Sabyasachi Patra

IndiaWilds Newsletter Vol. 9 Issue I

IndiaWilds Newsletter Vol. 9 Issue I

Download the full 43 page Newsletter PDF by clicking the below button –
Newsletter-January-2017 (9.7 MB, 395 downloads)

Jallikattu: Role of the State, Culture & Conservation

Jan Newsletter

January Newsletter Cover Page

Thomas Hobbes in his 1651 book the Leviathan wrote “a government is formed more or less by everyone agreeing not to kill or rob each other under the penalty of law”.

Article 21 of the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was adopted on 10 December 1948, which India voted for, states “The Will of the People shall be the basis of the authority of the Government”.

The elected Governments at the Centre as well as the Government of Tamil Nadu seem to be narrowly interpreting these arguments and immediately acting as per the wishes of people to create an Ordinance and an Act to promote the gory bull harassing Jallikattu.

In Political philosophy the Government should Govern with the “consent of the governed”. The Government’s legitimacy and the moral right to govern over the people comes from their consent which is generally exercised by the people through the ballot in elections. Unfortunately, in democracies where the Government is elected for a specific period of time, individual actions of the Government may be too outrageous and be without the consent of the people and still the Government continues to govern till the next elections.

George Sabine paraphrases Theodore Beza to give us the concept of just and lawful government “The people lay down the conditions which the king is bound to fulfil. Hence they are bound to obedience only conditionally, namely, upon receiving the protection of just and lawful government..”

The concept of a just government goes beyond simply the will of the people. People can at times look at their own narrow ends and demand certain things or they may at times fail to adhere to universal concepts of justice. In such situations a Government is not bound to merely be a rubber stamp and agree to the demands of the people. The Government is expected to adhere by the principles that the country stands for.

India’s constitution has two articles that emphasises the responsibilities of the State as well as its people in protecting nature and all living beings in this country. Article 48A of our constitution under Directive Principles of State Policy states “The State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country”. Article 51A (g) of the Constitution under Fundamental Duties states “Fundamental duty of every citizen to protect and improve the natural environment, including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures”.

However, people do fail to do their duties, else the role of the Government would have been reduced and self-help groups could have run the country. It is a common knowledge that people do fail in their fundamental duties else India would have been in a better place.

The country has promulgated Animal Cruelty laws. The Jallikattu events where a bull is released into an open ground and people one after the other try to hold onto the hump of the bull or remove a bag of coins from the horns is often promoted as a heroic activity. In olden days, people used to try and remove a cloth from the horns of the bull instead of jumping on it or irritating it in any manner. A detailed account of Jallikattu as it was practiced in 1951 from M. Krishnan’s writings can be found here: These days often the bull is purposefully irritated and enraged by repeated twisting of its tail, rubbing of chilli powder on eyes, stabbing it with sharp sticks and knives etc before releasing it into the arena. Else, the bull won’t attack and the event would be a flop show. In several places they feed the bull with alcohol before releasing it. There are incidences of bulls breaking their legs, dying as well as people dying. In Virudhunagar on 23rd January 2017, the bull instead of moving into the open arena turned back and gored a cop. These days it is promoted as a part of our culture.

3 men on a bull in a jallikattu event in Tamul Nadu

3 men on a bull in a jallikattu event in Tamil Nadu

Unfortunately, in every era in every country, there have been people who have resorted to hedonistic and atavistic pleasures. At times those were promoted by the rich and the powerful in the society and have been documented in medallions, stone carvings etc. In primitive societies, man had to live cheek-by-jowl with animals. With danger lurking at each corner, it was literally survival of the fittest and hence the strongest of men were praised and received accolades. Taming the bull in those days would have been very relevant measure of virility. Today there are enough Olympic sports to test the limits of human strength and endurance and one doesn’t need to engage in bull taming. Terming those events as part of our culture and glorifying it today is completely out of place. Nevertheless, it fits in with the narrative of the ruling dispensation that all our old traditions are glorious.

