Urban Wildlife

Feeding wildlife

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 15, 2007

Blog
the following is an excerpt from an interesting post I found at 
http://blogdave.nordquist.org/?p=21#comment-9
’......the news paper called to tell me there have been 
numerous reports of filthy conditions caused by too many 
Ducks at the citie’s main park. 
To this day hundreds of people each day fill up their 
water jugs with this well water.   The problem is they 
are standing in Duck POOP. It seems that every year or 
two the Parks Superintendent has to take some of the 
ducks to a wildlife preserve.  
but the city folk want some ducks at the pond to 
feed...."

The duck problem sounds very similar to the Monkey
problem we have in Delhi. Too many monkeys congregate at 
places where people feed them ( temples and even offices 
). 
The real solution is to stop feeding wildlife. The ducks
and monkeys are capable of sourcing their food by 
travelling ( around the globe in the case of mallards).  
We are doing a great disservice to them by offering them 
Fast food!!

Urban Wildlife

Green your Corner

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 02, 2007

Blog

"Our ancestors knew thousands of stars in the evening sky, but now we’re lucky if we can identify a dozen—and the culprit is the millions of watts of light we shoot up to the heavens.

Grownups today remember the starry night sky, but a whole new generation will grow up not knowing about it.  It’s critical to get the message to our kids: This is a simple problem that can and needs to be fixed.

Welcome to the new world of environmentalism. We think of greens rallying to protect rainforests, coral reefs, deserts and other distant yet critical ecosystems. But that’s just one aspect of protecting the planet. Many activists are now working close to home, too, joining up with neighbors to restore and preserve their own communities.

These new environmentalists make streets safe so children can walk to school. They lobby for sidewalks and benches and neighborhood parks. They transform outdated shopping malls into neighborhood centers complete with housing and lively public squares, sidewalk cafés and convenient transit stops......

Thinking globally and working locally has long been a mantra for the environmental movement. To join this emerging movement, look around your neighborhood to see what places—parks, gathering spots, natural amenities, quiet nooks, play areas, walking routes, commercial centers—could be protected or regenerated. Think about what changes could be made to reduce pollution and environmental degradation. "

Here are a few ideas for you to get started in bringing the green movement home.

1) Team up with your neighbors

2) Think globally, eat locally
 
3) Become a guerrilla gardener


4) Transform your neighborhood into a village


5) Imagine your neighborhood with half the traffic


6) Cut down on your driving


7) Save the Earth by enlivening your neighborhood


Source:

SAVE THE PLANET IN YOUR OWN BACKYARD

 

 

 

Urban Wildlife

Metamorphosis!

Posted by Susan Sharma on October 23, 2007

Blog

Observing around the tiny green space around the house can be rewarding for a wildlife lover. Here is something which fascinated me for over two weeks.

Can you make out the pupa on the curry leaves branch? It is shaped and coloured like a curry leaf. The second photo is a close up of the pupa. The third one is the empty pupa.

Though I kept observing the branch everyday for more than 10 days, the butterfly flew away early morning one day leaving the empty cocoon for me to document. I could not verify what the butterfly (the pupa could be that of a moth too) was like, when it spread its wings and flew away. I am also including the pic of a commonly seen butterfly which sits on the curry leaves tree. May be this is the butterfly whose metamorphosis I witnessed!

See the pics at

http://indianwildlifeclub.blogspot.com/

Urban Wildlife

What can bring back the birds?

Posted by Susan Sharma on October 17, 2007

Blog

What can bring back the birds?

"Better knowledge about the birds, more green in the city and more parks.  If the environment is clean, the birds will be back"


-S.Theodore Baskaran

Urban Wildlife

Yamuna Bird Park

Posted by Susan Sharma on September 26, 2007

Blog

The River Yamuna has been deteriorating continuously on a gradual basis. With Commonwelth Games Village (CGV) taking shape, Global Village coming up right next to the DND and others, looks like the time has now come and become critical to give (or force) the authorities into doing something concrete about protecting the river.


