Sharad Kumar Vats

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Everything posted by Sharad Kumar Vats

  1. Absolutely right, roads are a big menace. Development is important, but a balance surely needs to be maintained else the Tigers might reach a non viable population. There is still considerable conservation work happening in some areas, but it is not consistent across the country.
  2. India pleasantly surprises me always. No one is ignorant to the fact that we have 16% of world population living in less than 1% land mass of this planet, and 4% of this 1% is the protected area in India. If the bio-mass pressure of our population was not enough on the shrinking forests of our country, add to that the pressure of cattle grazing. The growing demands of a developing nation do not help the cause either. To say that the Government is not doing enough will not be fair, and even more unfair will be to say that the people of this country are intolerant, not by a distance when it comes to environment. If one travels in the interiors you will still find, rural India worshipping trees, animals, mountains, streams, and practically everything that is in nature. No wonder this is the reason, why despite all adversities, all activists, politicians, NGO’s, courts, etc, India has still managed to hold on to some key species. The so called #TigerExperts had given a apocalypse that Tiger shall not survive to see the turn of the 21st century. Well, the Tiger survives well into 16 years, with a increasingly healthy population. Did these experts underestimate their subjects of study, and overestimate their own expertise? Maybe no, they were perhaps quite right at the time of this prediction, perhaps they did not understand the Newton’s 3rd law of motion. For every forest being disrobed, there are many Krishna’s prohibiting the same. There are poachers and there are protectors. In summary the experts saw only one side and predicted, they did not see the other side, the positive side, the human side. But I would still like to thank them for the prediction, cause that woke up lot of sleeping souls of the society, who did not wait for someone to tell them to rise, awake, and stop not till the goal of protection is reached. I would like to share an incident that I witnessed in #BandhavgarhNational Park in Feb 2016. Do see the image of the same below the text. While doing an evening safari in #Bandhavgarh, from a distance I noticed a forest guard sitting near the #Rajbhera waterhole. On looking closely we see a cheetal (spotted deer) by his side, and the guard feeding him with water and leaves. We waited. When we asked him what happened, he said, while patrolling this morning he noticed the deer, who was old and weak, almost dying next to the water hole. He then fed him with leaves and water. Thereafter, the deer was able to lift his head after a couple of hours. When he came back in the evening to feed the cheetal, he saw more improvement. I was touched by his gesture, no one had told him to do that. We appreciated his work, and what he said after that amazed me, and made me laugh simultaneously. He said, “Sirji hum to tiger ko bhi aise kar dein agar woh karne de”. (we would treat / handle the #tiger similarly if he allows us to). His voice and eyes had genuine concern and love for animals. Whether the deer survived the night by himself or not, whether he became food of some #predator or not, is not important. What is important is, that we do have a lot of sincere people in our forests doing their job very sincerely, silently, away from media and recognition. In my eyes, he did not only save the cheetal, he saved the tiger, and the forest simultaneously. His boss sits about 35kms from #Bandhavgarh, still he was doing something beyond his job, with no expectations, and perhaps hence I could see the smile and peace in his eyes. This is why I say, that there are Krishna’s working silently in many areas. A silent forest ranger at work in Bandhavgarh National Park I have not lost any hope despite a lot of adversity. Nature will regenerate, it is powerful enough to take care of itself, it has done so for eons, and will continue to do so eternally. Best Wishes Sharad Vats
  3. Mid March will be excellent weather in Corbett. Mornings will be a bit nippy though. Good to note that you are staying in Dhikala Forest Rest House. Wish you all the best.
