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Interview 1:09 - 1:20:31 Play 1:09 - More
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Sushila Nepali  







Bengal Tiger tracking  

Environmental Recording 1:21:50 - 1:24:42 Play 1:21:50 - More
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Forest ambi  







Bengal Tiger tracking; Local people's relationship with the forest  

NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
Apr 2001

  • Nepal
    Madhya Pashchimanchal
  • Royal Bardia National Park
  • 28.38333   81.5
  • Stereo
    Sampling Rate
  • 48kHz
    Bit Depth
  • 16-bit
    Equipment Note
  • Stereo=1; Spaced Omni Stereo; DPA 4060 Omnidirectional Microphones

Show: Nepal
Log of DAT #:16
Engineer: McQuay
Date: April ?, 2001

Spaced OMNIS

PB ¿ what is the significance of the paint?

1:12 Sushila ¿ just decoration

1:21 Sushila talk in Nepalese

2:09 Sushila ¿ what they are saying is where they had the kill, the tiger had ¿ the tiger is resting in one place very near by, but changing his position from one to another in different sectors. Like she sleeps here at the moment and afterwards she gets up and changes spots. And sleeps on the other side. That is what he has been saying. Actually this guy used to our informer. Previous informer, and he did a very good job, giving information, and now he is our full time game scout.

PB - And he lives in this village?

2:52 This is a full time range post ¿.. the one you saw being built, now they are going to shift their?? Staying here.

JN ¿ did he used to be a poacher?

3:08 Sushila ¿ no, he used to be an informer.

JN ¿ no, before that

3:13 Sushila ¿ ok, the elephant is here. Do you want to ¿

PB ¿ these are the guys who went looking?

Sushila ¿ yes

PB ¿ we should talk to them

4:07 the guys who went looking coming in on their elephants

4:53 man saying they found the tigers ¿ in Nepalese
4:58 Sushila ¿ oh. They found the tigers.

5:08 Nepalese

5:34 Sushila ¿ she has eaten all the ?/ they have all been trained for camera trapping, and they have been doing this for 3 yrs. He is the main. His daughter actually is the technical assistance here for King Mahendra Trust, he is reporting on the tiger activities. Actually they were on the top of the tree, and the elephant surrounded the tiger, so she came, snd now she has gone across the river. the elephant didn't see but they saw the tiger, so she is around. 6;11 she hasn't gotten any kill, except a spotted deer has been eaten completely except its head is left out.

JN ¿ does she look healthy?

Sushila asking in Nepalese

6:45 Sushila ¿ full adult female tiger and she looks healthy

JN ¿ no sign of a limp

Sushila asking in Nepalese

7:07 Sushila ¿ they didn't see ¿ they think she is very healthy

more Nepalese

7:44 Sushila ¿ I was asking does she still feel hungry? Ans she doesn't have body small enough bc she has eaten completely (??) ¿ what I said was it an accident ¿ intended attack or accident. They say the bushes are so thick they can't see through. So when she was entering, the tiger must have been relaxing by the water or somewhere and it attacked her. But normally as you have heard Major Karki saying, they don't attack. .. maybe she was so hungry that she ate up.


8:39 Sushila ¿ as soon as she pounced the woman it dragged very little, normally they drag quite a long distance before they eat, bc they find to hide the corp (JN ¿ corpse) ¿ the body ¿ they need the shade and the water near by. So they were even shocked. So she should be very hungry.

JN ¿ why should she be so hungry?

Sushila asks in Nepalese

9:53 Sushila ¿ they are saying this territory has one tiger. When they set up early last year the tiger didn't go through the camera but it walked behind the camera, sensing human stuff or something. And what they are feeling is tiger normally don't eat after a few days, even a month ¿ they can starve themselves. Really get hungry then start killing. So, they are saying that it may not be doing the killing for a long time, though there are deers, and that was an attack ¿ an accidental attack.

10:39 JN ¿ is it possible mistook the woman and thought that it was a deer?

Sushila asking in Nepalese

11:01 Sushila ¿ yeah ¿ normally they think it is animal or something ¿ they do not say ¿ for them everything is animal. So could be possibility, the food is there.

