IndiaWilds Newsletter Vol.10 Issue XI

IndiaWilds Newsletter Vol. 10 Issue XI

ISSN 2394 – 6946

Download the full Newsletter PDF by clicking the below button –
IndiaWilds Newsletter-November-2018 (6.2 MB, 145 downloads)

Sentinelese: Right to defend

IndiaWilds Newsletter Nov. 2018 Cover Page

IndiaWilds Newsletter Nov. 2018 Cover Page

A person described as adventurer, football coach and Christian missionary illegally landed in the North Sentinel island and got killed by arrows from the Sentinelese tribe. The person John Allen Chau had wanted to convert the tribes to Christianity. The misguided pouring’s of sympathy on his death completely misses the principles of natural justice.

In the Andaman group of islands, the Sentinelese have stayed for an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 years and have preferred seclusion. They have fiercely defended themselves from outsiders. They were similar to Jarawas who earlier used to shun contact with other people except their own tribe. The Sentinelese decision to remain out of contact with others stands vindicated in view of the sad situation of the Jarawa today who chose to open up to the settlers.

Sad fate of Jarawa:

The Jarawa used to attack with their poison tipped arrows and there were multiple conflicts during the British rule. Several decades ago the Government of India started a contact program which involved baiting the Jarawa tribe with fruits, red cloth and beads and other such curios. Slowly the Jarawa started coming out and became friendly with other people. Unfortunately due to living in seclusion from the outside world, they don’t have the immunity to deal with the various diseases that afflict us and germs that remain dormant in our bodies. Many died.

North Sentinel Island (Source: NASA)

To make matters worse when the Jarawa people decide to mix with the settlers in Andamans, the jarawa women started getting exploited sexually. A few years ago a video of Jarawa women made to dance had gone viral. (Please check: –

A once independent, self-sufficient and proud tribe is now forced to beg infront of us for a living. A huge number of specimens of modern man may have become comfortable trading his/her dignity for the sake of money. However, poor indeed is a person who has lost his dignity.

The Jarawas with their small numbers, can anytime be wiped out or rather become integrated with the mainstream to serve as cheap labor if not to satisfy some sexual urge of people. In the past politicians have demanded them to be resettled to other places. The Government of India, has always seen the Andaman and Nicobar islands from a strategic and tactical point of view. So these islands are key to our defense doctrine.

Andaman Group of Islands (Source: NASA)

Andaman Group of Islands (Source: NASA)

The Government has also gone ahead and resettled people from mainland as well as refugees in these islands. Given that these islands are so far from the mainland and in fact much closer to Malaysia, it helps to retain its claim. However, the population of the settlers in these islands have resulted in increased conflicts with the original people of these islands, the various tribes like Onge, Great Andamanese, Jarawa, Sentinelese etc.

The population of the various tribes have shown a massive decline. Their areas have got constricted. These are hunter gatherers and logging and poaching of wildlife has led to destruction of their habitat impacting their lives directly. Exotics like spotted deer and elephants have multiplied further impacting the biodiversity. Andaman Trunk Road has cut open the Jarawa reserve and is operational in defiance of the Hon’ble Supreme Court order. So these tribes are living with massive challenges.

Previous contact with Sentinelese:

Fortunately the Sentinelese are the only tribe who still have maintained their own independence and they vigorously defend their own territory from outsiders. They living in a separate island also has helped. The Government doesn’t interfere in the lives of those people. However, the Government has carried out several attempts to appease them and make them friendly by offering them coconuts, iron and other items. At times they have accepted the items but other times they haven’t.

M. V. Portman posing with Andaman tribes

It is said that in the late 1880 a British naval officer by the name M. V. Portman had kidnapped two elders and a few Sentinelese kids. The two elder sentinelese had died within a few days but the kids were returned back after a few days of some “photography” and perhaps some perverse weird acts. It is believed that his orientation was against the prevailing social morals and hence he remained unmarried till his end. It is a matter of conjecture whether the sentinelese became hostile to outsiders after learning the abuse of their kids or they genuinely want to remain secluded from even other tribes.

Sentinelese People in beach from documentary “Man in Search of Man”


In 1974 a documentary “Man in Search of Man” made by the films division had tried to contact the Sentinelese and had placed coconut, red clothes, pig etc after landing in their island. However, the Sentinelese killed the pig and showed them their backs by sitting in a defecating position which shows their contempt. They also shot arrows which injured the camera crew. From the description of the 2 and half meter long arrow in the film and the healing of injury one can surmise that they don’t use poison tipped arrows like the Jarawa. (Please check –

There were a few other such contact trips. In 2004 after the Tsunami the Indian airforce copters flew low over the islands but were met with a hail of arrows. Thankfully the Government doesn’t conduct such contact trips any more.

