The Magic of Monsoons in Tiger reserves

#1 Jul 5th, 2011, 16:29
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  • abheekg is offline
#1
Dear all
Come July and all regular Indian Wildlife travellers look to pack away their cameras and photo gear for 3 months and wait for October for the parks to open again. While the Tiger reserves of Pench, Bandhavgad, Kanha , Corbett, Ranthambhor close down for the monsoon; and my documentation of the 5 tiger cubs in Pench comes to a stop, I shift my sights and transfer my energies towards documentation of Big cats and help in their conservation in another top Tiger habitat of this country - Tadoba Andhari Tiger reserve (henceforth referred to as Tadoba)

While all reserves close down for monsoons, Tadoba is the only reserve which welcomes tourists even during the monsoon months.

A bit of Background on Tadoba first:

Tadoba-andhari Tiger Reserve is the pristine and unique eco-system situated in the Chandrapur district of the Maharashtra State of India. The Reserve contains some of the best of forest tracks and endowed with rich biodiversity. It is famous for its natural heritage. Tadoba-andhari Tiger Reserve is the second Tiger Reserve in the State.

Traveling Distances:
Tadoba has good connectivity from Nagpur via Kolara Gate situated 100 kms from Nagpur and via Moharli gate near Chandrapur providing it as a easy half day get away for me and the others.

Nagpur-Kolara route:
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Nagpur-Moharli route:
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People planning their visits to Tadoba can either drive down / fly in to Nagpur and then can plan their drives in Tadoba from Kolara or Moharli gates.

Unique position of Tadoba during monsoons:
Tadoba is the only park which remains open during the monsoons giving tourists full access to all the ranges with 4x4 vehicles. Here's an account of my visit to Tadoba last monsoons http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...-tadoba-9.html (Nobody can assure you a Tiger, and thats the fun of it - Team BHP meet at Tadoba !)

As we are visiting tadoba on a regular basis I have decided to start a documentation thread of this Park just like my Pench thread ( http://www.indiamike.com/india/india...4/#post1154472 ).

Conservation History
Tadoba-andhari Tiger reserve was created in 1995. The area of the Reserve is 625.40 sq. km. This includes Tadoba National Park, created in 1955 with an area of 116.55 sq. km. and andhari Wildlife Sanctuary created in 1986 with an area of 508.85 sq. km. The Reserve is constituted with 577.96 sq. km. Reserve Forest, 32.51 sq. km. Protected Forest and 14.93 sq. km. other areas.

Eco-development
Under the Maharashtra Forestry Project funded by the World Bank, ecodevelopment activities have been taken up in ten villages situated on the periphery of the Reserve.

Education and Awareness
In the Tadoba-andhari Tiger Reserve on the eve of the Wildlife Week children up to high school standard from nearby villages and town are brought by Reserve bus to Tadoba and given environment and wildlife education and quiz tests are organised.

Street plays with help of local nature clubs like Rhino Nature Club are arranged, round the year, in different villages around the Tadoba-andhari Tiger Reserve.

Nature awareness camps of children from nearby villages and towns are organised with the help of local nature clubs like Vidarbha Nature and Human Science Center at Tadoba periodically.

My NGO, Wildcats Nature Club does a lot of work in and around Tadoba working among the villagers and the forest workers.


Conflicts :

Man-Animal
Killing of domestic livestock by tigers and leopards is a frequent phenomenon in the area where there are villages. This usually has an adverse impact on the economic condition of the local people. This results into antagonism towards the management.

Constraints
Human population:

There is significant human population in core zone along with presence of full scale villages. There are 41644 people in and around the Reserve in 59 villages.

Livestock population:
There is significant cattle population in core zone.

Grazing:
Grazing is not allowed on core zone but happens unabated.

Let this be an all encompassing thread on Tadoba wherin I will try to show the good and the bad sides of the story.

I visited this park on 2-3-4 July 2011 and did 4 drives in he various zones. Highlights of this visit - Explorer-III (My Tadoba Gypsy) suspension repair in the middle of nowhere with stoneage tools, meeting Jitu , a Tiger and a Tigress apart from a plethora of other wildlife, awesome weather.

Here's a teaser image from this visit:
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Dream sighting of the Telia female on 4 July 2011 morning in Moharli. Notice the rejuvenated ecosystem after a few weeks of rain. With nobody around me to distract the Tigress, I spent almost an hour with her adequately photographing and videographing her.


