Nature News, Vol. 4, Issue No.1 (January 2015) | WWF India

Nature News, Vol. 4, Issue No.1 (January 2015)

BIRDS

The Hindu 2 Jan 2015 
Open-billed storks flock to Raiganj: The bird sanctuary there attracted almost 47,000 storks in last six months of 2014.The Raiganj Wildlife Sanctuary in West Bengal’s Uttar Dinajpur district, which attracted a record 68,000 birds in 2014, has the most Asian open-billed storks in the country. As per records available with the Divisional Forest Officer, Raiganj, the bird sanctuary recorded about 46,842 open-billed storks between June and December 2014. “The number has increased Read more
 
The Indian Express 7 Jan 2015 
The bird warriors of Satajan : Baliram Gogoi is a busy man. The 78-year-old wakes up around 4.30 am despite the cold, takes a stick and his mobile phone, and makes a round of Satajan, a 270-bigha wetland on the banks of the Ranganadi here, checking if any poacher had got closer to trap a bird. Satajan is one of the few surviving wetlands under severe threat in Lakhimpur district in eastern Assam, which can boast of birds, both migratory and local Read more
 
The Deccan Herald 11 Jan 2015 
More migratory birds flock to Chilika despite Hudhud: Nearly 7.62 lakh migratory birds from across the globe flocked to Odisha’s Chilika Lake this winter compared to 7.19 lakh last year, according to an annual bird survey. Chilika Lake, Asia’s biggest brackish water lagoon, is considered one of the topmost winter homes in the country for migratory birds. The census was conducted by the Chilika wildlife division of the state forest department with assistance from different government and Read more
 
CLIMATE CHANGE
The Hindustan Times 23 Jan 2015 
Let’s clear the air with more renewable : President Barack Obama’s visit to India will cover a range of issues. In the wake of the killings in Paris, terrorism would be high on the agenda, but given Obama’s emphasis on dealing with climate change during his second term as president, it too would be an important subject to discuss with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. There is interest in a possible agreement between the US and India similar to the one that China and the US announced last November detailing the commitments of both countries in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Read more
 
The Hindu 27 Jan 2015 
Concern over climate, compromise on nature: While technological solutions like renewable energy are being aggressively pursued for combating climate change, little value appears to be placed on keeping natural systems intact. On his visit to India, U.S. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have announced a landmark civil nuclear deal, which will give India access to generating nuclear power. Read more
 

ENVIRONMENT

The Pioneer 29 Jan 2015
The federal way to green living: India had adopted a comprehensive strategy in 2009 to tackle environmental challenges. It is now up to the respective State Governments to encourage and recognise the efforts to implement the action plan on climate change. A growing awareness on the relevance of climate change within the Government, civil society and the corporate sector, coupled with mounting international pressure, had led India to adopt a comprehensive strategy to tackle environmental challenge in 2009. Read more

FOREST AND BIODIVERSITY
The Hindu 2 Jan 2015 
Forest Rights Act not delaying projects - official: Calls for withdrawal of order issued by Environment Ministry. The Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs says that there is no evidence that the process under the Forest Rights Act (FRA) delays projects, even as there is pressure from the Ministry of Environment to dilute the law and do away with the condition that gram sabhas should give consent for projects. Hrushikesh Panda, Secretary, Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs, assured members attending Read more

HUMAN-ANIMAL CONFLICTS

The Hindu 9 Jan 2015 
Carnivores in the neighborhood: India’s laws and policies guide management of animals inside forests, but there’s no state policy to deal with predators living amongst people
The tigress strode boldly across open farmlands, and crossed railway tracks and highways at night. She avoided venturing close to villages in her hunt for wild pigs. During the day, she hunkered down in forest patches, reed beds, or plantations, out of sight of people. Read more 

WETLANDS, RIVERS & WATER

The Asian Age 3 Jan 2015
Uma Bharti for treated waste water into Ganga: As part of its efforts to clean river Ganga, the water resources ministry is mulling programmes to ensure that only treated waste water is released into Ganga so that its sanctity is maintained and hopes it would serve as a model for improving water quality of other polluted rivers. Water resources and Ganga rejuvenation minister Uma Bharti also appealed to agencies like the Central Board of Irrigation and Power (CBIP) to come forward and actively associate with the gigantic task of river development in the country. Read more
 
The Indian Express 4 Jan 2015
Counting dolphins in the Ganga: In the first of its kind exercise, a comprehensive survey will be undertaken in February to assess the population of dolphins in the Ganga river as part of the Clean Ganga Mission. Gangetic dolphins are an endangered species and are now found in only a few stretches of the river. The dolphin survey is the first step in a long-term conservation plan that was finalised earlier last year and is part of a wider attempt to restore the biodiversity of Ganga  Read more

