Climate change and Global Warmimg

High altitude wetlands of western Arunachal Pradesh

Posted by Susan Sharma on August 20, 2011

Blog


The presence of Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) from Arunachal
Pradesh is known so far but there was no information on the breeding ecology of this species from the high altitude wetlands of western Arunachal
Pradesh. So, far in India eastern Ladakh and Sikkim is the only two
known high altitude breeding site of this species in conjunction with
selected sites in Nepal and Bhutan (BirdLife International, 2011).

Arunachal Pradesh, WWF-India team has done the first photographic and
videographic documentation of a breeding pair of Ruddy shell duck along
with 7 ducklings on 29th June 2011 from Tsomgo Ama wetland situated at
an altitude of 4535 m altitude covering an area of 0.27 sq. km. within
Thembang Bapu Community Conserved Area Wetland Complex, West Kameng district.

http://www.zoosprint.org/ZooPrintMagazine/2011/August/9-10.pdf

Corporates and Environment

Mining for fossil fuel and diamonds

Posted by Susan Sharma on August 18, 2011

Blog

In a world of rising energy prices, rising global temperatures, and rising sea levels, Americans are calling for clean and affordable energy. Yet under the influence of big energy companies, policy-makers are stubbornly clinging to the old, dirty fossil fuel technologies of the past. Along with global warming, mountaintop removal is an egregious example of the destructive impact of our addiction to coal.
Read more at
http://www.ilovemountains.org/cost_of_coal/

Any other

Adarsh Gaon Yojana

Posted by Susan Sharma on August 17, 2011

Blog

----------Jamrunmahali is part of the Adarsh Gaon Yojana (AGY), Maharashtra’s Ideal Village Scheme, made famous by its patron activist Anna Hazare​, and practicable by its charismatic figurehead, Popatrao Pawar, sarpanch (village council head) of Hiware Bazar, Ahmednagar. The scheme has been running since the 1990s in Hazare’s hometown, Ralegan Siddhi, and nearby Hiware Bazar, but Jamrunmahali is one of the newer recruits to the project.

--In the absence of groundwater, local women would have to walk 2km to fetch water during winter. Ninety-eight per cent of the population would migrate from the village seasonally. “The village was a sort of punishment posting for government servants,” Pawar says, describing a community alcohol addiction so bad that teachers would be found getting drunk with their students during lessons. “Families would marry a daughter off with a bottle of booze as dowry.” --

------------To provide the out-of-work villagers with employment, Pawar approached the forest planning department and implemented a tree-planting scheme in the hills around the village. “We ensured that the money came to us to help the local people,” he says. In the process, the new trees would help prevent further soil erosion and retain water in the rocky soil. In 1992, the state government announced AGY for 350 blocks. Hiware Bazar was quick to apply and became the designated ideal village for its block. It began to access funds for education, roads and sanitation. --------

Read more at
http://www.livemint.com/2011/08/16223046/Following-Hazare8217s-devel.html?h=B

General

Rescue Tortoise & Giving Shelter to them

Posted by Siddharth Mehta on August 10, 2011

Blog
Hello Friends, 

Me and my friends have started a small home based adopting and rescuing the tortoise and turtle. The main aim behind this is to support the species and stop them from getting away from our life. I got huge space to accommodate more then 100 Tortoise and we do have one doctor looking after them. Right now we do have some but all are males and i am looking to bring some females for their company  :-) Kindly help me as much you all can. 

Thanks for reading.

Regards
Sidd  

Urban Wildlife

The season of yellows

Posted by Susan Sharma on August 09, 2011

Blog

The labernum is in full bloom announcing the summer season ahead.  Labernum is native to India and is venerated by Indians as a "lucky charm".  The pretty dangling flowers cannot be missed where labernum grows as avenue trees or as a tree welcoming one to a house.

Another tree, the silver oak (Grevillea robusta)an exotic from Australia which is now very popular in urban parks, also blooms.  Very few take notice, as the blooms quickly transform to seeds.  A fact which is least known about this tree is that its flowers and seeds are known to cause dermatatis.  The flowers are golden-orange washing brush like blooms and are toxic.

The ground is awash with yellow blooms as soon as it rains.  Pretty lilies bloom to welcome the short rainy season in these parts.

The yellow and white butterflies are common now. 

Not so common, is the yellow lemon pansy.