Association of Animals with Gods:

In India, each and every animal has been associated with one of our Gods for example owl and elephant with Goddess Laxmi, Elephant with King of Gods Indra, Tiger and Lion to be vehicle of Durga/ Sherawali Maa, Peacock with Lord Kartikeya etc. The bull is associated with Lord Shiva. So when someone is harassing a bull on the pretext of a sport, followers or Lord Shiva are offended. Nevertheless, any voice against bull harassment in Jallikattu has been violently throttled down with an actress event getting rape and murder calls. So it may have been easier for the ruling dispensation to agree for a rule change to allow Jallikattu.

Goddess Laxmi on Elephant

Goddess Laxmi on Elephant

Ideas, customs, social behaviour, values, beliefs constitute culture of a society. With time culture changes. There was a time when bull was offered as sacrifice and eaten writes Swami Vivekananda “You will be astonished if I tell you that, according to the old ceremonials, he is not a good Hindu who does not eat beef. On certain occasions he must sacrifice a bull and eat it”. (The Complete works of Swami Vivekananda, Vol. 3, pg 536). In the same volume he also writes that even beef was eaten by Brahmins “There was a time in this very India when, without eating beef, no brahmin could remain a Brahmin”. (The Complete works of Swami Vivekananda, Vol. 3, pg 174). Today, Hindus don’t eat beef and many Brahmins are vegetarian. Practices that were prevalent in the past are no longer in vogue due to changed social mores. So using culture as a pretext to justify animal cruelty doesn’t bode well for India’s image.

Animal vs Animal Blood Sports

Jallikattu is not the only sport where cruelty is inflicted on animals. In different parts of India, there have been practice of animal fights before the harvesting season. In Assam, people organise buffalo fights and also bulbul fights just before Bihu. In Odisha, there used to be ram fights in villages. These fights are very bloody.

There are also cock fights organised in Odisha, Andhra, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu etc. These fights are gory as a sharp curved knife is attached to one leg of the cock and they try to slash each other with it. One person was reported to have died when he got slashed by the curved knife. I had to take evasive action while shooting the following documentary on cock fights:

There are significant number of people who watch these events and a lot of betting is involved. That makes these events very lucrative for people. It is estimated that in Andhra alone cock fighting gets 200 crores in bets. Since a lot of money is involved, the organisers of these events have an added incentive to mobilse people to protest for repealing the rules. After Jallikattu, now there will be more demands for repealing the bans on buffalo fights, bulbul fights, cock fights etc.

Since people use culture as a pretext for conducting these animal fights, now it becomes an accepted fact to brand any activity as part of our culture. In fact the ruling BJP had pushed for allowing people to pour milk in holes where snakes live. Immediately after coming to power at the centre in 2014, the Modi Government had constituted TSR Subramanian Committee to modify environment and wildlife laws and it had recommended Nag panchami to be allowed inside forests so that people can enter into forests and pour milk in snake holes and anthills.

Demand for conducting other Animal Fights: 

Taking a cue from the Jallikattu event, tribals will now demand that they be allowed to hunt wild animals. In Odisha and in other states the Santhal and other tribals conduct “Akhanda shikar” for three days. Large parts of forests are set fire and they kill the animals fleeing the fire. In Similipal Tiger Reserve, even three to four thousand people start hunting during that time. With the Modi Government bowing down to the Jallikattu lobby the pandora’s box has opened. Will the Government now agree to tribals hunting animals in the name of their cultural practices?

Sometime ago animals like goats, calfs, buffaloes etc were sacrificed in rituals in temples. Several State Governments have put an end to animal sacrifices. In some places social reformers started movements to stop it, as was the case in Odisha where in the early ‘80s Dr. Harekrishna Mahatab, former Chief Minister of Odisha, raised his voice against animal sacrifice and got it banned. With the Government allowing Jallikattu, it has given a signal that it is amenable to revoking bans, so some religious leaders might now start raising their voice to allow animal sacrifices. Will the Modi Government allow it?

Can a civilised country permit violence on animals?

Swami Bhoomananda Theertha in an interview to News18 has said about Jallikattu “such kinds of tradition are not permissible at all. We cannot use them for our enjoyment. In the name of religion, culture or tradition one has to be sublime or peaceful. Instead of doing this he makes it a scene of cruelty. Culture is supposed to be a source of religious refinement. While we talk about all this so much, do even know that there is no word like Hindu? The word only came to be known in 1700 AD, while the British were using it since 1200 AD to identify us. But we were known for our dharmas and shastras, which were pre-historic. Hence, we should have known that for us dharma is self-sustaining which also gives us the power to protect and sustain a living being”.

