Joel Wright

‘If Gandhi and the Buddha were crossed to become a young white boy, he’d look like Joel’ – Sumantha Ghosh. Wildlife enthusiast Joel took time out from wandering around India to work with Mahseer Conservancy for 1 month in March 2010. He conducted a pioneering research study looking at the decline of the Golden Mahseer on the Ramganga River in Almora. Braving the sand mining mafia, boys with explosives and illness he collected alarming data showing that the Golden Mahseer populations are being decimated. Indiscriminate fishing methods such as dynamiting, poisoning and electrocution...
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Sports for Conservation, by Mahseer Conservancy

  A sporting event under the banner of “Sports for Conservation” is being organized by Society for Mahseer Conservancy from the 22nd to 26th January, 2010 in the lovely Baluli village, on the banks of the lifeline of Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR)–the river Ramganga. Sport is a very effective tool in the cause of wildlife conservation, particularly for the youth since it promises thrilling action while sermons and speeches take a backseat! The first day of the event is dedicated to the girls, with games like kho-kho, kabbadi and rope pulling testing their mettle. A cricket tournament...
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Goonch (Bagarius bagarius), the giant catfish, by Sumantha Ghosh

Widespread throughout Asia, India is known for the largest species of goonch. Owing to their voracity, their formidable teeth and general appearance, they are also referred to as the fresh water shark and grows to a length of almost six feet. Its body is usually dirty grey with large irregular black or dark brown markings. Its fins usually have a dark band across them and sprout from a dark base. They are scaleless fish and have fleshy feelers attached to their mouth. Goonch is a predaceous fish and lies in wait for its food in the swiftest water of the rapids, where it maintains position by adhering...
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Golden Mahseer (Tor putitora), Monarch of Himalayan waters, by Sumantha Ghosh

The undisputed lord of Himalayan rivers is the handsome golden-scaled highlander. Undeniably, the mahseer is one of the fiercest fighting freshwater game fish that exists. Pound for pound it had unparalleled strength and endurance. Mahseer does have a transitory likeness to the carp and the barbell of the English waters, but as they say, the similarity soon ends in the turbid waters of the Himalayan foothills. The mahseer shows more sport for its size then a salmon and therefore considered the best sportfish in the world….this is what snobs (??) of the Raj era had to say. Mahseer have overjoyed...
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Rajiv Bhartari, a fine blend of wildlife conservation and eco-tourism

Whilst Field Director of Corbett National Park Mr Bhartari turned it into one of the Finest Parks in the world and one that India can be very proud of today. It’s a great pleasure to see people getting acknowledged for their hard work and achievements and we would like to wish Mr Bhartari all he best for future success in his endeavours.
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Wild life in the village: an appeal, from Indian Wild Life, vol. I, no. 2:1936

It was a small village of some 16 ploughs differing in no respect from hundreds of similar villages, scattered throughout the length of the tract along the Bhahar. Originally the village had been surrounded by tree jungle intercepted with grass, and in this virgin jungle lived all the numerous denizens of the wild. To protect their crops the villagers erected thorn fences round their fields. As an additional safeguard a member of the depressed class was encouraged to settle in the village whose duty it was to watch the crops at night and see they were not damaged by stray cattle or wild animals....
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What is WELFARE?, by Frederique Lacraz

Among the Society for Mahseer Conservancy, a new project was launched few months ago, under the name “WELFARE”, which stands for Women Empowerment through Lantana Furniture, Artefacts and Restoration of the Environment”. The reason for this project emerged after an obvious result from the firewood survey: the villagers will not reduce their wood collection unless some alternatives are provided to them. Unfortunately, the government is almost absent in such help. Our actions may be at small scale, but at least they are actions. The women are the protagonists of this project since they are...
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Corbett: A Paradise for Butterfly Lovers, by Sanjay Chhimwal

Comon Tiger Corbett Corbett is popularly called the land of roar, trumpet and song – means it is known for tigers, elephants and birds. This is right as it has the highest density of wild tigers in the world with one of the best male female ratio of the Asian elephant (1:3) and an amazing diversity of avifauna with 625+ species of bird. It is rarely understood as a good area for butterflies. Corbett region is a paradise for butterflies and for those who love butterflies. People usually visit Corbett to watch ‘wildlife’ and from most of them understand ‘wildlife’ means tiger, leopard,...
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Kashmir’s Monster Mahseer Carp Set to Make Comeback, by Sheikh Mushtaq

The Mahseer, known among Kashmiri anglers as “tiger in the water”, all but vanished after Pakistan constructed a dam in the late 1960s that stopped the fish from migrating to India. Now, conservationists are breeding the Mahseer and hope to release them in rivers in Indian Kashmir. The programme is the result of a peace process between India and Pakistan that has led to a drop in violence in the region. “We have bred this fish nicely and reared it out,” Showkat Ali, joint director of Kashmir’s fisheries department, told Reuters. Ali said hundreds of Mahseer used to...
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Hope takes wings as vulture colonies thrive in Uttarakhand, by Anupma Khanna

The Pionner, October 5, 2009 In a major boost for environmentalists, vultures were sighted in Uttarakhand after the recent discovery of the near-extinct birds in Himachal Pradesh. Over 150 vultures of five species can be found nesting and feeding at three locations around Ramnagar in Uttarakhand — Van Gujjar village of Tumeria, Ringora and Hatidagar. The three sites fall under two categories: Regular nesting sites (Ringora and Tumeria): Vultures are consistently seen roosting and occupying nests throughout the year and these are likely to be important breeding sites; Regular feeding sites (Hatidagar):...
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