was conducted by 30 members divided into 6 teams”.
* “It is believed that the elephant was responsible for at least four human deaths in that area”.
* “Elephant was found around 400 metres from the spot where it was tranquilised”.

Dinamani came out with human interest story -

The friend of the killed elephant, another tusker was seen standing for hours near the burial spot. It even damaged the house of at a brick kiln. It broke some trees too on tuesday”.

The Hindu has published a news item about City NGO’s submitting a petition to the District Collector to take action against those responsible for the death of the tusker. NGO’s have questioned why they were not informed and why was the post mortem done in a hurry.

Dinamalar has carried the representation of NGO’s in an elaborate coverage. The practice of not permitting NGO’s to see the postmortems in Coimbatore was raised in the memorandum to the Collector.

“Investigation officer not addressing the press despite their request” is also mentioned there in a detailed news item.

Politics wins over Science on Thursday (July 14, 2011).

An NGO from Chennai blames the radio collaring system. It has opined that it would have been safe if the team had consulted the great elephant experts named by them. One of the elephant scientist had approved a residential school at Kallar, Mettupalayam as a part of his Environmental Impact Assessment. Another scientist has joined hands with resort owners in the Masinagudi Corridor case.

Another local story tells” the farmer’s association view: “Elephant collaring is good. It is the need of the hour. Why are these wildlife enthusiasts opposing ?”

But the smaller NGO’s who have been demanding for an ethical postmortem in deaths of wild animals are on their own track. They have announced an agitation against the killing of elephant. They have sought permission from the police too. They did it on Friday at Red Cross, near Coimbatore Collectorate.

And as usual, the forest department remained tight lipped about the incident, giving way for negative news to spread like wildfire. In a way, remaining tight lipped was better instead of talking about constructing artificial tanks in the natural forest and taking efforts to include Coimbatore forests in UNESCO Heritage list - which is viewed by environmentalists as a mockery at this stage.

Rift amongst stake holders

It was clear on Friday (July 15, 2011) that there were two sides among different stake holders. A rift was seen among grass root techies (greens who use internet to spread environmental messages). One group demands for a detailed enquiry on the death and the other, “let us move forward on other core issues”. The first fissure appeared in one of the facebook groups.

Rift among the scientists was seen by the names suggested in Newspapers (press release from Chennai NGO) for not consulting few elephant ‘experts’.

And as usual few powerful persons started brokering with the warring groups saying that their action will affect ‘good‘ officers.

It is needless to say how the rift will be in the PRESS. Here too it is obvious.

Hence it is now clear - Who ever wins - loses.

Because we have lost an elephant, now the unity among stake holders to protect the forests is also melting away.

And then the ultimate winner is going to be the power centres who are always on a delay/denial/divert modes which paves way for easy misappropriation of projects.

What is behind these news?

A young tusker aged around 20 years breathed its last in the mid night of Saturday, July 9, 2011 at Thadagam in the Coimbatore Forest Division.

Prime reason: It ran amok after getting tranquilised by the Forest Department team which was involved in Radio Collaring the Elephants.

The operation, death and post mortem were all done in the dark. The majority of Media persons who received a call from the Forest officials to join the darting task on Saturday night did not attend. And those who went did not stay there for long and hence they totally missed all the action.
On Sunday morning after hearing the news about the death, all flocked at Thadagam but they were not informed about the spot. Only after four hours after intense search they found the site where the elephant was completely buried.
Disappointed Media had come out with different perspectives, and needless to say - most of them have raised voices against the forest department.
“The higher officials who had talked about acquiring UNESCO’s Heritage Status to these forests a day before were not available for their quotes”, was one of their grievance.
However a good thing happened this time, the NGO involved in this operation, World Wide Fund for Nature ( WWF) were bold enough to come out with a detailed statement of what had happened. Since it remains a responsible NGO they have shared even the minute details with the Media.
The Media persons who relied only upon govt. sources lost detailed scientific reporting because what they got from the government was a small piece of information and that too very late.

Thought lots of comments have appeared in the Media which needs to be addressed, I am highlighting only some of the facts on which I can work upon. Some inputs which came in the PRESS which will be of some use to nature enthusiasts:

5 ml (500 mg) of Xylazine was used for tranquilisation. The elephant on darting should normally stand and get into sleeping mode. The animal was however disturbed by a drunk in the brick kiln started hooting at it. It ran along a less used path and sank into a right lateral position on a sloping area, but with hip on the upper side.
The animal was detected approximately after 55 minutes of darting. Soon 10 ml of yohimbine hydrochloride was given. However the slow action of reversal drug was not sufficient to revive the animal.


