Tigers in the News (not just for Sher Khan)

It’s always heartening to report good news. On 11th April it was announced that the number of wild tigers in the world has risen by 22% since 2010, to a total of 3,890. India has been at the forefront with a rise of over 500 tigers over the same time bringing the resident population to an impressive 2,226. Tiger numbers in Nepal, Bhutan and Russia have all increased too, while those in Burma, ranked at 85 in 2010, have yet to be reported, so the global total could now be over the 4,000 mark. This is especially encouraging as...

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Star Spotting

I’ve been enjoying some wonderful star spotting of late. Not the celebratory version (there aren’t many of those in my small Suffolk village), but the celestial sort. We’ve had some beautifully clear skies recently, with hundreds of stars. Not to be outdone the planets are putting on a fine show and the moon is muscling in, too. 5th March saw the smallest full moon of the year (he’s a long way away), and on 20th March there’s a solar eclipse. This is also the date of the equinox, marking the passage of the seasons – with the northern hemisphere...

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Tigers – Some Good Big Cat News

When the latest tiger census figures for India, home to about 70% of the world’s tiger population, were announced at the beginning of the year, they revealed an increase of 30% over the last 4 years, up to 2,226 individuals. This is tremendous news for an animal whose numbers had dropped to 1,411 as recently as 2006, a staggering number given that the estimated population was some 45,000 a century ago. The Indian government credits much of this success to the work of dedicated tiger reserves manned by specialist staff and managed according to a specified tiger conservation programme,...

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India ‒ the Aravalli Hills and Kumbalgarh Fort

The Aravalli Hills ‒ among the world’s oldest ranges ‒ stretches about 800km from the edge of Gujarat state through Rajasthan to the very fringes of Delhi. For the most part they are fairly rugged and cloaked in forest, dotted with a handful of pretty lakes, obscure villages, esteemed holy sites and a clutch of temples filled with some of India’s most virtuoso carving. Most visitors simply pass through these hills en route to, say, the lakes and palaces of Udaipur, or the sacred little town of Pushkar, the great temple of Ranakpur or the unhurried tranquillity of Sariska...

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