Climate change and Global Warmimg

Sinking Islands

Posted by Susan Sharma on September 17, 2009

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Sunderbans of West Bengal in India

Sunderbans is the world’s largest delta formed by the river Ganga. Sunderbans comprises 54 tiny lands at present and a number of tributaries of the river Ganga crisscross Sunderbans.

 Ghoramara island in the Sunderbans  is shrinking due to the rising sea-level. Ghoramara has shrunk from 9 square kilometres to 4.5 square kilometres in the past 30 years as rising sea level and constant erosion of embankment has already uprooted 7,000 inhabitants leaving another 7,000 in a state of constant fear.

The biggest island, Sagar which hosted refugees from other islands all these years is witnessing massive erosion now. 70,000 people in the 9 sea-facing islands are at the edge of losing land in next 15 years. For these people climate change is real. “Mean Sea Level”, a documentary made by CSE depicts the threat of erosion the island faces in the wake of rising water levels.

 The Union ministry of environment and forests is reportedly preparing measures to protect Sunderbans, the largest mangrove block in the world. According to a report in Business Standard, short-term and long-term measures for protecting the ecology of Sunderbans would have to be taken.

 

Venice is sinking!

Venice, which rests on millions of wooden piles pounded into marshy ground, has sunk by about seven centimetres a century for the past 1,000 years.
(According to a study done in 2000 and reported by CNN)
The earth’s natural underground water supplies acted as a cushion that helped slow the city’s sinking.

Venice and its lagoon was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 1987.


The Italian government is spending 4.5bn euro (£2.9bn) on a controversial project to build floodgates across the entrance to the lagoon in which the city stands in an effort to keep the sea at bay.http://travelphotolog.wildbytes.in/#5

Wildlife , Forest Laws

Forest Department Culling Little Cormorants

Posted by Susan Sharma on September 06, 2009

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The following news item which appeared in The Hindu today, should make all of us sit up and take notice. Conservation is the most complex subject-It is only when environmentalists and the common man ( here the fishermen) sit together, can solutions emerge. Otherwise the reactions are bound to be knee-jerk. Or at best imported from a situation elsewhere, where the realities might be very different.

http://www.hindu.com/2009/09/07/stories/2009090753550400.htm

 

Eco-tour

A Trip to Morni Hills, Chandigarh

Posted by Susan Sharma on August 22, 2009

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August 15, Independence Day- An ideal day to check out the hill station near to Chandigarh since we were already in Chandigarh on a visit.

The weather was good. It had rained for two days so the drive up was picturesque. We stopped the car many times just to take in the scenery. On the way we passed many other cars doing the same. Ha! this is like heaven after the hustle bustle of daily life.

Scenic view from nature camp. Double click on the photo and notice the blue water tank on the left.

Read the full report at the link

 http://travelphotolog.blogspot.com

 

Environment Awareness

Solar Eclipse 2009

Posted by Susan Sharma on August 20, 2009

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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.

                                                          




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