  4. Hello everyone, Jim Corbett National Park is a national park with maximum number of Tigers in India. Yes, 210 Tigers and counting. If you are into photography then you will love shooting over 550 species of birds, some amazing landscapes, Tigers, Elephants and what not. Yes, when it comes to Tiger sightings it might not be rubbing shoulders with likes of Bandhavgarh, Tadoba, or Kanha, but the sheer beauty of this park outweighs many pluses of other parks. I just returned from my one of many safaris i have done in this park in last 25 years. 9 different Tiger sightings, countless birds, and the unmatched wilderness experience is second to none. Please read my blog on the below link. http://naturesafariindia.com/blog/safari-jim-corbett-national-park/ Best Wishes in the new year Sharad Kumar Vats
  5. Corbett is one park that you must go back to later on your next visit maybe. You will never want your visit to come to an end in Corbett it is so beautiful, and extremely good with flora and fauna.
  6. I am sure you will be as lucky too. It also depends where you are staying in Corbett, whether a resort or a Forest Rest House? Also if you are staying in the forest rest house inside the forest then please be adequately prepared for the cold weather. It is freezing at this time of the year, so have multiple layers of clothing. A hot water bottle in the bed is a good idea. Gloves, and mufflers to cover your ears and nose is important too. Apart from Tigers, there are loads of birds to be seen here as well if you enjoy birding.
  7. For all those who have followed Tigers of Kanha over the years, know that there is something unique and very interesting happening in the Mukki zone of Kanha National Park for last two seasons. There are FOUR big male Tigers, all adults, who have made Mukki zone their home. This has been absolutely unprecedented. Mukki was always known for Tigresses with cubs, and maybe an odd male transient Tiger showing up. But what seemed to be a fluke two years back has now settled well. The four big adult males have kind of accepted each other in a relatively small area. Last year did some some fights between the big four, namely, Umarpani Male, Bheema, Kingfisher and Link 7 male. There were fights, there were injuries, but they all have survived well. What surprised many was that towards the end of last season they had also sired some cubs, which hopefully should start showing up when the park reopens in October 2016. Everyone has fingers crossed and praying that hopefully nothing untoward has happened in the last 3 months when the park has been closed for monsoon. The safari permits are limited, and booked 120 days prior to your safari date. So wait now, go right ahead and book yourself into Mukki zone of Kanha to see some spectacular male Tiger sightings in the coming season too. Sharing the images of the Big Four of Mukki. 1. Kingfisher Male 2. Umarpani Male 3. Link 7 Male 4. Bheema Male Book yourself soon to catch some amazing sightings in Kanha in the coming season. Best Wishes Sharad Vats
  8. In an unprecedented move, the National Tiger Conservation Authority has proposed to monitor Tigers using Drones fitted with night vision cameras, faster speed, longer batteries, and better landing capacities in 5 different national parks in India. They have already tested the same in Panna National Parks quite successfully. Now the other 4 parks which will be brought under the Drones are: Corbett, Sunderbans, Kaziranga, and Sathyamangalam. Once successful this will be launched in other Tiger reserves too. 3 Biologists and 3 Engineers per Drone are being trained for the same. A final approval is awaited from the Ministry of Defence. Hopefully by the end of this year this technology will be used to track the Tigers, and keep poachers at bay. Best Sharad Vats http://naturesafariindia.com/articles/drones-tiger-conservation-national-parks/
  9. The caption might sound unrealistic, but the ground reality today is, that there are some serious efforts in the direction. The captioned statement is made by our new Environment Minister. Honestly, i am not sure if this will happen, but i quite like the confidence, intent, and positivity in his approach There are things beginning to happen on the ground, and i would like to believe the old saying, that, "We should aim for the moon, because even if we miss we will be among the stars". So, even if the population does not reach the intended double mark, but it will be at a good high. To know as to what is being done on the ground click on the link below to know more: http://naturesafariindia.com/blog/tiger-population-to-double-by-2022-in-india/ I sincerely hope that this happens. Best Wishes Sharad Vats http://www.naturesafariindia.com
  10. Strictly my view, but arrived having seen many Tigers over 28 years of safaris in various parks of India. It was not easy to arrive at this decision but not a difficult one either. In the current Tigers in the Wild it is Umarpani Male in Kanha National Park who will get crowned as the largest Tiger in central India. Son of Legendary Munna, and Umarpani female, he is a huge Tiger who has outsized his parents, and is all set to takeover reins from his father as King of Kanha. Read the link below to know about him and his competition today. http://naturesafariindia.com/blog/biggest-tiger-central-india/ Best Wishes Sharad Vats
  11. This is to inform all that the online safari bookings have commenced for all national parks for safaris starting next month. The bookings have opened much late this year in central Indian parks of Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Panna, Pench, Satpura. The permits are few so decide soon if you plan to do safari before end of December 2017. If you are looking at best time for safaris in India then i recommend March-May. Though May gets real hot, about 45 degree celsius during the days but the Tiger sightings improve considerably this month. So, if you can brave the weather then travel in April, May. For a photographer and a wildlife lover every month is good. So choose time convenient to you and plan soon if you wish to travel to India for safaris in next few months.
