Press on Environment and Wildlife
More forests burning in Jharkhand (Issue of the week, April Week #2 (2013))
Wildfires in the forests of Hazaribagh, Jamshedpur, Palamu, Bokaro and a few other areas adding up to almost 23,605 sq km forest area of the state, often take a devastating form giving sleepless nights to the foresters.

At eight places in the state forest fire was reported on last Wednesday itself. According to reports available with the forest department, wildfire was reported at one spot in Hazaribagh, Palamu respectively and at six places in West Singhbhum district
which has several small hilly forests. Cases of major wildfires have been reported from 268 places in the state in April, this year.

A report available at the website of the Forest Survey of India says Jharkhand has reported forest fire at a total of 467 spots across various districts in the state. West Singhbhum district tops the list of districts affected by forest fires in terms
of the number of such incidents and their magnitude.

A budget of Rs 3 crore has been sanctioned for dousing flames. The department has roped in hundreds of villagers across the state to deal with it. In almost all districts which frequently report forest fires, the Village Forest Management & Protection
Committee (VFMPC) and in some districts Eco Development Committees are working. The department has hired fire watchers (villagers who are kept on daily wages) who work as informers for the department and join the officials in extinguishing fire.


No green light for Nilgiris ‘elephant corridor’ (April Week #2 (2013))
However, following a notification by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in 2006, the State Government was asked to identify the various elephant corridors in Tamil Nadu to protect and manage the wild Asian animals and restore their traditional migratory

A committee was subsequently formed to explore the possibility of acquiring private patta lands for the purpose. The department, in due course, also published the corridor map, which included the land of the trust on which the trust’s school in functioning.


Forest department short of hands to protect, augment city’s greens (April Week #2 (2013))
“There is growing focus on protection and addition of greenery because of rising levels of pollution and greater public awareness and consequent litigations. We need not just to fill vacancies but to create additional posts,” said a top forest department

In reply to a RTI application, the north division, which covers north, northeast and east Delhi, admitted it has 268 sanctioned posts of which 99 are vacant. Against the sanctioned strength of 15 forest guards, responsible for protection of trees, only
five are working. The division is supposed to have 268 labourers to plant saplings and maintain them. But as many as 85 posts are vacant.


Study shows serious threat to coral reef colonies, mangrove forests in Palk Bay (April Week #2 (2013))
A recent study taken up by a team of researchers from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), Chennai, brought to light the serious threat of extinction the coral reef colonies and mangrove forests in the Palk Bay are facing. At present, only two per cent
of the coral reefs survive in the area.

In an attempt to restore the dying coral colonies, the ZSI researchers are attempting to transplant live coral colonies from other parts of the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve and plant them at Palk Bay. This work is done with support and assistance from
various funding agencies, Dr Venkataraman said.


On moms’ trail, Olive Ridley babies get set for a new life (April Week #2 (2013))
As an annual ritual that has amused the wildlife and scientific community for long, the turtles swim from far away places for days to hatch at Rushikulya in Ganjam district and Bhitarkanika in Kendrapara district. Rabindra Sahu, president of the parishad
said mass hatching of Olive Ridley eggs started last Tuesday. And in the three days, more than 3 lakh baby turtles swam into the sea.

In a strange phenomenon called transoceanic migration millions of Olive Ridleys turtles come ashore near Rushikulya mouth during the last week of February for mass nesting every year. This is considered, the second major mass nesting site for the turtles
after Gahiramatha in Kendrapara district.


Tiger kills woman, third attack in 2 days (April Week #2 (2013))
Following the death of two persons in a leopard attack near Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in Chandrapur district on Wednesday, a woman was mauled to death by a tiger in Chandrapur on Thursday.

"...we have deployed cages to trap the tiger," he said. Meanwhile, the forest department officials captured the leopard that had killed two persons on Wednesday near TATR.


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