IndiaWilds Newsletter Vol. 11 Issue II

IndiaWilds Newsletter Vol. 11 Issue II

ISSN 2394 – 6946

Download the full Newsletter PDF by clicking the below button –
IndiaWilds Newsletter-February-2019 (6.6 MB, 175 downloads)

Sumatran Tiger Death: Its time to abolish Zoos:

IndiaWilds Newsletter PDF - February 2019

IndiaWilds Newsletter PDF – February 2019

A rare Sumatran tiger was killed by another when London Zoo authorities brought them together for mating. The male tiger about 7 years old was brought from a European zoo and was kept in an enclosure adjacent to that of the female. When the door was opened to allow them to meet and mate the male killed the female. This incident will be brushed off as an act of an individual tiger. However, this episode raises some very disturbing questions when we try to analyse the underlying reasons.

In the wild, animals choose their mates carefully. A male tiger is physically larger. So during mating the female is generally wary of the male. Only after careful assessment the female allows the tiger to mate. In the zoos, the tigers are in captivity in very small enclosures. Unlike other species, tigers rarely make good pets as they don’t lose their natural instincts. The impact of captivity on a free ranging species like a tiger is not fully understood. In small cages, they often display pacing behaviour.

Human beings are found to be different than other animals. After major disasters like earthquakes and typhoons it has been proved that men indulge more in sexual acts and there is often a boom in childbirths after major natural disasters. For human beings sexual act is for fun, dominance and perhaps for stress relive. However, in this respect animals are different from human beings.

Animals mate to have offspring, to pass on their genes to the future generation. Under stressful conditions, when an animal is moved from one zoo to other and then brought in contact with another tiger to mate, the animals may not have the inclination to procreate. Animals are also known to time their births to coincide the arrival of favourable season so that their offspring has a better chance to survive. Unfortunately, the London Zoo authorities perhaps didn’t understand this well. They have said that they kept the tigers closer to each other on adjacent cages to gauge their behaviour. However, clearly the zoo officials thought that animals are like humans and when given a chance a male will mate with a female. The officials couldn’t understand the behaviour of the tigers and what followed was the death of the tigress.

Asim the Sumatran male tiger in London Zoo during mating                                    Courtesy – Online media

The London zoo is reported to have spent £3.6 million for the enclosure. However, they didn’t care to increase the size of the enclosure. The total size of the Sumatran tiger enclosure area is only an acre. It is ofcourse true that no zoo can create an enclosure which is truly wild in size and atmosphere. However, why not create bigger space?

We look down upon animals. So “animals” has become a derogatory term. The term animals makes us forget that animals are life forms too. They are simply a different species than us. They do have intelligence, empathy, love and respect for others and their own likes and dislikes as individuals. In some respects animals are even at a higher level of thought and individuality than us. Once I was hoodwinked by a tiger and hence appreciate their intelligence. (Tiger Intelligence, IndiaWilds June 2010, )We humans are often forced to choose our own mates due to various pressures of family or friends or even due to greed of material wealth. The women of the animals decide for themselves if a particular male is an appropriate partner. So in that situation simply forcing a female and male tiger to mate can have unforeseen consequences as was seen in the London Zoo case where the tigress was killed by the tiger.

If at all the zoo officials are good enough to understand animal behaviour it is also highly possible that when an animal is brought from another zoo, time would also be short for the officials to understand its unique behaviour and idiosyncrasies. So these kinds of robot-like mating of sentient animals is highly unethical.

There was a time when zoos were created and maintained for the amusement of the kings and the rich. Later with the emergence of Nation states and modern science, Zoos became a laboratory for scientists as well as provided knowledge and amusement to private citizens. However, scientists have realised that the behaviour of wildlife in zoos is way different than that in the wild, so they prefer authentic studies in the wild. Today the people too are able to understand a lot more about animal behaviour watching wildlife films and documentaries in reputed wildlife TV channels as well as from internet videos. So the role of zoos these days is to more of provide fun and entertainment to people.

