This blog is a humble contribution towards increasing awareness about problems being faced wrt Tiger Conservation in India. With the Tiger fast disappearing from the radar and most of us looking the other way the day is not far when the eco system that supports and nourishes us collapses. Citizen voice is an important tool that can prevent the disaster from happening and this is an attempt at channelising the voice of concerned nature lovers.
Search This Blog
Friday, February 1, 2013
Rhinos new preys for Dudhwa tigers?
TNN | Feb 1, 2013, 04.38 AM IST
Rare baby honey badger diesBlackbucks already threatened by poaching, inbreeding and diseasesUP's state fish Chitla is now critically endangeredGreat Indian Bustard killed in Jaisalmer, forest dept files FIRPlanting rare trees to save the planet
LUCKNOW: Have Dudhwa tigers shunned their preferred prey - the cheetals and sambhars - to hunt the mighty rhinos? The killing of a 35-year-old female rhino by a tiger in Dudhwa national park and the subsequent eating of the carcass has raised a doubt if the behaviour of Dudhwa tigers is changing. The experts are not ready to buy the argument that the declining prey base is the reason why tigers are hunting and eating rhinos.
"If tiger population in the park is increasing, prey base can not decline," said Tito Joseph from the wildlife protection society of India ( WPSI). The tiger sneaked into the rhino rehabilitation area to kill the 35-year-old female rhino Pavitri, brought to Dudhwa in 1984 under the rhino rehabilitation programme. This was the fifth attack since November last year on rhinos by tigers in Dudhwa. In the past one year, two rhinos have been killed by tigers and one has rescued by the park administration in Dudhwa. The feline attacks on rhinos aren't rare. But, in most of the incidents, it's the cubs which are killed.
Contrary to this, it was an adult female rhino killed this time. Is it the same tiger which is killing rhinos? Is the attacking feline old? Bibhav Taluqdar, who chairs International Union for Conservation of Nature Asian rhino specialist group, said Dudhwa authorities should try to find answers to such questions in case the attacks are rampant. "It's not rare that tigers kill and eat rhino. Rhino comes as an easy hunt for a tiger who can not chase a deer," he said.
Assam's Kaziranga National Park, which shelters the biggest population of rhinos, has about 15 to 20 rhino cubs getting killed in tiger attacks every year. The killing of an adult rhino is not common. "A tigress rearing its cubs can kill a rhino as the feline need not go far from its cubs," said Taluqdar. Though rhinos are mighty, a single adult tiger can kill a rhino. In Corbett there have been incidents where elephants have been killed by tigers. Compared to this rhino is an easier kill, he said.
Tigers eating rhino, experts feel, is not bewildering. "Rhino is not a preferred prey for tigers but once killed, tigers can eat it," said Joseph. Deputy director, Dudhwa Ganesh Bhatt said, "we have informed central government about the rhino mortalities". In Dudhwa, rhinos were re-introduced in 1984 under state's rhino rehabilitation programme. At present, 29 rhinos are present in the Kakraha range of the park. Existing in maximum numbers in Kaziranga national park, rhinos exist in Dudhwa tiger reserve in UP and Valimiki Reserve in Bihar.