While the death of the tusker left the nature enthusiasts in grief, there was a double blow to humans which added salt to the situation.

Daily Thanthi has covered them in detail:
A Kumki elephant killed a tribal of Erumaparai village near Top Slip in Anamalai Tiger Reserve. Dhilipan (22) is reported as a temporary staff of Forest Department is survived by his wife and a daughter. Two dailies have reported that Dilipan was ‘drunk‘. (I dont understand how the post mortem report is so quick to identify the deceased as ‘drunk’, while it gets delayed in other cases. This is just criminalising the victims).

Another person aged 75 was killed by a wild elephant in Gudalur, Nilgiris. His mistake, he had a jack fruit tree in his home! Here again the blame is on the victim.

Farmers too suffer:

Even after radio collaring an elephant in Thondamuthur, another set or same set of elephants have intruded into farmlands and damaged crops worth the livelihood of farmers - Daily Thanthi.

Statistics provided by The Times of India (July 11, 2011) about the Conflicts in Coimbatore.

Number of incidents of elephants straying into farm lands this year is 680 (Add one more, because I am really finding it difficult to get my crop damage claim registered with the Forest Department. I informed them on June 20, 2011 over phone. Flash News: Forester inspected my farm on Wednesday, July 13. Gave the documents to him) In 2010 it was 844 and in 2009 it was 560.

But many cases go unregistered because farmers find it difficult to register it as the loss will be less like one tree. They are afraid of spending more money as kickback when they are not sure about the compensation package.

Forest/Village Administration/Horticulture/Agriculture officials discourage them. Getting certificates from these officials is another issue. Original Chitta needs to be submitted. Updated Chitta has to be bought from Taluk Office.

But more than all these hassles, the trauma and fear about elephant attack is a big issue which never gets accounted. The mental agony goes unnoticed. Officers and pseudo environmentalists blame the farmers - Don’t cultivate Rice, Maize, Sugarcane, Coconut, Areca nut, Teak, Banana, Mango, Jack fruit, Ragi, Kambu, Cholam, Tomato … almost all the crops. Farmers do not have a lobby like Industries to claim for a SINGLE WINDOW SYSTEM for grievance redressal. There is no insurance scheme for Crop raiding by elephants.

Number of persons killed in elephant attack in Coimbatore:

2011 - 4.

2010 - 16.

2009 -11.

Number of elephants killed by electrocution:

2011 - 0

2010 - 1 (This happened not in a farmers land but in a missionary place).

2009 - 2.

Solution not in sight:

To control the elephants from entering farm lands, trenches (EPT) were dug up initially. Since there was no big relief, Solar Powered Fences were erected. While contractors reaped the benefits, farmers were not relieved as the wires remain cut off in many places.

As a third measure, Radio collaring has come in. Now that process is in question?

Who will save our Farmers and Poor Villagers?
Who will save the Heritage Animal of India?

Who will control the uncontrollable tourism in the forest fringes?

Who will control the Hill Area Development Authority rule violators?

And two new threats in the forecast:

1. Tamil Nadu Government is to give poor villagers free cows and goats from September 15, 2011.

No doubt, it will help the poor.

But where will they get the green fodder ?

Already farmers have been stripped of their occupation because of disturbance from Wildlife. Elephants, Peafowls, Wild pigs and even Deers are found entering into agricultural lands for a tasty treat in Western Coimbatore.

Real Estates and Land grabbers (evident from the piling up of cases in TN) are making a quick buck by exploiting this situation.

Can the Forest Department control cattle from entering into the so called protected forests ?

2. The Coimbatore Master Plan - 2020 proposed by Local Planning Authority has earmarked many villages adjoining forest areas for industrial sites. When this gets implemented, man - animal conflict will rise up and ultimately wildlife is going to get wiped out.

It is learnt that Forest Department has raised objections for this. Their power just stops with that. It is for the civil society to think and proceed. We all know the power of industrial lobby. Though we are after jobs, we also need to think about who gives the water? - the forests or industries?

Saving our forests and its wildlife is securing our future.

Let our future not get into shambles like this genuine elephant collaring research turning sour for some unexpected flaws. Please think and react.