The Pioneer 21 Jan 2015 
New technology to clean Ganga during Magh Mela : Taking the first initiative to clean Ganga, the Centre has put in place special technology to keep the river clean during the ongoing Magh Mela at Allahabad and to arrest tons of filth during the month-long fair. The equipment had earlier been successfully deployed in the River Sabarmati in Ahmadabad and had helped in the cleaning of the waterfront area. “With its proven ability to clean up large surface areas of water bodies, the equipment is Read more
 

WILDLIFE & ENDANGERED SPECIES 

The Hindustan Times 1 Jan.2015 
Now, states can form policies on 'problematic' wildlife: The state governments can now formulate their own policies to deal with the increasing human-animal conflict around over 650 wildlife zones in the country. The environment ministry has issued directions to the states saying they have all powers to "identify problematic animals" and prepare a strategy to deal with them including their elimination. The direction was issued after many members of Parliament raised the issue expressing concern over increasing incidents of wild animals. Read more

The Hindu 4 Jan 2015 
Big role for small national park in saving threatened butterflies: One of the smallest national parks records one-fifth of the country’s species. Gorumara National Park, one of the smallest national parks in India, has turned out be a safe haven for butterflies as evident by recent studies that have recorded more than 330 species of butterflies in the park. There are about 600 known species of butterflies in West Bengal and about 1,500 in India. Gorumara alone Read more

The Hindu 4 Jan 2015 
Why India needs a conservation act: India should reject its protection philosophy, embrace conservation and bridge gaps between people and officials. I have just returned from an extended tour of our jungles where, as usual, much is being spoken; little is being done to conserve our wilderness. While camping near the Corbett National Park, our cook, also the village leader was called in every night to help with the elephant menace in his hamlet. Read more

The Pioneer 12 Jan 2015 
One-horned rhino killing continues unabated in Assam: Less than a week after Assam Governor PB Acharya expressed concern over the unabated killings of one-horned rhinos, poachers have killed the third of the species this year inside the Kaziranga National Park in Assam and took away its horn, park authorities said on Sunday. The poachers have killed this year's first rhino inside the park in the wee hours of January 4 and managed to escape with its horn. Read more

The Deccan Herald 14 Jan 2015 
Many lessons to be learnt from recent tiger fiasco: One late afternoon of December last when pregnant Anjana came out of her hut in Madergi village in forested Khanapur taluk in Belagavi district in Karnataka, she would never have imagined that she would be attacked and devoured by a hungry, displaced yet healthy tiger which was lurking nearby. Subsequently, the tiger too was killed and events proved it was the same tiger which had earlier attacked and Read more
 
The Hindu 25 Jan 2015
Crocodile project at Sunderbans gets a boost with expert assistance: A crocodile project in Sunderbans, aimed at increasing the number of salt water crocodiles in the delta, has got a fresh start with the help of renowned experts in herpetology who introduced global best practices in crocodile conservation. The Bhagabatpur Crocodile Project started in the mid 1970’s, was aimed at increasing the number of salt-water crocodiles, a Schedule-I species under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. Read more

The Indian Express 25 Jan 2015
Tiger census: Count the stripes: For a nation that counts a billion and more people every ten years, counting a few thousand tigers might seem like easy game. Not true. For one, tigers are not easy to spot. And when they do get spotted, they don’t look very different from each other. That’s where tiger scientists find themselves in a bit of a spot. Historically, pugmark technique has been one of the most popular ways of counting tigers. Each tiger is known to leave a distinct pugmark on the ground and these are different from the others in the big cat family. Read more
 
The Times of India 25 Jan 2015 
The big cats are back, now clear their corridors: Indian tigers have come roaring back to life from the crisis of 2006, when just 1,411 were found to be left in the wild. Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar's announcement that the 2014 tiger census showed a 30% increase in the big cat's numbers in four years has been greeted as a success of India's conservation efforts since that shock. Read more
 
The Asian Age 28 Jan 2015 
The tiger’s leap: Today we have 2,226 tigers and we celebrate once more, but the most respected tiger scientist in India has issued a press release cautioning us that the science being used to count tigers is outdated. I am happy that we have more tigers today than yesterday. But I am not happy that, as a nation, we are bent on counting tigers and alternately moaning or gloating over it. I am happy that the media covers positives instead of always focusing on what’s gone wrong. Read more 
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