March 18, 2011
Radioactivepollution is very important environmental problem. The effects o radioactivepollution may represent significant health risk to
human and other organisms.
Ultraviolet(UV) light is actually electromagnetic radiation with very short wave length(i.e; shorter than that of visible light). UV ray damages
the cells of corneaand ultimately results to blindness. It also causes blisters and redness o theskin (skin cancer) by damaging the cells of the skin.
The effectsof radioactivity generate damage to the gene pool, the genetics of all livingspecies. Genetic damage from radiation effects over
life time and generations.
The firsteffect of radioactive pollution was noted in the early twentieth century(1909). The miner who were working in uranium mines, suffered
from skin burnand cancer. Some of the major biomedical effects of radiation are well known inhistory. During Second World War in Japan (1945), many people were died due toradioactivity of the atom (atomic explosion). Another prominent radioactivedisaster was
1984, Chernobyl, where an atomic power station was met with anaccident.
March 13, 2011
Thesubstances which have adverse effects on living organisms and environment, asknown as toxic substances. A toxicsubstance has the ability to cause
systemic damage to living organism. Toxic substancesare resent in air, soil, water and in other living things. They can enterinside body in many ways, like; - through ingestion- by eating or drinking,through inhalation- by breathing, through contact with the
skin- by absorption,through injection- from syringe or from other poisonous insect or snake bite.
Toxic substancesare mainly of three categories. Chemical, biological and physical. Chemical toxicsubstances include (a) inorganic substances like
lead, mercury, asbestos, hydrofluoricacid, chlorine (gas) and (b) organic substances like methyl alcohol, medicineand poison from living things.
The dosageor concentration of the toxic substances is very important. Or properfunctioning of organism, many substances may be essential at low doses,
butthat particular substance can be dangerous at higher doses. For example,manganese is so important for an pregnant woman, that a deficiency of manganeseduring pregnancy reduce growth and can cause mortality of the offspring, whereas workers exposed to high
levels of manganese (manganese mines) sufferingbrain damage that causes memory impairment, disorientation and acute anxiety.
March 05, 2011
I work as freelance birding guide to North India, Chambal, Bharatpur, Nainital, Corbett, Kanha, Pench and Bandhavgarh. Here are my observations at various places.
Find checklists of birds of Jabalpur, Kanha, Nauradehi, Amarkantak situated in the state of Madhya Pradesh. Most of these are less known less explored but fantastic birding destinations. Can add to sighting of different
avi fauna and add to your lists. The tiger reserves offer double benefits - Birding and Animal Watching...Tigers and birds together
Madhya Pradesh Birds
March 05, 2011
The French Birder was very sure when he remarked "Sal forest are not good for birding!". They (Pure Sal Forests) are not good for tigers and wildlife safaris as well. But then Kanha Tiger reserve is an amazing diversity. Varied ecosystems abound and the
habitats are well preserved.
In birding tours to new places a proper guide is always required. For one should know where to go bird watching. If you know the tiger reserves well then you know the bird habitats as well. So instead spending time in pure Sal belts one can explore other habitats.
The tiger reserves in Central India are finest birding destinations that have been over shadowed by tiger safaris. MY recent trip with a British client was highly succesful. We could sight much more tan hundred bird species in three days with lot of time spent
on tiger chase as well.
Visit my birding blog for
birds of Kanha....
Pallas Fish Eagle, Grey Headed Fish Eagle, Grey Bushchat and Ultramarine Flycatcher found in North India visit Kanha National Park in winters. Along with Osprey they are a rare sight. There may be more in store.
Making a bird trip in Madhya Pradesh tiger reserve is a good decision. The tiger reserve are excellent for forest
birds. Wetlands in MP are scattered and none equal Bharatpur. Nevertheless wetland species here can surprise many keen bird watchers.
Birding in Central India if properly organized has a larger scope than imagined. Kanha, Pench, Bandhavgarh, Satpura, Bori, Noradehi, Pachmarhi abound in forest birds and their wintering cousins. Have a go....