Zoos also can technically help in breeding animals and help in releasing them in the wild to augment their stock and at times help in preserving a species which is hurtling towards extinction. India’s National Zoo Policy clearly states in its preamble “Today when wildlife habitats are under severe pressure and a large number of species of wild fauna have become endangered, the zoos have not only to sustain their own populations but also augment the depleting populations of endangered species in the wild” so releasing in the wild should be happening frequently for many species. Unfortunately that is far from reality. Except for Gharials/muggers and a few herbivore species Zoo bred animals have rarely been released into the wild to repopulate the wilderness areas.

Infact, whenever a landscape becomes devoid of large carnivores or mega herbivores, the anthropogenic pressures increases as the fear of these animals get removed and the forests become the happy hunting grounds of the local people. These days whenever a tiger moves in and tries to recolonize a forest devoid of tigers, the local people instigated by the timber and real-estate mafia take up arms and kill the tiger. ( Bengal tiger looking for home killed by villagers in Bengal, IndiaWilds April 2018, ). In Satkosia in Odisha there have been massive demonstrations and one relocated tiger was also killed in a snare.

When zoos are not introducing wildlife to augment the wild animal population, then what is the reason for the breeding programs in the zoos? Instead of spending millions in creating costly infrastructure in big cities where the zoos are located, where the cost of land is so high, why can’t that money be spent in the real wilderness areas to help a vulnerable species?

Why can’t that money be spent in buying back land from people to recreate wildlife corridors so that our Tiger Reseres, National Parks, Sanctuaries and protected areas are connected and wildlife can move in to repopulate places as wells increase the genetic diversity.

The money diverted from the zoos can also be used to remove invasive species from the wilderness places so that native species can bounce back and the species diversity of the forests increases. The herbivores will find more food and remain within the forests. The carnivores too will remain where the herbivores are. This will ensure that loss of crops due to herbivores feeding on it will reduce and human-animal competition will also reduce.

It would be pertinent to mention that Shri Kailash Sankhala who was the first Director of Project Tiger and who was also head of Delhi Zoo had strongly written against zoos in his book. (Tiger! The story of the Indian Tiger, Kailash Sankhala, p 207-209).

Kailash Sankhala writes “The latest craze for Safari Parks or the creation of zoos is not the answer for saving a species. I have begun to feel that these institutions change their philosophy faster than the weathercock. In Roman times animal collections were made to keep a stock for entertainment in the amphitheatres. Later they called them zoos; as fashion changed they became “Zoological Gardens”, later still “Zoological Parks”. Now that ecology, environment and the biosphere are all the rage they are suddenly changing their signboards to become “Ecological Centres” or “Biological Parks”.

The new zoos are designed on an environmental concept, as indeed we designed the zoo at Delhi. But even with the best designing we have not come anywhere near this concept. Before they are brought to the zoo the animal was caught – involving an inevitable degree of cruelty – and then shifted from their natural homes. Birds have their wings pinioned – so depriving them of their life’s essence, free flight. Why? Purely for our benefit, to see them in “as natural an environment as possible”. The whole idea of bringing a free-living animal into captivity is revolting, and simply because they eat well and reproduce in captivity does not mean that a zoo is a proper environment for them.

Zoos boast that wildlife education is an aid to a better understanding of nature. In practice it is no better than the Children’s Corner which I abolished. Specimens exhibited in drab enclosures certainly do not convey the sense of what the stripes or the tusks mean to the animal. Museum techniques are now so far advanced that they are quite capable of creating dioramas that can convey the real meaning of the land and those that live in it. Dioramas together with films on wildlife are far more educational than the sight of an animal walking up and down in a cage all his life. If it is not necessary to bring the Grand Canyon or the Taj Mahal, the desert or the rain forests to your city except in pictures why should there be any justification for netting and snaring animals for educational purposes at a zoo? The marvels of nature must be seen where they are, not where they are planted by human hand. With supersonic travel the world has shrunk to be a small place, and it is within the reach of many to appreciate nature’s creations in their natural homes. A visit to one natural area to see a few animals is far more satisfying than gaping at a whole collection in a zoo. One should be selective, enjoying a few rather than becoming bored by many.

