Press on Environment and Wildlife
Mockery in the name of relief: Uttarakhand flood victims get as little as Rs.150 compensation for cattle & property losses (October Week #1 (2013))
A tragedy has visited Uttarakhand a little over three months after heavy rainfall triggered disaster across the Himalayan state

Data released by the Information and Public Relations Department of the Uttarakhand government for Bageshwar shows that Rs.2,27,38,756 has been distributed to the victims till date.

On the ground, it doesn't add up. A village in district Bageshwar called Kanda has received only Rs.8,680 as compensation after landslides left cattle, farms and houses damaged. Many residents lost their entire families.

The details of cheque numbers and amount given to at least 25 farmers are available with Mail Today, and make for pretty sorry reading.

People are still contributing from their income for the victims, but that help does not seem to have reached the right destination.

Read more at:

Local seeds best bet against climate change (October Week #1 (2013))
At the grassroots level, a few farmers are doing their bit to preserve traditional and local varieties of seeds.

“These farmers are commonly called ‘Custodian farmers’. They preserve traditional seeds and make sure that they don’t disappear amongst the variety of hybrid seeds available in the market which farmers prefer because of the promise of high yield,” says
M. Palanisamy, Programme Director, Rainfed Farming Development Programme at the Dhan Foundation in Madurai.

-------“Farmers should set apart a portion of their land for cultivation of traditional seeds. With live genetic resources, or maintaining nurseries rather than seeds, it will be easier for farmers to choose varieties and see the benefits for themselves,”
said R. Adinarayanan, a faculty member at the Tata Dhan Academy.


Techie in Pune tries to hack into tiger's digital collar (October Week #1 (2013))
In a first of its kind case, a cyber expert based in Pune tried to hack into the digital collar of a tiger which was in Madhya Pradesh to track the movements of the big cat.

The incident prompted authorities at the Bori-Satpura tiger reserve to seek registration of an FIR with a view to a detailed probe into the case.

"It is a very serious matter. For the first time, a techie has tried to hack a tiger's collar. It is an attempt to poach tigers in Madhya Pradesh. We want a detailed probe into the matter," said Bhopal-based wildlife activist Ajay Dubey.

Six tiger reserves in Madhya Pradesh — Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Panna, Bori-Satpura, Sanjay Dubri and Pench — contain about 257 big cats. The tiger population in the country was estimated to be 1,706 as per data collected in 2010.


Jumbo kills UK tourist in TN forest (October Week #1 (2013))
A 67-year-old British tourist was killed by a wild elephant at Masinagudi near Gudalur in the Nilgiris late Thursday evening.

Several resorts near the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve in Masinagudi and neighbouring villages lure tourists with the promise of night safaris to sight elephants, tigers and leopards. Wildlife activists allege that jeeps from several resorts drive into the jungles
with these tourists in violation of forest department rules and disturb the wildlife. They also put the tourists at risk, wildlife activists say.


Poaching gang busted after 20 years (Issue of the week, September Week #3 (2013))
After a major operation against tiger and leopard skin and body parts traders, Delhi Police on Sunday claimed to have busted the ‘biggest gang of poachers and smugglers’ evading arrest for more than 20 years.

Over 18 kilos of tiger skulls, bones, nails and teeth worth several crores of rupees were recovered from three persons arrested for illegal sale and supply of derivatives of endangered animals under the Wildlife Protection Act........

An interesting fact has come to light that the poachers used to offer their domestic animals, pasted with poison, as a bait to attract tigers. Dead tigers were later found within a radius of 6-10 kms. 

The poachers also kept an eye over the tiger’s activities and immediately after death, they took away the tiger from jungle to their cordoned area. “The skin and all the derivatives are taken out, dried and applied preservatives before being smuggled,”
Yadav said.....

The gang was busted over an input that Suraj was indulging in the illegal trade. It was also informed that Suraj and his father Daliya used to be poachers for Sansar Chand, who has been in jail since 2005 in a Wildlife Protection Act case.

Suraj has disclosed that he had earlier procured six tiger skins and derivatives for Surajpal from Nagpur in Maharashtra. Surajpal had paid Rs 20 lakh as advance for the deal to Suraj, who purchased the skins and derivatives for Rs 3.5 lakh each.


Polluting firms barred in Gulf of? Kutch area (September Week #3 (2013))
The environment ministry has notified a 326.26 sq. km. area surrounding the Marine National Park and Marine Sanctuary in the Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat as an eco-sensitive zone, blocking any industrial or commercial activity that could threaten the existence
of marine life and other species.

The sanctuary is rich in marine life, with more than 70 species of sponges; 37 species of hard corals and 24 species of soft corals; 150-200 species of fishes; 27 species of prawns; 30 species of crabs, 200 species of molluscs, a species of sea turtles,
three species of sea snakes; three species of sea mammals; 94 species of aquatic birds; and 78 species of terrestrial birds, the notification said.

Quarrying and mining will be banned in the eco-sensitive zone and no fresh mining leases will be granted. The notification also bars mechanized fishing, including fishing by trawlers. The movement of vehicles will also be regulated.

Thirty-one rivers which flow into the Gulf of Kutch have been included in the eco-sensitive zone, according to the notification.


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