Bird Sanctuaries

A Haven for birds

Posted by Raghavendra Rao on May 16, 2007

 
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A Haven for Birds 

-RagooRao

 

The River Kaveri, which takes it’s birth high up in the Western Ghats, flows down Karnataka state feeding the parched lands and turning them into bountiful yielders of precious food and then meanders through the valleys of Tamil Nadu blessing them with her bountiful precious water for their land, finally merging with the Bay of Bengal.

 

Indian Wild Life Club

 

As the river flows through Karnataka over undulating terrain, plenty of small cataracts and some very impressive waterfalls are formed. This river is reverently called the Life-Line of Karnataka. As the river meanders through the terrain plenty of small islands are formed all the way along it’s course. These islands are a host to plenty of Flora and Fauna all evolving with nature and thriving. One such spot in the river’s course, close to Mysore-about 12 kilometers, is the Naturally formed group of islands filled with Pandanus plants, Pongamia trees, Mahua trees and a score of other plants playing host to many breeding birds. The banks of the river are filled with Bamboo and other tall majestic trees. This is The Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, where regular nesting birds come to nest and raise their young.

 

Indian Wild Life Club

 

The river being filled with a lot of boulders also plays host to the Marsh Crocodiles and the waters are filled with fish. A pristine home for breeding birds. The bamboo and other trees also provide a good habitat for most of the birds of Karnataka. The main season for the migratory breeding birds is from Aug to Sept. and  for the other breeding birds it is Dec to March. The islands are a very safe Haven for these nesting birds tucked away inside the deep waters of the river and safe from any land predators. The water being infested with Marsh crocodiles even human interference and vandalism is kept at bay, thanks to the Marsh crocodiles. In one of the islands even the crocodiles build their nests and breed. One can always find the crocodiles basking on the rocks. 

 

 Indian Wild Life Club

 

An ideal location for the birds. The river surroundings are all fertile paddy fields, which provide a good source of Crustaceans and other aquatic life as forage for the parenting birds. The Forest Dept. of Karnataka regulates the visitors to this place and unauthorized entry is prohibited. The serious visitors are taken around these breeding islands by row-boats to have a glimpse of these birds and their young.  Even motor boats are not used to keep noise pollution away.  Visitor facilities are excellent and good view locations are also provided.  There are rest-rooms, a small refreshment canteen a little away from the riverside is also provided. Overnight staying is not possible and also not encouraged by the Forest Dept. In all, Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary is a Haven for Nature Photographers, Ornithologists, and a beautiful place to visit. 

 

 Indian Wild Life Club

 

It is really reassuring to see such a Naturally evolved place still maintained in its Pristine condition. Any Nature Lover will enjoy the visit and would always love to come back often. A List of nesting birds is also displayed with all their details and with appeals to conserve them.

  

Indian Wild Life Club

 

The Regular Birds: Open billed Storks, Painted storks, Spoonbills, White Ibis, Pond Heron, Little Heron, Plumed Heron, Night Heron, Darters, Little Cormorant, River Terns, Plovers, Red-wattled lapwing, Peacock, Black Ibis, Kingfishers and the River Otters which  are a source of amusement as they dive in and out of sight of the visitors.

 

 (Text and Photographs-RagooRao)

nature/wildlife films

Wildlife Asia Film Festival

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 15, 2007

 
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Wildlife Asia Film Festival took place in March 2007 in Singapore.

"Cherub of the Mist" by Bedi Films (India)won the "Best Asian Film " award. "Village of Dust, City of Water" by Moving Images(India) won the award for the Best Environmental Film.

Naresh Bedi and Mike Pandey were given special awards for contribution to film making.

The following films/programs were selected for screening at the festival.

 "The King is Dying" by Special Investigation Team, CNN-IBN

 "Man Elephant Conflict" by NDTV

 "Ganga is Dying" by Special investigation Team, CNN-IBN

 

Bio-Diversity

Slow Loris

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 15, 2007

 
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Slow Lorises need your help!

The 14th Conference of Parties to CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Fauna and Flora) takes place in The Netherlands next month. Up for consideration is Cambodia’s petition to transfer this noctural Asian primate to Appendix I. This would mean the animal is considered threatened with extinction and CITES would prohibit international trade except, for instance, for scientific research.

Two NGOs, Care for the Wild International and PROWILDLIFE, are seeking support for the petition. For details on what you can do to help check here:


http://www.wildasia.net/main.cfm?page=contact&contactID=1704

 

Wildlife Poaching

Kaziranga National Park

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 14, 2007

 
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Kaziranga National Park is a clear case where hard work of the forest staff went unrewarded and unnoticed while the Park had the distinction of protecting a healthy population of rhinos.