As the human species evolved from hunter gatherers and the thought process got refined, anthropocentric belief – which views everything as per benefit to people – has given rise to ecocentrism. The Hon’ble Supreme Court in its landmark judgment on lion relocation to Kuno (Centre for Environment law, WWF-I vs Union of India & Others ) on April 15, 2013, talked about principles of ecocentrism where human interest doesn’t automatically take precedence over animals. “Sustainable development, it has been argued by various eminent environmentalists, clearly postulates an anthropocentric bias, least concerned with the rights of other species which live on this earth. Anthropocentrism is always human interest focused thinking that non-human has only instrumental value to humans, in other words, humans take precedence and human responsibilities to non-human are based benefits to humans. Ecocentrism is nature-centred, where humans are part of nature and non-humans have intrinsic value. In other words, human interest does not take automatic precedence and humans have obligations to non-humans independently of human interest. Ecocentrism is, therefore, life-centred, nature-centred where nature includes both humans and non-humans.” For more details check:

If we permit events like Jallikattu and other forms of animal fights, then imagery of such gory events will be etched in the minds of the present and future generations. As per theories of Transaction Analysis in psychology, these imagery will get recorded in the “child ego” state of people. Kids go on to evaluate things based on the events recorded in their child ego state. So the violent imagery recorded in their minds will also lead to change their behaviours. Violence against animals as well as others will be a much more acceptable behaviour for them. Given that we the present generation have largely failed in protecting the wilderness and wildlife of India, these gory events have the potential to move away the future generation from preserving nature and environment of our country.

In 2014, on the occasion of World Environment Day, PM Shri Narendra Modi had tweeted “We are blessed to be a part of a culture where living in complete harmony with the environment is central to our ethos. Let us serve as trustees, where we utilise our natural resources for the present and at the same time ensure happiness of our future generations. Let us ensure that even the smallest step we take in our daily lives will be an effort towards conserving nature and natural resources”. Though his Government hasn’t been walking the talk, his tweet reflects our culture accurately and all efforts should be made to preserve it.

Using culture as a pretext for these violent and cruel acts against animals doesn’t behove a country, which boasts of Buddha and Mahatma.


Eastern Imperial Eagle Attacks Desert Fox

When I watch our wildlife battle for survival, I also feel as if a Strategy masterclass is unfolding in front of my eyes. In our MBA classrooms one students are taught many theories and many myths are also propagated. Many corporate head honchos make strategic missteps with often-disastrous consequences.

In corporate warfare, if you trip, you lose whatever you have painstakingly built over the years. However, there can be another chance of relaunching a different product, brand or service or even another company. In the wild, if you lose you pay with your life and most of the times the loser becomes the food of the victor. So you can find some of the finest strategies adopted by the wildlife warriors. It is never about brute strengths. Each combatant brings to the table a set of weapons and strengths and tries to fight the battle according to their own strengths.

Consider this battle between an Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) and an Indian Desert Fox (Vulpes vulpes pusilla).

For analysis of their battle strategies check:


Kyongnosla: an imagination of ‘such a late goodbye’

Paromit Chatterjee, Krishnendu Mondal 

(Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata.)

Let me recommend the best medicine in the world: a long journey, at a mild season, through a pleasant country, in early stages” : James Madison, 4th President of USA

Landscapes of Sikkim are unforgettable. Here the pictureque countryside makes you feel that the journey matters as much as the destination. It can be the golden Khanchendzonga or the ‘Silk Route’ in Ganthang Plateau, Ladakh of Eastern India, or the Chhangu Lake. Journey to each of these destinations is mesmerising. Another beautiful area to explore in Sikkim, which is not so well-known to tourists, is the Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary.

On the Way to KAS

On the Way to KAS

The complete article is available in the PDF. To read more check the below link:

Newsletter-January-2017 (9.7 MB, 395 downloads)


Conservation News

Uttarakhand High Court Bans killing & Display of so called maneaters:

The Uttarakhand High Court has banned the killings of animals like Leopards and tigers after being branded as maneaters. A division bench of Uttarakhand High Court comprising Justices Rajiv Sharma and Alok Singh have put a stop to this abominable practice of killing of wild animals by declaring them maneaters and ordered ban on display of the dead bodies of these wild animals in the print and electronic media.