More to follow soon.

regards,
Dr. A Ghosh
Last edited by aarosh; Aug 7th, 2013 at 19:06..
#2 Jul 5th, 2011, 18:15
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#2
As usual Thumbs Up to your work.
Regards
VB
#3 Jul 5th, 2011, 19:27
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#3
Wonderful Abheek, I hope the cubs in Pench are safe during the three monsoon months.
#4 Jul 5th, 2011, 20:42
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#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by vbhakuni View Post As usual Thumbs Up to your work.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sujoy View Post Wonderful Abheek, I hope the cubs in Pench are safe during the three monsoon months.
Thank you friends. Pench cubs are safe with regular patrolling by forest department. I get regular updates of all the 5 and the other cubs from FD insiders. I will also partake in their monitoring during the monsoon months when I visit Pench to do some medical camps for the forest department workers. I will update the Pench thread whenever I get updates.

But right now I am very excited about the possibility of continuing my wildlife travels in Tadoba over the next 3 months.

Stay tuned......

Dr. A Ghosh
#5 Jul 6th, 2011, 00:10
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#5
Monsoons & the focus shifts on Tadoba. Looking forward to read more on Tadoba in the monsoons from you on this thread.

Ronak.
#6 Jul 6th, 2011, 02:31
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#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by shahronakm View Post Monsoons & the focus shifts on Tadoba. Looking forward to read more on Tadoba in the monsoons from you on this thread.

Ronak.
Indeed Ronak. Although documentation of my 5 Pench cubs is far from over.

Here's another frame from my encounter last monday.

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She kept on coming looking straight into my eyes and we kept on reversing !!

With encounters such as this it is very essential to give space to the animal. The reason she remained with me for so long was that I didn't encroach in her private space and gave her full respect. You can easily ruin your experience if you try to get too close to the animal or stop reversing and let the animal keep on approaching you.


regards,
Dr. A Ghosh
#7 Jul 6th, 2011, 11:10
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#7
Even i'm a hobbyist Photographer & Love shooting wildlife & would surely be visiting Pench & Tadoba
#8 Jul 6th, 2011, 12:33
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#8
@abheekg

I agree with you to give space to any animal in the wild life as that is the only way you can enjoy the sighting for a longer period & the animal also feels secure enough.

I remember during our trip to Tadoba in May 2009, a tigress was nicely sitting in the water hole on the main road. Our driver who spotted the tigress from a distance nicely halted the car at a distance where another one or two cars were watching the animal relaxing in the water. Suddenly a Pvt. vehicle (a Maruti 800 car, with city based driver, I don't know why they are allowed) who must have spotted the tigress from a distance drove the car right next to the tigress & needless to say the tigress immediately got up & went in the bushes. The driver did received a lot of spanking from other drivers & guides & a formal complaint was also launched at the gate. But that sighting was already spoiled.

Ronak.
#9 Jul 7th, 2011, 13:23
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by vbhakuni View Post Even i'm a hobbyist Photographer & Love shooting wildlife & would surely be visiting Pench & Tadoba
You are most welcome to join me over any weekend in the next 3 months.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shahronakm View Post @abheekg

I agree with you to give space to any animal in the wild life as that is the only way you can enjoy the sighting for a longer period & the animal also feels secure enough.

I remember during our trip to Tadoba in May 2009, a tigress was nicely sitting in the water hole on the main road. Our driver who spotted the tigress from a distance nicely halted the car at a distance where another one or two cars were watching the animal relaxing in the water. Suddenly a Pvt. vehicle (a Maruti 800 car, with city based driver, I don't know why they are allowed) who must have spotted the tigress from a distance drove the car right next to the tigress & needless to say the tigress immediately got up & went in the bushes. The driver did received a lot of spanking from other drivers & guides & a formal complaint was also launched at the gate. But that sighting was already spoiled.

Ronak.
Very true. Private vehicles are a menace in Tadoba. Check out this video about how bad it can get. This was shot by me last summer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMIyFp83-PQ

See the video from 2min 20secs to jump straight to the part I am referring.

regards,
Dr. A Ghosh
#10 Jul 7th, 2011, 13:55
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#10
Is there any plan or rule in the making to ban them from entering the forest ?