Someone will say that zoos serve as research laboratories. They do, but that does not entitle them to keep such large collections, particularly those animals not needed for research. Let us not be wasteful in our experiments.

I have seen zoos from Delhi to Dallas, Hyderabad to Honolulu, London to Lucknow, San Diego to Srinagar. I am sure that many zoo directors will agree with me that a zoo is for the most part a confused institution unsure of its objectives. Although it seeks justification in education it is really more of a carnival for entertainment. Except for a few zoos which do a real job of contributing to knowledge their objectives are pure hypocrisy.

After I left Delhi Zoo and spent two years in the wilds I could not become reconciled to the idea of such animal prisons. The idea of starting a zoo in Singapore was proposed to me; the proposal had a lot of money behind it, but my choice had to be for the animals to be free. I was also called to help in designing a zoo at Chandigarh and Bhopal in India; I attended the first meeting and went to select the site, but my conscience did not permit me to proceed any further. I had to request to be excused. I am becoming more and more convinced that zoos with multi-purpose objectives should be abandoned.

So what is the answer? I would suggest we concentrate on creating reserves where man’s interference – or what he arrogantly calls “scientific management” – is minimal. I do not like the term “national parks”, for it has been too loosely used. The initial meaning of “the untouched glory of God” has been so diluted that it has lost its significance. The term “park” conveys artificiality and the word “national” limits its universal appeal“.

It is another matter that the Zoo lobby will not agree to any reduction in zoos or number of animals they handle as it is a source of revenue for them. Perhaps the zoo lobby has got an unlikely champion. To show his machismo the current Prime Minister had also posed infront of a tiger enclosure with a camera in hand. 

So do we have any hope of zoos getting abolished and the money being spent for benefit of landscape level wildlife conservation? The younger generation is prepared to show us the path as school students have been calling for strikes in support of climate change and other environmental issues. Perhaps, some day we will be too ashamed to look into the eyes of our children and take steps to abolish zoos so that the wildlife can roam free without being imprisoned in small cages. Despite tremendous odds, I prefer to remain optimistic.


Giving them Wings to Fly

By Mrs. Shakti & A S Bishnoi

From time immemorial, butterflies have always fascinated humankind and no group of insects is more charismatic than the butterflies.During our stay in Mumbai at Mankhurd, we thought of having a closer look i.e. the life cycle of the butterflies, to appreciate this wonderful creation of God..

Giving them wings to Fly


Conservation News:

Wild Tiger sighted in Gujarat:  

Gujarat has now the first state in recent times to have wild lions, leopards and tiger in the state as a tiger has been spotted in Mahisagar district.

One the basis of preliminary photos, it is claimed that the tiger has moved from Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh. Tigers are known to move long distances and in this case the distance is over 300kms. Tigers are known to walk some 15 kms in night and can do more if required. Some records in Sundarbans suggest that tigers can also swim long distances over 20-30kms. So a tiger moving to Gujarat shouldn’t be a surprise. We have lot of livestock wandering in the fields as well as wild prey like Nilgais, wild pigs etc in the fields. Wild animals always try to avoid humans and this tiger somehow has managed to avoid attention during its travels. There was a time when wildlife used to move from one place to another. Today our cities and towns have expanded and have become connected with each other. There are hardly any green areas to provide covers to wild animals. So this tiger movement gives hope that if some effect can be made by the forest department, NGOs and people then the corridors can be strengthened and re-established.

