Nature News, Vol. 5, Issue No.12 (December 2016)


The Hindu 5 Dec.2016
Amur falcons pay a surprise visit:  Bird spotted in Ballari district, amidst the forests of Coorg, and in the urban sprawls of Mysuru. The Amur falcon a marathon flier whose migrations stretch from the icy environs of Siberia to the outcrops of South Africa has been spotted in rare areas across Karnataka. Read more

The Times of India 19 Dec.2016 
A sight to behold: Winged visitors arrive in droves: With winter having set in and temperatures dropping, flocks of migratory birds, some from as far away as Africa and Europe, have started arriving in the capital. Birders across NCR have already made a number of rare sightings, including a scaly thrush and a brown breasted flycatcher spotted near Read more

The Pioneer 29 Dec.2016 
Rare winged guests throng Yamuna wetlands: Migratory birds have flocked Yamuna Biodiversity Park (YBP) indicating that the national Capital’s ecological balance is good. The biggest attraction has been the arrival of Black Crowned Night Heron after fifteen years in the YBP wetlands. “Black Crowned Night Herons have arrived in YBP after a gap of 15 years Read more


The Times of India 7 Dec.2016 
Environment Ministry postpones forest policy indefinitely: The Environment Ministry has indefinitely postponed an ambitious plan to update India’s forest policy. It has also decided to abstain from committing to a timeframe by which it would have a third of India’s land under forest or tree cover, a key promise of the forest policy. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has not  Read more

The Hindu 9 Dec.2016 
Accounting for natural capital: Biodiversity integration into developmental plans is crucial for sustainable development. In a ‘Mann Ki Baat’ broadcast recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi made his environmental concerns clear when he asked people to use Ganesha and Durga idols made of clay instead of plaster of Paris. Read more

The Hindu 15 Dec.2016 
Rights for the rightful owners: On the tenth anniversary of the historic passage of the Forest Rights Act, tribal resistance to defend their rights is growing even as government after government tries to dilute its provisions. On this day 10 years ago the historic Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act was passed in the Lok Sabha. Read more

The Hindustan Times 19 Dec.2016 
India third-largest importer of illegally logged wood – Study: India is the third largest importer of the illegally logged timber in the world, shows a study by the International Union of Forest Research Organisations, a world-wide collaboration of scientists and research institutions working on forestry sciences Read more

The Hindu 22 Dec.2016 
Alarming rise in forest fires, says panel report: Parliamentary Standing Committee recommends a national policy on managing forest fires. With fires raging across Central Indian forests and the Himalayan Pine forests, the frequency of such blazes has risen by a drastic 55 per cent in the past year. The number has touched 24,817 in 2016 Read more


The Hindustan Times 6 Dec.2016 
Man, animal conflict on the rise over living space: On a September morning this year, about 2,000 people carrying sticks and sickles surrounded a sugarcane field on the periphery of Corbett tiger reserve in Uttarakhand to kill a tigress that mauled a woman the previous evening. The tigress, pushed out of India’s most densely-populated protected area for big cats by bigger Read more

The Times of India 7 Dec.2016 
Tigers aren’t the most dangerous animals for Indians: Contrary to popular perceptions, the relatively friendly elephant kills more Indians than the tiger. The highest toll taken by tigers in any one year is 10 times smaller than the average number of people killed by elephants across India every yearContrary to popular perceptions, the relatively friendly elephant kills more Indians than the tiger. The highest toll taken by tigers in any one year is 10 times smaller than the average number of people killed by elephants across India every year Read more

The Times of India 7 Dec.2016 
Fisherman, family fight off tiger Fisherman, family fight off tiger: A fisherman, along with his family was out to catch crabs off the Thakuran river creek in the Sunderbans on Tuesday morning when a tiger pounced on him. But Gurupada Bhuyiyan fought off the animal even as it took a swipe at him in the forests of Batakati. Read more

The Hindu 21 Dec.2016 
Leopards in a spot : In a landmark decision in 2014 prohibiting the bull-taming sport, Jallikattu, the Supreme Court held that “animal has also honour and dignity which cannot be arbitrarily deprived of and its rights and privacy have to be respected and protected from unlawful attacks” (Animal Welfare Board of India v. A. Nagaraja). Unfortunately, in November  Read more


The Pioneer 29 Dec.2016  
River-linking has many benefits: The Ken-Betwa river-linking project is a progressive step forward, provided the ecological impact is more than adequately compensated for. Such concerns need to be effectively tackled if the project is to succeed. The concept of linking of rivers in order to balance the water resources from surplus to deficit areas has been in  Read more


The Times of India 7 Dec.2016 
End practice of laying traps for wild animals: Days after a leopard was sighted near the Yamuna biodiversity park, a PIL was filed in the high court challenging the practice of capturing wild animals through traps. A division bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath issued notices to  Read more

The Hindu 9 Dec.2016 
Curbs on vehicle traffic through tiger reserve go: Telangana government moves to lift curbs on heavy vehicle traffic movement. Soon after resolving to lift restrictions on vehicular traffic through the Kawal Tiger Reserve, the Telangana government is ironically set to pat itself on the back for its “support” to conservation at the Conference of Parties-13 at Cancun in Mexico. Read more

The Indian Express 9 Dec.2016 
In fact: Strategic spending, not crawling trains, can prevent elephant deaths on    tracks:  Road and rail accidents kill about 1.5 lakh Indians every year. That is 0.01% of the country’s 133 crore population. It is a significant cost to pay for the benefits of modern. Transportation. Elephants have no use for roads and trains. And yet, at 10-20 deaths on tracks per year, the loss to their 30,000 Read more

The Indian Express 12 Dec.2016 
Giraffes suffer ‘silent extinction’ in Africa: Red List report: Giraffe numbers have declined by as much as 40 per cent since the 1980s in a “silent extinction” driven by illegal hunting and an expansion of farmland in Africa, the Red List of endangered species reported on Thursday. Populations of the world’s tallest land creature fell to about 98,000 from an estimated 152,000-163,000 in 1985 Read more

The Hindustan Times 16 Dec.2016 
Poachers armed with AK-47 kill another rhino in Kaziranga; toll rises to 17 this year: Poachers armed with sophisticated weapons killed another rhino inside Kaziranga National Park on Wednesday night and decamped with the animal’s horn. Despite announcements and efforts by the state government, poaching has continued unabated inside the park. This year alone Read more

The Hindu 21 Dec.2016 
The fight to save Earth's smallest rhino in Sumatra's jungles: Deep from within the Indonesian jungle a solitary, seldom seen forest giant emerges from the undergrowth. It is a Sumatran rhino, one of the rarest large mammals on Earth.  There are no more than 100 left on the entire planet and Andatu, a four-year old male is one of the last remaining hopes for the future of the species.Deep from within the Indonesian jungle a solitary, seldom seen forest giant emerges from the undergrowth. Read more

The Times of India 22 Dec.2016 
Gujarat govt to cut buffer around 19 sanctuariesGujarat govt to cut buffer around 19 sanctuaries: The Gujarat government has started redefining the contours of its eco-sensitive zones (ESZs) around 19 sanctuaries and national parks to a bare minimum, even as conservationists termed the move a "disaster in the making". When contacted, state environment and forest minister Ganpat Vasava said Read more

The Hindustan Times 22 Dec.2016 
Don’t kill big cats that become man-eaters. Tranquilise and relocate them: There are a growing number of man-killers and man-eaters (tigers or leopards) in India. This fatal conflict between animals and human beings is a result of incessant encroachment into wildlife habitats and their endless exploitation. This has happened because of poor governance and the inability of the forest bureaucracy to find Read more
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