  12. Hi @dipa123 absolutely brilliant experience. Seems like the good old days of Bandhavgarh are back. And the experience of photographing Tigers in Kanha still remains unparalleled. Though Kanha is ore for the patient mind. But once you get the Tiger on road then it is your talent, and experience to capitalize on the opportunity presented to you. Best Sharad
  13. Just came back from Kanha and Bandhavgarh National Park after spending a week in these parks. Both the parks lived upto their reputation of big amongst the top parks as far as Tiger sightings are concerned. How different is each park from the other, and how different the Tiger sightings are as well. Both seem to compliment each other so well. Sightings of cubs together, playing, jumping, fighting, and all this during heavy downpour, what an unforgettable experience in Bandhavgarh national park. It is absolutly a privilege to be ahead (during safari) of some of the biggest Tigers of all times in Kanha. be it the Umarpani male, Munna, or lately Chotta Munna. This time it was Chotta Munna also known as Link 7 male who followed our Jeep for good 10 minutes. To judge the size of the Tiger it is important to get a clear view of his front head. And Chotta Munna did not disappoint. I would love to call him, "The Rock". Amazing, height, length, skull, and pure muscle, this guys is her to stay and Rock. Best Wishes Sharad Vats
  14. An absolutely stunning 6 days in Kanha and Bandhavgarh in first week of October 2017. I have been regular to these two parks for about 2 decades now. Both are very unique and compliment each other very well. Yes, Tiger sighting is a matter of luck, but you can maximize your luck by doing all possible safaris during your stay. I started with Kanha, and first two safaris were blank, i.e, no Tiger sighting. We were hearing alarm calls, and seeing regular pug marks but did not sight the elusive one. My focus this visit was only Chotta Munna the son of Legendary Munna who is still kicking and alive at 15+. Why Chotta Munna? As i wanted to complete the family tree of Munna. Having seen the father of Munna, then the mighty Munna himself, and also Umarpani male the son from first litter of Munna, and i was keen to see Chotta Munna. He finally showed up, and royally at that. Walked behind our vehicle for good 10 minutes. He had showed his confidence good two years back itself when still a sub adult he had challenged the likes of Bheema, and Kingfisher two grown up male Tigers of Kanha. His persistence to dominate got him the better of Bheema, whom he delat a mortal blow in October 2015. Summer of 2017 he spent making his intention clear to the dominant Umarpani male. Couple of fights happened, one was serious in which both came out bleeding. But he has not given up an inch of his territory to Umarpani. Perhaps after Kingfisher and Bheema died, Umarpani male also realised that there is no need to fight now. There is plenty of space, prey and Tigresses in their respective areas. Though one can never be certain about two grown up male Tigers. They are born to fight, live fighting, and go down fighting. But it will be only good for Kanha if both these specimen, i.e. Umarpani male and Chotta Munna male survive. For they are real strong genes. Having felt satiated with this huge male i moved onwards to Bandhavgarh where my tickets were booked, and i was keen to see some Tiger cubs. Like always, Bandhavgarh yet again did not disappoint. What an a experience of two sets of cubs in Bandhavgarh. One sub adult, of Rajbhera Tigress, and same evening three ten month old cubs of Kankati Jr. These three cubs we saw by themselves and were wondering where was the mother. It was brought to our notice about 10 days later that a dead Tiger was found about a km away from this area. Nothing has been concluded if it was a natural death or an unnatural one. Though chances of latter are much higher. The forest department has acted very proactively and done the best in the situation. They have got these three cubs in an enlarged enclosure, and once adult they might be relocated in adjoining Sanjay National Park, which has fewer Tigers. The coming season in Bandhavgarh and Kanha is going to be a cub season. Both the parks after a long time are brimming with cubs. So delay no longer, and book your self in soon. Best Wishes Sharad Kumar Vats
