July 11, 2012
Situated in heart of India Madhya Pradesh (MP) is well known for its magnificent tiger reserves. With large forest cover still present the wilderness is being conserved in the protected areas. Most of these are critical
tiger habitats with abundant prey base survives in biodiversity rich environment. But the fast shrinking habitats in the state is a cause for alarm. The protected areas are not enough a larger contiguous forest cover is required. This can be achieved by creating
corridors and through re-plantation.
In protected areas complete relocation has not taken place especially in wildlife sanctuaries. There is lot of hesitancy in conducting this exercise due to public pressure and political interference. Funds have been
allocated to major protected areas but lesser known and remote wildlife sanctuaries have been devoid. The state has immense capacity to hold much more big cats than at present. But this would require more areas to be developed on the lines of Kuno Palpur.
Typical Central Indian wildlife constitutes tiger, leopard, gaur, sloth bear, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, four horned deer, Indian Gazelle, jungle cat, wild boar, wild dog, Nilgai, Hanuman Gray Langur and Rehsus
Macaque. The rare animals like Hard Ground Barasingha now find hold only at Kanha National Park. Recently mouse deer has been sighted at Kanha National Park while rusty spotted cat was sighted at Bandhavgarh. Indian Tree Shrew as been spotted in Barha Forests
of Jabalpur all are in MP. The status of hyena and wolf is in complete darkness. There is a need to accord greater protection to the buffer zone which suffers from indiscriminate resource utilization.
The major tiger reserves in MP have recently seen a decline is tiger population due to poaching. Panna tragedy has alarmed conservationists and their faith in administrative capacity of the sentinels has dipped low.
Nevertheless tourism is growing in these reserves which is a big boon. Apart from acting has vigilance group tourists visiting these places learn about our nature and its importance. Tourism also sustains local communities with jobs and services. The tiger
reserves draw substantial revenue from tourists that arrive from far and wide.
The major revenue earners are:
Kanha Tiger Reserve
Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve
Pench Tiger Reserve
Satpura Tiger Reserve
With introduction of tigers from other parks Panna too is coming back to life. Lesser known wildlife sanctuaries like Nuaradehi and Bori find local visitors. Setting up of proper tourism infrastructure will receive
rich dividend via tourist income and will be subjected to greater attention hence protection. Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary near Jabalpur is slated for Cheetah Relocation in Central India.
Though looked by many wildlife tourism in MP has been fruitful in every way. This has been possible due to controlled tourism by the authorities. Opening up and developing new protected areas for
tourism will result in pressure coming off the major reserves. This will also accord greater protection to neglected animals like the wolf and hyena. Nauradehi has substantial wolf population besides the sloth bear, chinkara, Nilgai and fox.
May 24, 2012
"There is talk of a lion loose in Langata, so let us stick together in a groupand not stray,” warnsFleur at
the start of a birding trail in Ngong Racecourse that willeventually lead into Ngong Forest. Once in a while,Nairobi wakes up to an event of a lion or a hippopotamus dropping by the township causing
panic (in the neighbourhood) and amusement (to people in other areas). As an aside, listen to this: the civic authorities in their wisdom put up cages at various places in the neighbourhood to catch the cat, but reported that while no cat was found entrapped,
they did bait a few hyenas!) Given that the NairobiNational Parkis close to the
City Centre, as the pied crow flies, it should be newsthat these episodes do not occur often. But nothing can deter the ragtag bunch of birdwatchers of theWednesday
Birder's Club or keep them from their weekly date with birds.
What draws birdwatchers to field trips, come rain or riots, week after week over months and years, to more or less the same places? Doesn't it get monotonous viewing the same garden variety of birds of bulbuls and weavers, or
that after a few outings even the uncommon birds become commonplace? Mountaineer George Mallory's classic reply on climbing mountains applies to birdwatching, too. He is known to have said: "Why climb a mountain... because it is there." Birdwatchers watch
birds because they are there - all around - in our backyard, in neglected niches of our neighbourhood and in urban forests. People go on African safaris or Indian jungles to see large mammals - the Big Five, the cats, the elephants, the hippopotamuses - but
few have the patience to sweep in the smaller avifaunal species that are transitory, hyperactive and that do not wait out our cursory observation skills. That is precisely why birdwatching and its related nature-watch component of observing butterflies and
insects becomes a more subtle and sublime venture. It calls for marshalling of almost all sensory faculties to the point of utter concentration bordering on meditation.