JN ¿ do you think it would be possible today or tomorrow to see one of the photo traps ¿ I don't know when they go to maintain them

Sushila asking in Nepalese

12:02 Sushila ¿ they haven't set up the camera last night, but they are going to do it tonight. ¿ around 3:00

PB ¿ could we go with them?

12:39 Sushila ¿ we have to ask the headquarter and they will get the ??


12:56 Sushila ¿ so he said lets not go there, bc once we intervene then there will be lots of queries ¿ who come, who did where, and they have to report it back. It is better not to go there.

13:17 PB ¿ if we ask permission would it be ok?

13:54 Sushila - They haven't found other footprints yet. it is only her. The females.


14:34 ¿ Sushila - they still have to decide, looking at the footprints, the other killer, around or not. Bc they caught the next kill with the spotted deer was not that far from the first kill. It was 200 ¿ 300 meters far. And normally they don't do it that near the kills. So they still wondering looking at it, before they come up with a conclusion. That this is the only one and then dart it.


16:02 Sushila ¿ they have been collecting the stools of the tiger and normally the bones, or the hairs will be undigested and they wash it up and find out if there is some residue. But they haven't found anything in the tiger's stool.

16:25 Sushila ¿ they say the bones, the marrows and the nails will always come through

JN ¿ the bones of the person

Sushila ¿ yeah, the bones of the woman. The nails will not be digested. They haven't found that yet.

17:22 - Sushila - I was asking them if the white cloth was working really and they said yes. It hasn't come out yet.


18:09 Sushila ¿ the tiger walked up to the road after she had its first kill when she attacked the women. But normally they would come out on the boundaries and have a walk, that is no problem. But they are still finding the stools ¿ the fresh stools, from today and yesterday if they can located ¿ that will ?/ more evidence.

18:51 ¿ 21:05 Ambi in the area

21:18 ambi close to wear someone is using a well ? ¿ woman singing in the bg ¿ on the radio?, men talking

23:22 ¿ 25:18 ambi ¿ closer to the well? Water, some banging, and more music from the radio

25:36 good bird in town

26:11 ambi close to the elephant ¿ men speaking in Nepalese

JN ¿ what is that?

26:20 Sushila ¿ that is the head of the spotted deer ¿ the male ¿ what the tiger killed ¿ the left over

JN ¿ hungry tiger!

Sushila ¿ this is a very big meal actually! It is still velvet (?) it is not even ¿ it is fresh horns coming out.

JN - The antlers still have fuzz on it ¿ the head still has fur on it.

26:49 Sushila ¿ and with the women it took everything ¿ the whole body ,even the skull ¿ the brains and everything ¿ it liked licked it ¿ everything out.

JN - I read somewhere that the tiger eats everything except the skull, the large bones and the stomach with its contents.

27:11 Sushila - The stomach, he didn't take it and the ribs, and the rest he ¿ the skull, everything was eaten.

JN ¿ it ate the lower jaw.

Sushila ¿ yep. It ate the lower jaw and everything.

JN ¿ that skull isn't even old enough to have bugs on it. Eew. The nose is still moist.

27:53 VG bird, then ambi in the area
ambi through 29:08

29:09 ¿ 31:28 ambi standing by the men's quarters
29:41 VG bird in bg
30:24 beeping in the ambi

31:29 men and Sushila speaking ¿ Nepalese

32:07 ¿ 34:43 Sushila trying to reach someone on a walky-talky / back and forth with the walky-talky (only thing in English is "OVER")

34:43 Sushila ¿ that was Dolpa. Dolpa was informing about sets not working (?) ¿ not it¿s the connection being made.

PB ¿ btwn who and who

Sushila ¿ the other post and the highway and the headquarter. They are trying to connect. But it is all connected to the national parks. This one is all through out Nepal.

