Home Lifestyle Living Assam’s ‘Golden Tiger’ sighting: Not a sign of joy, but concern, says...

Assam’s ‘Golden Tiger’ sighting: Not a sign of joy, but concern, says photographer


The wildlife photographer Mayuresh Hendre shares extra in regards to the large cat he captured by means of his lens. (Source: Mayuresh Hendre; designed by Gargi Singh)

After receiving a lot of adulation for his 2019 {photograph} of Assam’s golden tigress in a uncommon sighting, which Indian Forest Service officer Parveen Kaswan lately tweeted, one would assume that wildlife photographer Mayuresh Kishor Hendre have to be on cloud 9. However, whereas the 25-year-old naturalist is “glad” in regards to the sudden recognition, he stays involved on the uncommon sighting of the golden tiger, a “rare colour morph” of the well-known Royal Bengal Tiger that’s principally present in India and a few components of the sub-continent.

Thane-based Hendre, who has seen the golden tigress on totally different events close to Kaziranga National Park throughout his cruise journeys to the Brahmaputra over the previous two years, says lack of tiger habitats is resulting in extreme inbreeding between tigers inflicting genetic anomalies — which isn’t a good news for the tiger inhabitants.

“While tigers are known to travel from one area to another in search of potential mates, in the absence of tiger habitats, the chances of inbreeding increases, which reduces the genetic diversity among tigers,” defined Hendre.

In an interview with indianexpress.com, Hendre shares extra in regards to the uncommon seize by means of which he desires to strike a dialog on conservation, his ardour for wildlife and biodiversity, and the necessity for tiger corridors to counter the risk to India’s wealthy biodiversity.

Your golden tigress photo has been receiving reward from all quarters. How do you are feeling?

I’m overwhelmed by the response! I’m completely happy that the images are making individuals conscious of the incidence of such a uncommon feminine Royal Bengal Tiger.

I had shared the primary photos in October 2019, once I noticed the distinctive tigress for the primary time. Wildlife lovers and photographers expressed marvel. Even Kaziranga Forest Department had reported their analysis on the matter on their official Facebook web page. But lately, when my Instagram post in regards to the tigress was shared by a nature-related account, IFS officer Parveen Kaswan got here throughout it and requested if he may share it on Twitter. And that’s when it went viral.

Mayuresh Hendre, Golden Tiger, Assam’s Golden Tiger, indianexpress.com, indianexpress, parveen kaswan, golden tigress, tiger habitat, biodiversity, pandemic, conservation, sustainable living, EIA, Environment Impact Assessment Golden tiger is definitely a golden tigress. (Source: Mayuresh Hendre)

You have sighted the majestic species on six totally different events throughout October-December 2019. Tell us about it.

I’ve been working as a naturalist and vacation spot supervisor with a river cruise service for the reason that previous two years. And I’ve been fortunate sufficient to discover the Brahmaputra River and Kaziranga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

But this can be very troublesome to see a tiger in Kaziranga, not to mention {photograph} it because of the tall elephant grass within the park. Even after visiting so many times, in the course of the first year, I didn’t sight a tiger. But my luck rotated within the second year (2019) once I noticed this distinctive tigress.

The sighting lasted for round 10 minutes solely. And solely as soon as I may handle to {photograph} the tigress sitting on the sandbank, curiously taking a look at us.

Though it was fairly far, I may make out the color distinction of the pores and skin, by means of my images. I first assumed it to be some form of an albino. When I received clearer images, I posted them on social media. And after seeing them, many tiger specialists commented on it being a Tabby Tiger or Golden Tiger. After that, Kaziranga Forest Department posted a temporary description in regards to the animal.

International Tiger Day 2019: Relocation of tigers a ‘mindless distraction’, say specialists

What was your expertise like?

It was a fully enthralling expertise. The tigress was by no means bothered by our presence. The first time I noticed it, I didn’t utter a single phrase, I simply stored clicking. It was utterly an sudden sighting. We may observe her behaviour very carefully. I famous down all the main points about her behaviour, how she walks, what trails she makes use of, the place she marks the territory, the timing of the sighting, etc. And the subsequent time we went, we tried to match our timing with the sighting we had the earlier time, and lo and behold, the tigress emerged out of the grass precisely at that time. Unhindered by our presence, she marked her territory and vanished back contained in the tall grass. That was an expertise of a lifetime.

Why is such a uncommon incidence a matter of concern?

