Wildlife Poaching

Peafowl tail feathers

Posted by Susan Sharma on October 02, 2007

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World Pheasant Association WPA (India) proposed removal of the legal loophole in respect of dealing in peacock tail feathers, to the National Board for Wildlife, the apex national body for wildlife conservation chaired by India’s Prime Minister.

The Board approved a rapid survey to assess the current status of the species and periodic monitoring and approprite protection measures in their meeting held on 19 June 2006.

Source: Annual Report of WPA (India), 2006-07

community reserves

Density of owls more in human habitats

Posted by Susan Sharma on October 01, 2007

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The natural tree holes are diminishing in the open countryside due to an increase in tree felling. Urban habitats provide alternate nesting sites.

 A study published in the Journal of Raptor Research documented the case of Pune where nests were diminishing in rural areas and increasing in human habitats.

Another species is now dependant on the tolerance of human beings for survival!

 

Bio-Diversity

Komodo Dragon Indonesia

Posted by Susan Sharma on October 01, 2007

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Komodo National Park Indonesia - some lessons for India

Komodo, is famous for its Komodo Dragons, but its underwater environments are virtually unrivaled in biodiversity.   Blast fishing was common throughout the region and responsible for decimating the underwater ecosystems. The tourist infrastructure  in disrepair, the locals with  few economic opportunities, very little constructive engagement with the government,  all these are problems we in India identify with.


Nature Conservancy partnered with the Indonesian government to revamp all aspects of the park. The strategy the Conservancy is

1. No-take zones for fishing -- These are enforced by floating ranger stations, in order to allow the reefs to regenerate and allow for sustainable fish populations.


2. A system of concession fees for tourist operators -- These were established in order to help fund park maintenance and provide local communities with an additional revenue stream

3. Increase ecotourism and opportunities for alternative livelihoods - using aquaculture and fishing outside of the protected areas.

"Just as important, if we want to limit direct access to biological resources for local populations, we need to provide the people with alternative forms of economic development. This is not only fair, but the only strategy that has the potential to permanently align their interests in the direction of long-term conservation"

says an article in nature.org at the following link

http://support.nature.org/site/PageServer?pagename=progress_20070902_mbr&autologin=true

Tiger Task Force Report

Tigers on the brink-LA Times article

Posted by Susan Sharma on September 28, 2007

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........................
"India still offers the best hope for the tigers’ future because it has the most
tigers and a conservation infrastructure. In 1973, the Indian government
initiated Project Tiger, designating protected areas and wildlife corridors.
This led to a dramatic recovery -- their numbers nearly tripled by the 1990s.
But that commitment faltered, and the population collapsed again. "....
.....
"Most important, the communities abutting tiger habitat, some of which are among
the poorest in India, must have a stake in protecting tigers. The residents need
to gain from conservation efforts and eco-tourism: There are very few places in
the world where tourists can see wild tigers. Poachers could be given rewards
for tracking and photographing the animals for monitoring. They might be given
new avenues for livelihood: In the forest reserves of Periyar in India’s
southern state of Kerala, for example, former poachers now work as tourist
guides."
From the Los Angeles Times
Stop tigers from going extinct
Unless drastic action is taken now, the lord of the jungle will go extinct this
century.
By Vinod Thomas
September 27, 2007
read the full article at the link
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-thomas27sep27,0,7598804.story?coll=la-tot-opinion&track=ntothtml


 

Tiger Task Force Report

A western point of view

Posted by Susan Sharma on September 26, 2007

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...................................
"Preserving tiger populations in India’s parks has been derailed by a ballooning human population and the lack of a clear management policy. Tigers are ecological stars for tourists and a rising Indian middle class. Others view the animals as a recreational asset in the history of Indian sport. As late as the early 20th century, hunters shot tigers from the backs of elephants in elaborate safaris called “shikars.”

...................

"In two years, India has lost thousands of square miles of forest, of which 14 are potential tiger habitat. And a number of parks are islands where the risk of inbreeding may lead to extinction. Management policies—dictated by the revenue that attends frequent big cat sightings—have shortchanged the animals’ best interests.

Tigers in India’s parks are becoming mere products, as they’re seen by poachers and buyers of skins and other body parts."