35:13 more talk on the walky-talky in Nepalese


35:33 walking in leaves ? talking in Nepalese

37:52 Sushila ¿ he was mentioning that there is a tiger roaming around ¿ not this patch of forest, but another patch ¿ we call it block one, where we have done the survey. The tiger is coming forth and back. There is a small stream that goes by, he said that they have killed few cattles now, and villages have seen the tiger coming and going, but they have not been able to trap in the camera. 38:26

39:04 up the stairs

39:57 Sushila ¿ actually, this forest patch on your rt hand side was the only forested plantation -¿it was completely baron that you saw ¿ the one that I showed you where the grazing land was. There is a village near by and they could see through the village from that other village to the other side. And in 1993 they did this plantation bc there was nothing. So we had to convince the people to say ok, if we do something then you will get the forest back. So this was this plantation in 1993 where they did it and slowly they realize the value of the forest, and now they have protected around 120 hectares, all together, and it has been handed over to them. This is the first community forestry in the buffer zone handed over to the community, so he has been there while it was completely baron, and nothing was there, not even twigs allowed to collect or they had to walk to other forests just to collect woods ¿ fire woods.

41:07 JN - All of this was blank space right in front of us.

Sushila - Yeah. Completely.

JN - It looks like no one has ever touched it before. You look out now and it is very very rich. What you were saying when a tree falls down what used to happen?

41;23 Sushila ¿ as soon as a tree would fall down, the timber strugglers, or anyone who thinks it is money or worth it it vanishes.

JN ¿ overnight.

Sushila ¿ overnight. (some talk in Nepalese) and he says there was not even leaf litters on the floor. Nothing was there. And if it is a fresh tree, like sal tree, it would fall off, and that is a very heavy, big price timber. And that will vanish. No one knows who takes them during the night time.

JN ¿ what is this tower? What are we in?

42:11 Sushila ¿ talking to man in Nepalese¿¿.43:22 Sushila ¿ (translating) ok, the first job of this watch tower, they asked when they came up with the proposal and came to us, was to look ¿ the watchman who was keeping watch of this forest can see what is happening where. And if illegal cattles are inside ¿ illegally the cattles are inside, or the fires happening somewhere, so he can call someone for help. That is the main purpose ¿ to keep watch over their protected forest. and another thing was ¿ it is right in the middle of the jungle where they have like ??? coming back into the forest, deers, wild boars, and now the tiger has siting in this patch of forest. so it is coming back to them. So in the long run they can (can't?) give security to the tourists to come and stay the night ¿ but in the future they want to have a room built on the second deck and they can stay the night and they will have provisions for toilet and drinking water for sleeping ¿ so that is eco-tourism, so they can earn some money; letting tourists spend the night and look out for the wildlife. 44:35

44:36 JN ¿ but for now, this is not a tourist attraction ¿ this is a watchtower.

44:39 Sushila ¿ yes, this is, right now, bc of security reasons they can't have tourists stay for the night.

JN ¿ where is the tiger. What direction?

44:49 Sushila ¿ in Nepalese ¿ it is all bushes ¿ so it is not that far that we can walk up to ¿ I have walked up to that ridge ¿¿.. (talk about arrangements to go there if they want to?)

45:50 JN ¿ do you have elephants? Do you have rhinos? Do people ever sit up here and watch for that kind of trouble?

45:50 Sushila ¿ actually, this elephant¿talk in Nepalese¿yeah, sometimes it comes. Bc this is all connected with the park. The forest that we saw, that is connected with the park, and this is connected all the way to India ¿ this patch of forest. so the elephant do come sometimes. It comes this route and go all the way to India and then they come back. (Nepalese) and the tiger is moving back and forth in this forest, bc it is a complete good forest and the other side ¿ and the man eater is from this village ¿ it is not that far ¿ NEPALESE ¿ man eater that took place is around 3 kilometers from here, not that far from the village ¿ they had gone across the river ¿ the first river that you cross when you enter the natl park before the bridge in Ambassa, where your car has to go through the water ¿ that river is followed all the way down to the Carnali. It mixes up there and that person had gone to the forest to collect ¿ bc it is protect out here so they can't collect wood ¿ so they had gone to collect the bars for the fence and he was at the end when the tiger jumped into him, and he was below so he could not see anything ¿ it grabbed him from behind. But as soon as he was grabbed he was able to shout ¿ a tiger has hit me ¿ help ¿ and a friend saw ¿ the friends up in front saw him ¿ the tiger ¿ drag him along, right away they informed us ¿ w/in an hrs time they informed us at the headquarter ¿ then we moved right away, and w/in an hr we were out there, chasing the tiger ¿ we were looking at the blood ¿ we found the blood mark.