Mr Anand Arya, an avid bird watcher, has formulated a concept to

1. Declare the 22kms (plus 5kms up and down as buffer zone of Yamuna in Delhi as a Protected Area and Bird Park


2.Fence the area which is not under any encroachments as yet, remove the encroachments.


3.Give the area to a body like CMEDE of Delhi University who can convert this area also like Yamuna Bio Diversity-Park or create an independent body run by a CEO on no profit-no loss basis.


4. Back it up with River Zone Regulations (to be framed for the Country and not just Yamuna), monitoring by dissemination of information to public for its scrutiny.

With Hon’ble High Court of Delhi having passed an order in end 2005 that all
encroachments - any time - have to be removed upto 300 metre from Yamuna, time is now ripe for us to push for the implementation of the
concept and implementation of the Court Order.

The above concept has been presented in the form of a letter to the Secretary MoEF.  The letter is available online at the following link.

Please put your signature to it if you believe that the concept is worth supporting.

http://www.petitiononline.com/YamunaPA/petition.html

Urban Wildlife

Tale of a peahen in our midst !

Posted by Susan Sharma on September 12, 2007

Blog

Matari-Tale of a Peahen

  

The 29th day of August 2007, 6.30 PM witnessed an unusual event at IIC Annex - “Peafowl Nesting”, second in a series of events organized by the newly formed Nature Group of IIC. 

 

It was that time of the year when peahens lay their eggs and incubate them for about 29 days before the eggs hatch. The chicks are timed to come out just as the monsoon arrives in North India.  The peahens in Delhi’s Lodi Park, finding the Lodi lawns lacking in the privacy and security needed for egg hatching, started looking around for safer ground. The nearest large green space happened to be the IIC Lawns! But here again the lawns are manicured and tended to by the ‘Malis’ all the time. So, where next?


A smart one flew right onto one of the ledges provided on each floor of IIC for keeping a pot of green ferns. Laid the eggs one by one and started incubating them. 

The ledge happened to be next to the dining hall of IIC. But the peahen was lucky. The waiters at the dining hall ensured that the curtains were drawn all the time so that curious diners did not distract the peahen.

The nature group at IIC was informed.  A slide presentation on the Blue peafowl and a screening of “Sarang the Peacock”  was organized on 27 May 2007.  Rajesh Bedi (of Bedi Bros ) installed a close circuit TV in the dining hall so that the activities of the peahen, aptly called Matari, can be monitored.

 

By August, the chicks hatched and were busy eating and playing under the watchful eye of the peahen who gathered them under her wings at the slightest sign of disturbance.  It was time to meet and take stock and also to spread the story.

On the 29th of August 2007 Mr. Samar Singh (World Pheasants Association-India)  welcomed the gathering emphasizing the event of the year-a peahen nesting 30 feet above ground, a phenomenon not yet recorded in ornithology books.  Is it an act of desperation or a graceful adaptation to reality where green cover and safety are both scarce to come by for the peahen? Once widely seen in India, the peafowl is now limited to certain pockets in India. 

 

Prof. M.G.K Menon, President IIC in his keynote address quoted Gandhi’s prophetic words “ Nature gives enough for man’s needs but not enough for man’s greed".

 

The nesting of the peafowl might have been an insignificant event but for the nature group’s efforts to bring it to focus and put it in perspective.   Prof. Menon was happy to see the group of nature lovers present in the hall, who braved the pulls of competing events around the neighborhood, to understand the problems faced by our National Bird. The hatching of the chicks in a precarious perch and the subsequent care by the IIC staff on a call beyond duty shows the interdependence of man and nature.  Taking inspiration from nature warriors of old like the "Chipko Women", the time has come for each one of us to become a nature warrior in the situation he or she is placed in.

 

After the larger picture given by Prof. Menon, it was time to watch the story of Matari being documented as it is unfolding in the IIC lawns.  The story so far was superbly scripted and edited by the Bedi brothers in a short yet powerful film-‘Matari-Story of a Peahen’.  The delicate interaction of man and bird –the former wanting to protect and the latter accepting with grace help offered- was touching and thought provoking.  The future of our wildlife especially urban wildlife is dependent on man’s dispensations more and more.    

 

 

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