  15. You are right @Dipa123 that the safaris get full very quickly. This is because there are very limited safari permits now, and the demand is very high. So whoever plans the safaris atleast 120 days before is able to secure the permits comfortably. Anything less than 120 days is taking a chance. 4 years back it was very easy to get safari permits, but after the Supreme Court reduced the number of vehicles after calculating the carrying capacity of the national parks things are not the same. In a way it is good for wildlife as now only people who plan earlier are able to get the permits and yes the human imprint on the forests has reduced. Regards Sharad
  16. It is never an easy feeling when you hear about your favorite Tiger dying for reasons beyond anyone's control. One tends to develop a bond with Tigers whom you have been seeing for some seasons. Seems as if those Tigers also know you. Then one fine day you hear about a Tiger found injured, and despite best efforts by the forest department he passes away. This is exactly what happened with Bheema a big male Tiger in Kanha. He got into a mortal combat with another of my favorite Tiger who also happens to be currently the biggest Tiger of central India, the Umarpani male and it proved to be his last fight. Tigers are born to fight, they live to fight and fight to live. And they die fighting. Please read the below link to know about Bheema the big male Tiger of Kanha. http://naturesafariindia.com/blog/bheema-peaceful-warrior-kanha-national-park-passes-away/ Best Wishes Sharad Vats
  17. You are right, it is concerning, though lower today than Africa but our numbers too are much lower, hence the risk is much higher. Our human population, being a developing country, destruction happening everywhere, highways being built, forests being cut, dams being built. It is unfortunate that wildlife has to take the brunt for nothing that they demand, desire or need. Elephant poaching cases are not such a big concern as the train accidents. I just fail to understand how can a train driver miss such a huge mammal on the tracks. And it is not that they just appear on the tracks. They are usually crossing the tracks in their migration route or their corridors. The railways is much aware and so are the driver told to be cautious in these areas. There is a speed limit as well in such areas for the train to pass, all it requires is a bit of caution, even that seems to be thrown to the winds. Having said and accepted all this, it is still incredible that despite all this, wildlife has managed to survive in India. Infact some key species numbers have gone up. Tigers, Rhinos, and Lions have actually seen an increase in population. There is concentrated effort in the direction. Only if help comes from all quarters will it be so much easy. It is like in a team sport where everyone must contribute. If one does well, and the other falters it does no good for the team. So it is in conservation.
  18. Oh yes, Kanha has been a pioneer in such conservation efforts. The Hard ground Swamp Deer, followed by shifting of the Tigress to Panna to start the Tiger program again there. Then the relocation of Indian Gaur from Kanha to Bandhavgarh 4 years back. Subsequently the Hard Ground Swamp Deer relocated from Kanha to Satpura. And lately about 750 spotted deers successfully translocated to Phen Wildlife Sanctuary. So a lot is being done in Kanha. Fortunately all has been well in these endeavors.