The division bench ordered “The wild animal who pose threat to human life should be captured alive by using tranquilizer gun in the presence of a veterinary doctor and shall be thereafter released in nearby forest”. The order also mentions that whether an animal poses threat to human life is to be decided at the highest level by a committee comprising the Principal Secretary (Forest) and Principal Chief Conservator of Forests.

In Uttarakhand as well as in neighbouring Himachal Pradesh there have been many cases of leopards declared as man-eater and then hunters called in to kill them. Tigers and leopards are protected species and hunting is banned. However, the hunting lobby has found a loophole of killing these magnificent wild animals by declaring them as man-eaters. The powerful hunting lobby is hand in glove with the local officials and periodically declare these animals as maneaters.

Joy Hukil with leopard

Hunter Joy Hukil with dead leopard in Oct 2014, Masaun dhar, Pauri

This is not a recent practice. The late Kailash Sankhala writes “Sometimes man-eaters were created in a summary court inquiry in order to prevent payment of a hunting fee and to claim benefits for free shooting. Unfortunately a close analysis of the permits issued shows that the recipients were the friends of influential people. One officer was always preceded in his district posting by reports of man-eaters! He used to enjoy free tiger shikar in the course of his duties. I had to take up the issue with the State Government, which was pleased to order that no government officer was to issue a permit for shooting man-eaters or cattle-lifters in his own name, and that particular official never came across another man-eater for the rest of his life.” (Tiger! The Story of the Indian Tiger by Kailash Sankhala, page 138).

These days there are many reputed researchers, wildlife tour agents, NGOs who are too willing to placate the people and declare carnivores as man-eaters and order killing of those. When the entire society is slowly but steadily abandoning ethical values, it becomes easy for stakeholders to collude and declare a particular animal to be man-eater, vermin etc and ready to be killed.


Genetically unique humpback and bottlenose dolphins in North Bay of Bengal

Marine mammal movements in the Northern Indian Ocean region is sparsely studied. The Indian Ocean is landlocked at this north by India and Bangladesh. The waters from Ganga, Brahmaputra, Meghna rivers fall into it bringing with them significant nutrients. The unique mangrove ecosystem of Sundarbans also helps in nutrient recycling further due to the intricate relationships between species in the mangrove ecosystem is further accentuated by the location of a more than 900m deep submarine canyon which upwells the nutrients supplied by the three rivers. Despite lack of physical barriers the movements of marine mammals is restricted by water temperature and depth. Surface currents, upwelling, rainfall, salinity and oxygen content also serve to determine the distribution of these species (Gaskin 1968, Polacheck 1987, Parsons 1998). Not many studies had been conducted on the mammals in this area. Fortunately, a study in Bangladesh on Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin Tursiops aduncus and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) has shown significant results.

The Common bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus and Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin Tursiops aduncus from Bangaldesh are found to be distinct from others. Similarly the Indo-pacific humpback dolphin (Sousa chinensis) is also found to be distinct. This findings have been published in a study titled “Oceanographic drivers of population differentiation in Indo-Pacific bottlenose (Tursiops aduncus) and humpback (Sousa spp.) dolphins of the northern Bay of Bengal” (Amarlal et al., Conservation Genetics, Nov 2016)

Bottlenose Dolphin

Bottlenose Dolphin in Arabian Sea

The researchers sequenced the mtDNA of 17 bottlenose dolphins and 15 humpback dolphins and then compared the findings with previously published data. They found that both the Bangladesh bottlenose dolphins and the humpback dolphins are genetically different from their neighbouring populations. “While the Bangladesh T. aduncus seem to be more closely related to the African T. aduncus form than the Pacific form, Sousa spp. seem to be more closely related to individuals from Australia.”

The researchers used minimally invasive biopsy darting using a cross bow in coastal waters offshore the Sundarbans mangrove forest.

This finding enhances our ideas regarding speciation. Given that the Sundarbans spread over 10,000 square kilometres of area in India and Bangladesh faces huge population pressure in both the countries with new constructions, reclamation of mangrove areas, oil spills, motor boat movements, fatal interaction of dolphins and other marine organisms with fisheries, it is very important to preserve this marine ecosystem for posterity.


