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All about flying squirrels

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All about flying squirrels
(January 21, 2020) The 21st of January each year is observed worldwide as Squirrel Appreciation Day. On this occasion,  Sumashini P. S., a research fellow with Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE), Bengaluru, pens down some of her memorable encounters with flying squirrels in various parts of India. Read her blog to know more about the superheroes of the squirrel world.It was sometime in late January 2018. We seized a weekend to make a quick visit to Chakrata, from Dehra...

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“For me, forests stand for the 3Ts: Tree, Tiger and Tribe”

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“For me, forests stand for the 3Ts: Tree, Tiger and Tribe”
(January 17, 2020) It’s all in a day’s work for Satovisha Samajder, now DFO Balod: searching for illegal timber kingpins, reclaiming encroached land in reserved forest areas, handling human-bear conflict situations, finding workable alternatives to problems, and developing, educating and employing tribals. The Divisional Forest Officer in Chattisgarh stays undeterred by challenges, considering them to be part of her job. She has even earned recognition from the UN for making Durg in Chattisgarh an open...

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It’s a safari, not a picnic!

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It’s a safari, not a picnic!
(January 10, 2020) A safari is an opportunity to sight wild animals, gain insights into their world, understand them and glory in their existence. It’s also a time when you must tone down, be considerate and not disturb them or the visitors who have come to see them. Deeksha, a wildlife enthusiast, recalls a safari where an insensitive group created a din, ruining the novel experience of a sighting a tiger for everyone with their boorish behavior.It was 5 in the morning when I woke up to my father requesting...

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She brought a dried-up 18-acre water body back to life

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She brought a dried-up 18-acre water body back to life
(January 03, 2020) Her positive attitude and ability to work hard helped young forest officer, Sudha Ramen, to revive Chennai’s Otteri lake in Vandalur Zoo. The dying lake had once attracted thousands of migratory birds. Now it was all dried up. Sudha took up the challenge, and in less than a year, much has changed. The lake is full. The birds are back. Sudha, a bio-medical engineer by training and an ex-techie who chose to switch to forest services, even developed an app that won her the Dr. Kalam Innovatio...

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Debunking myths – Snakes and Shravan

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Debunking myths – Snakes and Shravan
(December 31, 2019) The cruel association of snakes with Shravan, the fifth month of the Hindu calendar and the role of unscrupulous saperasor snake-charmers in propagating superstition leads to untold misery for serpents. 34 snakes were seized on the last Shravan Somvar by Wildlife SOS & the Forest Dept. in Agra © Wildlife SOSCome months of July and August and the pavements on roads and streets leading to temples begin to be dotted by men dressed in saffron clothing, with colorful baskets laid out in...

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A journey to the depths of Angria Bank!

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(December 27, 2019) Angria Bank is a submerged plateau situated 105 km offshore from the southern coast of Maharashtra. This 2011 km2 region ranges from depths of 20m to 400m. It supports a large extent of coral reefs and algal habitats, spanning 650 km2 that harbours a high diversity of associated flora and fauna. The reefs also host diverse functional groups that are necessary for a stable ecosystem representing a resilient reef. This unique ecosystem makes it among the last strongholds of marine diversity in the...

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Hoot-Hoot: The Importance of Owls

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Hoot-Hoot: The Importance of Owls
(December 24, 2019) Owls have been portrayed as wise, and as birds of ill omen in turn. While there is much wonder about them, they are also killed and parts of their bodies are being used in rituals. They are considered as a biocontrol agent, keeping the agricultural pests in check, and reducing the farmer’s dependence on pesticides. It is time we recognize that they are friends of human beings and find ways to co-exist with them. Mottled wood owl © Nazneen SultanThey are one of the most recognised...

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WCS-India's Marine Team undergoes refresher course at Netrani

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(December 20, 2019)  The ship wreck at Netrani used by WCS-India researchers as training site. Picture credit: Venkat CharlooLate in November 2019, the four members of the Marine Conservation Program's core team underwent a refresher diving course at Netrani, Karnataka. Given that the field season has just begun, the team felt it would be best to recalibrate their skills underwater, get accustomed to each other's diving abilities and nuances, and revise how to collect data underwater.Netrani is a small island ...

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Meet Our Staff: Dr. Shailendra Singh

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Meet Our Staff: Dr. Shailendra Singh
(December 17, 2019) From a small village on Indo-Nepal border to a renowned name in the field of freshwater fauna conservation, Dr Shailendra Singh, Associate Director, Aquatic Wildlife program, WCS-India, has surely travelled a long distance. Truly passionate about conservation of magnificent water dwellers, no challenge seems big enough to impede his commitment and love towards these animals.Shailendra earned his Master’s degree on gharials and a PhD on the Red-crowned roofed turtles. He also spearheaded WC...

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Imperiled primates of northeast India

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(December 13, 2019) Traversing across south of Brahmaputra valley in Assam couple of decades ago, you could have easily caught sight of a short-tailed, shaggy haired, bald-faced Indian primate – shaking branches, showing teeth and screaming at you! However, today, Stump-tailed macaques (STM), once, one of the most widespread primates of these forests, are at the brink of extinction. Same goes for Pig-tailed macaques, Hoolock gibbons and other primates of this region. On the occasion of World Monkey Day (Decem...

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