Press on Environment and Wildlife
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


In a first, sambars to be shifted and reintroduced (November Week #2(2013))
For the first time in the country, a non-endangered animal, the sambar, is being shifted and reintroduced to ensure that they procreate at a fast rate and provide prey base to tigers.

So far, only tigers (Sariska), bisons (Bandhavgarh) and rhinos (Manas in Assam) had been reintroduced. Maharashtra becomes the first to do so for sambars.

The Pench Tiger Reserve is set to reintroduce sambars, animals listed under Schedule III of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, in the Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary, 180km from here and located in Yavatmal district.

There are about 5-8 tigers, including cubs in the sanctuary. Studies conducted show that sambars are the favoured prey of tigers. The existing prey base in Tipeshwar is very poor when compared to the number of tigers.

The herbivores will be shifted from Bor Sanctuary and Pench, which is 100km and 250km, respectively, from Tipeshwar. The state government has given a green signal to reintroduce the species, which has vanished from the sanctuary in the 1990s.


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