Imagine an amorphous painting with hidden images – an illusionary art – which a child has to figure out? The child spots a dog here, a car there, and suddenly million things stare at him and the painting comes alive with all
its differential aspects standing out vividly. Birdwatching is something similar. The monochromatic leaves of trees of the woods assume varied shapes and characteristics and become separate species; birds blended in trees and shrubs break free becoming visible
entities; and butterflies cleave from self-same-coloured flowers to fill up bare spaces. The singular green of the trees, brown of the soil and blue ofthe sky disperse into multicolour mobile mites that, at first, seem obscure.
And that brings me to the magician birder, Kevin. In my previous blog, I focused on the leading lady of the Wednesday club, Fleur, but Kevin is another of those ardent bird lovers who can unravel images and forms from illusory
nature. Without binoculars Kevin spots a fish eagle almost two kilometers across the wetland that we have trouble focussing through binoculars; the white shirt front is unmistakable and though the face is obscure, the upright stance is a dead giveaway. I
have never understood how truly passionate birders are also good imitators of bird calls. Kevin takes us to see the Narina trogon in its territory inside the Ngong forest, but we are a big group treading noisily over dry leaves and twigs, a loud threat for
the shy bird. Kevin imitates its call and though it does not make an appearance it responds!
He herds us next to see the nest of an African Crowned eagle. I had seen the female crowned eagle sitting by its unwieldy and twiggy nest that was empty, two years back, and after that was going there only today. Meanwhile, the
birders had been checking on it on their intermittent sorties. Imagine the exhilaration of seeing a fledgling sitting like aking comfortably on its home perch; the mother was obviously away hunting for a baboon or a small antelope for the young one. Kevin
fills the gaps for me in the life of this particular eagle. It is a privilege to get a window into the isolated world of a giant aviator predator that resides far from the madding crowd of humans and to witness individual stories unfold.
A fluty call greets us persistently as we walk back by the edge of the forest; this is the yellow-breasted apalis marking its territory. The apalis descends down from trees to a low perch when it makes that call so that it carries
far. You realize then that birding is not about simply identifying birds by their appearance- that is but a first fledgling step. Birdwatching is about observing bird behaviour to understand their nature, their language - their calls and songs, and their
needs. It is befriending them to get to know them intimately, to empathize with them and love them, but from a distance. After all, all creatures, big and small, are but a part of the whole, an indispensable ingredient of the world wide web.
Chick of an African Crowned Eagle in its nest in Ngong Forest
Chamara Samitha Nanayakkara
April 24, 2012
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is
an orphanage, nursery and captive
breeding ground for wild Asian elephants located
atPinnawala village, 13 km (8.1 mi) northwest of Kegalle town
in Sabaragamuwa Province of Sri
Lanka. Pinnawalla is notable for having the largest herd of captive elephants in the world. In 2011, there were 88 elephants, including 37 males and 51 females from 3 generations,
living in Pinnawala.
The orphanage was originally founded in order to afford care and protection to many of the orphaned unweaned wild elephants found wandering in and near the forests of Sri Lanka. It was
established in 1975 by the Sri Lanka Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC).
The Millennium Elephant Foundation is a separate registered private charity organization which is a retirement home for 7 elephants and a tourist attraction.
March 23, 2012
Environment and Community Development
Much is heard about the development of the Third World, however reality seldom matches the encouraging
NGERIV emerged from a bottom down approach, where
solutions are discussed and implemented at the local level, aiming to help the community as a whole. The main projects are located in Bwawani village and neighbouring villages, near Morogoro in Tanzania.