The appearance of a tiger has given a different headache to the Gujarat forest department and Government. Earlier the Gujarat Government had said that one of the reasons for not complying with the Supreme Court order for relocating lions to Kuno-Palpur in Madhya Pradesh is that the area is prone to visiting tigers. Gujarat Government says lions can’t coexist with tigers. The Gujarat forest department had independently placed camera traps in Kuno-Palpur to find out if there are tigers. They didn’t want to believe or depend on the camera traps of Madhya Pradesh Government. So it would be interesting to see if the Gujarat Government is going to capture this tiger on one or other pretext to ensure that lions and tigers don’t coexist in Gujarat.

It is important that the wildlife be left alone to chose their own fate. We should have a handsoff approach from wildlife. Just give them protection to live free in their own homes (habitat). When we adopt a handsoff policy and give protection from poaching and stop anthropogenic pressures, nature has a great ability to heal and bounce back. Let nature do what it knows best.


Govt. launches Asiatic Lion Conservation Project:

The Central Government has launched a dedicated “Asiatic Lion Conservation Project” with a duration of three years with a total budgetary contribution is a meagre Rs 97.85 Cr over three years.

The Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change has approved the project for three financial years FY 2018-19, FY 2019-20 and FY 2020-21. The Asiatic Lion which is currently restricted to Gujarat, is one of the 21 critically endangered species identified by the Ministry for taking up recovery programmes.  Asiatic Lion, being listed in Schedule-I of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, to be accorded the highest degree of protection.

Speaking at launch event in New Delhi today, Union Minister for Environment, Forests & Climate Change, Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that the project envisages a scientific management with involvement of communities in coordination with multi-sectoral agencies for disease control and veterinary care for overall conservation of Lion. He said the visit to the Gir Forest and witnessing of lions in their natural habitat had been an extraordinary experience for him.  Dr. Harsh Vardhan handed over the sanction for an amount of Rs. 17.03 Crores to the Gujarat Minister of State for Forest and Tribal Development Shri Ramanlal Nanubhai Patkar for implementation of activities during first year of the project. Expressing happiness on the collaboration, the Gujarat minister said that there are about 700 lions presently in the Gir Forest and they are increasing in number.

This project has “Species Conservation over a large landscape” approach.  Besides this approach, the Greater Gir Region(GGR) is being divided into various zones and management approach of “Zone Plans and Theme Plans” for the conservation of the Asiatic Lion. “Zone Plans” include the Core Zone, the Sanctuary Zone, the buffer Zone i.e. proposed for notification as the Eco-fragile/eco-sensitive Zone and the Greater Gir Region outside the Gir PA system for people’s participation and eco-development. Theme Plans include Habitat improvement, protection, wildlife health service, addressing to man-wild animal conflict issues, eco-development and voluntary relocation of PA resident people, research and monitoring, awareness generation, and ecotourism. This project would, therefore, be beneficial in further strengthening the conservation and protection of Asiatic Lion in the country.

Modern Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is proposed in the conservation, protection and development efforts of the Greater Gir Region.  Additional ICT will include the following:

  1. GPS Based Tracking (Surveillance Tracking, animal tracking, vehicle tracking),
  2. Automated Sensor Grid (magnetic sensors, movement sensors, infra-red heat sensors)
  3. Night vision capability enhancement
  4. GIS based real time monitoring, analysis and report generation.

The lions of Gir are facing an existential crisis as they are currently restricted to Gir in Gujarat. They don’t have enough space so the lions are moving out and trying to colonise the landscape. In this process some lions are killed due to electrocution, killed by trains or in other conflict with humans.

The Central Government as well as Gujarat Government has ignored the Supreme Court order for relocation of lions to Kuno-Palpur in Madhya Pradesh to create a second home for lions. Recently 23 lions died due to canine distemper disease. In Serengeti 1000 lions had died due to outbreak of canine distemper. A single disease outbreak can wipe out a single population. So it is very important to create a second home for lions. However, the Government doesn’t care. The politics of keeping lions only in Gujarat and tourism profits appears to be one of the primary motives behind the Gujarat Government in invoking the Gujarati pride to not allow relocation of lions.