Blackbucks released from enclosure in Kanha 

Blackbucks now roam in the wilds of Kanha National Park.

There was a time when blackbucks (Antilope cervicapra) used to roam in many parts of India and chased by cheetahs. Though its main predator Cheetahs are extinct from India, habitat conversion from grasslands to agricultural land and shooting resulted in blackbucks locally exterminated from many areas of India. in Kanha National Park, blackbucks were found in the meadows but were declared locally extinct in 2005.

The forest department started the reintroduction programme in 2011 and had brought the blackbucks to Kanha and kept them in the enclosure. Many of them had died. However, their offspring have now grown and reached adulthood. Out of those, the first batch of 27 blackbucks have been released into the wild in the Kanha zone. It is hoped that they will gradually move and occupy the meadows as they used to do in the past.

George Schaller in his book The Deer & The Tiger has written, “The blackbuck population in Kanha Park has probably never exceeded 200 individuals. Brander (1953) after a visit to the area in 1928 reported “two good herds”, and a census in 1938 gave a count of 168 animals. Since 1955, when 88 were tallied, the population has declined quite steadily, with only 30 reported in June, 1963, all on the Kanha meadow. By January, 1964, the herd had dwindled to 12 individuals, but from then on it increased, reaching 20 or possibly 21 by June, 1965.” (The Deer & The Tiger, pg 153)
One fawn, about four months old, disappeared from the Kanha herd in January, 1964, apparently having been taken by a predator. From then until March, 1965, a period of fourteen months, there were no further deaths, perhaps indicating that the predators find it difficult to stalk the animals successfully on the meadow. The steady decline in the population prior to 1964 was probably due largely to poaching.” (The Deer & The Tiger, pg 155)

E. P. Gee based on his 1962 visit had termed the blackbucks as Kanha’s most precious possessions. “There are, fortunately, still a few blackbuck left in Kanha, though not as many as in 1953. Only about forty to forty-vive still survive. At all costs these must be preserved, because they, once such a familiar sight all over India except in the north-east, are now dying out.

Blackbuck, the fastest creatures in the world on four legs, love the wide open spaces where speed is their surest protection against enemies. Kanha is not typical blackbuck country, but these forty-odd anteleope are one of the park’s most precious possessions. Long may they continue to flourish.” (The Wild Life of India, E. P. Gee, pg 53)

Blackbucks are classified as Near Threatened in the IUCN Red List. With the blackbucks roaming the wilderness of Kanha Tiger Reserve once again, hopefully this will be one long march towards a stable population and least concerned classification throughout the country.


Impact of pollution on Flamingos in Thane Creek to be studied

Maharashtra Government had declared a Flamingo Sanctuary in parts of Thane Creek in 2015. Lesser and Greater flamingos started visiting Thane creek sometime in the mid 1990s. Since then the pollution in the Thane Creek has increased. Now the Mangrove and Marine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation has decided to study the impact of pollution on the flamingos and the study would be carried out in Thane as well as in Kutch. Whether the pollution impacts the breeding, feeding and general behaviour needs to be seen. The study is to be completed in a year.

Flamingos feeding in Thane Creek

Both Greater Flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus) and Lesser Flamingos (Phoeniconaias minor) visit Thane Creek and a few of them seem to have become resident there. The flamingos are seen in greater numbers during winter in late December feeding in the mudflats during lowtide times in various parts of Thane creek like Airoli, Bhandup, Sewri etc and in floating in the water during high tides. Presence of such charismatic birds can give a big boost to tourism interest.

“The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything”. – Albert Einstein


Equipment Discussions

Panasonic Unveils the GH5 mirrorless camera

Panasonic has finally unveiled the GH5 mirrorless camera. Last year it had released some information about the camera to arouse interest. Now the full specifications are finally confirmed by Panasonic.

The Panasonice DMC-GH5 camera has a 20.3 Mega Pixel Micro Four Thirds sensor. The size of the sensor is 17.3mm x 13mm
It features a newly developed Venus engine which is reputed to increase the processing power and among other things results in better data rates and better noise reduction.

Panasonic Unveils the GH5 mirrorless camera

Panasonic Unveils the GH5 mirrorless camera

For still photography, the camera has a fast 1/8000 shutter speed and flash sync at 1/250 s.
GH5 can shoot at 12 frames per second.