Suggestions/Critical Analysis welcome

After 7 days, dogs started eating the elephant carcass since the tusker was not given a deserving burial. Dinamalar came with an appealing note to Forest Department, to complete at least that formality in a proper way.

After 10 days, on July 19 the radio collared elephant raids a farm in Narasipuram. Farmer Chinnasamy escapes by a whisker.

And the sad story continues…


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Wetlands Watch/Shame on Coimbatore

June 13, 2011 at 8:07 am · Filed under Development Communication, Hot Topic, Coimbatore, Environment

Tamil Nadu a Wetlands rich state but Coimbatore a Wetland poor district

Coimbatore is known for its innovation and entrepreneurship. It has grown as a commercial hub on its own. These facts are known for all. But the National Wetland Atlas has cornered out Coimbatore makes us think that this city has only commercial interests but not conservation interest.

The proof - Ahmedabad based Space Application Centre (SAC) which is a part of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in its National Wetlands Atlas has pointed out that Puducherry and Tamil Nadu as wetland rich states since they have 12.88% and 6.92 % of geographical areas under wetlands respectively.

In Lakshwadeep islands the area is an astonishing 96.12%.

In Tamil Nadu, the drought prone Ramanathapuram district has the highest percentage of 18.5 while Coimbatore, the industrial stalwart has a shocking 1.08%.

In terms of total wetland area, Kancheepuram leads with 80,445 hectares and the other spoiled district, Chennai has only 917 hectares.

In Tamil Nadu lake/pond, and tank/pond are the dominant wetland types with a share of 61 %.

Kancheepuram, Ramanathapuram, Pudukottai, Sivaganga, Villupuram, Tiruvannamalai, Nagapattinam have over 50,000 hectares of wetlands.

There are about 4,369 natural lakes and ponds in TN with a total area of 3.16 lakh hectares. 19, 342 man made tanks and ponds are worth an area of 2.37 lakh hectares.

Source: B. Aravind Kumar, (a Correspondent from The Hindu who has space for Conservation, Nature and Wildlife in his mind), The Hindu, Coimbatore, June 13, 2011, page 4).

Inference: The 9 tanks in and around Coimbatore city was constructed some 800 years back. Now one tank, Ammankulam has totally disappeared and concrete jungle has come up in that place ( Even those high rise structures have tilted towards earth because of loose soil is a different story).

8 tanks were desilted few years back by an NGO, Siruthuli. But now almost all of them are encroached with hutments, water hyacinth and building debris. Thanks to another party pooper to Coimbatore - Chemmozhi Maanadu -officials permitted to dump highway waste into the already disappearing tanks. Vote bank politics is so strong that none in the town can take any action against the encroachments.

All the 8 tanks are heavily polluted because of industrial waste and these tanks drive out effluents into another abandonded mother - River Noyyal.

Informed and elite Coimbatore citizens are eager to see their Airport expanded so that the city may see a speedy development leading to a surge in their real estate values, but hardly few care for the cause of the diminishing cultural landscapes and the kidneys of mother earth- the wetlands.

Of late entertainment industry too is involved in devastating these wetlands. Coimbatore administrators wanted to beautify the 8 tanks with Rs.124 Crore project money. They appointed some exotic consultants who were keen to install massage centres, health resorts, spa and dancing fountains. The consultants also cracked a joke by saying that these centres would help the endemic and end endangered Western Ghats birds.

We have failed to realise that it is not just the humans, but even the migratory birds which flock in thousands are going to be affected because of our greed for money through the exploitation of land and natural resources. Painted stocks, Spot billed pelicans are sighted in these wetlands in hundreds every year and their numbers are declining too.

Already Darters and Cormorants are out of the Sulur tank after adventure sports washed up their habitat recently.

The Air, Water and Land was already found polluted in a part of Coimbatore according to a recent survey by another government agency. While we are planning for an extended Coimbatore, is it not time to think of these aspects ?

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Experience Climate Change

May 4, 2011 at 12:09 pm · Filed under Hot Topic, Development Communication, Trexperience, MEDIA - General, Eco Club, Environment

Eight districts in Tamil Nadu have seen temperatures soaring above 100*F. But here in Coimbatore, it is just a bit above 90*F. Nature is offering you a really cool welcome to its biological hot spot, the Western Ghats.

We at Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) - India, Eco Club, PSG College of Arts and Science and Arulagam are previleged to host you at South India’s Best Managed Tiger Reserve, Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, near Coimbatore.