March 03, 2011
Ten thousand years ago,their habitat ranged from the Mediterannean to the wilds of India.They now cling precariously to theirmodern habitat,an impossibly small domain Gir National Park.A rough census at the time of independence shows about 250 lions,the 2010
census quotes 411.This may sound like good news but this large number is ironically the main cause for concern.It may be odd to think of the Asiatic lion as endangered,but the truth is that Gir is way overpopulated and needs quite a few of its lions relocated
urgently.Ignorance and false pride from the state goverment's part can have disastrous consequences as the sanctuary is proving to small for the big cats.With the shortage of territory to command,lions are fast moving out of the sanctuary.Some of them have
even taken to the beach!.To survive the lions have to put up with factors such as acute inbreeding given that the 400 plus population has been said to have been derived from around a dozen individuals.
A broader look to know what inbreeding actually means-
Inbreeding is the reproduction from the mating of two genetically related parents,which can increase the chances of the offspring being affected by rrecessice traits.This generally leads to a decreased fitness of the population,which is called inbreeding
Results of inbreeding-
1.Increase in genetic disorders
2.lower birth rate
3.slower growth rate
5.Higher infant mortality rate
6.Loss of immune system
7.Small adult size
O'Brien,a renowned genecsist suggested that "If you do a DNA fingerprint,Asiatic lions look like identical twins because they descended from as few as a dozen individuals that was all left at the turn of the century".This makes them specially vulnerable
to diseases.As it is perpetuating the species is a difficult task as the big cats have to copulate no less than 500 times to produce a litter.The most serious threat is the fear of the outbreak of a disease that could wipe out the entire population,bringing
into account the fact that this has already happened once before.In 1994 canine distemper killed more than a third of Africa's serengeti lions.Lets pray our lions dont meet the same fate.
Hopes of a secure future in the Reintroduction Project Plan-
The Asiatic lion Rentroduction project plan aims to establish a second independent population of Asiatic lions at the Kuno Wildlfie santuary in the state of Madhya Pradesh,in an effort to save the lions of Gir which are living under the threat of natural
disasters and epidemics.Wildlife Institute of India researchers confirmed that Palpur-Kuno WLS is the most promising location to re-establish a free ranging population and certified it ready to receive its first batch of translocated lions.Kuno WLS was selected
as the reintroduction site because it is in the former range of the lions before they were hunted to near extinction.Twenty four villages which lived inside the remote core area set aside for the reintroduction of lions have been moved out with adequate compensation
and promise of better facilities and provisions given to each family.However,it was still a controversial case of species preservation via dislocation of human population.
The most shocking thing so far is that,the Chief minister of Gujrat,Narendra Modi has strictly opposed relocation plans arguing that lions were the main tourist attraction of the state saying that the lions are 'Gujrat's pride'.Perhaps he does not want Gujrat
to lose its Status as the only state home to Asiatic lions.It is unclear whether there is any political agenda behind it,but so far the goverment's constant refusal has only underlined its ignorance.Modi continues to put ona resistance despite our Uninion
environment and forest minister,Jairam Ramesh pressuring Gujrat to part with some of its lions with Madhya Pradesh,he has also expressed concern over the fear of inbreeding and a potential epedemic.So lets just keep our fingers crossed and hope that whatever
being done is done with the lions best interests in mind.
The other less damaging but nevertheless serious threats to the lions-
1.Poisoning by farmers as an act of revenge for killing livestock
2.Natural or man made calamities such as floods,forest fires and epedemics(Drought does not count as a threat as the construction of 4 new dams and 300 water points makes sure problems related to water insuffiency for the animals do not arise.
3.Wells dug by the farmers for irrigations act as trap,leading to lions drowning
4.Farmers on the periphery of the Gir forest use crude and electrical fences which are powered from high volatage electricity deom the overhead power lines.This is primarily done to protect their crop from nilgais but are also responsibly for many lion deaths.
