Environment Awareness

Solar Eclipse 2009

Posted by Susan Sharma on August 20, 2009

Blog
Here is a visual journey of the total solar eclipse in New Delhi. The Nehruplanetarium at Teenmurti was surrounded by parked cars in hundreds well before 6 AM on 22nd July 2009. The Sun is about to rise and the video camera of an enthusiast or of some TV channel is hoping to catch it first! Young and old alike are waiting for the solar spectacle to unfold. At 6.40 AM this is how the sun looked to the naked eye. But the screen put up on Teen Murti lawns showed a different picture! The secret was to cut out all other light by looking through the unexposed portion of an X-ray film. Some school girls were seen distributing the X-ray films to those who wanted them. Many were also looking through the X-ray film spectacles sold for the purpose. I decided to put an X-ray film in front of the view finder of my digital camera. Here is what I saw. At 6.44 AM on 22nd July 2009 At 7.19 AM on 22nd July 2009 That was truly a "once in a life-time" experience!

Environmental Education

Education for Sustainability

Posted by Susan Sharma on August 20, 2009

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The talk given by Mr.Kapil Sibal, Union Minister for HRD on 29th July 2009 at Teen Murti house, was really `Manna’ to an environmentalist’s ear. The crux of his talk was that `Environment Education’ should be at the center of education, all other knowledge can follow. All scientific data and processes are available with nature. "Bring science into education; all aspects of science can be learnt from nature. Science taught in correlation with nature is understood best. "Education for sustainable development in an era of climate change, calls for a change in mindsets. The need is to reach out to communities and have a dialogue. Teachers within the community will have knowledge at ground level". " Teaching of a subject must be holistic. Environmental issues can be effectively linked to say, automobile engineering. Teaching of music can take off from nature…." " Communicating with nature creates a sense of preservation of nature at the heart of education…" "The government’s aim is to connect all villages of India in the next three years. This can lead to leapfrog in education. We must be ready with relevant content in the meantime." Heart of all content is nature.

Eco-tour

Dudhwa National Park

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 06, 2008

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We also managed an elephant ride into the 20 sq. km rhino enclosure . The rhinos seemed placid , chewing on elephant grass, which came to life with jumping hog deer as we maneuvered our way.

The jeep ride into the forest in the evening proved exciting- Herds of swamp deer could be seen from the machan. The deer had shed their antlers, which were sprouting again for the next mating season display. The pugmarks of an adult tigress and four cubs seemed very recent and we followed them. Sure enough the huge tigress surprised a herd of sitting swamp deer into sudden action. Calls by langur and deer filled the forest air. The whistle of a train came from the distance and a speeding train could be seen in the horizon view from the machan. The Gonda-Bareilly railway line passes through the National Park. Animals in this reserve must be quite used to this noise by now. One tiger and two elephants died in the tracks recently, Sonu, our guide informed. Ten trains run through the reserve in one day and every now and then we encountered people collecting fodder and dried wood in the forest. The train station located right inside the reserve carried people in and out regularly making a mockery of National Park rules.

Tigers and people are living on the edge in this Tiger Reserve, which obviously had a very good prey base. Herds of hog deer and a few barking deer and chital greeted us on the jeep route. Wild hog, another favorite of the tiger also showed themselves often. Swamp deer herds, which kept near water bodies, avoided tourist routes, but were obviously thriving as well.

Read the full report at

http://www.indianwildlifeclub.com/usercontent/userArticle.asp?id=27

 

 

Bio-Diversity

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 02, 2008

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"Such is the lack of information about the biodiversity of Arunachal Pradesh that the Arunachal Macaque (Macaca munzala) - a species of monkey already known to the native people of Arunachal (especially to the Monpas of Tawang and the tribes of the West Kameng District) as Munzala or the “monkey of the deep forest”, remained unknown to scientists and biologists till it was “discovered” in 2004. The so called “discovery” was waiting to happen and it was after more than a hundred years that a new species of macaque was discovered (the last recent discovery being the Indonesian Pagai Island Macaque in 1903)."

 

Indian Wild Life Club 

Arunachal Macaque in Tawang (Photo:Govind Singh)

 

Source: http://www.indianwildlifeclub.com/ezine/index.asp?m=5&y=2008

nature/wildlife films

Screening-A Tale of Two National Parks

Posted by Susan Sharma on April 17, 2008

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21 April  2008, at 7.30 PM

  

IndianWildlifeClub.com invites you to

 

“A Tale of Two National Parks”

 

Screening of two films  at the Epicentre, Gurgaon, on 21 April, 2008

 

Details:

Venue: Epicentre,

Apparel House, Sector 44, Gurgaon

Date: 21 April, 2008 (Monday)

Timing: 7.30 PM to 9.00 PM

 

Entrance is free

 

Films: “ Living with the Park”-Ranthambore National Park 

 

To Corbett with Love”-Corbett National Park

 

Both the films are directed by Dr.Susan Sharma who will introduce the films and interact with the audience. 

