September 19, 2018
September 2018: First release of captive-bred* vultures in Asia
Posted on Tuesday 18 September 2018, 01:48
Nepal and SAVE witnessed a further landmark for Asian vulture conservation on 17th September 2018, when
the Government of Nepal and national and international conservation organisations released 12 critically endangered white-rumped vultures Gyps bengalensis, including the first eight birds actually hatched within the conservation breeding
programme. Releases last year of birds reared (but not hatched) in the programme have so far shown very promising signs of survival and success, and in addition, 20 wild birds have now been satellite-tagged – 11 in 2017, and a further 9 just prior to this
The first gate opens and several birds immediately joined the wild birds at the carcass outside.
The work is a truly collaborative effort of many partners, led by Bird Conservation Nepal (BCN) and the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) together with Chitwan National Park and the
Department of National Parks & Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC). The Director General of DNPWC and a small group of officials, scientists and community leaders watched as the BCN team quietly opened the doors of the release aviary using a remote pulley system.
Six of the twelve vultures exited the release aviary and joined the wild birds feeding on the buffalo carcass almost immediately, and all twelve came out within half an hour. Six of the birds later returned inside the aviary where they spent the night, but
immediately flew out again the following morning. The release site is at the village of Pithauli, Nawalparasi, close to Nepal’s Chitwan National Park.
“This is a world first for the release of white-rumped vultures actually bred in the Nepal breeding centre and is a major step for establishing secure wild populations now that we are confident
that the veterinary use of diclofenac has been stopped in this country” said Mr Man Bahadur Khadka, DG, DNPWC.
The previous week, an expert team from the UK (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and Forestry Commission) together with the BCN team had fitted satellite tags to the birds with
carefully designed harnesses (using the thoracic cross-hatch method), ready so they can be monitored after the release, and give us vital information about their movements, and any problems or causes of mortality . The team also caught and tagged nine wild
white-rumped vultures, which are already being monitored, to compare their movements and behaviour with the released birds.
Fitting the satellite tag and wing-tags a week before the release. Photo: BCN
“The monitoring of the satellite-tagged birds is an important way to understand how well the birds are surviving, and to assess the safety of the “Vulture Safe Zone” said Ishana Thapa, CEO of
BCN. “If these and the previously tagged birds all survive then this is a further sign that the vulture conservation efforts are working”. Krishna Bhusal, BCN’s Vulture Conservation Program Officer of BCN added: “Releasing vultures, hatched in captivity, in
this location, combines our in situ and ex situ efforts to save these birds, and the process of keeping the birds in the pre-release aviary for several months before release allows them to adjust and interact with wild birds – This is an exciting day for me
and all Nepal”.
The officials slowly open the first gate of the release aviary using the remote pulley. Photo: BCN
Chitwan’s Chief Conservation Officer, Bed Kumar Dhakal said “We are proud that the vulture breeding at the Breeding Centre in Chitwan National Park has taken off, with nine chicks last year and
six more in 2018”. Jemima Parry Jones, UK birds of prey expert from the International Centre for Birds of Prey (ICBP) who advises the project said “Breeding and releasing these birds is a great credit to all involved, and shows how a combination of international
and national partners can work successfully together to achieve very significant results. The huge success of the VSZs has meant we can have these amazing releases and aim towards all the vultures being back out in the wild by 2023”. Craig Pritchard, senior
vet representing ZSL said how the birds all appeared to be in very good condition, and how pleased and privileged he felt to be part of this joint collaborative effort.
Briefing and speeches of the release immediately beforehand. Photo: BCN
Mr DB Choudhary, the local conservation community leader added “The Nawalparasi community is proud that their area has been selected for this historic release, following a series of vulture conservation
initiatives in the area including running the vulture-safe feeding site here since 2006”
Chris Bowden, RSPB and Saving Asia’s Vultures from Extinction (SAVE) Programme Manager said “The successful removal of veterinary diclofenac across Nepal thanks to a lot of hard work, is the
real reason behind the success so far and without this we couldn’t have gone ahead. These are the first ever Asian vultures to have been hatched and bred within a breeding programme and taken to the concluding phase of release to the wild. This illustrates
the rationale behind these efforts and if enough birds survive without encountering killer veterinary drugs, we will be on track to release all the birds by 2023”
The vulture conservation work in Nepal is carried out with the full support of DNPWC, and led by BCN. The breeding centre was established in 2008 and is jointly managed by NTNC and Chitwan National
Park. The main funding (and technical) support has come from the RSPB, but significant resources also come from all organisations involved as well as the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) who provide veterinary support and helped with funds for the release
aviary, and the International Centre for Birds of Prey (ICBP) in the UK.