The Government communiqué hasn’t mentioned whether the funds for the Lion conservation project is simply rerouting of existing funds or whether new funds will be allocated. However, since no funds were allocated in the interim budget, it appears the Lion Conservation Project funding is like old wine in new bottle. So it is expected that lions will continue to struggle to eke out a living oblivious of the politics raging in their name.


Third Indo-German Environment Forum held in New Delhi:

Third Indo-German Environment Forum with the theme “Cleaner Air, Greener Economy:” has been held in New Delhi. The one-day event through panel discussions and parallel sessions focuses on challenges, solutions and necessary framework conditions of air pollution control, waste management and circular economy as well as implementation of NDCs and SDGs based on Paris Agreement and Agenda 2030 of UN respectively.

Inaugurating the forum Union Environment Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that India and Germany have had a rich cooperation engagement for the last 60 years which extends to sectors such as natural resource management, urban environment protection, climate change adaptation and mitigation and innovative green technologies. He further emphasized that the Indo-German bilateral relations are founded on common democratic principles and today, Germany is amongst India’s most important partners both bilaterally and in the global context. “India’s development trajectory focuses on 5 Ps that is People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership. The bilateral cooperation in future should focus on marine litter, SDG and NDC implementation, climate change adaptation and Forestry.”

The Federal Environment Minister from Germany Svenja Schulze said that progress and implementation of 2030 agenda is slow and window of opportunity for low carbon economy is dwindling and Government, Industry and Society should do more. She congratulated the Indian Prime Minister on cooperating with UNEP on addressing plastic pollution during the World Environment Day hosted by India on June 05, 2018 and also welcomed India’s commitment to create circular economy. She further stated that Indo-German Environment Forum needs to build on experience exchange and cooperation will be strengthened in the areas of marine litter, waste to energy, biodiversity, waste and water.Around 250 representatives of ministries, business and science as well as non-governmental organizations participated in the forum, which was organized by the two environment ministries in cooperation with the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business and the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Forum provided a platform for the bilateral exchange of high-level policy-makers and other key players on international environmental and climate policy and cooperation between the two countries.The four working groups met this year in the run-up to this forum, to discuss the progress made and to bring in new topics of mutual benefits. Few of the outcomes have been cooperation in field of marine litter, air pollution control, waste management, water pollution, circular economy, NDC implementation, SDG monitoring and climate change (with focus on forestry and adaptation).


MoEF signs MoU with University of British Columbia on Forestry Science:  

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed today between Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada for next 10 years in New Delhi. Both the institutions shall explore opportunities for future collaborations in the field of forestry science through their respective organizations namely Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, Wildlife Institute of India, Forest Survey of India, Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy and Directorate of Forest Education, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India and University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

The MoU will help in exchange of students, researchers and faculty, developing research projects, livelihood opportunities and augment income of the forest based communities and also assist the industries to optimize the utilization of forest based resources with access of technology to different stakeholders by the respective organization.

The main areas of collaboration listed in the Memorandum of Understating are: 

  • Collaborative research on wood sciences, forest resource management, adaptation and mitigation to climate change, forest genetics and breeding, wildlife, ecology, remote sensing, insect and disease pests, extension, conservation of flora and fauna, biotechnology, bio-energy, bio-economy, etc
  • Exchange of students/researchers, faculty members and post-doctoral fellows through internship and other scholarship opportunities
  • Capacity building on data collection and analysis of Permanent observational sample plots under forest inventory for growth, stand structure, biodiversity and climate change parameters
  • Training and exposure on developing suitable protocols for Linkage of Remote Sensing and field inventory data
  • Arranging joint conferences, seminar, workshops and exhibitions

The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among one of the best universities in the world. Its entrepreneurial perspective encourages students, staff and faculty to challenge convention, lead discovery and explore new ways of learning. Many years ago, I was surprised to hear from the farmers from Canada they way they have integrated forests and organic farming into their farming methodology. It is like the traditional way of farming with lots of trees and bushes around the farms a generation or two earlier. At that time the farmers from Canada had told me the benefits of having forests as forests attract insectivorous birds who do a world of good by feeding on the pests in the crops. I am sure this MoU will hopefully bring a different perspective and open up the eyes of some of our institutes, officials and planners. The following TED Talk by Suzanne Simard on “How trees talk to each other” will throw some light on her research in forestry science in Canada where she discovers how complex is the interrelationship between various species of trees in helping each other by passing carbon, mother trees passing their wisdom to others when they are injured or dying etc. 