The current situation in most rural areas in Tanzania makes development hard to achieve. Economic hardship, lack of knowledge and other structural difficulties
lead families to act inneficiently and unaware of alternatives. This reality ensures the permanence of poverty and environmental depletion.
NGERIV aims to tackle the existing problems through collective community effort. It aims to empower individuals with the necessary capabilities to improve their livelihoods. Our area of intervention can be divided
into three reciprocally inter-related areas:
Alternative means of income;
Visit our website:www.ngerengereriver.webs.com
Pratheush k Muraleedharan
February 29, 2012
Leopards straying into in villages nestling along the forest fringes in the State, attacking people and their cattle have become a matter of serious concern.
The killing of a healthy female leopard that had strayed into the small hamlet of Angamoozhy in the Ranni forest division by an unruly mob on Tuesday was the latest in the series of human-leopard conflict in the State.
Three weeks ago, a five-year old boy was fatally dragged by a leopard from the company of his father and brother at Athirappally in Ernakulam district. The boy’s body was found, later, in the surrounding area and the leopard was not traced.
In another tragic incident, a four-year old boy was killed by a leopard on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border in Idukki district a year ago.
Killing of a Tiger by the villagers was also reported from the Munnar Forest division when the animal attacked a woman worker a year ago.
As many as four leopards were fatally trapped by humans in Idukki in 2011, according to Mr M.N. Jayachandran, secretary of Society for Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals in Idukki.
Tuesday’s killing of a female leopard had evoked concern and criticism from animal-lovers across the State.
The ferocious animal that had killed two domesticated dogs in the village went into hiding in the bushes adjoining a rubber plantation closeby a school. The entire village, including the local panchayat president and a former District Panchayat member, thronged
The animal that came out after a five-hour wait inside the bush was more or less overpowered by a man from Kollam, Kuttan alias Vettu Kuttan, who claimed to be an expert in trapping of leopards. However the leopard was suffocated to death when 50 to 100 enthusiastic
people swooped on the animal, thrusted their weight on it, plugging its mouth and nostrils, later, leaving the nearly 50 Forest department and Police personnel mere mute spectators of the tragic episode.
The violent mob even blocked the vehicle of the Divisional Forest Officer, R. Kamalahar, and other Forest personnel, when he had directed the Range Officer to register case in connection with the killing of the wild animal.
A local granite quarry group had even granted Rs 50,000 to Vettu Kuttan and another group from Ernakulam had announced cash worth Rs 1 lakh to him in recognition of his ‘valour’, later.
Mr M.S. Rajendran, former District Panchayat member, told The Hindu that incidents of leopards attacking cattle and people were on the rise in Angamoozhy, Seethathode and Chittar
villages. The local people were left with little option other than taking their own measures for protecting themselves from the wild animal attacks as the Forest department failed to ensure their safety, he said.
Dr Gopakumar, veterinary surgeon, said the leopard was a healthy one and the death was due to suffocation.
February 28, 2012
The Supreme Court on Mondaydirected the Centre to constitute a ‘special committee' forthwith for inter-linking of rivers for the benefit of the entire nation.
It said: “The NCAER report clearly opines that the interlinking of river projects will prove fruitful for the nation as a whole and would serve a greater purpose by allowing higher returns from the agricultural sector for the benefit of the entire economy.
This would also result in providing varied benefits like control of floods, providing water to [the] drought-prone States, providing water to a larger part of agricultural land and even power generation. Besides … benefits to the country, it will help the
countries like Nepal etc., uplifting India's international role. Importantly, they also point to a very important facet of interlinking of rivers, i.e., it may result in reduction of some diseases due to the supply of safe drinking water, and thus serve a
greater purpose for humanity.”
Read more at
February 22, 2012
APPLICATION OF GENETIC TECHNIQUES IN WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT
The use of molecular genetic techniques in conservation biology and wildlife management has become increasingly important during the last decade.
