Wildlife

Bird watching

Posted by Susan Sharma on August 21, 2007

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"Most of bird identification is based on a sort of subjective impression- the way a bird moves and little instantaneous appearances at different angles and sequences of different appearances, and as it turns its head and as it flies and as it turns around, you see sequences of different shapes and angles," David Sibley says.  "All that combines to create a unique impression of a bird that can’t really be taken apart and described in words.  When it comes down to being in the field and looking at a bird, you don’t take the time to analyze and say it shows this, this, and this; therefore it must be this species.  It is more natural andinstinctive.  After a lot of practice, you look at the bird, and it triggers little switches in your brain.  It looks right.  "You know what it is at a glance."

Quote From ’BLINK’ by Malcolm Gladwell

Wildlife

Migrating butterflies protected in Taiwan

Posted by Susan Sharma on March 26, 2007

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The milkweed butterflies, indigenous to Taiwan, migrate in late March from Southern Taiwan to the north, where they lay eggs and die. The young butterflies then fly south every November to a warm mountain valley near the Southern part of Taiwan. Conservationists say Taiwan has about 2 million milkweed butterflies.

To protect the migrating butterflies, a 600 meter stretch of highway in Southern Taiwan’s Yunlin County will be sealed off in the coming days as the migration peaks. Authorities set up nets to make the butterflies fly higher and avoid passing cars. They will also install ultraviolet lights to guide the insects across a highway overpass.

( Source: The Economic Times, Delhi dated 25 March 2007)

Wildlife

Bearing the Heat for the Teddy Bear Treat

Posted by Jayanth Sharma on February 01, 2007

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I travelled to the lesser known Daroji Bear Sanctuary a few days back. with atleast 22 sightings of the Sloth bears, the trip was very succesful. View Trip report

Wildlife

Marine turtles-two stories

Posted by Susan Sharma on January 24, 2007

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Dead Olive Ridleys have been spotted in large numbers at Gahirmatha, Devi river mouth, Jatadhar river mouth, Harishpur areas, Chilika coast and Puri.

The situation went out of control at the Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary after a forest guard by accident killed a fisherman from the Kharnasi village on December 14 last year. Angry fishermen snatched away seized boats, released arrested persons and also burnt down the patrol camp at Agarnasi on December 22. In the absence of armed police, forest guards have refused to carry out sea patrols to protect sea turtles.

Although all trawlers have to use Turtle Excluder Devices (TED), not a single trawler is making use of them. A sum of Rs 10 million given by Indian Oil Corporation to the forest department in 2000 for turtle protection is yet to be used for speedboats. Similarly, the fisheries department had also got Rs 10 million from the Government of India for speedboats, which remains unspent even after eight years.

SOURCE : The Pioneer& The Hindu, January 18, 2007

Contrast the above grim news with the following:


Turtle Festival at Velas, Tal- Mandangad, Dist-Ratnagiri is being celebrated on 10th and 11th February 2007.  Last four years Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra (SNM), Chiplun, has been working in Marine TurtleConservation in Maharashtra.   Velas is 225 Km from both Poona and Mumbai.

 In this period SNM released 7610 hatchlings from152 protected nests. This year 28 nests are protected on entire coast of thestate, and at Velas there are18 nest till today.

On 10th and 11th February, 2007 in the mornings and evenings there is a chance to observe the emerging hatchlings from the nests at Velas. This dates are based on last four years experience. 


SNM is making simple homestay arrangements for tourists and wildlife lovers who would wish to watch the hatching of the turtles on the two dates. They can observe how the marine turtle conservation project is going on, hatcherymanagement, meet the locals who are actually working, film turtles, Coconutgardens and the beach.

SOURCE: Posting in yahoo group Delhibird by Kedar Gore

Wildlife

Clouded leopard

Posted by Susan Sharma on January 24, 2007

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Frequently overshadowed by bigger, better known inhabitants of India’s jungles, such as the tiger, elephant and leopard, little is known about the clouded leopard. . A smaller member of the “big cat” group, this creature, weighing between 11kg and 20 kg, is found in the jungles of north Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya as well as China and parts of south east Asia.


Neora Valley National Park in Darjeeling has begun its first survey of the clouded leopard in an attempt to find out more about this elusive, endangered species. The survey hopes to find out the estimated clouded leopard population of the park, as well as observing daytime and nocturnal behaviour and its prey base.


The year-long study, jointly carried out by the state forest department and Nature Environment and Wildlife Society (NEWS), a voluntary organisation, will also look at eco-tourism prospects in the park. The 88 square kilometre park is also home to the endangered red panda and musk deer. Other species include leopard, five species of civet, black bear, sloth bear, golden cat, wild boar, barking deer, sambar, Himalayan flying squirrel and Thar.

SOURCE : The Statesman, Friday, January 19, 2007

Wildlife

Barasingha and Hangul

Posted by Susan Sharma on December 23, 2006

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Barasingha in Kanha N.P and Hangul in  Dachigam N. P ( J&K)


The barasingha, the beautiful deer with twelve tined antlers, were once reduced to just 66 animals in Kanha N.P.  Management interventions like construction of a large enclosure,( main threat to brasingha are the tigers) strict control over grass burning and the augmentation of grassland areas achieved a rebound of the population of this deer. 