48:03 JN ¿ the man was killed

Sushila ¿ yeah, he was grabbed he and thrown ¿ he pulled ¿ he was around half an hour ahead of us where he had eaten the kill, but we could see the fresh blood mark, and we followed the blood mark up to the body where the tiger was sitting beside and protecting. And we could not do anything bc we were not prepared, bc first we have to locate the tigers before we want to do something, then we put the white cloth ¿ to make his territory secure ¿ that he is inside the body ¿ the kill. 48:46 and then what happened was ¿ we have 9 elephants and around 40 people with the army ¿ 10 army gunmen. And we got the order either dart it or shoot it down, whatever is possible ¿ so we waited and then around 6:00 it came back, and we chased the tiger ¿ then darted¿ in Nepalese

PB ¿ when was that?

49:35 Sushila ¿ this was 2 yrs back

PB ¿ so was this the last kill before the one

Sushila ¿ this one ¿

JN ¿ that was before the tower was up ¿

Sushila ¿ no, this was not here ¿ it was outside the buffer zone right outside the bridge.

49:50 JN ¿ so a man sits up in this tower ¿ someone sits up in this tower all night ¿ if they were to see an elephant or something and it was headed towards the village, what do they do?

50:00 Sushila - talk in Nepalese - they shout from here ¿ and if it is possible to run ¿ they will wake people up and say there is a tiger ¿ or elephant coming ¿

JN ¿ the elephants are coming. The elephants are coming

PB - ??

Sushila ¿ typical sound they make¿¿talk in Nepalese ¿ they make a very high pitch sound, and then they beat the plates and make noises and everyone is awake, with the torch in hand and they start to make fire in front of their house so the elephants will not come up there ¿ normally they do not come across a fire, and then start chasing the animal with the lamps on their hand.51:23

51:23 JN ¿ why would anyone want tigers near their village? I mean ¿ he has got a tiger now, is that a good thing?

51: 27 Sushila ¿ talk in Nepalese¿.a long back and forth in Nepalese with man¿.53:36 based on inquiry, the first thing is that tigers are worshiped as a god, and they have a beliefs ¿ the Taurus have a belief, saying if you are about to die, or he senses the tiger senses that that is the last day of your life, and he gets killed, but when you encounter a tiger face to face, normally they believe they will never attack you, unless they are about to die, or your time has finished ¿ that is what they believed in. but what the farmers guess (?) yes, they would not like to have tigers around in the village. They think now ¿ for example if they have tigers they would think like that park people would come to the forest inside the national park, rather than being outside, bc it could do lots of harm to the cattles. ?? do harm to the farmers, but to the cattles, and again they said it like it is option ¿ like they have men in the forest ¿ the tigers would come back which is an ultimate way to generate income, from tourists. And I was telling him, there were tigers before and didn't you ever think that tigers could be an income to show tourists and then gather income. He said no, they never had that feeling until the projects ¿ we had been working with them. They never thought anything means income if they preserve (?) protect. But now the tiger that is roaming around here they are thinking that most probably, the park should take it back. Dart it and take it back to the forest and leave it somewhere instead of letting it roaming around here. 55:33 Talk in Nepalese¿.56:00 he says not to be worried other kind of animals, bc with elephants and rhinos, when people are together, and they scare them away ¿ they get scared and they run away to ¿ but with the tigers, as soon as you encounter it is death. It can attack you. And it is not an easy animal that gets scared away. That is what they believe in. saying ¿ it could harm us ¿ then us harming the tiger ¿ so the farmers do not feel secure when the tigers are around 56:40 TALK IN NEPALESE