Flying free. Photo: Rajendra Gurung BCN
Footage of the release was captured by a journalist and can be found here
Calendar of the Nepal white-rumped vulture release programme so far:
*Captive reared vultures are birds that came in as chicks collected from wild nests (in 2009 and 2010) reared and placed in the breeding centre for the breeding programme.
* Captive bred vultures are the offspring of those captive reared birds, hatched and parent reared in the breeding programme.
For more information on the Saving Asia’s Vultures from Extinction (SAVE) partnership and further news updates check www.save-vultures.org and www.birdlifenepal.org
September 12, 2018
Many IWC members send queries about wildlife conservation as a career choice. Many youngsters have great passion but find there is a lack of opportunities to qualify with an"appropriate" degree. There is also a lack of openings in general.
I recently interviewed Shaleen Attre, a passionate wildlife lover. With no "Science background" she found it impossible to get admission for any environmental degree courses in India. Her vast field experience working with NGOs in wildlife area did not
count when it came to admission.
Here is the video recording. Watch it at the link
Vijaydatta Vishnu Gaonkar
August 23, 2018
Safety & Bird Hazard Management/Control
at Mumbai Airport
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport provides an ideal grassland habitat for many bird species. A number of bird species are attracted to the airport to feed, perch, roost and breed;
this includes birds of prey, scavengers, & the ones that feed on insects and plant material. The airport is also surrounded by slums where, many meat shops, slaughtering of animals is done and waste and garbage disposal system is not done properly and also
their big open nallahs provide an attractive environment for birds.
WHAT IS BIRD STRIKE?
Bird strike is the term used to describe the collision of an aircraft with a bird. Collisions involving other animals are also recorded as animal strikes. All suspected or confirmed strikes
are reported to Director General of Civil Aviation.
PREDOMINANT BIRD SPECIES
Species most commonly involved in the bird strike incidents at Mumbai International Airport include Pariah Kite, Pigeons, Egrets, Owls, Myna, Red-Wattled Lapwing, Crows and Bats. Species
such as, Sandpiper, Black Eagle, Indian Pond Heron are also regularly observed at the airport but rarely struck by aircraft.
Different species of birds occupy and utilize different sectors of the environment and therefore, pose different risks to aircraft. For example, birds that hover above the ground searching
for prey (eg Pariah Kite, Eagle) pose a risk to aircraft during landing or take off. Bird species, such as Egrets, Crows & Pigeons form flocks which create the risk of multiple bird strikes. Other species, such as pigeons, sparrows feed on the ground around
taxiways and may be struck by taxiing aircraft. As a result each species needs to be managed differently.
IMPACT OF BIRD STRIKES
The primary risk associated with bird strike is the hazard posed to aviation safety. Bird strikes can cause significant damage to aircraft, aircraft crashes and potentially the loss of
human life. Colliding with a bird can cause millions of dollars damage to aircraft engines and turbines as well as contributing to airline costs due to grounding of aircraft for repair. It is also important to note the loss of the birds life as a result of
RESPONSIBILITIES OF MUMBAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT LIMITED
MIAL, as the airport operator, is responsible for and committed to ensuring passenger safety. Under the International Civil Aviation Safety Regulations and Director General of Civil Aviation
the airport is required to reduce the risks associated with the bird strike.
WHAT IS DONE TO REDUCE THE RISK OF BIRD STRIKE?
MIAL has put in place management strategies to ensure airport operations are conducted safely. A Wildlife Hazard Management Policy has been developed and implemented at Mumbai Airport which
puts in place measures to reduce hazards associated with all wildlife. The most important objective is to maintain the grassland habitat around the runway in such a way so that birds are not encouraged to feed in areas close to the runways and taxiways. For
example, the grass is mowed regularly to a height (30-20 cms) that discourages birds that feed on bulbs and worms; weeds that are known food source for birds are minimized; and drains are kept clear of refuse which could attract birds.