Today,  the Hangul or red deer in Dachigam is faced with extinction.  The 2005 census placed their numbers between 170 and 250.  Increase in predators like leopards and the omnivorous black bear who feed on young hangul does  not help matters either. Large scale grazing of sheep and encroahment in the upper reaches of the park have led to shrinking of the hangul's home range, making it easy prey for leopards in the lower reaches. The Wildlife Institute of India Are doing satellite tracking to determine the home range.  Deending on the results a decision has to be made to increase the coverage area or to relocate the predator population.


( Source: Kanha Tiger Reserve by Carrol Moulton and Ernie J. Hulsey and

The Indian Express 22 Dec 2006)

Wildlife

Counting endangered Bengal Tigers

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 23, 2006

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Scientists of the Laboratory for the Conservation of Endangered species (La-Cones), Attapur, Hyderabad, have come up with tiger census system using DNA fingerprinting.

DNA is extracted from the samples of faeces of tigers. It is screened with existing tigers'DNA samples to determine whether the sample belongs to the same tiger.

The scientists of la-Cones are the first in the world to conduct tiger census using DNA finger printing. Africa has experimented with thisfor elephant population.

The Pilot project conducted in Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary and BRT sanctuary in Tamil Nadu have given 99% accuracy according to officials. The cost for conducting the tiger census in all reserves in the country would be about Rs 1.5 crore.

Wildlife

Wildlife living in the seas and rivers

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 18, 2006

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Sustaining Fish Stocks

A new study by the environmental research organization Worldwatch has found that consumers are playing an increasingly large role in dictating the terms of how fish and other seafood are harvested around the world. Seafood eaters have become an unlikely ally to the world’s beleaguered fish populations.

“Today, most of the world’s seafood, from tuna to salmon to bay scallops, is threatened with extinction,” With industrial scale fishing having wiped out roughly 90 percent of tuna, marlin, swordfish and other large predatory fish in just the last 50 years, and United Nations surveys indicate that about two-thirds of the world’s major fish stocks are on the verge of collapse.

“A public that better understands the state of the world’s oceans can be a driving force in helping governments pass legislation to ban destructive fishing, mandate fishing labels that indicate how fish were caught and create marine preserves off-limits to fishing where fish can spawn.”

The new Worldwatch report highlights various non-governmental initiatives to help save vanishing marine life, from color-coded seafood selection guides for restaurant-goers to targeted purchasing by large seafood buyers. It praises such efforts for boosting the sales and reputations of participating companies, protecting jobs in developing countries where fishing is an important industry, and increasing the overall quality and safety of seafood around the world.

Source: www.worldwatch.org/node/4709

 

Wildlife

Translocating tigers

Posted by Susan Sharma on November 12, 2006

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Sariska tiger sanctuary, had lost its entire tiger population to excessive poaching in the area. On October 30, a crucial meeting between the Rajasthan government and the Union ministry of environment and forest in the Capital will give the green signal for a final plan of action that has been undertaken by the Committee on Forest and Wildlife Management.

The Dehradun-based Wildlife institute of India has submitted a report furnishing details of how relocation should take place in different phases. To begin with the suggestion is to relocate one male and two-to-three female tigers in the sub-adult category of four-five year old male tigers and slightly younger female tigers.

V B Mathur, Dean of WII, said: "Tigers will be identified through ground-based surveys. To take them to Sariska they will eventually be tranquilised through darts and put into special crates and finally we will have a soft release next to a water body so that they do not struggle."

Tigers will be also radio-collared and monitored after being released into the forest which will be fenced initially, so that they learn to acclimatize gradually and not wander away. "Sariska already has a natural population of prey like deer and nilgais and tigers will not have to be fed separately," adds Mathur.

 Sariska has the capacity of sustaining 15 tigers to begin with and the committee has recommended guidelines based on the International Union for conservation of Nature and Natural resources to relocate them - from picking up the right wild stock to their veterinary care.

http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1060403

Wildlife

Wildlife Rehabilitation

Posted by Susan Sharma on October 24, 2006

Forum Post

Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) is developing a network of wildlife rehabilitators working in India who would like to rehabilitate distressed wildlife through Emergency Relief Network (ERN).

ERN is an association of team of people whose expertise on the skill of rehabilitation can be utilised to reach out to rehabilitators in different parts of the country.

WTI have created a online community / group in which the rehabilitators can send in information and interact with each other. If selected as a member, your name will be included in the group list to get updates on ERN news.

This team of trained rehabilitators, of people and organizations, can exchange, share and contribute their knowledge and professional skills to save wildlife for the cause of conservation.

If interested in joining the network, write to Dr. Prajna Paramita Panda, for a registration form. Dr. Panda can be contacted at wren@wti.org.in

or at the postal address mentioned below

 Wildlife Trust of India

ER Network

C/o Dr. Prajna Paramita Panda

A-220, New Friends Colony,

New Delhi - 110025

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