We the humans have divided the lands into Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and so on. But nature and wildlife have no boundaries. The contiguous western ghats offers shelter for all. Let us have a happy outing in the Nature’s Abode, Parambikulam Tiger Reserve.

Coimbatore and this portion of Western Ghats have received over 35o mm rainfall even in this summer, which is 110 % above normal. This has helped our forests to remain open for visitors than to get cocooned for the fear of forest fire. We are likely to meet Nilgiri Langurs, Gaurs, Cheetals, Wild boars and Racket tailed Drongos amidst lush green trees while we proceed from Sethumadai (Pollachi) to Parambikulam via Anamalai Tiger Reserve.

Depending on our luck, we may even sight Hornbills, Srilankan frog mouths, Crested Serpent Eagles, Wild dogs, the elegant Sambar deers and the majestic Elephants.

You might ask about the big cats - Leopards and Tigers. Yes there are here and they are definitely going to have a look at us, but I cannot assure you that we can see them.

Let us all hope the phrase “It’s raining cats and dogs“, also shower us with sighting of Tigers and Wild dogs.

Another good news - The biggest trouble for trekkers in a deciduous forest - Ticks. Continuous rains would have deactivated them. But this triggers another issue. Leeches are active now. Hence those who have dreamed of treks should get ready to donate some blood to leaches.

Now coming back to our 3 day residential workshop, I wish to remind you about the instructions I have sent to you a week back. It is in the following link.


The final list of participants


The Schedule


Initial announcement about the event


Please send me your views regarding these arrangements so that some improvement can be made.

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WCS -India workshop for Media professionals/Instructions

April 29, 2011 at 9:08 pm · Filed under Hot Topic, Development Communication, Trexperience, MEDIA - General, Press, Eco Club, Environment

Instructions to the selected participants of Wildlife Conservation Society – India sponsored three day residential workshop for Media persons



Conservation often requires that its purpose be translated or communicated to non biologists/lay men. Media could serve as the communication medium through which conservation, and in the bigger picture, the whole world could be benefited.

The workshop aims to achieve afore mentioned goal by adopting various strategies to sensitize the practising professionals. Apart from sensitisation, local issues on Forests and Wildlife Conservation would also be dealt with so that Media can have clear understanding of the ground truth.


This three day residential workshop is conducted at Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, adjacent to Anamalai Tiger Reserve. The place is 100 kms south of Coimbatore ( via Pollachi). Dates: May 6 – 8, 2011.

Travel to Parambikulam Tiger Reserve:
Participants will be taken to Parambikulam Tiger Reserve (PTR), by road ( 2.5 hours travel time from Coimbatore).
Travel, stay, food and workshop expenses from Coimbatore – Parambikulam and back to Coimbatore only will be borne by WCS – India. Outstation participants have to arrange their own travel plans to reach and get back from Coimbatore.
WCS -India vehicle will leave from Coimbatore Collector office premises, nearer to Coimbatore Railway station at 8 AM on Friday, May 6. Participants will be dropped back at the same place on Sunday, May 8, 2011. No other vehicle will be arranged for late comers and entering Parambikulam Tiger Reserve without prior information is also difficult.

Participants will be accommodated in two dormitories at Parambikulam Tiger Reserve (separate for Men & Women). Since there aren’t enough rooms for all and dormitories are well equipped, this arrangement has been made.
If the number of women participants go below 4, a separate room for them will be arranged.


Participants will be taken for couple of short treks/vehicle safaris inside PTR in the mornings and evenings. Day time will be shared with experts on all three days with presentation – discussion and short film/documentary screenings.

Outstation participants who come early to Coimbatore can have an overnight stay/wash in Annamalai Hotel nearer to railway station arranged by WCS. Local participants will join them at 8 AM to travel in two vans towards PTR.

Participation in this workshop gives:

Inputs on Media Coverage of Wildlife - responsible and unbiased reporting,
Success stories on environment,
Analysing Non Governmental Organisation’s (NGO) agenda,
Sociological impact of conservation related activities,
Maintaining an efficient relationship with forest officials and conservation related stories in Media.
Status of three Tiger reserves in Tamil Nadu and the newly proposed Sathy Tiger Reserve
Positioning of Tiger at the top of the value chain,
Man – animal conflict, sustainable development,
Ill effects of pilgrimage tourism, forests as climatic and resource guardians,
Threat from poachers, importance of endemic species
Threat from exotic species, conserving the corridors of migratory animals
Healthy forest management, reintroduction of extinct species
Improving the prey base, scientific methods in documenting the presence of tigers
Wildlife research documentation,
Organising wildlife campaigns,
Snowballing media coverage,
Conservation photography.


