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Entries for January 2019

The Hunter Among the Reeds

(January 31, 2019) Bad practices and habitat loss are affecting birds that inhabit city landscapes.Written by Prasad NatarajanBefore the stone benches were installed at Hebbal lake, during summer we were able to access the tiny islands. Water used to recede and we were able to walk on the shores, sit up in bamboo shades and watch waders at close quarters. However, in the past few years a lot of work has gone into this lake and many of the islands stay submerged in summer as well. About three years ago, when I had ...

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Illegal Wildlife Trade – More than What Meets the Eye

(January 25, 2019) Joint action by various enforcement agencies alone can check the organised illegal trade which also has national security ramifications.Written by Mridula VijairaghavanSeized pangolin scales ©WCS-India ArchivesI recently came across a powerful video called Last Days, which showcased the close link between trade in ivory and how it funds militants in Africa. It shook me, and I started to read a little more about similar patterns in India. What I found was rather unsettling.The link between i...

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Boot Camps that Build Citizen Science Volunteers

(January 22, 2019) Learning can never be as much fun and adventurous as when you volunteer with WCS-India. Our legion of Citizen Science volunteers is proof of that.On the Walk'Boot-camps' often see few participants return back with the same vigour as they did the first time. But at WCS-India's boot camps, rigorous though they are, the numbers keep swelling as newcomers join the ranks of veteran volunteers. Together, they form the citizen science force, engaged in wildlife conservation.The ‘boot-camps’...

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A four-day-long rescue of an endangered animal

(January 18, 2019) It was the 15th rescue in five years involving a whole posse of experts and specialists. The nearly 9-foot pregnant female Gangetic Dolphin (Platanista gangetica) found itself stuck in the Sharda Sahayak canal in Amethi district. There was water and food but for the dolphin there is often no way to return to its wide home range.© Ravindra Kumar SinhaThe dolphin gave the rescue team a good chase up and down over four days, covering nearly 100 km. Nicknamed 'Maharani' (Queen) by the team...

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Collecting Bird Songs for Posterity

(January 15, 2019) Meet IFS officer Pratap Singh whose all-consuming passion for recording bird songs from the wilderness has resulted in a huge repository.Birds may have small brains but that does not make them less intelligent than mammals. In fact, recent studies have shown that they have more neurons packed into a square unit of area than most mammals or even primates, explaining their remarkable cognitive abilities. From making tools of twigs or building intricate nests, to placing nuts to be cracked by vehic...

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My Journey from the Magical World of Western Ghats to Rocky Hills of Eastern Ghats (Kannada - Part III)

(January 11, 2019) ಪಶ್ಚಿಮ ಘಟ್ಟಗಳ ಮಾಯಾಲೋಕದಿಂದ ಪೂರ್ವ ಘಟ್ಟಗಳ ಬಂಡೆಗಾಡುಗಳವರೆಗೆ ನನ್ನ ಪಯಣ..ಗತಿಸಿಹೋದ ಘಟನೆಗಳನ್ನು ಮೆಲಕು ಹಾಕುತ್ತ..ಸತೀಶ ಗಣೇಶ ನಾಗಠಾಣ.ಮುಂದುವರೆದ ಭಾಗ...ಸೂರ್ಯಾಸ್ತದ ವಿಹಂಗಮ ನೋಟ. ಕೃಷ್ಣಾ ನದಿ-ಆಂದ್ರ ಪ್ರದೇಶ. © ಅಂಕುರ್ ಸಿಂಗ ಚವ್ಹಾಣ.ನುಗು ಅಭಯಾರಣ್ಯ ವ್ಯಾಪ್ತಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಒಂದಿನ ನಾನು ಮತ್ತು ಗಣೇಶ (ಕ್ಷೇತ್ರ ಸಹಾಯಕ) ಲೈನ ನಡಿಯೋಕೆ ತಯ್ಯಾರಾಗಿ ನಿಂತವೀ. ರೀ ಸತೀಶ ಅರ್ಧ ಲೈನ ಅದ ಸಾವಕಾಶ ಹೋಗಿ ಸೈಟಿಂಗ್ ಮಾಡಕೊಂಡು ಬನ್ನಿರಿ ಅಂತ ಒಮ್ಮೇಲೆ ಕಟ್ಟು ನಿಟ್ಟಾಗಿ ಹೇಳಿದರು. ಆಯಿತು, ಅಂತ ದೇಶ ಕಾಯೋ ಸೈನಿಕರ ತರಹ ಸಜ್ಜಾಗಿ ಹೊರಟು ನಿಂತೆವು. ಹೆಗಲಿಗೆ ಒಂದು ಬ್ಯಾಗ, ಅದರಲ್ಲಿ ಒಂದು ಲೀ...

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Over-Fishing Could Spell Doom to Marine Ecosystem

(January 08, 2019) Written by Vardhan Patankar “Let your hook always be cast. Some fish will eat the bait and the free food will come your way”.This was a popular belief in the Andaman Islands until recently. However, these days, one can’t be so sure of a nibble. Fishermen complain of dwindling fish numbers and a livelihood struggle.This is the pattern common in much of the tropics. Once abundant fish are now rare and those in demand are getting exploited at an alarming rate. So why then are...

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How the Great Hornbill has adapted to coffee plantations

(January 03, 2019) Despite losing out large chunks of their habitat, these birds have learnt to make use of available resources.Written by Pooja PawarThe lush green canopy of the tropical forests with tall towering trees is the ideal habitat for the Great Hornbill— the largest among Asian hornbills. The distribution of this species spans from across the tropical forests of Southeast Asia till its westernmost limit in the Western Ghats of the Indian peninsula. Hornbills are large-bodied, wide-ranging birds an...

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