This is mainly catalyzed by the development of the Polymerase chain Reaction (PCR) which requires only minute amounts of DNA for genetic analysis and the possible sources of DNA can be hair, scale ,feaces, feather, urine, buccal cells, egg shells and
even foot prints. Thus it is no longer necessary to obtain blood or tissue samples to study population genetics in animals.
Analyzing ad comparing , the genetic make up of plants and animals, not only improves assessments made using traditional methods, but also yields information otherwise inaccessible.
Even though molecular techniques are too labour intensive and expensive for regular use, they have been made more widely available in recent years due to retirements in laboratory techniques, improvements in computer power and lower equipment cost.
The major challenge for the developing nations to conduct genetic research is of economical one, while for under developed nations is the non availability of technology.
Deoxy Ribo Nucleic acid(DNA) is the principal constitute of genes, and is found in the cells of living organisms including components of blood, skin , hair, nails etc.
DNA molecules are made up of a linear sequences of compounds called nucleotides, and form a long, continuous strand inside a structure called chromosome.
The unique sequence of the nucleotide in a chromosome determines the hereditary characteristics of an individual from its species, sex and to traits such as eye colour.
Each gene occupies a particular location on the DNA strand
making it possible to compare the same gene in a number of different samples.
Many genetic techniques involve a process in which short segments of a DNA strand are replicated to produce a sufficient quantity of material for analysis.
These segments can then be examined for differences in size between individuals or for differences in the actual nucleotide sequence of the segments.
In contrast, other techniques cut DNA into segments using enzymes and certain of these segments are radio actively tagged to create a visual pattern on x-ray film.
DNA finger printing is the most popularly known of these techniques.
The finger print of one individual can be compared with other fingerprints to determine if two or more samples originated from the same individuals or to identify close relatives such as parent and sibling.
Molecular genetics provides powerful tools for wildlife conservation and can similarly play an important role in wildlife management.
First an understanding of genetic population structure of a particular species may aid in the identification of management units and the development of management strategies.
The practical application would be the ability to determine the geographical sources of individuals during certain time periods or in certain locations.
It is a powerful tool in all demographic surveys as well as experiments .
Habitat fragmentation is a threat to survival of wildlife populations in human dominated landscapes.
Connectivity among populations is distinct fragments may play an important role in population dynamics and resistance.
New genetic techniques are used to assess the connectivity in spatially structured and population of threatened species
Cloning and Biodiversity conservation:
Nuclear transfer technology, popularly known as cloning , where new
“ true to type” individuals are created in the laboratory from the nuclear DNA of other individuals.
Reproductive cloning or the production of offspring by nuclear transfer is often regarded as having potential for conserving endangered species of wildlife.
Factor that govern the desirability, feasibility and practicality of cloning vary among different class of vertebrates, depend upon the peculiarities of the biological systems, the type of species under threat and even the chances
of obtaining suitable funding since the research is very expensive.
Cloning is one of the several ways of increasing the number of individuals within a population.
When populations of free living species are found to be in decline, conservation biology begins to seek methods of showing or reversing the threatening process, many such threats exists including habitat loss through human activity, hunting or over fishing,
effects of pollution on fertility and fecundity, predation by introduced species or indeed poor diet through loss of prey species.
In a few cases these threats can be allevated but this may require the development of nation and international policies that support the conservation goals.
Reproductive technologies may then provide support the conservation goals.
Reproductive technlogies may the provide support usually by assisting genetic management.
An important common aim of conservation breeding programmes with or without the use of assisted reproduction, is the avoidance of inbreeding depression.
Nuclear Transfer Technology can play a significant role in the conservation of species, which are on the edge of extinction.
Now captive breeding techniques are adopted for saving such species . For example the population of Mauritius Kestrel declined to about nine individuals in the early 1970’s , four were reintroduced to the island of Mauritius later, and the population
is now estimated as 700-800. In such cases we can seek the help of nuclear transfer technology.
However the population of the species facing extinction is very less and they possess minimal genetic variation.
it is therefore desirable to avoid further loss of diversity.
A subsequent generation resulting from natural breeding or artificial insemination would contain some, but no all of genetic variability of its parents.