57:15 Sushila - In a way, he is appreciating the tiger being there ¿ that is a completely protected area ¿ their protected area, and they don't permit the cattles to go in. but the otherside of the village they don't obey the rules, bc that doesn't belong to them, so they were sending the cattles inside, illegally, to graze, and now the cattles that are grazing inside are eaten up by the tiger. So he feels safe ¿ saying the tiger is doing their job ¿ so it is restricting people to send their cattles inside now. So it is a good job, he thinks the tiger is doing. TALK IN NEPALESE¿and all this forest is protected, just for the one tiger, and no one dares to come inside and collect the grasses unless it is open completely to the whole villagers.

JN - having this forest like this ¿ leaving the tiger out of it ¿ it has greatly improved the lives of the people in this village. Are they better off now then they were before all of these projects?

58:31 Sushila ¿ in Nepalese¿¿1:01:12 Sushila ¿ what he is trying to say is when this was completely baron ¿ you see the cattle herders with their stick, right? It was even hard for them to find a stick for them to take the cattles around, and now, as soon as the jungle is there ¿ and no ownership of this forest before, bc it was baron and all the big trees where around you can't cut bc it is illegal to cut sal trees ¿ in Nepal it is banned ¿ so, when they started convincing the people and they felt ok, whatever the forest is, it is ours and we have to do it, it automatically it has changed the attitude of the people towards the forest. and now I asked him to leave behind all the project stuff, but do you think this forest has helped them, and he said yes. Bc whatever your daily needs are you are getting right from the forest and they never used to have it before. Now they do not need to depend on other source ¿ on the natl park ¿ go illegally, to collect fuel wood or fodder ¿ or even a stick. That was the pressure inside the natl park ¿ which they don't need to go any further to collect those things any more. And they believe, if that project is not there also they can manage the forest now on their own. 1:01:42.

Talk in Nepalese

1:02:06 Sushila ¿ what he is saying is that before the need of the jungle was there but they never cared ¿ they always took everything that they can. The forest was there. Yes. But it was getting less. They had to find for the proper wood that they needed. But now, he thinks the forest is there, it is thriving, plus people are getting whatever they want. So it is not reducing - it producing more, and they are getting more out of it. 1:02:40

talk in Nepalese

1:04:15 Sushila ¿ in his experience ¿ before the project this buffer zone used to belong to the forest, before it was buffer zone. Now it is the natl park's responsibility to take care of the buffer zone, and the forest people never cared ¿ there would be the forest guard coming, but maybe once in a month's time ¿ or twice a month ¿ so they were exploiting so badly that even the birds were being killed. And when they find a nest with the babies in it ¿ with the birds in it ¿ they would chop down the whole tree, just to take the nest. And they would kill any parrot that comes into the area. Any horned bill that comes into the area, and eat them up. And during that time when there were no birds when they used to put the nursery for raising seeds for crops ¿ they would have all the crops ¿ the nursery would be full of insects, eating the lush, green patty that is in the nursery, so they never got a good crop, enough sufficient seedlings for plantation for the crop and as soon as the project intervene and the King Mahendra Trust started with ??? conservation program, where they had to collect those sling shots that I talked to you about ¿ and then they have to hand over that and they get a football. The kids would get a football. So they handed over them, and they knew the value. And the forest now is revived back, and now there are less insects as well. Bc there are more birds that had almost vanished from this jungle that is coming back. And no one is killing it to eat bc they have seen the consequences, they will not have to risk their crops. Either they have to stick with the insects eating their whole crops or kill the birds to satisfy themselves. So that is the knowledge that has been floating around for conservation, and the importance of this forest. 1:06;46

PB ¿ so given a chance, the forest really regenerates itself very quickly.

Sushila ¿ yes. Now, if you look at this other side it is all almost regenerated only few plantations ¿ but this is 80% - 10 to 15 hectares ¿ around 10 hectares is planted the rest is ?? region rated ??

Talk in Nepalese¿..

