Sunday, January 1, 2012

Wolf in the land of Commons

Indian Wolf

Today an elderly man from the Gujjar community died and his communal feast were not just attended by the community people but also the left over puri’s (Kind of fried wheat bread) were eaten by dogs, cows, and wolf. The first Tiger Watch’s Conservation Leadership course participants should remember this interesting sight that happened in Dhunda village.

In his life, the man might have killed several wolves while trying to protect his sheep’s and goats. A researcher present on the sight told Jogi that the wolf might be happy feasting on the death of the man, who killed many of his own. Jogi said it is possible, if he is a mighty researcher like you, who has walked on the line to count wildlife and seen wildlife on camera traps but has no insight on real situations and issues.

So the annoyed researcher asked Jogi, what did this Gujjar do good for the wolf? Jogi simply replied, ‘what do you expect that the Gujjar would take the Mohammed Binzaid Grant grant and start some line transect survey? Perplexed the intellectual asked so ‘what did the Gujjar do good then?’

Jogi said, ‘Gujjar did nothing and that is the big thing, he kept intact the original land as it was. The landscape was not altered by the Gujjar, he kept life simple and did not do much to alter his surrounding areas. Ultimately, if the habitat remains the species would remain my friend. The Gujjars kept the livestock that is all’.

The researcher said, but that is the big problem when the livestock were killed they killed the wolves too.

Jogi asked what is the major food source for the wolf. The researcher said sheep and goat, Jogi said that sometimes their is anger in the individuals and they might kill some animal but that is not the case always. Gujjar is giving them the land – the habitat and the Gujjar's are providing the major source of food for this species in this area.

Jogi asked, ‘now what do you want more out of the Gujjar? He has adopted that lifestyle which automatically been saving the wolf, if there are some instances of conflict those are understandable’. He continued, ‘I think you have understood what I said now there is no much so you can go back to fixing your camera traps and if the wolf is not seen in the camera trap then do the biggest task that you can; making a questionnaire for the Gujjar and ask them about the wolf’

The researcher walked and from behind Jogi screamed, ‘instead of your institute faculty make Baba Phoolia Gujjar your Co-principal investigator, beta you will know more about the wolves than that your statistical & theoretical professors’

Making face the researcher left the place going back to his own world.

Later Phoolia Gujjar and Jogi sat together talking about the wolves and in that discussion; there were some interesting instances and facts, which are below, no will not bore you with technicalities....

an adult wolf watching with glaring eyes

Scientific name is Canis lupus and pallipes is the sub species. There is still a debate that among scientists that the Indian wolves are a separate species.

largest group we have photographed together 3 adults and 4 pups, total 7 wolves...

a tiny pup climbing on a mount of ravines

wolf pup coming out from his temporary den, they have more than one den...

Four wolf pups and a male wolf

dog ancestors showing same traits -a wolf playing with a shoe

Always alert ears

Exotic species Prosopis juliflora provides good shelter specially during the summer

Poo baby : he went shy only once in front of us but we didn't shy away from him and clicked his private movement

they escape from the situation very silently no rush no fear on the face

stallion no no no .....the wolf walk...

a sub adult wolf with lean body but big head.....

water and shelter most important factors for the wolf's survival

Wolf are considered the ancestors of domestic dogs however the sizes matches plus the howling is not as much as the other wolves species and subspecies

salivating in the summer heat, this gives the wolf name liyali
(in Hindi saliva called 'lar')

a pack of three....

hunting in the shadow......

many communication to each other.....

a wolf getting last flavor from the dry goat skull....

While playing they target one member whom all of them playfully attack : four sub adult wolves

Tired sub adult wolves resting back to back against each other

They spend a lot of time in that area where foul smell lies

The smell of a dead toad rubbing on their body

they are active through out the day

they are playful creatures

Three wolves becoming active in the dusk

Feces of the wolf indicating sheep wool

Common land where Gujjar and wolf both live together

Phooliya Gujjar in Banas river

Phooliya Gujjar and his loving Sheep....

Wolf is a problem? usual answer-yes sir they are killing 1 or 2 sheep per year

Gujjari Mai: accepting the loss of sheep by wolves and says even some aggressive Gujjar retaliate some time
The new trend of agriculture in the ravines area

Mining for Delhi and Noida sand demand: Not a big loss for wolves but yes it is a loss for hare and other wolf's prey

a young wolf with uncertain future

so till date wolves and Gujjar's are doing well in the ravines and off terrains but agriculture and mining are the new threats.

Wolf survey- 2011 volunteers- Trishant Simlai, Pooja Rathore, Nikhil, Rohit Jha, Rohit Charkravarti, Nimesh Ved, Parveen Shaikh, Ashish Nerlekar, Keyur Kulkarni and Aristo Mendis are trying to study the wolf trail hope they succeed and help conserve the common land where wolf and Gujjars can live together in harmony.