April 10, 2008
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)
March 12, 2008
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.
March 12, 2008
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).
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
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!
March 04, 2008
“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.”
National Geographic News 29 Feb 08
February 25, 2008
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.
February 15, 2008
Waste to health bioconversion
The theory propounded by Dr. Uday Bhawalkar that excess nitrates affect abiotic and biotic phenomena which was a Phd Thesis in IIT Mumbai, has since been patented and is awaiting commercial exploitation.
Pollution reduction through a natural enzyme based bio catalyst, "Biosanitiser", which Dr Bhawalkar developed as a proprietary technology, has been patented in India nad America.
Treatment of waste generated at household, farms and other biological waste generating sources must include segregation, methanation and stabilisation along with the use of Biosanitiser to treat waste in a holistic manner.
February 15, 2008
Clean cellulose from biomass wastes
Khaitan brothers have developed a clean technology, which enables clean cellulose from biomass wastes like rice, wheat straws and bagasse. Modified Kraft Chemical Recovery (MKCR) technology was developed in a straw pulping mill making paper. The black liquor
coming out as an effluent from pulping of above wastes contains caustic soda, lignin and silica besides lime. MKCR enables:
· recovery of caustic soda,
· silica as a dry precipitate,
· energy from the lignin, which gets burnt as an unique Wet Mix Fuel in a cogeneration biomass boiler, raising steam and electricity which meet process needs and also a surplus which can be wheeled to the electricity supply grid.
· Lime is also recovered.
It uses biomass wastes like rice husk or straw to enable this recovery process of chemicals and energy. Hence all process needs will be met by biomass wastes and products are clean cellulose, caustic soda which gets recycled, silica as a dry precipitate, lime
and energy from the lignin. The whole process would be net zero in GHG emission and energy positive in terms of energy balance and material balance.
Clean cellulose can be converted into many value added products as a basic carbohydrate. Up to 90% of the clean cellulose short fibres can be used in blends to make photocopier grade paper (Map Litho), substituting wood fibres from trees.
Clean cellulose can be hydrolysed into simple sugars. In fact a technology patent has been applied in India, which has already established in lab scale, conversion of alpha cellulose and hemi cellulose into C6 and C5 simple sugars. fermenting the sugars
into ethanol is a simple step. Hence this process is unique in enabling clean cellulose production as a first step and then conversion into ethanol with higher process efficiencies in hydrolysis and fermentation stages. While Khaitan brothers have established
the basics of the technology, it needs a pilot plant study before engineering and building a full scale commercial plant.
Present stage of development of the technology: They require funds as equity and / soft loan and invite an entrepreneurial partnership.
Contact: Mr Dinesh Khaitan: firstname.lastname@example.org at New Delhi
February 15, 2008
Man and the Biosphere
According to a recent declaration adopted by UNESCO’s ‘Third World Congress of Biosphere Reserves’, it underscores potential for action of biosphere reserves to address new challenges such as the loss of traditional knowledge and cultural diversity, demography,
loss of arable land and climate change.
It also urges the development of cooperation between the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme and UNESCO’s other intergovernmental scientific programmes.
Meanwhile, in the meeting, the members also adopted the Madrid Action Plan, mapping out the MAB programme’s strategy for 2008-2013.
The Action Plan called for concrete activities, which include facilitating integration of urban areas of the reserves, organising training related to the different ecosystems, establishing pilot reserves in order to evaluate their economic contribution at
local level, involving the private sector and promoting the biosphere reserve brand for products.
February 14, 2008
See the ad we created for your club!
The tiger in the ad is photographed by
February 12, 2008
WWF ( World Wide Fund for Wildlife) came out with the following advertisments ( Animals painted on closed fists)
Wildlife SOS, another NGO brought out a telling ad as follows
WPSI (Wildlife Protection Society of India) grabbed the opportunuty to create awareness about tigers among cricket fans. These were some of the catchy slogans which were heard and seen during the ICL Indian 20:20 championship from 30 november -16 ecember
LET THE TIGER PLAY
YOU’VE GOT CRICKET
DON’T MAKE US YOUR GAME
YOU DON’T NEED TIGER BONE WINE
TO BOWL A STRAIGHT LINE
THAT’S A 4
DON’T SILENCE THE TIGER ROAR
I ndividuals to
C onserve NOT
K ill our
SHERON KO NA MARO
NEHI TO SHAIR MAR JAYEGA
PEELE PAR KALI DHARI KA
BAGH RAKHWALA JAL JEEVAN KA
BOUNDARY FOR YOU WE NEED SOME TOO
LEAVE US OUR FORESTS
THE FINGER IS UP
THE TIGER IS DOWN
BAT 4 THE TIGER
GO OVER THE TOP
FOR THE TIGER
IN OR OUT?