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Showing posts from September, 2021

Ken Betwa Project : Plan to Massacre Millions of Trees Give Goosebumps

 India should  drop the idea  of Ken Betwa  Linking Project (KBLP) which will require felling of  2 to 4  million trees in the emerald forests of Panna national park . Think of the  loss of this staggering  number of trees  in the backdrop of the  unprecedented summers that the country  experienced in the year 2024. Many parts of Bundelkhand where Panna  is situated recorded 49 degrees Celsius while the mercury  soared to 52.9 degrees C in Delhi, later corrected by the government to 50 degrees C (49.9). For a moment forget  the loss of tiger habitat  in the park, think over our own survival. Referring to the  special morphological significance and unique biodiversity of Panna national park, the central empowered committee of the Supreme Court  on the KBLP  observed ," implementing this project would result in the complete breakdown of the evolutionary processes of millions of years." It warned of the widespread ecological devastation.River Ken  is lifeline of  the tiger reser

Awesome Assam : Commitment to Conserve its Biodiversity

For the past few months, Assam has been buzzing with positive news stories of environment and wildlife conservation activities. Three months ago, two new national parks came into existence while burning of rhino horns has grabbed international headlines. Assam has set the agenda for the conservation of some of the most endangered species including the greater one -horn rhino and golden langur, one of the world’s most endangered primates endemic to northeast India and Bhutan.    Unique, Unmatched Transboundary  Biodiversity Famous for golden langur, Raimona national park , became sixth national park of Assam on June 5 this year followed by Eastern Assam’s Dehing Patkai national park  and elephant reserve  on June 9 2021. The five national parks that existed prior to the 422 sq km Raimona are Kaziranga, Manas- both world heritage sites-, Nameri, Orang and Dibru-Saikhowa. Assam now stands third in the list of the states in India with the most national parks after 12 in Madhya Pradesh and

Rhino Horns Consign to Flames but Will it Check Poaching?

  Amidst chanting of rhymes and vedic rituals, the “world’s largest stockpile” of rhino horns was burnt to ashes in Assam. The ceremony was held in a  stadium of Bokakhat, the headquarters of the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve , a world heritge site, on the occasion of  the World Rhino Day on  September 22. It was aimed at dispelling myths leading to an illegal horn trade and the poaching of the majestic animal.  But the question raised by the environmentalists is , “ Will it check the rhino poaching”? " A World Record" A large number of people witnessed the “ world record”  made at the Bokakhat  stadium when 2,479 horns stored in 12 district treasuries since 1979 were burnt in six large iron furnaces  especially designed for the purpose. These were lit remotely through drones . The weight of the horns destroyed was 1,305.25 kg. Before the  horns were consigned to flames, experts had verified the horns using "scientific methods" at the treasuries they wer

Big Step Towards Conservation of Kaziranga Rhino

The World Rhino day (WRD) – September 22- is going to witness an unprecedented happening in Assam.  The state government has decided to set ablaze nearly 2,500 confiscated rhinoceros’ horns on this day to spread a message against the illegal multi-million dollar  trade of the horns. The pachyderm, listed as vulnerable on the IUCN red list , is  killed for its horns. Preparations are underway at Bokakhat in Assam's Golaghat district, near Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR), to destroy 2,479 pieces of rhino horn housed in state treasuries. This will be done publicly. These horns confiscated from poachers have been piling for years in the government treasuries . Home to these beautiful animals, Kaziranga is a world heritage site. It is a major wildlife tourism attraction.    Myths of Aphrodisiac and Illegal Trade of Horns Long ago, North-East India’s active conservation group Nature’s Beckon had claimed that the state forest department used to sell rhino horns even aft

Are Lion Tailed Macaque More Fortunate than Panna Tigers: A Tale of Two Projects

Almost a  year after the Karnataka high court stayed the project that had further threatened the already endangered lion tailed macaque (LTM) ((Macaca silenus), endemic to the Sharavathi river valley nestled in the Western Ghats; the sword of Damocles continues to hang over the primates. The Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL) had launched a geothermal survey  with heavy machines to ascertain if the 2000 MW underground pump storage hydro-electric project was feasible. Besides LTM, the Sharavathi river valley is also home to a diverse array of species and sustains very rich biodiversity. Though the  court stay continues, the south Indian state has not yet withdrawn the project. For the time being, the power project may not have been in the priority list of the government after the change in the political guard, it continues to stare at LTM menacingly. Sharavathi Valley, a Jewel in the Western Ghats The project was proposed within the core area of 902 sq km in the Sharavathi Valle

Victims of Drones and Selfie Seekers, Jawai Leopards on the Brink

Leopards found in the famous granite hills of Jawai are in deep trouble. Encroachers at the Jawai Leopard Conservation Reserve (JLCR) in Rajasthan have reportedly crossed almost all the limits threatening the very existence of the spotted cat, about 60 to 65 in numbers. There is a history of 150 years of coexistence of the elusive cat with humans in the region but overdose of wildlife tourism is all set to disturb the environmental equilibrium. Drones fly over the big cats and gypsies are driven right in front of the caves of the leopards as the tourists take selfies, a report prepared by a sub divisional officer ( SDO) in July 2020 revealed.  The SDO also annexed pictures of   drones flying over leopards and a number of gypsies parked in front of  the animal caves. Wildlife experts fear that increased human activity may push leopards away from the reserve or the human interference may lead to man-animal conflict. Water Body with Spectacular Surroundings Jawai is a stunning landscape