5.Habitat decline due to overgrazing.
March 03, 2011
Pollutants (or materials) in the environment are broadly of two types- a. biodegradable ones and b. Non- biodegradable
ones. Biodegradables are subjected to microbial decomposition and thus with no or minimum persistence time in environment, and accordingly follow the regular cyclic material flow. While non-biodegradables are not decomposed by microbes. They have thus long
persistent in environment, and are introduced in the biotic organisms along with nutrients food-stuff. They are neither metabolized nor excreted, but retained in unaltered state in higher concentration in organisms of higher trophic levels in the food-chain
of an ecosystem. Thus they lead to irreversible disease and death of the organisms and misbalancing the ecosystem.
The process where the stable and persistent non-biodegradable pollutants (matters/ chemicals) are accumulated in tissues
of biological organisms in a concentration that is much higher than its environmental concentration, which usually causes irreversible disease and death of organisms, ultimately lead to ecological imbalance is known as biomagnification.
Causes- Usually stable and non-biodegradable pollutants are lipophilic in nature, means they have the attraction towards
lipid. For this lipophilic character, they are partitioned from surrounding water into the lipid or adipose tissues of organisms. Examples are DDT, PCBs (Poly Chlorinated Biphenyls), salts of heavy metals (mercury, lead, cadmium etc.) and so on.
March 01, 2011
Had a great time in Bandhavgarh. After visting other parks like Corbett, Kanha and Ranthambore, where the tiger sightings were not great, Bandhavgarh carried lots for expectations for me. Had read, watched and heard about this jungle being the best place
to spot a tiger properly and clearly it never disappointed me.
Right from the moment we entered our resort ( located right next to the boundary ), we were hopeful. Immediately met a guest in the resort who had just returned from morning safari and spotted and followed the tiger for 10 mins.
Our resort was nestled in 21 acres of raw forest with rooms being built on the trees. Truly marvellous experience of staying in the traquility and privacy. The resort had only 5 tree houses in the entire property and no room where visible from any of the tree
houses. staff was also polite and gave us good service.
Our first safari ( evening ) wasnt great as we failed to spot any of the tigers. We didnt even come close to it. However, we were hopeful.
At night we were woken up by a loud sound of a tiger roaring very nearby. It was precedded and followed by multiple alarm calls from Sambar and Langurs. For the first time we actually heard proper alarm calls at night. We had heard isolated alarm calls of
Sambar at Kanha before. But this was different. The next morning,the resort staff informed us that it was a tigress and sound was coming right behind the boundary of our tree!!!!
Morning safari was good. Typically like in Bandhavgarh, there was a tiger show. The forest dept has elephants with mahuts who track the tigers in the jungle. Once the tigers lay on the ground, people are taken on the same elephants to see the tiger. We reached
the centre point ( forest office ) inside the park and were informed about tiger show being happening on route D. We immediately rushed to the spot where the forest officer was organizing the same. Our sighting was good. Three tigers ( a mother and her grownup
cubs ) were lying near a hill. Our elephant took us right next to the tiger and we took some wonderful closeup photos.
The tigers were just unconcerned by our presence and were lying at leisure. Once back at the resort we took a tour of the resort in the afternoon. Believe me, the resort had a private natural watering hole where animals could be spotted. Our guide,the resort
watchman had his own version of exciting stories about the tiger. Me, my wife and even our 2 yr old kid walked the entire 3 KM stretch in dense forest. I have to say this was the best jungle resort I have stayed in.
Again during the morning safari next day, we spotted two tigers immediately as we entered the park. All the safari vehicles who had entered the park that morning got proper sighting of that male and female. However, distance was bit long. After 15 mins, the
female walked away followed by the male. But everyone was satisfied.