 

Urban Wildlife

Ladybugs as insecticde

Posted by Susan Sharma on April 10, 2008

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ladybug


Ladybugs, 720,000 of them, have been released in New York City to help protect one of the city’s biggest apartment complexes from pests.

The bugs will crawl into plants, flowers and shrubs in the Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village complex in search of insects whose smell attracts them.  Buying the bugs-at $16.50 for 2,000-means the complex’s owner can avoid using chemical insecticides.

"In most cases,we reach out to a can of pesticide-and we kill not only the ’bad guys’ but the ’good guys’, said Eric Vinje, owner of Planet Natural, which supplied the pestkillers.

He said a ladybug can eat up to 50 pests a day, plus insect eggs.

Source: The Hindu, Ocober 22, 2007

Photo: Ladybug on a carrot flower.  The flowers are white with a pink centre to attract bees and insects. (Susan Sharma)

Environmental Education

Butterfly safari park in Kerala

Posted by Susan Sharma on March 12, 2008

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A Park exclusively for butterflies, exists in Thenmala hills, Kollam, Kerala.  Situated on 3.5 hectares of forests, the artificially created safari park is filled with roosting plants, nectar providing flowers and a host of leafy shrubs that provide food for caterpillars.  Butterflies here are not kept in captivity.  The humid climate, artificial waterfalls and puddles, host plants and shrubs attract butterflies.  Monsoon season is said to attract maximum variety. 

Rare and endemic beauties like ’Paris Peacock’ and ’Southern Bird Wing’ can be spotted here.

                                                          

Wildlife Poaching

poaching of birds for the pet market

Posted by Susan Sharma on March 12, 2008

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Rose-ring and Alexander parakeets are listed under schedule IV of Wildlife Protection Act. ( No person shall hunt any wild animal specified in Schedule, I, II, III and IV except when specifically authorised by Chief Wildlife Warden under exceptional circumstances).

Indian Wild Life Club

Seelampur in North East Delhi seems to be the "adda" for poaching these birds as several raids reveal. Houses of poachers here have permanent cages built into the walls. These cages are so tiny that birds develop wounds through constantly pecking at one another. 
After a recent raid of 150 parakeets, PFA(People for Animals) offiials said forty of the resued birds collapsed en-route to the Jain Bird Hospital.  35 healthy ones went to the police station.

The fate of poached birds are sad, to say the least.  Hear what a zookeeper has to say about these unfortunate ones!

http://www.indianwildlifeclub.com/ezine/detail.asp?m=3&y=2004&at_id=233

 

Wildlife Poaching

Trading on websites-China

Posted by Susan Sharma on March 04, 2008

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 Authorities in China recently launched a crackdown on Web sites that openly trade in animal products made from threatened species, experts say.

The move follows pressure from two international wildlife advocacy groups, which found thousands of items made from protected species for sale on major Chinese Internet auction sites in 2007………

 

 

………………….

IFAW’s Gabriel noted that the two most popular wildlife products traded online in China are elephant ivory and items made from tiger bone.

Ivory products include decorative and religious-themed carved figurines, chopsticks, and jewelry. They are sold among collectors, who are mostly white-collar and well educated, Gabriel said.

Tiger bone, which has been banned in China for the past 15 years, has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat rheumatism.

Some manufacturers still produce tiger-bone wine and claim that it has magical powers and benefits for the skin.

The market for tiger-bone products generally consists of lower-income people in rural areas who shop at local vendors, though a small market for tiger-bone products exists online, Gabriel noted.

Rhino horn, tortoise shell, and antelope horn are also banned from being traded online.

One of the key challenges to policing online trade in illegal products, the conservationists note, is Chinese vendors’ ability to tweak the language to manipulate descriptions of their products.

"In other languages it might be difficult, but Chinese is tonal, and if you change the tone it could be a different word," Gabriel said.”

 

 

Source: National Geographic News 29 Feb 08

 

Tribal Bill-How it will affect our forests

The Cambodia Experience

Posted by Susan Sharma on February 25, 2008

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The Cambodia Experience

Wildlife Alliance launched the acclaimed Kouprey Express mobile environmental education unit to teach Cambodian villagers of wildlife and forestry laws and help them manage their resources while protecting areas rich in biodiversity. The Kouprey Express is a bus, outfitted with engaging and interactive education and outreach tools, that travels throughout rural Cambodia to villages, schools, and community centers.

The Kouprey Express spends much of its time working in communities that are adjacent to national parks, protected forests, and other key centers for wildlife and biodiversity. There, communities are highly dependent on the environment, which provides much of their food, water, shelter, and traditional medicine. Because these communities are so reliant on natural resources, it is vital that Wildlife Alliance help them to live sustainably alongside their forests, water supplies and wildlife.

To date, Wildlife Alliance’s Cambodia Conservation Program has reached more than 50,000 children and adults and provided schoolteachers in rural Cambodia with world-class environmental education curricula. The Kouprey Express theme for 2007-2008 is Our Forest, Our Future. Through films, presentations, classroom exercises, interactive performances, and question-and-answer sessions.

Source: http://www.wildlifealliance.org/


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