1. A certificate signed by WCS authorities.

2. Research reports and books on wildlife.

3. DVD’s on Wildlife.


This workshop is sponsored by WCS – India and organised by Eco Club of PSG College of Arts and Science and Arulagam, an eNGO in Coimbatore. Hence the food, stay and travel expenses at Coimbatore and PTR will be taken care of by the organisers.
However, the sponsor does not cover your travel expense from your home town to Coimbatore and vice versa and other unexpected expenditures.

1. Do not bring plastic bags.
2. No perfumes/body sprays.
4. The food and stay is in the forest. Hence a premium service cannot be expected. Still, Parambikulam is known for its good service. No junk foods allowed. South Indian, Vegetarian and Non Vegetarian food will be served.
5. Smoking and alcohol consumption is strictly banned. Even the baggages are checked at the entry point. Anyone found using them is likely to be penalised by PTR authorities. Organisers do not have any say regarding this rule.

6. Sighting of Wildlife during short treks/Safari is just a matter of luck. Hence don’t expect Tigers and Elephants to come roaming.
9. Photography should not be a disturbance to Wildlife and the participants have to adhere to the rules of PTR and Kerala Forest Department.
10. Only BSNL mobile works in this forest. Hence bring BSNL sim cards. Broad band doesn’t exist. Hence day to day reporting from PTR is really difficult.


1.Formals and Semi formals. Forest colour (brown, green, grey colour) dress code is better for outings.
2.Sneaker shoes are highly recommended. Two pairs of extra socks are essential so that dormitories do not get soaked with the sweat smell.
3.Hats (again dull coloured) advised.
4. One bed spread shall be brought by the participant so that they do not feel uncomfortable with the common use blankets given in the dormitory.
5.A thin winter wear, preferably a thermal wear to keep you warm in the night. But day time will be definitely warmer. Luckily PTR received good rains this week.
6.Tick bites will be highly irritating in summer. Hence avoid half pants and three fourths. Since it is raining now ( rare occurrence), tick bites will be less, but Leach bites will become common if you opt for trekking.
7.A handy torch light will be of much use.
8.Bring your own Medical kit if you have a health issue for Hospitals and Medical shops are at least 25 kms away. However an emergency Medical kit with basic medicines will be available with the organisers.


Around 25 journalists are expected to participate in this three day residential workshop. Over 70 % of them are selected from the important forest and wildlife vicinity areas like Nilgiris, Coimbatore, Pollachi, Valparai, Madurai etc.
To cater to the needs/usage of these local correspondents, the course design is oriented much towards local issues than on national policies. Hence Senior Journalists from Metropolitan cities should not expect high level discussions on policy matters in forest management.
But the issues we see in Sathy, Nilgiris, Valparai are of great relevance even at an international level. Presence of Tigers and Elephants in large numbers in these areas and the increasing human - animal conflict is of great concern to every nature enthusiast or an environmentalist.

Language barrier: At least 50 % of the presentations will be in Tamil. Journalists who have problem in understanding Tamil can have one to one discussions with field experts since most of them will be staying there.

For further details and clarifications
Call or mail:
1.Project Coordinator : C.R.Jayaprakash. 98942 59100

Additional coordinators
Bharathidasan (Arulagam) +91 98432 11772.
Lakshminarayanan.N (WCS- India) + 91 9445779052.
Mohanraj.K (Save Coimbatore Wetlands) + 9363147760.

Email enquiries: crjayaprakash@gmail.com
Blog updates in www. blog.crjayaprakash.com

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Media and Tiger Conservation

April 17, 2011 at 9:16 pm · Filed under Development Communication, Hot Topic, Education, MEDIA - General, Environment

Dear Media Professional,

Here is an invitation for you to participate in a three day residential workshop at Parambikulam Tiger Reserve from May 6 -8, 2011.

I wish to register my heartfelt thanks for patiently reading my mails and sometimes replying me too.
Now I wish to offer something which will be of great interest to you.
With full support from Wildlife Conservation Society – India Program, I am organising a 3 day residential workshop for Working Journalists. The theme is Sensitising the Media on Conserving Tigers and their Habitat.
Eminent scientists and conservationists like Shekar Dattatri (Wildlife & Conservation Film maker from Chennai) and Dr.Ravi Chellam ( Country Director – WCS India Program) are to address you for three days in the core jungles of Parambikulam Tiger Reserve which lies adjacent to Anamalai Tiger Reserve, 100 kms to the south of Coimbatore. The dates are from May 6 – 8, 2011.

