New bird species in Arunachal Pradesh!

Posted by Susan Sharma on September 12, 2006

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A striking multi-colored bird has been discovered in Arunachal Pradesh making it the first ornithological find in the country in more than half a century.

Discovery of this new species in Arunachal Pradesh was made by Dr. Ramana Athreya who is a professional astronomer with the National Centre for Radio Physics in Pune. Bombay Natural History Society honed his birdwatching skills.

The Bugun Liocichla, scientifically known as Liocichla bugunorum, a kind of babbler, was discovered in May at the Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary. The bird -- with olive and golden-yellow plumage, a black cap and flame-tipped wings -- is 20 cm (8 inches) in length and named after the Bugun tribespeople who live on the sanctuary's periphery.

The story is certainly inspiring for all bird watchers!

Read more about the discovery at



Endangered Great Indian Bustard

Posted by Susan Sharma on September 11, 2006

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BNHS ( Bombay Natural History Society) is an NGO working silently and persistently for conservation. For the last five years they have been working to save the grasslands around Naliya in Kutch (Gujarat), where 25-30 Great Indian Bustards and 40-45 Lesser Floricans are found. Finally they have managed convincing the Gujarat Government to transfer the land to the Forest Department for maintaining it as a bustrad/florican habitat.

Read the full story in the Newsletter Sep-Oct 2006 available online at




Are we doing enough to protect TIGER, the most potent symbol of Asia?

Posted by Puja on July 17, 2006

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According to researchers the tiger population has dropped over the past 100 years from an estimated 100,000 in 1900 to only 4000 in the 1970's. In wake of the tiger crisis, government launched the Project Tiger in 1972 and we achieved little improvement in population of tigers from 4000 in 1970 to 5000-7500 tigers at present. Further, many national and international organisations are also doing their bits to safeguard the population of our national animal. To save these big cats we have to check the dangerous threats to tigers like habitat destruction, poaching, and especially human-tiger clash. If you also want to save this magnificent creature, then come ahead and voice your concern with merinews. Merinews, a participatory media platform have recently started a special coverage on the Tiger Conservation, in which we have a discussion going on regarding tigers’ future in India. I’m sure you have something interesting on the subject to share with our readers. You can voice your concern and share your experiences and insights on this subject by registering on our site and posting your articles here. Post your articles here. To read more articles, click here Puja


Protecting Wildlife is the way forward!

Posted by Susan Sharma on June 16, 2006

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Why should it be every citizen's concern to protect endangered species, and how can one be of assistance? Not just by volunteering with NGOs working for the cause, but are there ways in which we can contribute in small measure? The readers must be told why at all should they bother, and possibly, how? (Question: Shirley Abraham)

Each person can contribute -drops in the ocean make up the ocean. Most of us in our busy life are unaware of the BIG ROLE nature plays in our well being. The amount of oxygen in the air, the purity of water we drink -these are the basic threads of life.

The forests with all the life in it make these basic things posssible. The oceans with all the marine animals in it control our climates. Without animals the forests will wither away. Taking away just the tiger or the elephant which seemingly threaten human life around the forests will change the forests forever. Without the marine creatures like the whales at the apex, the ocean we know will be changed for ever.

Be aware and knowledgeable-taking action will come naturally. Finally it is the harmony of man animals and life which keep us going. Man is intelligent enough to enumerate the endangered animals. He should also be sensible enough to know that protecting them is the only way forward.


Do we harm nature unconsciously?

Posted by Susan Sharma on June 11, 2006

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How do everyday human activities (seemingly innocuous, though) harm an already threatened species of plants/animals? I mean, do we end up harming nature even unconsciously? ( Question: Shirley Abraham)

We are all part of nature. Being paranoid about hurting nature will not be a good idea. "There is enough in nature to fulfil man's need but not greed." So the first step is to know more about nature and wild animals around us. For people in Orissa it could be Olive Ridley Turtles, for people from Assam -the Hoolock Gibbon, for Rajasthan the Great Indian Bustard and so on. So we all can be part of efforts made to protect these endangered species.


Threats to endangered species

Posted by Susan Sharma on June 10, 2006

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The major threat to endangered species is man's insensitiveness to the fragile web of living things. Blaming deforestation, poaching, wildlife trade etc is addressing the issue in bits and parts. For example, the temptation to cut down forests for agriculture or land grabbing will persist as long as man is conscious of the immediate wealth prospects of land and not the value of a forest for the present and future generations.

Poaching will never stop as long as the market demands and pays for it.

 Endangered species are on their way to being extinct unless we take steps to consciously protect them. Natural extinctions also occur but speeding up the extinction process by manmade causes can be disastrous simply because man does not have the know how to create the web of life.

 Resurrecting the cheetah through DNA will not bring back the cheetah into the web of life. It will probably remain in a zoo for ever.


India's own 'Diane Fossey'

Posted by Susan Sharma on June 05, 2006

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She spent most of her short life working on turtles and there is a small memorial to her right next to the turtle pond at the Madras Crocodile Bank.

Viji (as Vijaya was called) was India’s first woman herpetologist when such a career was unknown in this country. In 2006, 19 years later, her name was formally given to the cane turtle that she spent so much of her time studying. Herpetologists analysed the DNA of Reiner’s now-dead turtles and recently re-named the turtle Vijayachelys silvatica in her honour.

Read more about this remarkable woman who made a difference to wildlife at the following link




Dummerils blackheded snake.

Posted by aditya on May 06, 2006

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Dummerils black headed snake[Sibynophis subpunctatus]

is one of the uncommon snakes in india becuse this snake is very small and mainly found in forest areas; so sighting of this species is very rare.  I get this snake specimen during my project on Fauna diversity of Rajmachi one of the hot spot from western ghat. I study this specimen for 8 months.  After studying them i found this snake shows different type of Defence behavior i.e it acts like dead snake when the large predator approaches it; also as soon as it  feels predator leave that place it slowly turns the head and moves with fast speed and starst going under the soil. these and many amazing facts i have studied  about this snake.

If you want more details about this snake pls mail on adi_sawant@rediffmail.com




Big Cats at Malshej Ghats

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 02, 2006

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Suresh, please tell us where the places you are referring to are.



Big Cats at Malshej Ghats

Posted by NV Suresh on May 02, 2006

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I had been travelling a lot by road over the past 10 years, and have come across reported sighting of Leapord and Tiger in the Malshej Ghats. Once when we had gone during the Monsoon season during mid noon a Tiger did cross the waterfalls and seen by a lot of picnickers. After that I have been doing rounds from 11.00PM to 4.00AM and sighted a Tiger twice. Many of the lorry drivers who pass the ghats have reported the sightings. In addition I have seen a bunch ( 20 to 25 ) deers near the road that leads to Nane Ghat. Its not very far when the traffic could become a danger to the wildlife as the Big cats have to cross the Highway to reach the river during summer season. Can we take up the issue and reroute the entire ghat road?


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