Video specs:
The GH5 can shoot DCI 4K video at 23.98 p at a 400Mbps in ALL-I 10 bits at 4:2:2 internally recorded in camera to dual SD cards which are UHS-II U3 variety. This will be available via future firmware release in summer.

4K 50p (PAL)/60p (NTSC) can be recorded internally at a reduced data rate of 150Mbps in IPB in 4:2:0 colour space at 8 bits.

UHD 4k ie 3840×2160 resolution can be recorded internally at 24, 25 and 30 fps at 10 bits in 4:2:2 upto 400Mbps data rate using ALL-Intra recording. Interestingly this camera can also simultaneously output in 10 bits via HDMI and recorded externally. A full sized HDMI connector is present instead of Micro-HDMI in the previous GH4 camera.

Full HD at 23.98p, 29.97p, 59.94p can be recorded internally at 200Mbps in 10 bits.

Full HD upto 180 fps can be recorded internally at a reduced data rate. This will be available via a future firmware release in April.
Panasonic will also make available a vLog profile at a later date at an additional cost. Using this log profile one can shoot at 12 stops of dynamic range. Panasonic has not specified a dynamic range without the log profile.

The GH5 camera has got 5 axis sensor stabilisation
30fps and UHD video at upto 50/60 fps.

The GH5 has a OLED Live View Finder with 3.86m-dot resolution and 0.76x magnification.

LCD Monitor: There is a 3.2″ 1.62m-dot LCD at the rear and it can tilt and swivel for help during shooting as well as for playback.

The GH5 is freeze proof upto -10 degree centigrade (14°F )

The camera also has multiple assignable buttons and has a built-in 5 GHz Wi-Fi connectivity with Bluetooth and NFC.

BUY: Cost of GH5 is 1999.99 US dollars. You can preorder it from the following B&H link:…990/KBID/13252

To read the full Press release download the PDF :

Newsletter-January-2017 (9.7 MB, 395 downloads)


Nikon launches D5600 DSLR

Nikon has launched the new D5600 DSLR camera with 24.2 MP DX-format CMOS sensor with EXPEED processor. The sensor size is 23.5mm x15.6mm which in 35mm terms can be said to have 1.5x crop factor. So a 100mm lens has a field of view of 150mm lens.

Nikon launches D5600 DSLR

Nikon launches D5600 DSLR

The Nikon D5600 camera has an ISO range of 100 to 25600 and shoots stills at 5fps. It can also shoot video at 1080p at 60fps/50fps for slow motion as well as 30fps, 25 and 24 fps in H.264/MPEG 4. It also has a built-in microphone for recording audio in stereo mode to the video clips.

It has a 3.2 inch rear LCD which has a variangle design and 1.037 M dots. The LCD has a 170 degree viewing angle.

The eyelevel optical viewfinder covers 95% area and has a magnification of 0.82x .

The AF system is based on Phase detection and has 39 point Autofocus points with 9 cross type sensors. The autofocus sensitivity is -1 to +19 EV (@ISO 100, 20°C/68°F)

The flash sync speed is 1/200 second. The fastest shutter speed is 1/4000 and slowest is 30 seconds.

The Nikon D5600 has built-in SnapBridge connectivity which helps in transferring images to a connected mobile device. With the help of BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) technology in the D5600 camera, low resolution images can be automatically transferred to a mobile or any smart device. One can use the mobile phone and can remotely see the live view image and click the camera.  Wi-Fi and NFC is also built-in to the camera and helps in wireless transfer of images and videos to connected smart devices. SnapBridge helps in seamlessly shifting between Wi-Fi and NFC and making them more usable.

The D5600 records to SD/SDHC/SDXC cards and weighs 415gms.



Aputure Deity Microphone

Aputure, the company which used to sell economically priced good quality LED lights have now ventured into microphones.

Aputure has now released a shotgun microphone named as Deity. This microphone is of the same size and diameter as the Sennheiser MKH 416 microphone. Even the outward appearance is also the same.

Aputure Deity Microphone

Aputure Deity Microphone

According to Aputure their microphone Deity is comparable to the Schoeps CMC641 and Sennheiser MKH-60. The pricing of 369 US Dollars is way less than these two microphones.