The idea of the workshop is to highlight the importance of Tigers and its habitat and stress the need for conserving them for a better future. Since the Media ( Press, Television, Radio & New Media) is now playing a vital role in creating awareness, we are happy to invite you.
25 Media persons will be selected for this for WCS – India Program sponsored workshop. Three days’ stay, food and travel/trek inside the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve will be taken care of by the organisers.
You just need to come to Coimbatore by 8 AM on May 6. We will take care of you the next three days and drop you back by 6 PM at Coimbatore on May 8..
Detailed information and discussions will be shared with you on Tiger and Wildlife Conservation by the experts who work in the field. Your participation is likely to enrich you with a detailed information on the status and future of the big cats, Tigers in India.

Curtain raiser in The New Indian Express, Coimbatore


How to join this camp?

If interested, please write back to me in the Comments box below. 25 working journalists will be selected from Tamil Nadu. Preference will be given to Journalists who have interest in Wildlife, Nature and Conservation.
If needed, I can send an email to your Editor/Publisher requesting him to permit you to attend this event on On Duty Leave. You can also participate in this workshop just on your willingness. We are not insisting any permission letter from your senior colleagues.
Though we are open to all Journalists, we would like this workshop to be utilised by Journalists who work in and around the core forest areas of Tamil Nadu like Nilgiris, Pollachi, Coimbatore, Erode, Sathy, Salem, Krishnagiri, Tirunelveli, Theni, Rajapalayam, Point Calimere etc. Even Journalists from Chennai are also welcome since their ideas and works can reach a wider audience.

If you are not in a position to attend the workshop, you can also pass this message to your colleagues/friends in the Media. Reporters, Sub editors, District Correspondents, Photographers/Videographers working in the main stream media can attend this workshop which is to be held amidst the roar of Tigers and Elephants.
We assure you to serve with a moderate to comfortable stay with hygienic food and healthy thoughts on Conservation despite the fact that event is organised inside a deep jungle. We selected Parambikulam Tiger Reserve to host you because of the healthy practices maintained there in the past 4 years and I personally would rate as the Best managed Tiger Reserve in South India.
We request you to come and relish at a cool place amidst abundant greenery and wildlife, for you had enough of hot trails during the Legislative Election Campaign in Tamil Nadu.
We sincerely believe that our interactive sessions with you on Tiger Conservation will lead to a better future for the national animal through your thoughts and publications.

How to register for this workshop?

You just need to reply for this message by sending your consent in the comments box below with your designation and mobile number. I can send you further information/clarifications in a day.
Preference will be given for those who register by 25, April, 2011.

For further enquiries, feel free to call

Prof. C.R.Jayaprakash,
Coordinator – Workshop on Media and Tiger Conservation,

Mobile: 98942 59100.
email: crjayaprakash @ gmail.com
web: www.crjayaprakash.com

Note : To know more about this workshop, you also can follow the link below, which has details about the similar camp conducted by our team in the month of Febraury.


Media support for the previous workshop


Some images from the workshop


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The Truth Beyond Tiger Count - 1706

March 29, 2011 at 10:09 am · Filed under Development Communication, Hot Topic, Trexperience, Environment

The Tiger Census of 2010 has estimated the presence of 1,706 Tigers in India. This is 16 % compounded annual growth over the previous census conducted in 2006 ( 1,411 tigers).

This news might look great for nature enthusiasts at a topical level. But if we dig deeper there are lot more to think and get clarified. It reminds me of India’s legendary Wildlife Photographer M.Krishnan’s comment, ‘Tigraine Increase‘ when statistics showed abnormal increase after Project Tiger was implemented.

