Bio-Diversity

Weapons of Mass Destruction

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 02, 2008

Blog

"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

Blog

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

Blog

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

Blog

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

Blog

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

Blog

 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

Blog

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/

Reuse and Recycle

Waste to health bioconversion

Posted by Susan Sharma on February 15, 2008

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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.

Source: http://www.wastetohealth.com/

Reuse and Recycle

Clean cellulose from biomass wastes

Posted by Susan Sharma on February 15, 2008

Blog

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: dkk@kroftaengineering.com at New Delhi

Bio-Diversity

Man and the Biosphere

Posted by Susan Sharma on February 15, 2008

Blog

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.

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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.

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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.

Source:  http://www.igovernment.in/site/biosphere-reserves-can-mitigate-climate-change-un/

 


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