Ronak.
#11 Jul 12th, 2011, 16:37
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#11

13-14-15 August Wildlife enthusiasts' meet at Tadoba Tiger Reserve

Quote:
Originally Posted by shahronakm View Post Is there any plan or rule in the making to ban them from entering the forest ?

Ronak.
Yes there is a movement ongoing for some time now to ban entry of private vehicles inside the core.

13-14-15 August Wildlife enthusiasts' meet at Tadoba Tiger Reserve

Hello everybody
Wildcats celebrates its foundation day on 15th August every year by visiting Tadoba Tiger reserve with a bunch of Wildlife enthusiasts from across the country.

This year we have decided to invite all the interested team members to this meet. The 15th August weekend this year is an extended weekend and it will help interested members plan their leaves if they wan to attend this meet. The meet is happening in Tadoba Tiger reserve.

The itinerary is as folows:
  • 13 August morning - arrival at Nagpur and subsequent transfer to Tadoba by road.
  • 13 August afternoon to 15 August noon - 3 Jungle safaris + visit to Markanda temple complex Markanda - Heritage Temple & Wainganga River Embankment in Tadoba Tiger reserve.
  • 15 August noon - road transfer back to Nagpur and travel back to respective stations.

Apart from the jungle drives, we plan interactions with locals, explorations in the buffer area, visits to nearby places of interest including Markanda temple complex, wildlife documentary screening sessions, introductory discussion on wildlife photography, constructive critiquing sessions on photographs taken during the safaris, wildlife story telling sessions, talks by officials of forest department etc....

This meet will give you a chance to understand the status of Tiger conservation as it stands today in India apart from getting a chance to visit a prime Tiger habitat of our country in the monsoons and if lucky see a Tiger too.

Read more about Tadoba here :

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ml#post2348158

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ml#post2329443

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ml#post2068056

Let me know if anybody is interested in joining for this meet.

regards,
Dr. A Ghosh
www.facebook.com/abheekg
Last edited by aarosh; Aug 7th, 2013 at 19:07..
#12 Jul 13th, 2011, 14:22
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#12

The First flight of the Paradise Flycatcher chick - A habitat shot

Here's today's installment

The First flight of the Paradise Flycatcher chick - A habitat shot
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While it seems delightful to photograph nesting birds and chicks, utmost care has to be taken to ensure that you don't end up disturbing the nesting site. This pic was taken from a distance of about 50 feet.

I have been observing this particular nest and family over the last 4 weeks (courtship to hatching) and could gather a lot of information on their behaviour.

The nests are cone-shaped, and built with fine roots, fibre and small leaves, compacted with cobwebs. The cobweb affords a most important building material to bird masons; it is their cement. Nests are built in shady undisturbed sites, away from the road. Nests take about seven days to be built. Females lay 34 pinkish white eggs. The mean incubation period is 15 1 days, and the nestling period is 1314 days.

Other interesting images of this family to follow.

regards,
Dr. A Ghosh
#13 Jul 13th, 2011, 20:07
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#13
I was at Tadoba last year at the fag end of the monsoon. The trip and the forest was just as magical. I feel Tadoba is still not as crazy as Kanha/Bandhavgarh and that makes it special for me.

P.S.: Karnataka's tiger reserves are open for tourism around the year as well. Visit to Nagarhole this time would be just as fantastic. Plus Corbett's Jirna gate is open during monsoon.
#14 Jul 14th, 2011, 14:50
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#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by drgrudge View Post I was at Tadoba last year at the fag end of the monsoon. The trip and the forest was just as magical. I feel Tadoba is still not as crazy as Kanha/Bandhavgarh and that makes it special for me.

P.S.: Karnataka's tiger reserves are open for tourism around the year as well. Visit to Nagarhole this time would be just as fantastic. Plus Corbett's Jirna gate is open during monsoon.

Thank you for the info drgrudge. Do share som pics from your last year's tadoba visit if you can on this thread.

Here's today's installment : A close encounter from last Sunday....
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Our Bean bag fell off from our vehicle and Tigress went on to investigate.
Will post follow up shots soon.

regards,
Dr. A Ghosh

P.S: By the way we retrieved the bag and it is our most prized possession now.
#15 Jul 14th, 2011, 15:06
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#15
Abheek,

i am still thinking of cancelling my Leh trip and head for Tadoba, Memories of my April visit to Tadoba are still fresh in my mind.

Forests after rains are too blissful for an experience.
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