Solid Waste Management rules notified:    

The Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, in supersession of Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000, has notified the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. The Rules direct the waste generators to segregate the waste at source and hand over the segregated waste to authorised waste pickers or waste collectors. The Rules mandate all resident welfare and market associations, gated communities, institutions, all hotels and restaurants to ensure segregation of waste at source, facilitate collection of segregated waste in separate streams and handover recyclable material to either the authorized waste pickers or the authorized recyclers.

Further, the Rule prescribes that the bio-degradable waste shall be processed, treated and disposed off through composting or bio-methanation within the premises as far as possible.

This information was given by Minister Of State for Environment, Forest And Climate Change Dr. Mahesh Sharma in  written reply to a Question in Lok Sabha today.

Unfortunately this rule is not implemented. Households in gated communities don’t segregate wastes. There has been announcements over loudspeakers in the communities but not one seems to bother. One of the reasons is that households generally keep wastes in one waste bin. Now they have to buy a separate one to segregate biodegradable and non-biodegradable wastes. So no one does that at the moment.


India to host 13th COP of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory species of Wild Animals:

The 13th Conference of Parties (COP) of the Convention on the conservation of migratory species of wild animals (CMS), an environmental treaty under the aegis of United Nations Environment Programme, is going to be hosted by India during 15th to 22nd February, 2020 at Gandhinagar in Gujarat. Representatives from 129 Parties and eminent conservationists and international NGOs working in the field of wildlife conservation are expected to attend the COP.

India has been a Party to the CMS since 1983.  The Conference of Parties (COP) is the decision-making organ of this convention.

Inaugurating the Logo and Mascot (GIBI) along with website for the international event, in New Delhi, Union Environment Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that hosting of 13th COP would give India an opportunity to showcase its conservation initiatives for wildlife species. “It will provide a global platform for deliberations on the conservation and sustainable use of migratory wild animals and their habitat.” said Dr. Vardhan.

In order to protect the migratory species throughout their range countries, a Convention on Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS), has been in force, under the aegis of United Nations Environment Programme. Also referred to as the Bonn Convention, it provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats and brings together the States through which migratory animals pass, the Range States, and lays the legal foundation for internationally coordinated conservation measures throughout a migratory range.

The convention complements and co-operates with a number of other international organizations, NGOs and partners in the media as well as in the corporate sector. Under this convention, migratory species threatened with extinction are listed on Appendix I and Parties strive towards strictly protecting these animals, conserving or restoring the places where they live, mitigating obstacles to migration and controlling other factors that might endanger them. Migratory species that need or would significantly benefit from international co-operation are listed in Appendix II of the Convention.

India has also signed non legally binding MOU with CMS on the conservation and management of Siberian Cranes (1998), Marine Turtles (2007), Dugongs (2008) and Raptors (2016).

India is temporary home to several migratory animals and birds. The notable among these include Amur Falcons, Bar headed Gheese, Black necked cranes, Marine turtles, Dugongs, Humpbacked Whales, etc.  The Indian sub-continent is also part of the major bird flyway network, i.e, the Central Asian Flyway (CAF) that covers areas between the Arctic and Indian Oceans, and covers at least 279 populations of 182 migratory water bird species, including 29 globally threatened species. India has also launched the National Action Plan for conservation of migratory species under the Central Asian Flyway.