First let us see some interesting points obtained from the 2010 Census results:

1. Information collected from 30,000 forest beats.
2. Forest personnel walked 6.25 lakh kilo metres to gather the data.
3. Wildlife Institute of India coordinated this exercise which cost Rs.9.1 Crores. ( Total cost involved in two census crosses Rs.22 crores _ Jay Mazoomdaar, ET, 4 - 4 - 2011).
4. Karnataka has the highest number of Tigers, 320.
5. Kaziranga (Assam) has the largest number (100) in a reserve.
6. There are just 3,500 tigers in the whole world and India has around 50 % of them.
7. Western Ghats has 534 tigers ( up from 412).
8. Nagarhole, Mudumalai and Wayanad belt (TN, Kerala and Karnataka, NBR) has an impressive surge in numbers, 36 % growth to 382 tigers.
9. “There are at least 163 Tigers in Tamil Nadu, an increase of 100 % ” Atleast 100 tigers are estimated to be prowling in the contigious forests of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Sigur Plateau, Nilgiris, Moyar Valley and Sathyamangalam Forests in Western Tamil Nadu” - R.Sundarraju, Chief Conservator of Forests, Tamil Nadu, The Times of India, March, 29, 2011.
10. “The World Wide Fund for Nature has spotted 51 Tigers in the Sathyamangalam - Moyar - Sigur belt in the camera traps”, Radha Venkatesan, The Times of India, March, 29, 2011.
11. Kalakkad - Mundanthurai has around 18 and Mudumalai Tiger Reserve has around 20 Tigers.
12. WII - NTCA presentations ends up with the quote, ” Any monitoring program is a compromise between science and logistic constraints” - Richard Hutto & Jock Young.

Now points for discussions

1. Camera trap method was used only in 10,500 sq.kms which constitute only 5 % of the marked area.
2. 800 camera traps were set up for 50 days, one each in 4 sq.km area.
3. 615 individual tigers have been identified based on the stripes seen in the photographs.
4. “The full process of how these tiger numbers are generated for individual tiger populations and landscapes has not been made public in a scientifically acceptable manner” - Ullas Karanth ( Director, Centre for Wildlife Studies, Bangalore) The Hindu, March, 29, 2011.
5. “Since various threats faced by Tigers do not appear to have diminished in the last four years, it is difficult to explain the claimed reversal of the decline of Tigers” - Ullas Karanth in The Hindu, March, 29, 2011.
6. “New areas surveyed in this census such as Sunderbans and some Naxal areas accounted for much of the increase” - Valmik Thapar (Tiger Conservationist), The Hindu, March 29, 2011. Naxal area places are Nagarjuna Sagar Tiger Reserve (AP), Indravathi (Chattisgarh), Simlipal (Orissa), Valmiki (Bihar), Palaman (Jharkand).
7. Madhya Pradesh (213) and Andhra Pradesh (65) have shown a decrease in Tiger population.
8. Tiger occupancy areas have decreased from 93,600 sq.kms (2006) to 72,800 sq.kms now (2010). “This means tiger corridors are under severe threat” - Jairam Ramesh (Union Minister for Forests and Environment), The New Indian Express, March, 29, 2011.
9. 30 % of Tigers found outside 39 Tiger Reserves of the Country.
10. “We can deal with the threat of poachers, of the real estate and mining mafias, but it is much harder to deal with developmental dynamic” - Jairam Ramesh , The New Indian Express, March, 29, 2011.
11. “A country of 1.4 billion cannot survive on solar, wind and bio gas. We need commercial sources, but we also need to conserve these forests. We must decide whether we can afford a 9 % growth agenda which would our forests and the cultures and livelihoods that depend on them. River linking, hydel and irrigation projects could destroy the Panna, Buxa and Valmiki Tiger Reserves” - Montek Singh Ahluvalia, (Planning Commission Deputy Chairman), The Hindu, March 29, 2011.
12. “There should be an end to government monopoly in Tiger monitoring. Outside expertise and resources to ensure greater reliability, transparency and credibility in monitoring the fate of national animal”. - Ullas Karanth, The Hindu, March, 29, 2011.
13. “If we do not shift to focused and intensive monitoring approaches, we are at serious risk of losing more and more key populations of tigers even while we celebrate supposed increases from these national counts” - Ullas Karanth, The Times of India, March, 29, 2011.
14. WII purchased around 500 Moultrie Camera traps for the second Census out of which 300 - odd malfunctioned. The official stand remains that the manufacturer replaced the faulty sets. Sources in the field, however report a different picture. In Corbett around 60 Camera traps were installed in two phases in 2010. Within days of installation, most Cameras reported an activation lag. In Tadoba Andheri Reserv, around 60 Cameras malfunctioned.
15. International Snow Leopard Trust uses Reconyx Camera traps. In India, Camera trapping pioneer Dr.Ullash Karanth has used Deercam Cameras. Among the cheaper brands, Bushnell is believed to be the most versatile.
16. WII used about 100 Cameras to cover just 120 km sq. Kms of Nagarjuna Sagar - Srisailam Tiger Reserve in AP. Only 7 tigers were identified. Based on this estimate a figure of 60 tigers were extrapolated for 2,342Sq.km of this reserve.
17. The estimation process has not been made public in the last 9 years. Only one scientific paper - Can the abundance of tigers be assessed from their signs? has been published in 2011 and that too explains only a part of the method. (Points 14 -17 from Jay Mazoomdaar, The Economic Times, April, 4, 2011).
18. The NTCA report modifies the population growth to 12 % or 170 tigers. Insiders, however claim that the 13 new areas that have been added this time account for a total of 288 tigers. If they are to be believed, this brings down to the actual population gain to just 7 tigers or less than 0.5 %.