Certain tree and shrub species used in landscaping may also potentially attract more birds to the vicinity of the airport. Therefore, the Environment Department of MIAL advises and approves
the landscaping plans for new developments at Mumbai Airport. MIAL has even produced Landscaping Guidelines that provide a preferred plant list to tenants and developers alike.
The Wildlife Officers employed by MIAL also have an important role in bird management and a three tier approach of – 1) Precaution 2) Prevention and 3) Remedial action is adopted. If
birds are posing a risk to aircraft and passenger safety, bird scarers deployed alongside the runway length use scare methods by exploding fire crackers in an attempt to disperse the flock and clear the birds away from the runways and taxiways. Wildlife Officers
also take their vehicles with bird scaring guns and cartridges which are used to disperse the flock. These cartridges produce a loud bang when fired which can help scare birds away from the immediate area. MIAL has also placed
Sound Devices (Super Pro Amp), which make loud explosive sounds at limited intervals, to
scare birds in the vicinity of runway.
Airfield Environment Management Committee meeting, chaired by State Environment Secretary held at airport and attended by MCGM, MIAL, Airlines, DGCA, Forest and NGO’s. Wildlife Hazard
section also conducting monthly joint inspection with BMC officials of all wards adjacent to CSI Airport.
May 22, 2018
New report finds wildlife attractions in Bali are a living hell for animals
- 100% of venues with captive elephants, tigers, dolphins or civet cats didn’t meet basic needs of animals
- 80% of venues with primates didn’t meet the basic needs of captive wild animals
22 May 2018: A
shocking new report from World Animal Protection has revealed that all wildlife
tourism entertainment venues in Bali with captive elephants, tigers, dolphins or civet cats fail to meet even the basic needs of wild animals in captivity. With around 2,72,761 tourists, India ranks third on the list of countries that have tourists visiting
Bali in 2017.
The Wildlife Abusement Parks report
details the results of an investigation into 26 wildlife tourism venues in Bali, Lombok and Gili Trawangan that house 1,500 wild animals, including elephants, dolphins and orangutans.
Bali is a popular travel destination with Indians and registered an increase of 45.59% visitors in 2017 as compared to 2016. But far
from being an island paradise, the report paints a bleak picture of the conditions the wild animals are forced to endure day-in, day-out. Almost all of them will spend the rest of their lives suffering in Bali.
Elephant rides, dolphin swims, orangutan selfies and circus-style shows, are increasingly popular tourist activities for many travellers
to the island. But some of the most disturbing findings reveal that:
- All dolphins were kept in severely inadequate conditions – one pool estimated to be 10X20 metres and three metres
deep housed four bottlenose dolphins
- Dolphins at one venue have had their teeth filed down or removed entirely to ensure they are unable to injure
- All of the elephant venues offered elephant rides - elephants suffer a cruel and intensive training process
that involves severe restraint. Severe pain is also often inflicted to speed up the process and quickly establish dominance. This highly traumatic experience will stay with the elephant forever
- Nearly 15% of elephants displayed stereotypies – abnormal repetitive behaviours – including swaying and foot
shuffling – which indicate distress and suffering
- All venues with orangutans offered selfie experiences. Forced to entertain
queues of tourists, many of these animals lacked freedom of movement, opportunities for social interaction and any stimulating activities.
Gajender K Sharma, India Country Director at World Animal Protection, said:
"Bali is becoming a popular destination with Indian travellers. It is an idyllic paradise and its economy relies on the millions of
tourists who travel there each year. Sadly, until Bali improves animal welfare at these dreadful venues, World Animal Protection is urging Indian tourists to avoid them. We'd also encourage travellers and tourists to boycott the travel companies that promote
and support these venues. Indian travel companies have a responsibility to urgently review their Bali offerings to ensure they are not supporting these appalling establishments. If you can ride, hug or have a selfie with a wild animals, then it's cruel – don't
do it, no matter how many 'likes' it will get on social media."
Steve McIvor, CEO at World Animal Protection, said:
“It’s a tragedy that Bali, such a beautiful destination for tourists, forces its captive wild animals to endure such grotesque and
horrific conditions. In the past, when our teams have investigated animal welfare conditions at other leading holiday destinations, I’ve always been able to recommend venues with good welfare
standards. It’s horrendous that there isn’t one venue I can recommend on Bali, Lombok and Gili Trawangan.”