 Read the full article at
http://www.emagazine.com/view/?3849

 

Captive Elephants

Talk on Asian Elephnat in Captivity

Posted by Susan Sharma on September 26, 2007

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Talk on ‘Asian elephant in captivity:Past, Present and Future’


The Wildlife Trust of India takes great pleasure in inviting you to a talk
on the ‘Asian elephant in captivity: Past, Present and Future’ on October
2, 2007, by one of the pioneers of studies on the Asian elephant, Dr. Fred
Kurt.

Dr. Kurt, member of the Asian Elephant Specialist Group of IUCN, has been
a lecturer of Population Ecology and Conservation Biology at the
University and the Pedagogic High School of Zurich, Switzerland, and at
the University of Veterinary Science, Vienna, Austria. He has carried out
field studies on elephants and other large mammals in Ethiopia, India,
Indonesia, Morocco, Myanmar, Rwanda, Sri Lanka and Switzerland.  Since
retirement, he has been involved in the First European Elephant Management
School at the Hagenbecks Tierpark in Hamburg and the European Elephant
Group. He is the joint author of the book “The Asian Elephant in
Captivity” by the Cambridge University Press, India in 2007.

Dr. Kurt’s talk will consist of a power point presentation and two short
films. Details of the talk are given below:

Date: October 2, 2007
Time: 6:45 p.m.
Venue: Casurina Hall, India Habitat Center, New Delhi

For details please contact Kadambari Mainkar at kadambari@wti.org.in or
9818979699.




Urban Wildlife

Yamuna Bird Park

Posted by Susan Sharma on September 26, 2007

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The River Yamuna has been deteriorating continuously on a gradual basis. With Commonwelth Games Village (CGV) taking shape, Global Village coming up right next to the DND and others, looks like the time has now come and become critical to give (or force) the authorities into doing something concrete about protecting the river.


Mr Anand Arya, an avid bird watcher, has formulated a concept to

1. Declare the 22kms (plus 5kms up and down as buffer zone of Yamuna in Delhi as a Protected Area and Bird Park


2.Fence the area which is not under any encroachments as yet, remove the encroachments.


3.Give the area to a body like CMEDE of Delhi University who can convert this area also like Yamuna Bio Diversity-Park or create an independent body run by a CEO on no profit-no loss basis.


4. Back it up with River Zone Regulations (to be framed for the Country and not just Yamuna), monitoring by dissemination of information to public for its scrutiny.

With Hon’ble High Court of Delhi having passed an order in end 2005 that all
encroachments - any time - have to be removed upto 300 metre from Yamuna, time is now ripe for us to push for the implementation of the
concept and implementation of the Court Order.

The above concept has been presented in the form of a letter to the Secretary MoEF.  The letter is available online at the following link.

Please put your signature to it if you believe that the concept is worth supporting.

http://www.petitiononline.com/YamunaPA/petition.html

E-Governance for Conservation

Uneducated woman spearheads e-content

Posted by Susan Sharma on September 24, 2007

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A sixty year old uneducated woman at the helm of e-governance in an Ajmer Panchayat?

The "Manthan "award for e- content given to Noorani Bai brought to the digital world this unsung heroine of Ajmer.  Noorani keeps records of the Panchayat Raj in her village, helps keep tables of data and even taps out reports on projects.  Both in English and Hindi.  For a woman who never went to school, Noorani’s education has leapfrogged into the digtal world.

Source: The Indian Express dated 25 Sep 2007.

Interlinking of Rivers

Linking of Godavari, Krishna and Cauvery could be taken up

Posted by Susan Sharma on September 23, 2007

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Linking of Godavari, Krishna and Cauvery could be taken up

Linking of Godavari, Krishna and Cauvery could be taken up immediately, The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi told "The Hindu". 
Apart from being a water scarce state, Tamil Nadu suffered from acute ground water deficiency. 

The National Water Development Agency had already completed a study of the peninsular component of interlinking rivers of India.  Since the study had concluded that it was technically possible and economically viable to transfer water from surplus river basins to deficient ones, it was time that the next step was taken towards interlinking, the CM said.


The Chief Minister wanted the project of interlinking peninsular rivers included and funded as part of the agriculture strategy for the 11th plan. 

Wildlife

Endangered vultures

Posted by Susan Sharma on September 22, 2007

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Endangered Vultures

 The two- day statewide (Gujarat) census on vultures, carried out in May 2007 through direct sighting system, has come up with some alarming findings. According to forest officials, in some segments like Junagadh, Banaskanda and Kutch districts, the vulture population has come down to half of the previous census figure of 2002, while some species have disappeared altogether.

Source: http://cities.expressindia.com




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