Habitat loss or fragmentation however, is a long term, often irreversible, damage. Restoring tigers to 21,000 sq.km loss of habitat loss since 2006 07 will be next to impossible. That our conservation efforts, while rustling up with feel good numbers, have actually conceded one fourth of the tiger’s home in just four years is the real headline of the census - Jay Mazoomdaar, The Economic Times, April 2, 2011.
20. The contigious forests of Bandipur - Nagarhole - Mudumalai - Wayanad is the single biggest Tiger habitat in the world and has an estimated 382 cats. All these National Parks are close to their holding limits and yet they registered an increase in numbers. This might become a horror story. Tigers are territorial animals. Rising numbers usually go hand in hand with rising territory. But now Tigers are increasingly moving closer towards human population, which will result in harm to all concerned - the striped predator, livestock and humans. The shrinking of forests will lead to isolation of ’source population’ of tigers. These source population are found mostly in Tiger Reserves and National Parks - Amit Bhattacharya, The Times of India, April,4, 2011.
21. It is relatively easy to manage reserved forests. But how to manage forests with human habitations? We cant just turn them into National Parks. We need a national strategy for these areas if serious man - animal conflicts are to be avoided. - Qamar Qureshi, Wildlife biologist, Wildlife Institute of India, The Times of India, April 4, 2011.
22. The Hon’ble Minister for MoEF was talking about sustaining a 9% year on year growth rate for the economy. However, he is happy at the so called 12% increase in estimated tiger population spread over 4 years. Since simple arithmetic has become the norm, perhaps he should have asked someone to do quickly compute the yearly percentage growth rate of tiger population. That might have had a sobering effect Though the census suggests that central India and Eastern Ghats have 601 tigers and Western Ghats have 534 tigers, the corridors in most of the areas have either been broken or under threat. Since none of the tiger reserves and the contiguous areas around those have a combined single population of 500 tigers - the minimum accepted number to have a genetically viable population – it is imperative that we focus on restoring the contiguities between various wilderness areas. That would help in replenishing the gene pool and maintaining the genetic diversity. The fact is tigers are prolific breeders and due to their tremendous instincts, given a chance, can repopulate areas - Sabyasachi Patra, The India Wilds.com, Issue 4, Vol 5.
23. Madhya Pradesh feels that it had lost its Tiger land title to Karnataka, (state with more tigers). Hence they are on a second census now to justify that they have more tigers. This will create a chance to inflate the numbers.

Thoughts at the local level

1. Sathyamangalam, Sigur and Moyar have the largest number of Tigers in Tamil Nadu. But why are they not under any Tiger Reserve ? Why is the proposal for Sathy Tiger Reserve pending ?
2. Why do people agitate against Tiger Reserves? It is happening in Masinagudi (Mudumalai Tiger Reserve) and Biligiri Rangasamy Hills Sanctuary (Karnataka). Why the forest department and NGO’s could not convince the locals on conservation issue? Why are the politicians against extension and declaration of Tiger Reserves ?
3. What will happen to the Tigers if Sathyamangalam - Chamraj Nagar train track is constructed as proposed by politicians?
4. What will happen to the Tigers if an alternative road from Nilgiris to Sathy is constructed from Masinagudi to Thengumarahada through Sigur forests?
5. Given that NGO’s like Aranyak (Kaziranga) or WWF (Sathy and Ramnagar) did a good job estimate, the ministry could rope in more organisations for logistics and manpower.

Some images for your thoughts on what is happening in the Tiger land of Sathy

Wild(life) Tourism to Thengumarahada

Pilgrimage Tourism in Moyar, lifeline of Sathyamangalam Sanctuary

Pilgirimage Tourism in Sathy

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