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Quick Trip to Sariska - 31/10/14


Dkay
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Since I have not been to any of the national parks since they have opened after the monsoon break, my friend and I decided to make a quick trip to Sariska. The good thing with Sariska is that because it is not even 1/100th as popular as Ranthambhore, you can just land there and hop in a safari going in the jungle. No need to plan weeks in advance, no need to book safaris days in advance and no need to pay for safari's at a premium.

 

I have my favourite guide at Sariska, who usually books my safaris over the counter. I had already called him and told him to book a gypsy for the two of us. The safari timings are from 1430hrs onwards but by the time we reached the gate it was almost 1600 hrs. Anyway, at the gate we got the news that tigress ST3 had made a kill early in the morning and would come to eat the kill, so we were hoping to see her.

 

Sariska has a population of 9 adult tigers and 4 cubs. 7 of the adult tigers have a collar so getting their position is kind of easy. Sariska also has lots of villages inside and this tigress had killed a cow close to a village itself. The kill was very close to the track leading to the village hence there was a lot of human disturbance around the area.

 

By about 1700 hrs we reached the area and ST3 appeared from the bushes. Her sole aim seemed to pull the carcass of the cow away from that area up a hill so that she could eat it peacefully. BTW ST3 is the legendary Machali's daughter from her last litter. She was trans located from ranthambhore

 

We saw this for about 30 minutes and it was time to head out.

 

Some pics of ST3 from the evening safari

 

ST3 through the bushes

post-17135-0-15978200-1414936743_thumb.jpg

 

the collared tigress, not appealing at all

post-17135-0-86709600-1414936764_thumb.jpg

 

stretches for the work ahead

post-17135-0-11732800-1414936786_thumb.jpg

 

heads for the cow carcass

post-17135-0-72198600-1414936812_thumb.jpg

 

looks around

post-17135-0-48808900-1414936839_thumb.jpg

 

gives us a warning

post-17135-0-28619000-1414936869_thumb.jpg

post-17135-0-03602600-1414936891_thumb.jpg

 

goes in the bushes where she had hidden the kill

post-17135-0-48689800-1414936918_thumb.jpg

 

pulls it away from us

post-17135-0-35612000-1414936940_thumb.jpg

 

keeps pulling

post-17135-0-42631600-1414936964_thumb.jpg

 

takes it uphill

post-17135-0-63239000-1414936980_thumb.jpg

 

hides it in another bush and starts eating it

post-17135-0-02576800-1414937007_thumb.jpg

 

We did another safari in the morning the next day but without any luck. ST3 had moved away and the other tigers were also not sighted

 

Regards

 

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@@Dkay I was pleased to hear something positive about Sariska, and something recent at all about this overlooked park as it doesn't receive a lot of attention.

 

I've heard that Sariska is good for small animals such as jackal, caracal, hedgehog and porcupine. Did you see any of these animals during your last trip, or have you ever seen these in Sariska?

 

Where did you stay on this trip into Sariska?

 

Machli's daughter looks to be doing fine, lets hope that continues.

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Great sighting, @@Dkay .

 

About the cow ... that´s very problematic, no? Do you know if the villagers are compensated for that? If not (and what I remember from Bandh. they mostly are not), this conflict can´t end well for the tigers. :(

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@@Dkay I was pleased to hear something positive about Sariska, and something recent at all about this overlooked park as it doesn't receive a lot of attention.

 

I've heard that Sariska is good for small animals such as jackal, caracal, hedgehog and porcupine. Did you see any of these animals during your last trip, or have you ever seen these in Sariska?

 

Where did you stay on this trip into Sariska?

 

Machli's daughter looks to be doing fine, lets hope that continues.

Yes true, Sariska does not receive any attention at all as compared to other Tiger reserves. This is due to the lack of tiger sightings and other problems that the park faces. But for me Sariska has a more varied flaura and fauna than atleast Ranthambhore but the majority of the Indian tourism and Indian tourist (including me) is tiger centric and we sadly only go to a NP to see just a tiger. Other animals, and those are plenty in Sariska do not hold any interest to the general tourist.

 

So, yes, Sariska is excellent for other small animals, there are plenty of silver backed jackals, plenty of porcupine and though I have never seen a caracal here but I believe they are there too. I doubt if there are any hedgehogs though. Sighting porcupines is difficult on a safari because they are highly nocturnal and safari timings are only such that no safari is allowed before and after sunrise. But if you drive along the periphery of the jungle you will spot them. I have spotted them many times.

 

I stayed at Sterling Resort Tiger Heaven. This resort is just been taken over by Sterling group so there is a lot of rennovation going on, but in a few months I can safely say that this will be the best place to stay at Sariska.

 

Great sighting, @@Dkay .

 

About the cow ... that´s very problematic, no? Do you know if the villagers are compensated for that? If not (and what I remember from Bandh. they mostly are not), this conflict can´t end well for the tigers. :(

The first tiger relocated to sariska was ST1 (male) he killed a cow and the villagers poisoned the carcass that eventually killed the tiger. After that incident the FD was forced to compensate the villagers if their cattle was killed. But still, the process is not that simple as it sounds. We Indians love paperwork and love to make simple processes complicated.

 

So basically if a cow is killed, it has to be traced to the owner, some time many families start owning it, then the owner has to prove that the cow was usefull (as in gave milk) and lots of other stuff. So if that is proven, finally the owner will get compensation.