Golden tigers had been solely recognized to be in zoos and breeding centres; discovering them within the wild is sort of uncommon. That’s why this sighting, and the examine carried out by the Kaziranga Forest Department is important. This sighting just isn’t a sign of pleasure, it’s a sign of utmost concern. This incidence is believed to be induced on account of recessive genes in people, as a consequence of inbreeding within the wild, as a result of of habitat destruction and loss of connectivity of Kaziranga with different tiger areas.

Mayuresh Hendre, Golden Tiger, Assam’s Golden Tiger, indianexpress.com, indianexpress, parveen kaswan, golden tigress, tiger habitat, biodiversity, pandemic, conservation, sustainable living, EIA, Environment Impact Assessment The majestic animal in Kaziranga National Park. (Source: Mayuresh Hendre)

This is the place significance of tiger corridors is available in?

Yes. Only if there are extra tiger corridors, tigers can transfer past their residence ranges (which they often do) and breed with tigers in different protected areas.

A tiger hall or a wildlife hall is a stretch of land which hyperlinks two forests or protected areas to make sure motion of tigers and different wildlife akin to deer, elephants, etc. Without these corridors, tiger habitats will grow to be remoted and fragmented. Tigers may additionally face localised extinction if these don’t exist. As human inhabitants in India will increase, these tiger corridors that are a refuge to many wildlife species are under main risk from growth initiatives.

As a wildlife photographer, the massive cats have all the time fascinated you. Where does that zeal come from?

It was the love for nature. And as a youngster I used to be all the time fascinated by the tales of Jungle Book, I vividly keep in mind watching the animated series on DD National and the music Jungle Jungle pata chala hai. Later, keenly watching the series Earth Matters by India’s legendary wildlife filmmaker Mike Pandey impressed me a lot. I began observing birds as a youngster throughout summer time holidays in my native village and later photographed butterflies utilizing my father’s small digicam. As time progressed, this pastime turned a ardour as I understood extra about nature by means of images. Before doing this full-time, I used to be a media professional working in a manufacturing home in Mumbai.

For me, wildlife images is not only about large mammals, it’s about every side of biodiversity. I imagine in giving significance to the smallest of bugs to the most important of animals like tigers, rhinos and elephants. Each and each animal performs its half in sustaining the stability of nature. I imagine taking images and telling tales about nature may be very important. I need to encourage individuals to like nature.

Is India doing sufficient for its nature and wildlife?

We have a wide selection of wildlife within the nation, from large cats, rhinos, elephants to uncommon primates and vibrant birds. But we’re not doing sufficient to save lots of this biodiversity. Man-animal battle is at an all-time excessive at present. Many circumstances will not be even reported. Climate disaster is actual and is going on at an alarming rate. The authorities has proposed the draft EIA (Environment Impact Assessment), which goes to dilute and take away many present rules in place with a aim to enhance the “Ease of Doing Business”.

Can you additionally discuss different animals you could have photographed or wish to?

Mayuresh Hendre, Golden Tiger, Assam’s Golden Tiger, indianexpress.com, indianexpress, parveen kaswan, golden tigress, tiger habitat, biodiversity, pandemic, conservation, sustainable living, EIA, Environment Impact Assessment One-Horned Indian Rhinos. (Source: Mayuresh Hendre)

Working in Kaziranga National Park and Assam for 2 years gave me lot of alternatives to {photograph} wildlife there. I photographed the One-Horned Indian Rhino, the Indian Elephant, the Eastern Swamp Deer, Wild Water Buffaloes. I additionally went to search for uncommon primates just like the Endangered Golden Langurs and the Western Hoolock Gibbons, the one ape present in India. It was a deal with to look at and {photograph} them. I additionally made a Vlog in regards to the Golden Langurs, which might solely be present in Assam and a few components of Bhutan. I travelled to the Western Ghats to {photograph} some uncommon and endangered frogs that are endemic to it, that means they’re discovered nowhere else on Earth. I explored the Himalayas and photographed the elusive Red Panda, one of my favorite animals. I would like to {photograph} two large cats – The Snow Leopard and The Black Panther.

Given the pandemic proper now and lockdown of such locales, how are you spending your time?

Many of my plans to discover the gorgeous jungles of India have halted. But that gave me a chance to discover wildlife in our city areas. Do you recognize we’ve got many wild animals and birds residing near us which have tailored to this altering city panorama?

I attempted documenting owls, Gangetic dolphins, snakes and lots of different vibrant birds in the course of the lockdown as nicely, with out venturing wherever out of my secure zone or breaking the lockdown guidelines. I’ve made vlogs about them and uploaded them on my YouTube channel – Way to the Wild. This was to indicate those that wildlife is all over the place, you simply must open your eyes and observe.

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