To protect wild animals, World Animal Protection has convinced nearly 200 travel companies to stop offering elephant rides and shows
in travel packages. Among these are popular Indian companies such as 'Tour My India' and 'Trans India Holidays'.
- Read the full report on the cruel exploitation of wild animals in Bali
April 27, 2018
Paeonia emodi, is a robust herbaceous plant
that winters with buds underground (as so-called hemicryptophyte), has large white flowers and large deeply incised leaves, belonging to the peonies. Its local vernacular names include mamekhor or mamekh (Punjabi), ood-e-saleeb (Urdu) meaning "with-a-cross", عودِثلعب (Hindi),
mid (in Kashmir) and 多花芍药 (duo hua shao yao) meaning "multi-flower peony" (Chinese). In English it is sometimes called Himalayan peony.It is among the tallest of the herbaceous peony species, and, while cold-hardy, it grows better in warm temperate climates.
It is a parent of the popular "White Innocence", which reaches 1½ m.
More details: http://jkmpic.blogspot.in/2018/04/paeonia-emodi-seeds.html
February 01, 2018
Blessed with exotic flora and unique geographical features, Kerala boasts of having some of themost diverse wildlife sanctuaries in the world. Here is a list comprising ofthe best wildlife
resorts where one can enjoy the natural scenic beauty and thewild in “God’s Own Country”!
Muthanga National Park/Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
What to look for: Panthers, Tigers, Elephants, Jungle Cats
Ranked as one of thebest wildlife resorts in the country, Whispering Woods is a perfect retreat forthose who love to spend some time away from the maddening city life. Surroundedby
lush coffee plantations, the place has lovely accommodation options,-ranging from stilt cottages to well-maintained tents. Both the hospitality andlocation of Whispering Woods is simply outstanding.
Jungle Parks Resort
Situated at the foothills of Vythiri, Jungle Parks Resort has beautiful villas, eco-lodges andtree houses that offer a memorable stay experience. Every room here offersunmatched
views of the surroundings. One of the major highlights of this resortis its location which is in close proximity to the national park along withother famous attractions. Want to experience all this and more? Search and bookcheap New
Delhi to Cochin flights to have a fun-filledvacation!
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
What to look for: BengalTigers, Malabar giant squirrels, NilgiriTahrs, etc.
Green Woods, a 4-starproperty, promises a perfect blend of luxury and comfort in nature’s lap.Situated atop a hillock, the place boasts of a rustic charm which is wellreflected in its
quaint cottages, the lantern-lit pathways and the woodenbenches which are quietly placed across the resort.
KTDC Lake Palace
Situated right in themiddle of Periyar National Park, KTDC Lake Palace is one of the most famousaccommodation options here. It offers the signature Kerala hospitality alongwith
lovely, upscale rooms with unparalleled views of the soothing greenery.
A luxury plantationstay, Anavilasam is situated just 8 km from Periyar National Park. Surroundedby cardamom and pepper plantations, the place is a wonderful retreat and offersboutique-styled
accommodation options, ranging from pool and presidentialvillas, deluxe rooms to luxury suits. You can also enjoy interesting activitieslike cooking classes, tiger trails, bamboo rafting, plantation tours, nightjungle patrol and village tours.
Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
What to look for:Siberian cranes, moorhens, Brahminy Kites, etc.
Vivanta by Taj
Aptly called the “Jewel of Kumarakom”, Vivanta by Taj is located on the banksof Vembanad Lake. The resort has beautifully done luxury villas, heritage roomsand cottage accommodations which promise a relaxed stay experience amidstnatural scenic beauty. Sightseeing
tours and customized tours are alsoavailable on request.
Plan a trip to theseplaces and get a chance to stay close to the nature!
September 27, 2017
One just has to refreshingly watch theWainganga river, the royal Seoni Hills and fill with amazement at the beautiful gorgewhere Mowgli killed Sher Khan (villain
tiger of The Jungle Book) - to happily accept the blendof reality and fiction in perfection at
The dense wild forests which are a partof "Pench"in Madhya Pradesh were announced as a national park in theyear 1983 and a tiger reserve in theyear 1993.
Situated on the NH-7,
Pench National Parkis in between the Seoni and Chhindwara districts of Madhya Pradesh state inIndia. This wildlife hub is just convenient train ride and short road driveaway from major
cities like Mumbai, Pune& Nagpur. The nearest airport isNagpur. The Pench Tiger Reserve
area canbe easily reached from Pauni throughtwo major entry gates–Karmajhiri and Turiya. With a number of
PenchNational Park Tour Packages offering luxury stays near to the safari hub,
PenchNational Park is thus an amazing choice for a family/group vacation.