Aputure has also launched a Kit version with the Rycote lyre softie mount at $429 US dollars.

The Aputure Deity has a Frequency range of 50Hz to 20 KHz and a maximum SPL of 130dB @1KHz. The specs are close to the Sennheiser MKH 416, though the MKH 416 would be a bit more sensitive and will have higher off-axis noise rejection.

To read the full review download the PDF :

Newsletter-January-2017 (9.7 MB, 395 downloads)


Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II Camera

Canon has launched the 20.1 MP Powershot G9 X Mark II camera with 1 inch sensor. It has a focal length of 10.2mm to 30.6 mm which is equivalent to 28-84mm in 35mm full frame terms.

So the optical zoom is 3x and it also has a digital zoom of 4x.

Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II Camera

Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II Camera

The Powershot G9 X Mark II has got a Digic 7 processor.

It has got a TTL autofocus as well as manual focus mode. It has a 3.0 inch colour liquid crystal LCD monitor at the back for composing as well as viewing images and videos. The LCD has 1.04 million dots.

At the wide angle end, the maximum aperture is f2.0 and in the tele end ie at 84mm the aperture is f4.9

In the auto mode the shutter speed varies from 1-1/2000 seconds. In the manual mode the shutter speed can go from 30-1/2000 seconds. In the manual one can also engage the Bulb mode.

While shooting videos, the shutter speed can go down to as low as 1/6 seconds.

The ISO sensitivity in auto mode is from ISO 125 to ISO 6400. In the P mode the ISO can go upto 12800.

There are three metering modes: Evaluative, Centre weighted average and spot metering.

Exposure compensation can be set at +/- 3 stops in 1/3rd increments while shooting stills as well as videos.

There is a Time-Lapse Movie functions mode in this camera which helps in recording a series of stills over a set time period and then automatically merging those stills to create a time-lapse video.

Still shots can be clicked in RAW as well as in jpeg mode. The Powershot G9 X II can shoot at the rate of 8.1 fps in one shot AF mode for upto 38 shots and at 5.3 fps upto 102 shots in High speed Servo AF mode.

In one shot AF mode, this camera can also shoot in RAW at 8.2 fps for 21 shots.

The videos are recorded in MPEG-4 format in Full HD at upto 1080 60p. The videos can be continuously recorded upto 29 Min 59 seconds. There is a built-in stereo microphone for recording audio while shooting video.

The still shots and videos are recorded to SD/SDHC/SDXC and UHS-I cards.

The camera body weighs 182 gms and is 3.9 inch x2.3 inch x1.2 inch

Since shooting in RAW gives the maximum amount of details in the shot, many people are likely to keep it in their pocket and go to places where you can’t carry your DSLR and use the RAW mode while using this camera. There are many people wanting to get their kids initiated into photography. Instead of a heavier DSLR for pre-teens and teens, this camera with RAW might be better due to the lightweight nature and RAW mode. The design is also trendy and would be appealing to the younger generation.

Powershot G9 X II has a built-in Wi-Fi with NFC which can be used to wirelessly transfer images to a linked mobile. One can also pait it with Bluetooth to connect to smartphones or tablets to permit remote control over the camera from your device using the Canon Camera Connect app.

Cost: $529 US dollars

Availability: March 2016

One can preorder it in B&H:

Canon India MRP:  Rs. 30,995/


Natural History

COUNTRY NOTEBOOK: M. Krishnan: ‘The King Cobra‘ By Saktipada Panigrahi


Wildlife Photography

 Tiger by Jerin Dinesh

Leopard Scratching Tree by V.S.Sankar!

Tiger in Corbett by Ashok Sorout

Indian Grey Mongoose by Uday Kiran

 Asian Koel by Samrat Sarkar

Amur Falcon by Abhishek Jamalabad

Amur Falcon by Mangru Minz

Spotted Owlet by Rajbir Oberoi

A wintery morning by Prajwal Ullal

Yellow Monitor Lizard by Abhirup Dutta Gupta

Tortoise Beetle by Arun Acharjee

Beautiful couple by Prajwal Ullal


With this issue of IndiaWilds we set foot on our 9 year of uninterrupted publication of this journal which started as a newsletter and continues to evolve. 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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Newsletter-January-2017 (9.7 MB, 395 downloads)
Sabyasachi Patra
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