The birds are busy nesting and bringing up new chicks to feed in the abundance of the rainy season. The bulbul decides to make her nest just outside our main door, on a Christmas tree.  She has been very clever.  The tree pie is on the look out for eggs every day morning and one day we woke up to bulbul cries.  Luckily the nest attacked was not the one near the door, but the one on a ficus tree outside the gate, on the main road.  Her nest is resting on a branch near the wall of our house.  No big bird can reach it.  The height is such that the prowling alley cat will not jump at it either.  But every time someone comes out of the house, the male or female(they take turns) sitting on the nest is disturbed and flies out to the nearest tree.

We are honoured at the trust imposed by the bulbul in us. 

When the little chick flew out for the first time leaving the nest vacant, we celebrated.

  Methi (Fenugreek) is flowering too and attracts honey bees on the yellow flowers

Bye bye season of yellows till next time!

Bio-Diversity

10 New species of frogs!

Posted by Susan Sharma on August 06, 2011

Blog

A team headed by Dr Anil Zachariah, a renowned scientist, has discovered 10 new species of frogs from the hill ranges of Southern Western Ghats with the help of Zoological Survey of India. 

“These findings show that Western Ghats, a biodiversity hotspot of the world still has many new species of amphibians,” Dr.Zachariah told Deccan Chronicle.

Read more at

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/channels/sci-tech/others/scientists-find-10-new-frog-species-952

Anthropomorphism

Friendship of elephants

Posted by Susan Sharma on August 06, 2011

Blog

Study author Dr Shermin de Silva from the University of Pennsylvania said: ‘Elephants are able to track one another over large distances by calling to each other and using their sense of smell.

‘So the “herd” of elephants one sees at any given time is often only a fragment of a much larger social group.

‘Our work shows that they are able recognize their friends and renew these bonds even after being apart for a long time.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2019178/Elephants-forget-old-friends-social-network-experts.html#ixzz1UJcpL21q

Environment Awareness

Nag Panchami

Posted by Susan Sharma on August 04, 2011

Blog


Read Nirmal's Kulkarni's Blog on Nag Panchami at

http://goawildwatch.blogspot.com/2011/08/nagpanchami-and-snake-bite-protocol.html

Here is a useful quote
......
The recommended First Aid protocol for Snake bite as practiced today follows the below mentioned points
• Reassure the victim who may be very anxious and scared.
• Immobilize the bitten limb with a splint or sling (any movement or muscular contraction increases absorption of venom into the bloodstream.
• Consider Pressure immobilization for bites by elapid snakes only like the Indian Cobra and the Indian krait including sea snakes but should not be used for viper bites because of the danger of increasing the local effects of the necrotic venom. There is considerable debate of which technique to be used and I have personally found the use of a local compression pad applied over the wound pressure bandaging of the entire limb to be very effective.
• Avoid any interference with the bite wound as this may introduce infection, increase absorption of the venom and increase local bleeding.
· The patient must be transported to a place where they can receive medical care (dispensary or hospital) as quickly, but as safely and comfortably as possible. Any movement, especially of the bitten limb, must be reduced to an absolute minimum to avoid increasing the systemic absorption of venom. If possible the patient should not be allowed to walk and carried with the help of a stretcher or bed or sitting on a chair, etc.

And lastly remember, Polyvalent Anti Snake venom Serum is the only effective remedy for a venomous snakebite in India........

Photography

Ethical wildlife/bird photography

Posted by Susan Sharma on July 31, 2011

Blog

Here is a write-up by Prof.Ulhas Rane who is moderating maharashtrapakshimitra@yahoogroups.com.  It is a valuable piece of writing for all photographers.

"The news in Loksatta and subsequent messages on various E-groups about the  destruction of bird nests in Chandrapur forests in Maharashtra by a so-called wildlifer / nature photographer is shocking. It made me sad that the disease of unethical birdwatching / photography which emerged over the last 15 / 20 years has grown to such enormous scale, pehaps due to the advent of technology and easy availability of equipment - whether digital camera, powerful flashes, voice recorder or mobile phone.  The market potential for such 'rare' items also increased due to mushrooming of glossy magazines, books, newspapers and even TV media. This is affecting  our wildlfe adversely and would further destroy our already endengerd rare  species of wildlife, particularly birds. I have noted and written / talked about unethical nature observations /photography / collection over the last over 25 years and there are simple 'dos and don'ts' everyone need to follow to not only enjoy nature experiences yourself but also to leave them undisturbed for the others to enjoy. Most of us are aware of such norms. However now we need to add more  such guidelines / rules because of the advent ot technolgy and new tricks.


Going in large groups in the wild regions, disturbing natural evosystems with over-active movements (sometimes called 'enthusiasm'!), loud noise, throwing litter (now plastic water bottles), getting drunk and out of control (including throwing empty bottles particularly in the streams), shouting and screaming with excitement when one sees something new, collecting rare plants / flowers / insects etc. are common flaws incurred by many 'nature lovers'.