All in all, trip to Bandhavgarh was good. I will recomment this jungle only for tiger sightings. Other animals are not in abundance and hence its all about tigers. We saw 5 tigers in two days whereas in other three jungles put together we just spotted 2 tigers
only. The jungle is not beautiful like Corbett, nor is full of different species like Kanha. However, you can be rest assured about one thing. A good tiger sighting. This is a comment coming from me who has visited 3 jungles before this and had done 10 safaris
and never had a good view of a tiger. Bandhavgarh was my last option and it didnt disappoint me at all!!!!!
February 22, 2011
Bacteria and other micro organisms are responsible for decomposing organic waste. When organic matterials
like dead plants, leaves, manure, sewage or food waste are present in water supply, bacteria started to break them. By that time, much of the available Dissolved Oxygen (D.O.) is consumed by bacteria from other aquatic organisms of the oxygen they need to
Biological Oxygen Demand (B.O.D.) is one of the most common measures of the oxygen used by micro
organisms to decompose the waste. If there
is a large amount of organic waste is present in the water supply, there will also be a lot of bacteria present which decompose the waste. In this case, the demand for oxygen will be high. As a result, Biological Oxygen Demand (B.O.D.) level will be
A high B.O.D. value indicates pollution, i.e; water containing higher level of organic wastes that
consumed the Dissolved oxygen (D.O.) and is thus unsafe for human consumption.
February 21, 2011
There are 243 species of butterflies in Sri lanka.21 Species are endemic.
Common Name Scientific Name
- Ceylon Birdwing Troides darsius
- Ceylon Forester Lethe dynaste
- Ceylon Palmfly Elymnias singala
- Ceylon Tiger Parantica taprobana
- Tree Nymph Idea iosonia
- Ceylon Rose Pachliopta jophon
- Blue Oakleaf Kallima philarchus
- Ceylon Treebrown Lethe daretis
- Gladeye Bushbrown Nissanga patnia patnia
- Jewel Four-ring Ypthima singala
- Ormiston's Oakblue Arhopala ormistoni
- Clouded silverline Spindasis nubilus
- Ceylon Indigo Royal Tajuria arida
- Woodhouse's 4-line blue Nacaduba ollyetti
- Pale Ceylon 6-line blue Nacaduba sinhala
- Ceylon Cerulean Jamides soruscans
- Ceylon Hedge Blue Udara lanka
- Decorated Ace Halpe dacorata
- Rare Ace Halpe(? homolea)egena....2 more....
(See these Images : Gehan de Silva Wijerathne on facebook) By:M.K.Randima.
February 18, 2011
Living system controls its activity through enzymes. Enzymes are biological catalysts. They increase
or decrease the rate of chemical reaction in the cell, but enzymes remain unchanged after the reaction. Most cellular reaction occurs about a million time faster with the help of the enzymes rather than in the absence of it. Enzymes work on which chemical
substances are known as substrate. Enzyme works on substrate to form an enzyme-substrate complex. After reaction, this complex split and produce the
Product and enzyme get released. In the end of the reaction, enzyme remains unchanged and paired with another substrate. A small amunt of enzyme can work on a huge amount of substrate.
The term, enzyme was first used by Kuhne(1878). Buchner (1897) first collected enzymes from Yeast
The general properties of enzymes are
All enzymes are globular protein and catalyst.
Their presence do not affect on characteristic and type of the Product.
Enzyme reactions are bi-directional.
Enzymes are selective for their substrate.
Enzyme’s activity can be influenced by other molecules. Inhibitors are the molecule that decreases enzyme’s activity. Activators are molecule that increases
Enzyme works in definite pH, temperature and concentration.
The protein parts of the enzymes are apoenzyme, and non-protein part is known as co-factors.
International Union of Biochemistry (IUB) and Enzyme Commissiob (EC) classify and name the various
enzymes. Generally, -ase is added with the name of the substrate to form the name of an enzyme, eg; the enzymes function on arginine and urea are respectively known as arginase and urease.