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Entries for April 2020

Fearless in the Face of Pressure, ‘Encroachment Eviction Specialist’ Basu Kannogia has Cleared Over 6,800 Hectares of Encroached Forest Land

(April 30, 2020) By Manish Machaiah and Aashika RaviThe name ‘Encroachment Eviction Specialist’ isn’t conferred on just anyone. With over 6,800 hectares of total encroachment land cleared, and over 150 cases of illegal activity and nearly 50 cases of poaching filed, Basu Kannogia lives up to her title.Photo courtesy: Basu KannogiaAfter completing her primary education from Kanpur, she earned her Master’s degree in Zoology from Allahabad University in Uttar Pradesh. Belonging to the Indian...

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Living with Leopards

Living with Leopards
(April 29, 2020) It was late in the night, and I was busy comparing pictures of leopards on my laptop. Leopards have rosette patterns which are unique to each individual and can help identify them. It was tough to concentrate, though, as I kept hearing the eerie call of a barn owl. Just as I leaned out of my window to photograph the owl with my smart phone, it rang. Off went the owl into the night!Screen grab from a video where the mother returns to take her cubs. Source: Wildlife SOSThe caller was my friend, Ja...

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Global Health Implications of Wildlife Trade

(April 27, 2020) A third of the first 41 patients that were admitted to the hospital for symptoms of COVID-19, then an unknown and unnamed disease, had had an exposure to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, central China (Huang et al, 2020). Naturally, strong speculations were made that COVID-19 causing novel coronavirus might have emerged from this wet market (ibid.), that also sold wildlife illegally. It had ideal conditions for the novel mutation of the coronavirus (Evans, 2020): hygiene conditions ...

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State Forest Departments Across the Country Provide Relief to Forest Communities during Lockdown

(April 20, 2020) After our reportage on the Kerala Forest Department’s efforts to support interior forest communities during the lockdown, the state Forest Department has released a video documenting its efforts.Meanwhile, we received multiple responses from other state forest departments carrying out similar initiatives.  We spoke to Satovisha Samajder, Divisional First Officer, Balod, Chattisgarh, who is spearheading a Door-to-Door collection system during these unprecedented times.“Normall...

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Why Birdwatching is the Perfect Hobby to Take Up This Lockdown

Why Birdwatching is the Perfect Hobby to Take Up This Lockdown
(April 14, 2020) Picture this. A cacophony of bird calls near a tree, indicating something is amiss. A shikra tries to go into the tree. Just then, a kite flying overhead dive bombs into the tree. A serpent eagle is revealed to be the object of attention, flying out and into a much denser tree in its attempts to escape the kite’s attacks. When it flies in, a few grey hornbills fly out in confusion.This is not an Our Planet episode or a Nat Geo documentary. This spectacle took place in Mohit, a wildlife pho...

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An Evening with Bianca – The leopard who attended the Aarti and Azaan

An Evening with Bianca – The leopard who attended the Aarti and Azaan
(April 13, 2020) It was a winter evening from Aarey milk colony. Well, we Mumbaikars like to call “winter” any day when we receive some relief from the heat. Honestly, I don’t remember stepping out in a sweater for school. But, that has never been the case with the people in Aarey. One can evidently feel the temperatures drop once you enter Aarey’s vicinity and the residents, unlike other Mumbaikars, do have to pull out their winter wear, at least till the first week of March.One fine win...

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