Loss would occur if any of the individuals failed to breed, which is a strong possibility with small populations.
If cloning is guaranteed to be 100% successful, a good strategy might be to clone every individual, then allow the off spring to mature and breed naturally.
The probability of losing genetic diversity would then
be reduced especially if each parent gives rise to more than two identical copies of itself.
Thus an interesting and novel theoretical principle in animal conservation emerges; where individuals are effectively induced to reproduce asexually something similar to some plants there by improving the long term fitness of the species through the
retention of genetic diversity.
Concept of Environmental Genomics
Environmental genomics bridges the gap between genetics, physiology and ecology.
It involves utilization of abroad range of modern molecular techniques such as gene arrays and single nucleotide polymorphins (SNP) screen to monitor variation in gene structure and expression.
It can pinpoint potentially novel interactions between environmental stresses and expression of specific human, animal and plant genes.
Environmental genomics is the application of the knowledge gained on gene identification, structure and expression to environmental protection and management.
It can demonstrate deleterious effects at molecular level before organisms level effects are shown.
Importance of Environmental Genomics.:
Genomics build upon and enhance traditional approaches to environmental toxicology determination.
It is a key objective for environmental science for improved understanding, identification and prevention of
environmental problems. It can provide the next generation tools to help protect and manage the environment.
It would be very critical in examining biotechnology’s potential impact on the environment.
Biotechnology and Tree improvement:
Tree improvement and forest biotechnology offer related scientific means to increase forest productivity , achieve sustained timber yields and perhaps enhance forest biodiversity and conservation of multiple values.
Tree improvement provides classical approaches to achieve better timber production.
It has achieved sustainable gain through generation of tree selection and breeding .
Tree important seeks to identify and improves several important tree attributes including growth rates, disease and pest resistance, adaptability to climatic changes, tree form and wood fiber quality, straightness and taper
The practical application of bio techniques has many difficulties.
Current success rates with nuclear transfer in mammals are very low.
More over 20 to 1000 nuclear transfers would need to be performed to achieve one viable off spring.
There are so many issues like legal, moral and technical in conducting genetic researches.
Sophisticated labs doing genetic research are less in number and the coordination is also less.
But the potential of genetic techniques in wildlife conservation and management shall not be ignored.
They can help many species to keep their foot prints on this green earth.
(Author was a Research scholar in Bio Inorganic Chemistry at Dept. of Chemistry, University of kerala and now working as Forest Range Officer, Kerala)
February 20, 2012
February 04, 2012
Among our several plans for the ecological
and economical development of the forest villages for their sustainable livelihood to encourage their role in saving the natural resources, Our organisation ( Samsing Chauthary) has now started promoting the cultivation of strawberry plant starting with two
forest villages of Kalimpong sub-division of north Bengal , Samsing and Mouray . For market research and demand analysis this year we have planned just to sow 8500 saplings of sweet charlie and Cameroza breed of strawberry, with the involvement of community
of the forest villages. The best part of environmental awareness is given by strictly following the natural and organic methods of farming without contaminating the virginity of the soil.
Among the several plans and initiatives taken by the Chauthary organisation under the scheme of sustainable livelihood project to supply, this is the one more efficient step. The
project aims to develop the livelihood of the forest villages which will promote their approach towards saving the environment by reducing their reliability on the natural resources.
also acts as an environment awareness campaign for the villages as the cultivation strictly follows the natural and organic method of farming, with a pre -cautious step to ban the introduction of chemical fertilizers and save the virginity of the soil from
getting contaminated. The unique selling point (USP)of the product can be proclaimed as the naturally and organically grown strawberries.
The vision of the project in its own practical version will be to develop a huge market of organic strawberries in North Bengal with the ultimate utilization of the resources whatever
available with the forest villagers so they can come forward to save the environment atleast their own surroundings.
The planting though happened lately, started in the first week of December, the fruiting time is expected to start from the last week of January and will continue till the end of
March. A complete project report will be prepared to measure the yield per plan comparing both the villages who have slightly different climatic conditions . According to the report the sapling will be again distributed to all the interested forest villagers
and therefore the marketing part will be done by the organisation.