Sentinelese have the right to self-defense:

Nevertheless, the question that many ask is even though the Sentinelese are an “uncontacted” tribe, why the Sentinelese are not being tried for murder of the misguided John Allen Chau who wanted to convert them to Christianity. One should realise that trying them for the death of the misguided youth who illegally went to that island is against the principles of natural justice and against the laws of many countries. In USA, the home of the deceased has clear policies for trespassing and self-defense. People in USA can legally fire at you if you make an unauthorised entry into their property. According to US law a “person is privileged to use such force as reasonably appears necessary to defend him or herself against an apparent threat of unlawful and immediate violence from another.” So even if a person enters into another persons compound to seek help, he or she is liable to be fired at. There are many countries which follow the same principle.

In India, where gun license is difficult to obtain, people can’t fire at intruders. They do have the option of setting their dogs on trespassers. And there are many cases where mobs violently lynch suspected unknown people in their locality.

Disease transmission akin to Genocide:

These primitive tribes doesn’t understand the concept of modern nations. They have been living in their island and have successfully warded off visitors. The Government also keeps a hands off policy. Though some anthropologists prefer to interact with them, they intentionally discount the impact of disease transmission to these people. These tribes don’t have immunity against the germs that we carry. Contact with us can transmit infections and diseases that can become lethal for the Sentinelese. According to estimates the population of the Sentinelese is likely to be around 40. In a single incident an entire race can get wiped out. So the visit of one single misguided religious bigot can result in extinction of a race that have survived for some 40-50000 years. This is much more severe than the ethnic genocide for which some leaders have been convicted in international court of justice (ICJ). The very tiny number of the tribes makes the impact of each action highly severe. So people who have supported John Allen Chau’s illegal entry into North Sentinel island should be punished for attempted genocide of a primitive tribe.

The various arms of the Government of India has brought in experts to think of a way of to remove the body of the deceased. However, the Sentinelese have shot arrows at the helicopters in the past. They are already stressed due to this intrusion into their territory. So further attempts should be stopped. One wrong action can endanger the fate of an entire race.

This primitive tribe is fine living without our “help”. We the modern man, have multiplied into a 7 billion plus population even though the earth has a carrying capacity of only 5 billion people. Our stupidity has resulted in polluting the soil, air, ponds, rivers and oceans. Our invention of plastics and pesticides and other dangerous chemicals have now entered into our blood stream. We the Homo sapiens have messed up this earth and its natural processes and now climate change is upon us. It is time to save our own earth from Climate Change arising due to our own follies. So it is better that we don’t try to “save” or interfere with the lives of these ancient Sentinelese people who are perfectly contented to live a life of their own.


How can you make a difference to the World?

In an increasingly polluted world where man is the dominant species and is forcing all other species to cede space to itself and hurtling them towards extinction, where the actions of man is having severe consequences on the ability of natural world which in turn is having consequences on man in form of pollution of air, water as well as poisoning the earth and other species which man feeds on; in a world where man’s actions have led to climate change with higher mean temperatures and natural calamities occurring at greater frequencies, at a time when the leaders of large nations are behaving like small men and are bickering among themselves for petty gains, it is time for all the common men and women to act in their own way and send a strong signal that it is time for course correction.

How can you make a difference to the World?


Conservation News:

Satakosia Tiger Relocation stopped

The male tiger nicknamed Mahavir which was relocated to Satkosia from Kanha was found to dead on November 14, 2018. The incident occurred 500 metres from Raigoda to Nuagada forest road inside the Nuagarh forest reserve of Athagarh forest division.

Tiger Mahavir dead in Satkosia Tiger Reserve with neck wound

Officials have said that the tiger died due to multiple organ failure and infection. The post-mortem report says that the tiger had wound on the neck and it was infected with maggots. “The ante-mortem wound in the neck region was infested with maggots and the subsequent infection had led to septicaemia, resulting in multiple organ failure.”

The death of this tiger is shrouded in mystery. Sudarshan Panda, the Field director of Satkosia Tiger Reserve said that around 8-10 porcupine quills have been found from the stomach of the tiger and indicated that is perhaps the reason of the death. However, this is unlike any known behaviour of any wild tiger. Tigers get injured trying to hunt porcupine as they are known to use their paw and hence the porcupine quills get embedded in the leg. Neck injury to a tiger can never happen from porcupine.