The next stage is more serious - climbing trees and inspecting nests, collecting nests and eggs, trying to go very close to wildlife to have a 'good' looks, encircling resting wildlife for tourists to get a closer look,
getting down from the vehicle / elephant in the sanctuarlies / national parks (where one is not allowed to walk) to get a good picture of a rare butterfly or even to collect the same (this happens mostly by bribing forest guards / drivers / mahuts). This contiues to the next stage of trading wildlife as collection items / momentoes.

The next category is wildlife photographers - Nest photography with insensitivity by carrying out 'gardening' (removing leaves, weeds, grass etc. around the nest) to get a better / clear picture. In a process, the nests are left prone to predators' attack and many times the birds are compelled to abandon them. The chicks are tortured / lured to open their beaks / give good poses etc. Powerful flashes are used to get 'bright & beautiful' pictures without considering that the creatures may get blinded. Then finally to have the exclusivity of one's rare picture, destroy the nest / animal so that no one else could get an opportunity. Many lure local tribals with money to show nests or attract / trap birds, animals using their traditional methods. Then this becomes another busines for tribals which is cleverly termed as employment generation / poverty alleviation!

Relatively recent emergence is the use of tape recorders / players - This comes with some amount of graduation / advancement of one's nature study endeavours. Many birds respond to the calls of their mates / colleagues. So  this is used to track the birds, particularly rare, elusive and crepuscular / nocturnal birds. The recorded calls are played in the wild and those rare  birds are attracted / fooled to come near you so that you could have a  'good' look, take close-up pictures and then laugh / enjoy how the foolish  bird was cheated. Many times cell phones are used to play this trick. This is being done in the remote forests (particularly Norheast region) not just  by photographers but mainly by so called 'wildlife tour organisers'. They
guarantee you of showing rare bird / animal so that you join such a tour by paying hefty amounts.
All this is happenning because 'Wildlife' has become a big business and any  business is likely to become exploitative. Unfortunately so called 'nature lovers' do not realise that they destroy the 'item' which fetches them money / fame / name. It is more unfortunate that it is being rampantly done under  the garb of Nature Awareness / Study Programmes.


Many times good wildlifers tend towards these tricks due to ignorance, over enthusiasm, competition, jealously or one-upmanship. Even when they are cautioned they become defensive and continue in what they believe! We must take strong action against this attitude and destructive behaviour of a few individuals which brings a bad name to the most beautiful hobby and entire fraternily of nature lovers. I am sure the forest department will take appropriate action in this particular case, but the authentic nature groups should also take initiative to cure this disease.

It must be ensured that only serious wildlife researchers are allowed to collect data using right techniques for scientific purpose, and that too after obtaining requisit permissions from the forest department / authorities, however difficult it may be. We need to inculcate simple ethics in upcoming nature lovers by making them  experience / enjoy the natural ecosystem. Calls, pugmarks, scratch marks, smells etc. are the evidences of the existance of wildlife in the ecosystem  and one should enjoy the excitement of being a 'nature detective'. This  would give you satisfaction, provide you more enthusism even though you may  not have 'seen' a single creature. Seeing is of course fun and that eventually comes when you become 'wild', go again and again without  disturbing the natural environment and become a part of ecosystem. Such love  for nature would culminate to wildlife study and nature conservation. We should enjoy nature by following simple ethics of doing what is good for wildlife. 

Prof. Ulhas Rane
'Brindavan', 227, Rajmahal Vilas Extn. II
HIG Colony, First Main Road
Bengaluru - 560 094
Phone: 080-23417366
Cell: 09448149236
Email: ulhasrane@gmail.com
Web: www.envirodesigners.com

Bio-Diversity

A victory for banning Endosulfan!

Posted by Susan Sharma on July 28, 2011

Blog
An accidental discovery by a farmer that red ants could replace the use of pesticide to contain the attack of tea mosquito bugs in cashew plants, has prompted the Kerala Government to refine the ant technolgy for larger field application. 
Entomolgy department of the Kerala Agricultural University in Kasargode has begun a three year project on the use of red ants in vegetable cultivation to do away with the use of pesticides to curb the insects. 
N. Vasavan, a small-scale farmer in the district, had brought back the ant- based biological pest control in his cashew plantation when the farm sector was heavily banking on pesticides.

Read more at

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Kerala-farmer-uses-red-ants-to-fight-cashew-bugs/823890/



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