Equipment Discussions:

Datacolor launches SpyderX for colour calibrating monitors:  


Canon launches EOS RP fullframe mirrorless camera for enthusiasts:

Wooden Camera launches ZIP Box Pro matte box:  

Wooden camera has launched the Zip Box Pro, a high-quality mattebox with a simple design that is ready to work right out of the box – no tools or add-ons needed. It has the most robust set of features for the best value and size. There are three 4×5.65 filter trays in the Zip Box Pro and a carbon fiber top flag as well, and interchangeable backs weighing less than 1LB. It doesn’t have side flags.

There are two models Clamp On and Swing away. The Clamp on model is priced at $399 US dollars and the Swing away model is priced at $499 US Dollars.

Each Clamp On Kit includes mattebox, top flag, and clamp on back. The clamp-on mattebox is for 80mm diameter lenses which can hold three 4×5.65 filters that are loaded from the front and held by a spring loaded latch.

The included top flag is made of lightweight carbon fiber and covers the front of the mattebox which is great for protecting the lens between takes. The flag can be removed by loosening the top thumbscrew, aligning the tab with the key slot, and pulling out.

Rear opening of this back can be swapped by loosening the 4 thumbscrews and replacing with clamp on backs featuring diameters of 114mm, 110mm, 104mm, 100mm, 95mm, 87mm, and 80mm.

Weight: 225g (0.54 lbs)
Dimensions: 196.8 x 50.8 x 165 mm (7.75 x 2 x 6.5 in)

Each Swing Away Kit includes mattebox, top flag, swing away back, reduction rings, and universal donut.



Natural History

COUNTRY NOTEBOOK: M. Krishnan: ‘The Slender Loris‘ shared By Saktipada Panigrahi


Wildlife Photography

One hot day in summer by by Shyamala Kumar

Hawk Cuckoo by Mrudul Godbole

Red berries & a red eye by Anil Kumar Verma

Spotted fly catcher by Joydip Mukherjee

Tufted duck female by Abhirup Dutta Gupta

Scavenging globetrotter by Prajwal Ullal

Yellow throated bulbul by Paramvir Singh

Early morning at Mudumalai by Murugan Anantharaman

Lurking in the dark by Prajwal Ullal

Spider by Mangru Minz


This is the 122nd Issue of IndiaWilds. In this 11th year of publishing IndiaWilds Newsletter, we find the challenges in preserving India’s wilderness, wildlife and environment is much more than before. This is a time when not only India, but many countries around the world are facing increased calls for appropriating the earth for the benefits of one group of people, the wealthy and the rich. Increased xenophobic, majority vs minority and other such divisive calls are turning our attention away from the main danger impacting the planet earth ie Climate Change. There was a time when a few culturally and aesthetically superior were deciding the policies and the large masses of people with various degrees of ignorance were ready to accept that view. However, today, the ignorance is not limited to the large masses of working classes. The so called elite have also been ignorant about the complex interrelationships between various species and the impact of nature, wildlife and environment on our lives. So the ignorant majority is today deciding the course of action. Climate change is touted as hoax even by the current President of USA. In that scenario, it is very important to widen the understanding of our people and simply the messaging so that scientifically valid information reaches the majority of our people. Else, conservation in this country will be history.

The photo of a grey hypocolius adorns the cover page. This little passage migrant too has a role to play in the spread of our plant species and its well being. India has decided to take action to protect the migratory species. However, just talk is not enough. The migratory species passing and resting on various parts of India’s geography depend on the habitat for food and shelter. This passage migrant was photographed in the vast Banni grasslands in the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. Today large scale conversion of grasslands into industrial lands, mining, agriculture, human habitations etc is threatening the once numerous species. There is a symbiotic relationship of the resident wildlife with these passage migrants as well. Our actions are threatening the tenuous balance and pushing species to the bring of local extinction. We the people have to be cautious and put pressure on the Government to protect our wild lands, grasslands, forests, rivers and other landscapes so that future generations can live and breathe 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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