The injury is more likely to be from a snare set up by poachers to catch deer and wild pigs and the tiger got caught in it. The natural tendency of a tiger is to pull and it would have got deep wounds due to the snare. Finding a tiger caught in a snare is not a good advertisement of the patrolling done by the Tiger Reserve staff and hence there is an effort to cook up a story.

Earlier the tigress “Sundari” has been enticed by a buffalo bait and recaptured and sent to the temporary enclosure where it was confined for 40 days after being shifted from Madhya Pradesh. Normally this tigress should have been released in the wild after an initial acclimatization process of around a week. When a tiger is confined to a small area for 40 days its muscles would have atrophied. So it would have lost out on its agility. That is the reason why this tigress was found more often closer to villages inside the tiger reserve and it preferred to hunt livestock. After allegations were made that two people were killed by this tigress, the authorities captured it. They were planning to send it to zoo however this is against the protocol. So sending her to zoo was stopped.

The NTCA (National Tiger Conservation Authority) has now stopped the tiger relocation project in Satkosia. The project has been executed in a muddle-headed manner. The relocation project was also undertaken with the experts from WII. We have no idea whether the experts failed to give correct advice or whether the forest department didn’t heed their suggestion. Nevertheless, the fact is that the forest department failed in multiple counts.

First, the forest department didn’t do their basic job of doing foot patrol and looking for snares and poaching. So the tiger got caught in it and died.

The forest department never took the local villagers into confidence. The local villagers are more interested in wiping out the tiger population so that the logging and poaching can be undertaken without fear of tiger. The real-estate value of the place also goes up.

Generally projects fail due to lack of support from the top. Odisha is ruled by a strong Chief minister. He had personally written letters to various states asking for tigers to repopulate Satkosia. Despite his support the forest department failed. It is time to strengthen the forest department leadership and ensure that people who are in love with the forests are posted there.

The Government should immediately start the process of relocation of villages that are present within the tiger reserve to lessen the anthropogenic pressures on the tiger reserve. If the Chief Minister gives his unstinted support for relocation of villagers with a suitable compensation package then it will be a win-win situation for people and wildlife.


India gets UN Environment award for combating transboundary environmental crime

United Nation Environment has awarded Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India with Asia Environment Enforcement Awards, 2018 for excellent work done by the Bureau in combating transboundary environmental crime.

The Asia Environment Enforcement Awards publicly recognize and celebrate excellence in enforcement by government officials and institutions/teams combating transboundary environmental crime in Asia. The awards are given to outstanding individuals and/or government organizations/teams that demonstrate excellence and leadership in enforcement of national laws to combat transboundary environmental crime in one of the following eligibility criteria areas: collaboration; impact; innovation; integrity and gender leadership.

WCCB has been conferred this award in Innovation category. WCCB has adopted innovative enforcement techniques that have dramatically increased enforcement of transboundary environmental crimes in India. Notably it has developed an online Wildlife Crime Database Management System to get real time data in order to help analyze trends in crime and devise effective measures to prevent and detect wildlife crimes across India.

This system has been successfully used to analyse trends, helping put in preventive measures as well as for successfully carrying out operations such as Operation SAVE KURMA, THUNDERBIRD, WILDNET, LESKNOW, BIRBIL, THUNDERSTORM, LESKNOW-II along with other enforcement agencies resulting in the arrest of 350 wildlife criminals and huge seizures of Tiger/Leopard Skin/bones and other trophies, Rhino Horn, Elephant Ivory, turtles/tortoises, Mongoose raw hairs as well as Mangoose hair bruses, protected birds, Marine products, live Pangolin as well as its scales, deer antlers etc. across all the states.

In order to involve the public in the fight against wildlife crime, WCCB has also developed a scheme to enroll willing persons as WCCB Volunteers.

The award was decided upon by a selection panel set up by the UN Environment and this is the second time in a row the awards are being given by UN Environment to India.


Equipment Discussions:

Leica launches D-Lux 7 compact digital camera

Leica has launched 17 Megapixel D Lux 7 compact digital camera with 24-75mm (35mm lens equivalent) lens and ISO upto 25600.
Here are the salient features of the camera.

