Press on Environment and Wildlife
Pataudi faces arrest for hunting (June Week 3 (2005)) Former Indian Cricket captain Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi who had allegedly been hunting in the Jhajjar area (near Chandigarh) is facing arrest with the postmortem report confirming that the killed animals found in the vehicle he was traveling were endangered black buck and two rabbits. The Haryana police has already arrested one person after registering an FIR against Pataudi and seven others traveling in the vehicle with the carcasses of the animals, a rifle, a gun and some live cartridges. The vehicle has also been impounded. Pataudi, along with the other seven accused, was first issued notice by the Haryana Police, asking him to appear before the Jhajjar police within 24 hours. The deadline expired on June 7 evening, and the accused have now been given time till June 10 to cooperate with the investigation. This is one of the many cases in the recent years involving celebrities hunting for recreation and goes to show the insensitivity of that lot towards conservation issues who should be campaigning for these very same issues.
Coca-cola launches water harvesting project (June Week 3 (2005)) Coca Cola in partnership with the Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (APRTC) has launched a rainwater harvesting project with a capacity to harvest 32, 00, 000 liters of water. The project, coming up at the Picket Bust Stand in Secunderabad, was announced on the occasion of the World Environment Day.
Tripwires and chilli bombs keep the elephants away (June Week 3 (2005)) Conservationists are installing tripwires and red chilli smoke bombs to prevent herds of wild Asiatic elephants from destroying crops and attacking homes in India's remote northeast. The system involves battery-operated tripwires fixed a few hundred meters away from a home, that trigger a warning bell when marauding elephants approach a village. "Trials carried out over the past eight months have been successful and we are going ahead with installation of these devices in five villages in Assam State," Nandita Hazarika, a project coordinator of the Assam Haathi (Elephant) Project, said (The Pioneer, June 08). "This early warning system gives the villagers adequate lead time to prepare for warding off the elephants and obviates the need to keep sleepless night vigils," Hazarika said. Conservationists also tested the tolerance level of elephants to some pungent variety of chillies and would use the chilli smoke 'bombs' and chilli-smeared ropes to keep the elephants away. India's northeast accounts for the world's largest concentration of wild Asiatic elephants, but a reduction in their habitat over the years has led to an increase in the number of confrontations between man and elephant. Such techniques have been successfully used in Africa and other parts of Southeast Asia and it is hoped that it would be the same for India.
Hindon declared a dead river (June Week 3 (2005)) The Pollution Control Department has termed Hindon (Noida) a dead river. As per the findings of a study conducted during the month of May 2005, the Hindon river has been converted into a drain. The ratio of liquid oxygen in the river has been found to be zero. The biological oxygen has, however, been found to be six times more than the accepted norms which effectively means that no plants, fish etc can grow or survive in this water. These data have been collected from the Hindon river at Kulesra bridge. According to sources in the department, about 350 tonnes of waste is generated in Noida daily and due to excess waste and sewer water being poured into Hindon, the river water has become stagnant, with the result that the content of liquid oxygen cannot increase any further. However, experts feel that the Noida authority has failed to realize the gravity of the matter and failed to take concrete steps to tackle this problem so far. Such a state of affairs is not something rare in the recent times and this should hopefully serve as a wake-up call for the Noida authorities.
Survey on insects (June Week 3 (2005)) A survey conducted on insects in Bandipur National Park, near Mysore, has identified a wide range of ants, beetles and butterflies, which is expected to promote studies on insects in the area. The survey has revealed the presence of 27 species of ants and 41 species of dung beetles (including 9 rare species) and 85 species of butterflies. This survey conducted for one year and across four seasons was taken up by the Mysore-based Green Club, a trust dedicated to nature studies. Being the first of its kind on insects, the survey will become a base study for research, which can be taken up in 866 sq. km. of national park. Buoyed by the success of initial studies, the club has embarked upon taking up higher research on leaf beetles, dung beetles, butterflies and ants
Radio collars for tigers (June Week 3 (2005)) Authorities in India's biggest tiger reserve, the mangrove marshlands of the Sunderbans in West Bengal plan to put satellite-linked radio collars on big cats as part of new conservation methods to save the endangered animal. The new monitoring moves have come amid growing alarm over the country's rapidly dwindling tiger population because of rampant poaching. Atanu Raha, West Bengal's chief forest conservator, said. "We will track down the tigers, shoot them with sedatives and fix the radio collars on them before releasing them back in the wild." Experts will then study satellite data for the movement pattern of tigers, habitat preferences and behavior
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