To order garden fresh organic strawberries please contact the undersigned:
A SOCIAL WELFARE GROUP OF NATURE CONSERVATIONIST
SAMSING FARI, NEAR SUNTALEY KHOLA, DISTT. DARJEELING
Phone: 9475332231, 7384083137
February 04, 2012
Every year we organize a seasonal trekking which begins from the month of December- April, the trek covers the versatile desires of all the types of nature enthusiasts. It can be
an educational trek, adventure trek, amateurs trek, cultural trek, wild trek, snow trek etc, Rhododendron trek.
The places we cover are the Neora valley national and Buxa tiger reserve Depending upon the trekkers desire,
Below are the details of the dates and tariff for the participants:
Neora valley national park:
Best for Botanists, bird watchers, animal census, butterfly trek , geographical excursion, wild trek, snow trek, rhododendron trek, jungle tour.
Neora valley national park is rich in its heritage flora and fauna. The place is an abode to different types of medicinal hers, shrubs and extinct species. It is also a habitat
for several extinct species like the Red panda, Tiger. The trek can be an ample source for the information required for the educational thesis and theories for students. We provide professional guides for such treks. The highest point of the park is called Rachela,
a virgin paradise of north bengal (9500 ft -10,000 ft), The place is beautifully decorated with the forest of rhododendron trees which are more than 300 years old. During the month of December one can enjoy the experience of snow trek. While trekking Neora
valley national park the botanists can gain different experiences on different types of vegetation from , evergreen, deciduous, coniferous, bamboo and rhododendron forest. The point happens to be the meeting point of three borders, Sikkim, Bhutan and India
adjacent to the legendary "Silk route".There is more to come which cannot be described in words and can only be experiences live.
Below are the dates for the participants: ( join the group)
**NOTE- ALL THE NAMES OF THE PLACES MENTIONED BELOW ARE THE LOCAL NAMES OF THE AREAS OF NEORA VALLEY NATIONAL PARK**
Attraction - Snow covered green mountains, Rhododendron Blossoming
CHECK OUT (THROUGH TODEY)
CHECK OUT( THROUGH CHAUDAPHERI)
TREKKING COST: (5NIGHTS 6 DAYS)
1. Rs 5000 per/person (Total cost for seasoned trekkers)
2. Rs 6000 /per person ( total cost for amateurs)
3. Rs 9000 per/person ( for foreigners)
2. Potter charges ( two potter/per person for amateurs)
5. Tents and trekking equipments ( hiring charges)
6. Lodging at base camp and check out camp
7. Transportation till and from base camp ( To and from nearest railway
*** Trekkers are requested to get a medical fitness checkup 5 days before the trek***
For Participation inquiry please contact through email or phone at :
A SOCIAL WELFARE GROUP OF NATURE CONSERVATIONIST
SAMSING FARI, NEAR SUNTALEY KHOLA, DISTT. DARJEELING
Phone: 9475332231, 7384083137
Buxa Tiger Reserve : (cultural heritage trek)
( 4nights 5 days Aadma trek )
1ST - Arrival at Santalbarie (RAJABHATKHAWA)
2ND - Start trek , Santal barie > Aadma
- Return to Santalbarie > Gangotia tea garden to attend the inaugaration programe of Duars cultural heritage museum and Bagpa dance. > Santalbarie (halt)
4TH - check out
Rs. 3000 per person for Indians/ Rs.5000 for foreigners.
(pick and drop from the desired nearest railway station)
2. Two night's food and lodging at Santalbarie forest
3. Trekking expenses including porter, guide and food
4. Home stay at Aadma along with food.
5. Local tea garden sight seeing through vehicle,
For registration please contact through email or phone at :
A SOCIAL WELFARE GROUP OF NATURE CONSERVATIONIST
SAMSING FARI, NEAR SUNTALEY KHOLA, DISTT. DARJEELING
Phone: 9475332231, 7384083137