Sensor: Fourthirds CMOS censor
Resolution: Stills 17MP. Total resolution of sensor is 21.77MP.
Lens: The Leica D-Lux7 compact digital camera has a 17Megapixel four thirds Sensor: Leica DC Vario-Summilux 10.9– 34 mm f/1.7–2.8 ASPH. zoom lens (equivalent to 24–75 mm in 35 mm format).
ISO: Max ISO 25600.
Vibdeo: UHD 4K video upto 30fps at 100Mbit. Full HD video 1080@60p
Video format: MP4 and AVCHD
4K Photo mode: Using the video capabilities for continuous 8 MP photos at 30fps.
EVF: The electronic viewfinder has 2.76 million dots resolution
LCD: rear LCD is 3.0 inch and 1.24 million dots.
Wireless: built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi can be used with Leica FOTOS app in android and iOS.
Post Focus: Users can select the point of focus after clicking the image.

Buy: B&H link:…990/KBID/13252




Leica D-Lux 7: compact size meets high performance.
Wetzlar, 20 November 2018. Leica Camera AG presents a new model in the Leica D-Lux
line. The high-performance compact camera features a fast Leica DC Vario-Summilux 10.9– 34 mm f/1.7–2.8 ASPH. zoom lens (equivalent to 24–75 mm in 35 mm format) that, in combination with the camera’s new, higher-resolution four-thirds sensor, delivers outstanding picture quality in all shooting situations. A performance profile extended by numerous new functions and features such as a touchscreen display, Bluetooth connectivity and USB-C charging capability makes the new Leica D-Lux 7 an ideal everyday companion and an extremely versatile camera that offers a maximum of photographic freedom for capturing unique moments in impressive picture quality.

The familiar comprehensive features package of the Leica D-Lux line, with automatic exposure mode, manual setting options and a range of video functions, is ideally complemented by an integrated, 2.8-megapixel high-resolution electronic viewfinder, a WiFi module and Bluetooth connectivity. On the back of the Leica D-Lux 7, a 1.24-megapixel 3“ LCD touchscreen display not only makes the assessment of pictures much easier, but also allows fingertip control of the camera. For example, in addition to menu control, the focusing point can be set with a simple tap on the screen and pictures can be taken without having to touch any of its other controls.

The Leica DC Vario-Summilux 10.9–34 mm f/1.7–2.8 ASPH. zoom lens of the Leica D-Lux 7 (equivalent to 24–75 mm in 35 mm format) is perfectly matched to the camera’s new sensor. The fast initial aperture and the range of focal length make the camera particularly versatile in every situation – from portraits and landscapes to architecture, macro closeups and street photography. With its 17-megapixel resolution and a maximum ISO sensitivity of 25600, the four-thirds sensor of the Leica D-Lux 7 is also ideal for capturing memorable moments in low ambient light in highest-quality pictures with natural colours and fine rendition of details.

Improvements to the camera’s hardware also include various additions to its range of functions. For example, the focus point of an exposures can be changed after shooting, or several exposures with different focus points can be superimposed on each other and merged with the aid of Focus Stacking, for instance to create a greater depth of focus in macro exposures. The camera’s capabilities have also been expanded to include video recording in 4K resolution – at a frame rate of up to 30 frames per second and 100 Mbit and in MP4 and AVCHD-format.

The Leica D-Lux 7 is the first camera of the D-Lux line that can be used together with the free Leica FOTOS App. This enables remote control of the camera from a smartphone and fast and easy wireless transfer of pictures from the Leica D-Lux 7 to iOS or Android devices for assessment. Photographers can then make use of numerous options for sharing their pictures directly in social media or after processing them with an image editing or post processing app.

As perfect complements to the classic looks of the Leica D-Lux 7, its users can choose from a collection of equally stylish and practical accessories such as exquisite cases, high quality carrying straps and a practical handgrip.


Roland Pro A/V introduces V-02HD Multi-format Video Mixer 

The Roland V-02HD is an ultra-compact two-input switcher and video production problem solver for a wide range of production settings including livestreaming and presentations.

Roland V-02HD video mixer

Roland Professional A/V is introducing the versatile and powerful V-02HD multi-format video mixer, which combines a simple switcher, high-quality scaler, input expander, and inline video effects/composition and audio solution in one portable unit. With many videographers are today operating with one fixed camera and manning the other during events. So this compact micro switcher will be of help in such situations.

This ultra-compact “micro-switcher,” designed for solving challenges in livestreaming and video production workflows, fits into most equipment cases and camera bags making it easy to have on hand for every production. Most importantly the Roland V-02HD conveniently attaches to standard video mounts and tripods. So the videographer can also quickly do the switching from one camera to other.