1:07:40 Sushila ¿ out of 121 hectares it is all - 10 hectares is all the plantation ¿ the rest its all preserved, protected, so the natural region (?) is coming out. And they are unrooting (?) the unwanted spaces for themselves and so they can give it as fuel wood ¿ talk in Nepalese¿..

1:08:06 Sushila ¿ and they have set aside for 28 hectares ¿ are set aside w/in the block for grazing only and they are managing it as a rotational base (?) each year ¿ way to graze first and then the next block.

PB ¿ bc of the recent activities are people altering their activities at all?

Sushila ¿ talking in Nepalese¿¿1:10:00 what they are thinking right now is first of all, the project should help them out to for??? For the plantations. And they are willing to set aside a patch of ?? forest for the plantations if it is necessary. As there are tigers roaming around they are thinking it is better for their cattle being raised in their own homes, stall feeding, is the best possibility. And plus the manure that is collected can be used for alternate energy like bio-gas can be promoted for bio-gas generating and then, plus for the field ¿ the manure is for the field. So they are hoping that the project will guide them in such a way ¿ that they ultimately will go into stall feeding, then let the cattle graze outside. 1:10:57

PB- actually asking bc of the recent man eater

Sushila ¿ and man talking in Nepalese 1:12:32 what the villagers have felt was ¿ first the women should not be going into the national park for a toilet, and if she had entered she had done a crime in the first place, bc you could be found by animals ¿ that is their territory. Now the incident has happened ¿ not to ¿ to make people aware that they should not be going even for the toilet inside the natl park area ¿ they think that those houses need to be supported by toilets, and if it is for fuel wood that she has gone inside, the fact is that she is there for fuel wood as well, then they believe that house needs to be permitted for bio-gas, and I was asking if they have the cattle that is no problem, but if they don't have the cattle then we can't promote bio-gas, bc we need to have at least 2 or 3 good cattles, bc you need 42 - 60 kilos of dung each day to feed for the bio-gas, but that is their option ¿ and that lady didn't know ¿ we have a sympathy towards that lady ¿ the whole village, and says maybe the park should give some kind of compensation ¿ someone should do something for that particular house- to the family. That is what they believe in

PB ¿ could he just say his name and title

1:14:26 my name is ________________ and I _________ (very hard to understand) I am working on the ??/ project as the ???? ¿ program assistant. I am now working as a forestry guard ¿ technician¿.(he goes on to say what he does ¿ not very clear).

1:16:25 Sushila ¿ what he believes is before this was a natl forest ¿ the forest people would tell them to do the community forestry ¿ but on behalf of the community forestry they will ask- ok, this tree is nice but can we chop it off and do some business ¿ that was the condition ¿ but now it is the people who are completely involved for protection of the with the comm forest and we come there as their assistant only to give them technical advice, but we don't intervene with whatever they do. It is they who decides ¿ so it was a comm forestry done by the natl forest people ¿ it was completely diff ¿ now the people feel secure to work with the park, than rather than the natl forest people ¿ where they again can come and chop the whole thing up, and we do have a rivalry exchange ¿ oh you have given such a good patch of forest to the community and don't you think they will sell ¿ and I say no, bc they have the trust and we are not selling the forest, we are preserving it for them -- but that controversy is still there¿¿¿ about forests left ¿ good patch vs bad patch 1:18:02

talk in Nepalese

1:19:27 Sushila ¿ translating ¿ what he said was before the natl park or the buffer zone was ?? they had the pressure zone both from the natl forest side and the natl park itself. They never had a good relationship on either side¿..benefits form the buffer zone project ¿ attitude towards natl park changed as well ¿ (this is not verbatim) 1:20:24 he said that if the tigers were not have been there then our projects ¿ this all would not have happened

1:20:42 ¿ moving around in the tower?

1:21:50 ¿ 1:24:43 Ambi in the area ¿ nice birds, faint rooster, some birds cooing

1:26;43 ¿ talking in Nepalese and walking on trail? (back from watch tower)

1:28:38 ¿ 1:29:34 ambi in area ¿ then walking ¿ with no talking¿.G (if need to use walking on trail) END OF DAT

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