  19. I have been doing safaris in India since 1990. But never thought i would get so lucky ever. It was December 2014, i was searching for Wild Elephants in Dudhwa National Park. Saw them at a distance of about 50 meters, it was late evening, dipping light, mist did not help, and i started to take photographs. Suddenly noticed some crouching movement between myself and the Elephants, Focussed and i could not believe my luck, a Tiger. he was stalking the baby elephant, maybe a month old, and the cow Elephant was very cautious. The Elephants would trumpet, try to scare the Tiger away, but he remained focussed, with a mission possessed, and did not leave his ground. Having watched the scene for over 20 minutes we had to leave the park as the safari time had come to a close. Left with a heavy and a praying heart that God save the baby. I left Dudhwa after 2 days, it was only after 7 days that my driver called and said, "' Sir the baby is safe, and i saw him today during the safari", was i releaved would be an understatement. Sharing the images here. Detailed article titled The Dudhwa Drama on below link www.naturesafariindia.com
  20. @@wilddog Sure it is a huge consolation, and perhaps the most apt way for Tigers to go down is fighting. Guess, such deaths are also important as only the best genes should be passed on, it is only good for the survival of the Tigers.
  21. @Atravelynn; i have tried this numerous times on Tigers and it works always. Sending positive thoughts works on all living beings i guess.
  22. @@Atravelynn..unfortunately he did not leave any cubs behind. But his sibling is doing well in another zone of Kanha. He is popularly known as Bajrang. My personal experience has been that nervous energy disturbs the big cats. Have noticed the same on a few occasions. And there are times when one sends positive vibes internally and the big cats get close without any worries.
  23. @@twaffle indeed a satisfying way for a predator to go like this than human inflicted ways. Glad you liked the image.
  24. In a pioneering effort by the management of Bandhavgarh National Park, they have come out with a book containing photos of the Tigers of Bandhavgarh. The book has photos of 24 Tigers form the core zone of Bandhavgarh. So next time your are in Bandhavgarh pick up this book from the resort you are staying in, or from the Forest nature Shop. For more details, click on the link below: http://naturesafariindia.com/blog/jeep-safari-in-bandhavgarh/ Best Wishes Sharad
  25. The new Tiger safari season has commenced from 1st October. Some real exciting news has come from Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Ranthambhore and Satpura to beginwith. The news of first phenomenal Tiger sighting came from Kanha this year. On October 1 in the morning safari, Chotta Munna was seen walking from district line. He is the son of legendary Munna. What surprised everyone was his sheer size when he stood against a tree to mark his territory. While he continued to walk, the vehicles continued to reverse. After quite a while he changed course and went towards Chotta chatapatra. Some of the experienced guides knew exactly from where he would come out, and reached that spot. Their experience paid dividends when Chotta Munna appeared from the said trail at the time they anticipated him to come out. Sightings during a safari is not purely luck. When you have experienced guides, and drivers accompanying you in your vehicle then it is a lot of science, mathematics, and the jungle knowledge. While some tourists were happy with Chotta Munna’s sightings less did they know that another big surprise was about to unfold in front of their eyes. Bheema, the peaceful warrior, emerged in the Junglescape. He seemed to be following a scent mark. Was he following Chotta Munna? The naturalists around did not take long to guess that indeed he was on Chotta Munna’s prowl. Their fights over last two years has still not ended. Chotta Munna at a budding, youthful, but an inexperienced age of 4, had challenged the mighty Bheema at a competent and seasoned age of 6. Bheema’s efficiency overshadowed the over-confidence of Chotta Munna, and he has repeatedly got Chotta Munna to retreat. But the dominating genes of Chotta Munna remind him not to let go, and he comes back to challenge Bheema quite repeatedly. So far, he has retreated regularly, but he has lately learnt now to avoid injuries in such skirmishes, and simultaneously inject injuries on his opponent. Chotta Munna is surely more richer now having learnt that what does not kill you, makes your stronger. It seemed that this territorial tug to establish one’s supremacy left some marks around the neck of Bheema. The claws and canine mark around his neck would have also left an indelible scar on Bheema’s mind to either start relinquishing his domain, or be prepared for an inevitable duel in not so distant future. Happy were those who saw this scene on 1st October. To read more on safaris in Bandhavgarh, Ranthambhore, ad Satpura click the link below: http://www.naturesafariindia.com/blog/safaris-in-the-national-parks-of-india/ Best Wishes Sharad Vats To know more details read the link below

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