Press on Environment and Wildlife
Tiny house-fly holds secrets to our better health and environment (October Week #5 (2014))
The house fly (Musca domestica) lives on human and animal waste. They are an important species for scientific study because of their roles as waste decomposers and as carriers of over 100 human diseases, including typhoid, tuberculosis and worms. Fly transmitted
trachoma alone causes 6 million cases of childhood blindness each year. Because the house fly is so intimately involved in human processes, the researchers say sequencing its genome will have implications for human health, identifying the genes that allow
the flies to live in toxic environments.

The lead author of the paper Jeff Scott, Cornell University, says: "House flies are a fascinating insect for scientists in many areas, such as developmental biology, sex determination, immunity, toxicology and physiology. The
completed genome will be a phenomenal tool for researchers in all of these fields and will facilitate rapid advancements"


India bans import of cosmetics tested on animals (October Week #5 (2014))
India bans import of cosmetics tested on animals 

Nearly five months after banning cosmetic animal testing within the country, India has now also imposed a ban on importing such products that test on animals and thus become the first country in south Asia to do so.

The government on Monday notified a rule to this effect, prohibiting "import of cosmetics tested on animals" from November 13.

This amended Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, imposing dual ban (test and import), has now put India in the league of European Union and Israel that had imposed such ban long ago.

The gazette notification, issued by the ministry of health and family welfare on Monday, said that no cosmetic that has been tested on animals after the commencement of this notification would be imported into the country.


Crocodiles team up to hunt their prey (October Week #5 (2014))
Studying predatory behaviour by crocodiles and their relatives such as alligators and caimans in the wild is notoriously difficult because they are ambush hunters, have slow metabolisms and eat much less frequently than warm-blooded animals.

To overcome these difficulties, Dinets used Facebook and other social media sites to solicit eyewitness accounts from amateur naturalists, crocodile researchers and nonscientists working with crocodiles.

He also looked through diaries of scientists and conducted more than 3,000 hours of observations himself.

The observations had something in common - coordination and collaboration among the crocodiles in hunting their prey.

"Despite having been made independently by different people on different continents, these records showed striking similarities. This suggests that the observed phenomena are real, rather than just tall tales or misinterpretation," said Dinets.


Forest faces threat from garbage (October Week #5 (2014))
Among the last patches of wooded areas in the city and famed as a habitat to an impressive array of wildlife, Turahalli now finds itself threatened by Bangalore’s burgeoning garbage.

With round-the-clock police protection, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is briskly working on establishing a waste processing unit over nine acres adjacent to the forest. An eight-foot high compound is being constructed.

Incensed by the development, residents of Banashankari 6 Stage, 5 Block have even approached the National Green Tribunal. Their plea is likely to come up for hearing later this month. With wild animals routinely sighted in the area, it is not surprising
that residents are opposed to the proposed unit.


Rantalodhi in Tadoba ready for rehabilitation (November Week #2(2013))
Rantalodhi villagers, who were till now reluctant to move out of Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR), have finally agreed for relocation to a place of their choice. Sarpanch Kailash Kumre claimed that the gram panchayat will pass a resolution, declaring
their consent for rehabilitation under government's scheme, in the meeting scheduled on November 11.

Earlier, the forest department had offered a site near Rajoli village in Mul range, but villagers rejected it. Later, forest department overruled their demand for a site near Belgahata on Sindewahi road as it falls in the tiger corridor. Following this,
the rehabilitation was put on the back burner despite the department facing pressure from the high court.


Cyclo-walk for tiger conservation (November Week #2(2013))
60 days, 1200 kms, a group of 45-odd participants will walk and cycle the distance from the dense forests of Tadoba Wildlife Sanctuary in Vidarbha all the way to Mumbai. The aim is to increase awareness of the Royal Bengal Tiger.

Led by Thane-based avid trekker Sunil Joshi, the walk will start from December 14 to Febuary 10 and pass by 14 wildlife sanctuaries.

Joshi conceptualized this idea of "Tiger cyclo-walk'' about two years following his own experience. In 1985, he was a part of the "walk Norway'' programme that involved traversing 2,560 km from North Cape (Northern tip) to Lindesnes (Southern tip) aimed
at creating awareness about re-forestation.

"Such a concept of walking long distances for a cause is quite prevalent in western countries. Two decades ago, trekking groups could walk from Thane to Borivali through forest area. Now with humans encroaching on forest land, leopards entering settlements
have become common. No one treks on this route anymore, '' Joshi said. "We therefore, need to spread awareness of protecting our jungles and also balance the ecology. Protecting our wilderness will in turn, protect the tiger and other species,'' Joshi, who
makes a living of manufacturing mountaineering gear from his passion in adventure activities, said


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