T-19 tigress has given birth to three cubs

Daughter of legendary tigress Machali, and now ruler of the largest territory in Ranthambhore, T-19 aka Krishna was spotted on the 24th of March with her three new cubs, believed to be about six weeks old.

The cubs appear to be in good health, and their birth has increased the number of tigers in the park to 58.

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Notorious poacher Sansar Chand is dead.

Sansar Chand is believed to have been the biggest wildlife poacher in India, being responsible for more tiger and leopard deaths than anybody else. Diaries seized from Sansar Chand’s family by the Rajasthan Police in 2004 allegedly showed transactions of 40 tiger skins and 400 leopard skins in a period of just 11 months from October 2003 to September 2004. During interrogation by the CBI in 2006, Sansar Chand apparently admitted to selling 470 tiger skins and 2,130 leopard skins to just four clients from Nepal and Tibet.

He was facing several charges related to the killing of wild cats in Sariska Tiger Reserve, but was admitted to hospital last week, suffering from cancer. According to doctors, he had tumors in his brain, lungs and spinal cord. 

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Machli Update

Five hours ago, a new article came out about how wildlife lovers feel about her disappearance. Most people have already labeled her as dead, despite the fact that fresh pug marks were found a few days ago. Dharmendra Khandal of Tiger Watch said that ‘She was old and was of no ecological use. The effort that the forest department used to maintain her can be better used to take care of the many sub-adults in the forest now.” For some years now, a vehicle and separate fund were allocated just for feeding Machli, as she could no longer hunt efficiently by herself. 

But it is not the absence of Machli that is stirring up wildlife enthusiasts against the forest department as is the use of the term “missing” in cases when tigers are not sighted even for long period of time. It has been six months since Machli’s daughter Sundari or T-17 was last sighted but the forest department still refers to her as ‘missing.’

In fact, there are at least 10 tigers including T-21, T-27, T-40, two cubs of T-13, T-31 and T-29 which have not been sighted for reasonable period of time but are referred to as ‘missing’ by the forest department.

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Nepal ‘prioritised’ for global effort to save snow leopards
Identifying Nepal as one of the rarest sanctuaries for the endangered snow leopard, the world community and the conservationists have put the country in the top priority of the global action plan to protect the animal.

Nepal’s Himalayas host as many as one-fifth of the world’s total snow leopard population. According to the World Wildlife Fund, there are only 12 countries, including Nepal, where the last remaining 5,000 snow leopards are surviving. Studies show that these wild cats are disappearing rapidly from the planet. 

As part of the action plan, the governments have shared a common goal to intensify conservation efforts in the large landscapes required for snow leopard survival by identifying and designating critical habitats of key snow leopard populations as no-go areas for destructive land uses, maintaining their integrity and connectivity through natural corridors, and strengthening their protection on the ground. The global action plan also aims to control illegal trade of wildlife body parts. 

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Nepal offers plans for conservation of snow leopards

Nepal says it will present a seven-point plan on better conservation of snow leopards at an upcoming Global Snow Leopard Conservation conference in Kyrgyzstan. The conference in October will focus on increasing the number of snow leopards in the 12 countries where the big cat is found.

Nepal’s involvement in the conference will center on reforming its existing policies on conservation of the animal, improving its habitat, reducing poaching and conflicts with human beings, and providing proper training to people involved in conservation efforts. 

Of the 12 countries participating in the conference, China has the largest number of snow leopards, with an estimated 2,500. India has around 600, while Mongolia has 100.

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Zoo news!

Very pleased to announce that Kaitlyn, a Sumatran tiger at Australia Zoo is pregnant! This is the first litter for the five year old, and she’s expected to give birth in late August. 

Kaitlyn is considered one of the most genetically valuable individuals in the world, as she was born to a wild mother and captive father. With less than 500 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, the pregnancy is a significant win for the future of the species. 

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Three tigers found dead in just one week

Investigations have begun by forest rangers, in Corbett Tiger Reserve after three dead tigers were found over a week. Officials suspect the tigers had been poisoned by poachers, however, this is yet to be confirmed via autopsy. 

Shrinking habitats due to the growth of urban areas in India and increasing deforestation have brought the cats into conflict with farmers who live near tiger reserves.

Despite conservation efforts, tiger numbers in India have declined due to rampant poaching of the cats for their valuable pelts and body parts that are highly prized in traditional Chinese medicine.

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The search for Sundari (T-17)

A massive hunt was launched last month when first time mother, T-17 otherwise known as Sundari went missing from Ranthambhore National Park. Daughter of the legendary tigress Machali, her disappearance has caused great concern, as she’s left behind three 11 month old cubs, that are now under the watch of forest officials. 

Earlier, four teams were deployed as search parties with the Assistant Conservators of Forest and range officers leading the staff. In all, more than 110 people were deployed in the combing operation. The teams covered Amba Ghati, Badlav, Tamba Khan, Kacchidah and other areas inside the national park. Lack of evidence suggests that the tigress is not dead, however, there has yet to be any sightings of her, including pug marks or images caught on motion camera traps. 

Wildlife experts are seeing her disappearance as failing of the tracking system in the tiger reserve where at least eight big cats (excluding Sundari) have either disappeared or strayed from the park. 

Amur leopard population up 50%

The population of the Amur leopard has grown by half since 2007 and the cats have expanded their habitat as far as North Korea, the WWF said. 

Environmentalists were unable to take a census of the big cats for several years, because the population is counted by their paw prints in the snow. No lasting snow was seen since 2011 in their habitat, an area 5,000 square kilometre in Russia’s far eastern Primorye region.

The previous census in 2007 put the number of Amur leopards at between 27 and 34, which many experts said at the time is not enough to ensure continued reproduction of the subspecies. However, a conservation drive spearheaded by the WWF and supported by the Kremlin improved the situation.

Environmentalists hope to increase the population to 70 to 100 cats, which would ensure its stability

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Lion breeder in Yemen cashes in on Gulf demand for exotic pets.

In a cage built from lengths of rusting steel trellis, six African lionesses sit on the concrete floor. The bare skull of a donkey lies at the back of the cell as two male lions pace up and down patrolling their shared six metres of territory.

A village on Yemen's scorched Tihama plain is an incongruous home for African lions. Set back several miles from the nearest road and reached by a rough network of sandy paths and thorny gorse bushes, it is home to one of Yemen's newest and most unlikely businesses. 

All six of the lionesses are pregnant. Hassan Bari who owns the lions, expects most of the cubs to be sold within a few days as there is a high demand.

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Africa battles poachers to save its wild lions.

Zambia has become the latest country to ban the hunting of lions and other endangered wild cats as the continent tries to arrest the predators’ plummeting population. UK charity LionAid chief executive and biologist Dr Pieter Kat says the number of lions across Africa has dropped dramatically in recent decades, with lions extinct in 25 African countries.

"About 50 years ago we had about 200,000 lions living in Africa. I’d estimate from our own research that perhaps today we have about 15,000 left. Now 15,000 still sounds like a relatively large number but, you know, you can’t put more than 15,000 into even a small space." he said.

"What’s happening in western Africa is very, very sad because, you know, Senegal, all the way in the west, probably has about 40 lions left," he said. "Then we move over a couple of countries and we find that there’s, you know, maybe 50 or 60 lions left. And then we go to Cameroon, they maybe have 110 lions left. And then we come to Nigeria that has less than 34, 35 lions left. And there are a lot of these national parks in these countries, but the problem is nobody goes there."

Dr Kat said because west Africa is not a popular tourist destination, the national parks are starved of funds to maintain the parks and staff.

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