If you planning to book
Pench National Park TourPackages, then remember the best time to visit the wildlife park is between Octoberand May. While summer months of April, May and Early June are when the tiger andother rare wildlife sight seeings are highest. The timings for
safari are from earlymorning 6 am to 10.30 am and afternoon 3 pm to 6 pm. You need to do
onlinesafari booking in Pench for your whole process to be quitewell-organized.Also you need to ensure that the
online safari booking in Penchis completed months in advance to avoid last minute hassle andnon-availibility.
Talking about the rich wildlife,Pench is primarily renowned for the Royal Bengal Tiger. According to the recent TigerCensus, it has been estimated that there are nearly 40 tigers
in the park.Further, it is also home to 42 species of mammals, 15 species of reptiles, and 4species of amphibians in the wildlife park. Interestingly, you will come acrossa number of striking animals such as chital, sambar, nilgai, wild pig,gaur and jackals
to name a few. If you are fortunate, you might also see thegreat Indian leopard, sloth bear, and the stunning striped hyena.
You will findsome of the best
Pench Resorts that will provide you with comfortable accommodationfacilities, WiFi, entertainment andother important amenities. At
Pench Resorts, you will also meet someamazing wildlife tour guides and forest specialists who respond to animal calls.
One of the primethings to understand during your Pench Adventure Safari is how the tour guidesand the
expert jeep driver answer to forest calls so as to consider right directionto head in for highest chances of spotting the tiger. From bird chirping tomonkey calls, the guides give close attention to everything that goes on in theforest as well as teach you
some interesting new things during your safari tripat Punch.
So, If you make 2-3 Pench national park
safari booking during your weekend
stay at Pench,your are almost certain to spot the tiger at least once. You can choose any ofthe top wildlife tour operators such as Mumbai Travellers and do a
bookingof pench national park safari for your family and friends.
September 03, 2017
Jim Corbett National Park, a Project Tiger Reserve lies in the Uttarakhand. We at Jim Corbett Expert offer cheap travel plans.
We make arrangements in Jim Corbett resorts which offer the comfortable stay at low tariffs. Check out now at
Jim Corbett National Park, the first word which comes to our mind after listening to this word is Jungle Safari/jeep Safari.
Jim Corbett Safaris are world renowned and tourists from all over the world visit Jim Corbett National Park for Jim Corbett Safari.
you can admire different-2 animals through corbett safari.We at Jim Corbett Expert offer cheap travel plans.
We make arrangements in Jim Corbett resorts which offer the comfortable stay at low tariffs.
Rajasthan Taxi Services
July 17, 2017
Mount Abu is a great experience for the travelers. Wildlife Sanctuary in Mount Abu will welcome you gently with its flora and fauna, and you can see some rare species and stock your album with some landscape photographs of tropical forests at their full
blooming. For the adventure enthusiasts, trekking on the Toad rock in Mount Abu can trigger the ultimate adrenaline rush. You canrent a taxi from Udaipur
to Mount Abu directly, or you can explore the entire city. We provide you some extensive travel solutions through our different rental plans. Book us to travel from Udaipur to Mount Abu and enjoy the beautiful city and wildlife sanctuary.
Rajasthan Car Hire
July 17, 2017
Rajasthan Wildlife Tour gives you an exciting rendezvous with the wild side of nature.
Explore three wildlife sanctuaries including Sariska, Ranthambore and Keoladeo National Park.
Rajasthan Wildlife Tour takes you to jungle safari to Sariska Tiger Reserve which has characteristics Fauna of dry zone and antelopes, deer, caracal, jungle cat, hyena, jackal with plenty of birds in the natural valley.
Then ranthambhore which is the best among the other Tiger Reserves of the Country.
Then to Keoladeo National Park, which is a Paradise for Ornithologists and photo naturalists. Presence of about 400 species of birds in this small area makes it the richest bird habitat in the world.
Our Rajasthan Travel Packages are tailored to suit the needs of all types of holiday goers and can be tweaked to accommodate your personal preferences and touring styles. Our expert tour leaders ensure that all your needs are met during the tour. Book your
tour to rajasthan with us.