 

Villages inside never augurs well for any national park and yes the conflict is getting worst by the day!!

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@@Dkay Great photos and report: as @@michael-ibk says, wildlife vs human conflict must be a concern and all the efforts and money to translocate tigers to the park will be in vain if villagers are not compensated and take matters into their own hands.

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Hi @@Dkay

 

Nice sighting of Machli`s daughter.

 

Knew I should have perservered and booked in for Sariska as well!!

 

Sounds like the Tiger heaven resort is coming together.Will definitely schedule Sariska that into my next plans.

 

Like the explanation of issues that may come into play regarding payment for loss of cattle for local villagers.

 

As you say India does love paperwork. However it is so important as a 1st step for the villagers to be fully recompensed for the losses that they sustain.

 

Sariska does seem to be coming back as a tiger reserve and will be a great alternative to take visitor pressure from Ranthambhore if it continues to do so. Fingers crossed....

Edited by Johnmac
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@@Dkay I was pleased to hear something positive about Sariska, and something recent at all about this overlooked park as it doesn't receive a lot of attention.

 

I've heard that Sariska is good for small animals such as jackal, caracal, hedgehog and porcupine. Did you see any of these animals during your last trip, or have you ever seen these in Sariska?

 

Where did you stay on this trip into Sariska?

 

Machli's daughter looks to be doing fine, lets hope that continues.

Yes true, Sariska does not receive any attention at all as compared to other Tiger reserves. This is due to the lack of tiger sightings and other problems that the park faces. But for me Sariska has a more varied flaura and fauna than atleast Ranthambhore but the majority of the Indian tourism and Indian tourist (including me) is tiger centric and we sadly only go to a NP to see just a tiger. Other animals, and those are plenty in Sariska do not hold any interest to the general tourist.

 

So, yes, Sariska is excellent for other small animals, there are plenty of silver backed jackals, plenty of porcupine and though I have never seen a caracal here but I believe they are there too. I doubt if there are any hedgehogs though. Sighting porcupines is difficult on a safari because they are highly nocturnal and safari timings are only such that no safari is allowed before and after sunrise. But if you drive along the periphery of the jungle you will spot them. I have spotted them many times.

 

I stayed at Sterling Resort Tiger Heaven. This resort is just been taken over by Sterling group so there is a lot of rennovation going on, but in a few months I can safely say that this will be the best place to stay at Sariska.

 

Great sighting, @@Dkay .

 

About the cow ... that´s very problematic, no? Do you know if the villagers are compensated for that? If not (and what I remember from Bandh. they mostly are not), this conflict can´t end well for the tigers. :(

The first tiger relocated to sariska was ST1 (male) he killed a cow and the villagers poisoned the carcass that eventually killed the tiger. After that incident the FD was forced to compensate the villagers if their cattle was killed. But still, the process is not that simple as it sounds. We Indians love paperwork and love to make simple processes complicated.

 

So basically if a cow is killed, it has to be traced to the owner, some time many families start owning it, then the owner has to prove that the cow was usefull (as in gave milk) and lots of other stuff. So if that is proven, finally the owner will get compensation.

 

Villages inside never augurs well for any national park and yes the conflict is getting worst by the day!!

 

 

There are still three major problems in Sariska, but little progress are to report.

1- Authorities are not working on relocating the several villages located inside Sariska. Villagers will continue to kill tigers as they did in the past. Sloth bears have been extirpated by villagers according to my guide in 2012.

2- The public road still crosses the park, making an easy way for hunting. Many animals die each year because of traffic. It is a main issue throughout the world, e.g.: Iguazu national park losses >10% jaguar population each year bu car accidents.

3- Authorities continue to restore Kankadi Fort - a wonderful fortress by the way - which is not really compatible with wildlife restoration. Huge polemic about it, but no progress at all.

 

I can add but the tiger genetic pool is really reduced in Sariska, all the tigers from Ranthambore are closely related, the re-introduction was done in a hurry without making any study. I hope this will be solved in the future by new reintroduction from other parks, e.g. Kanha and Bandavgharh, Madhya Pradesh.

 

Some good news: Tigers are currently relocated from Bandavgarh to Satpura (good) and Sanjay (I feel concerned). Sanjay Dubri does not have a good protection structure, vary few tigers in there, it seem to be infested by poaching... May be an opportunity to improve it's organization and controls.

 

Cheers

 

Jeremie

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@@Johnmac there is always a next time. The erstwhile T18 (macchali's last litter) in Ranthambhore and now ST3 in Sariska is doing fine but the only concern is that it has not produced any litter as yet. Maybe her territory has too many humans thats why??

 

@@jeremie what you have said is absolutely right. Infact if the inside sources are to be believed, then Kankwadi fort was renovated to be transformed into a hotel. Thank God that did not happen (atleast as yet). BTW these pictures were clicked just before the fort area.

 

Edit: @@jeremie at the moment only ST6 can not or rather should not mate with ST9 &ST10 as they are from the same mother (and I have a feeling that ST6 is unable to produce cubs anyways :P). But all the other tigers are from different clan from Ranthambhore. But its highly possible that the different clans in Ranthambhore may have similar parentage many years ago. So yes I do agree that there should be an exchange of tigers from NP's in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Good for tigers of both the states.!!

Edited by Dkay
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