As a simple switcher, Roland’s V-02HD can provide a professional cross-dissolve switchover between sources while maintaining hi-res “pixel-accurate” display resolution with deep 10-bit 4:4:4 color space. It can also transform a two-camera shoot into an easily managed one-person production, providing stress-free, reliable recording or livestreaming.

The Roland V-02HD accepts the outputs from two HDMI cameras and enables seamless switching to a connected recorder or livestreaming encoder. Simple two-button operation means that even a first-time user can accomplish professional switching of multiple sources, and hands-free switching is possible using an optional footswitch.

Not all HDMI-equipped devices are compatible, but the V-02HD matches them to the resolution of the receiving device and then resizes them to fit the associated display by offering both input and output scalers as well as HDCP/Multi-format support. The V-02HD accepts SD, HD and computer resolutions ranging from 1080/59.94p down to 640 x 480/ 60 Hz VGA. Transition, composition and visual effects tools may be applied in real time from the intuitive front panel controls.

There are Fourteen visual effects and five composition effects included in the unit, with adjustable parameters to fine-tune the results. Operators can use the onboard composition effects to add titles, apply the Key effect for green screen work or create a separate inset window with the PinP capability. In case of an input source problem or if content is not yet ready or able to be shared, the V-02HD can store a still image for immediate display

The V-02HD mixes 2-channel audio from sources with HDMI de-embedding along with one stereo analog input for external sources via a 3.5mm jack. The unit supports analog and 24-bit/48 kHz Linear PCM digital audio with embedding to the HDMI outputs for recording or livestreaming as well as analog output to a dedicated audio mixer or other device, or for headphone monitoring, through a second 3.5 mm jack. Onboard audio processing includes three-band EQ, high-pass filter, compressor, noise gate, multiband compressor, limiter and delay, and there is a test tone output. A built-in effects library offers presets for managing common production scenarios such as interviews, ambient sound recording and the elimination of wind noise when filming outdoors. These tools even work with inline HDMI signals, allowing audio issues to be addressed without leaving the digital domain.

Price: $650 US Dollars

B&H Link:…%252Froland_v_02hd_pac1_video_mixer.html/N/0/kw/search/BI/19990/KBID/13252/DFF/d10-v1-t12 


Canon creates New CMOS Sensor business Platform: 

Canon Announces a New CMOS Sensor Business Platform



Natural History

COUNTRY NOTEBOOK: M. Krishnan: ‘Barasingha‘ shared By Saktipada Panigrahi


Wildlife Photography

Black-jackal by Vipin Sharma

Nilgiri Tahr in Eravikulam by Mrudul Godbole

Leopard in Kabini by Peter Dsouza

Tiger in Tadoba by Murugan Anantharaman

Peahen by Prajwal Ullal

Yellow-bellied-Prinia by Joydip Mukherjee

Peacock Pansy by Anil Kumar Verma

Waterfall by Jitendra Katre

Nila-Kurinji flowers by Sabyasachi Patra


This is the 119th Issue of IndiaWilds.

The photo of Lion-tailed Macaque adorns the cover. Why is this Lion-tailed macaque looking up? Longing for tall trees with dense connected branches so that it can move from one tree to other? It is a species which primarily remains on the tree tops feeding on the various ripe fruits as well as invertebrates, bird eggs, small mammals etc for its protein requirement. The destructive hand of man has ensured that vast swathes of rainforests have been cut off for plantations. With reduced bio-diversity, the macaques don’t find fruits throughout the year and in some places like Valparai have resorted to raiding homes of people for food. They are suffering due to the destruction wrought by the hand of man.

The same destructive hand of man is now working over drive in the remote Andaman and Nicobar group of islands. And the brunt of the impact is the few tribal groups which stay in the various islands. One of those, the Sentinelese, have choosen to reject contact from outsiders and hence have survived till date with their dignity and lifestyle intact. Unfortunately no one is sure for how long our greedy hands can remain off the pristine island home of the Sentinelese as their peace is likely to be disturbed due to the tourism policy the Government is undertaking. We humans have enough problems of our own. We can do no good to them. Lets simply continue the hands-off policy and allow them to live in peace.

I look forward to your inputs and support in preserving the last tracts of wilderness and wildlife left in our beautiful country and raising awareness about it. For other interesting articles and images check –

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Sabyasachi Patra

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IndiaWilds Newsletter-November-2018 (6.2 MB, 145 downloads)
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