The recent poaching of six rhinos has brought to light some glaring lapses. ’Seven or eight years ago when the Park was spread over 430 sq.km, it had a sanctioned staff strength of 487’. After the addition of six new portions, the Park area is is now over 1,000 sq.km. The team strength-376.

International gangs with links to China and the Middle East( rhino horn sheaths are poular there) operate in Kaziranga. Whie the police have arrested 700 poachers since 1975, only one has been convicted so far.

Source: The Indian Express 19 April 2007

Climate change and Global Warming

Sunderbans Tigers

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 14, 2007

 
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In the Sunderbans, both man and animal face a threat from rise in sea levels. A 10-year study in and around the Bay of Bengal has already revealed that the sea is rising at 3.14mm a year against a global average of 2mm.

"Oceanographers have estimated that 15% of the landmass will be lost by 2020 and this will have a devastating impact on both tigers and humans".

Source: WWF-India

Climate change and Global Warming

The Water Towers of Asia

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 13, 2007

 
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The "Water towers of Asia" or the Himalayas feed seven of Asia’s great rivers. A meltdown due to melting glaciers which are receding at an average rate of 10-15 meters per year, could trigger floods initially and droughts in the future.

Source: Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change, Second Working Group Report.

Eco-tour

Eco tourism in India and Pakistan

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 13, 2007

 
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Key comments in a survey conducted by Planeta.com

 

How do you characterize ecotourism in the country where you live? Provide examples of best or worst practices

 

PAKISTAN - Ecotourism is a new concept in Pakistan. Some people understand its true concept but most of the people in travel trade are not fully aware about the concept

 

INDIA - Ecotourism is becoming one of the major attractions of Kerala. In this small state, ecotourism activities and programs are mainly in the wilderness areas. Ecotourism programs in the Periyar Tiger Reserve, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary are the examples of best practices, because of the participation of the local community. Worst practices are the business magnets trying to project themselves as leaders of the ecotourism bandwagon of Kerala. The whole tourism management authority of government is being manipulated by this highly influential group

 

What are the noteworthy achievements in ecotourism in the past five years?

PAKISTAN - In Pakistan people from travel trade have started thinking more seriously the negative impacts of general and tourism and there is better growth of understanding about the concept of ecotourism during the last five years.

INDIA - In India, especially in Kerala, more travellers and entrepreneurs have become aware of ecotourism. Indigenous people are making an alternate livelihood from these programs in the Reserves i mentioned earlier, and in turn, they are working with the state forest department to protect the jungles they live in which is indeed a noteworthy achievement.

Source:  http://www.planeta.com/ecotravel/tour/yearplusfive.html

 

Climate change and Global Warming

Flood and drought

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 12, 2007

 
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.........Three quarters of the 634 million people deemed to be most at risk from rising sea levels connected to global warming live in Asia. Coastal cities in the developed world, such as New York and LosAngeles, may be at risk. But wealthy countries are best placed to adapt to the problem. Certainly the Dutch, who have long experience of keeping the sea at bay, are not panicking. They are simply planning to spend billions more on flood defences.

 Because of its effect on rainfall and glaciers that feed rivers, global warming is also contributing to water shortages. ..

Source: Business Standard , 23 April, 2007

Anthropomorphism

Are chimps more evolved?

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 12, 2007

 
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A comparison of 14,000 human and chimpanzee genes by researchers at the  University of Michigan, U.S, shows that the forces of natural selection have had the greatest impact on our ape cousins. Humans and chimps followed different evolutionary paths from a common ape ancestor about 5 million years ago. Both underwent changes as the fittest survived to pass their genes on to future generations.

But the U.S study shows that the humans possess a "substantially smaller" number of positively-selected genes than chimps. This may be because the original human population was very small-which would have reduced the effectiveness of natural selection. Instead,"genetic drift" -the random survival of genetic mutations rather than their preservation by the laws of natural selection -was likely to have been more important for humans.

"These observations refute the anthropocentric view that a grand enhancement in Darwinian selection underlies human origins." scientists wrote in the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Source: Daily Mail, London

Captive Elephants

Trade underground

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 11, 2007

 
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Researchers estimate the captive elephant figures in India to be around 5000, while the official figures are 3500. Ambiguity in numbers and a ban on interstate trade has pushed elephant trade underground.

Kerala and Assam have now appealed to Central Govt. to simplify rules of trade. Kerala has also passed rules for captive elephant management. "Project elephant" is on way to mocrochip captive elephants in order to have a database for tracking animals.

All the above and opening up elephant corridors could be the only way to save these pachydems in the wild!

Source: Times of India

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