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The Dancing Frogs of India

(March 20, 2020) In the year 2015, while I was working on an Environment Impact Assessment project in the Western Ghats of India, my advisor Dr Gururaja pointed out the Kottigehar Dancing Frog (Micrixalus kottigeharensis) to me.I still remember that day quite vividly. We parked our car on the roadside. It wasn’t an easy place to park. There were huge potholes on the road and we had to scan the area before we found a safe place. The rains seemed to have subsided, however, there was still a light, steady dri...

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Citizens and Experts Help Rescue a Precious Indian Star Tortoise

(March 19, 2020) Divya Shetty is a Bangalorean actively involved with the Puttenahalli Neighbourhood Lake Improvement Trust. One day, the gardeners who worked around the Puttenahalli lake found the Indian star tortoise on the embankment. Soon after, it was rescued and rehabilitated with the help of Bannerghatta National Park. In this article, Divya Shetty describes the rescue operation and rehabilitation of the endangered species. This is an example that shows what citizens can do to protect and preserve wildlif...

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Shark Tales: Conserving sharks in today's India

Shark Tales: Conserving sharks in today's India
(March 12, 2020) Sharks are one of the most threatened groups of marine fishes today. In India, 152 species of sharks and rays have been recorded, furthermore, there is an addition of new species every year. Today India is the third-largest exporter of sharks in the world and the shark populations continue to dwindle in our waters due to overfishing.Fins from sharks, guitarfish and wedge fish kept for drying for further trade. Photo courtesy: Zoya TyabjiStudies over the years have indicated that sharks act as &l...

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Wildlife Usage Must be Based on Sound Science and Adaptive Management

(February 26, 2020) Susan Lieberman, Vice President, International Policy, Wildlife Conservation Society, spoke about the highlights of the CMS CoP 13 that was held in Gandhinagar from February 15-22, 2020. Edited excerpts:Ishan Kukreti: What, for you, have been the highlights of this CoP so far?Susan Lieberman: It has been a great CoP thus far. The outcomes have been very positive. WCS is very pleased with the consensus to list the jaguar in Appendices I and II, Asian elephant in Appendix I, and Great Indian ...

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Poaching and Illegal Trafficking have Almost Decimated Pangolins

Poaching and Illegal Trafficking have Almost Decimated Pangolins
(February 25, 2020) Dedicatedly, with powerful strokes, a man tries to hack a tree trunk for inside it hides a scaly treasure, a pangolin. Traumatized and scared, the pangolin refuses to come out of its safe abode. Seeing that his attempts are slowly turning futile, the man changes his strategy and fogs the tree trunk with smoke from a freshly lit wooden log. Suffocated and drowsy, the helpless pangolin falls out of the trunk and curves itself into a defensive ball. This defense is useless however, as it makes it e...

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From Curling Up to Scaling Up: Coming together to save the Pangolin

(February 15, 2020) On the occasion of World Pangolin Day (February 15), Mridula Vijairaghavan, Legal Advisor with WCS-India, writes about a heart-wrenching incident with a pangolin in distress. She says that despite having the highest level of legal protection for pangolins in India, they continue to be rampantly traded. In fact, they are said to be the highest trafficked species globally. Time to make a change and save the pangolin, she says, in this blog.Picture for representation purpose only. Photo Courtesy: W...

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The Fishing Cat in Laxmi’s Backyard

(February 14, 2020) A study of the biodiversity of the Godavari delta offers a glimpse into the conservation status of the wetland dependant fishing cat that lives in the mangroves and swamps of this coastal region of Andhra Pradesh.The mangroves of Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, in Andhra Pradesh, provide a safe and resource-rich haven for the fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus). The elusive feline is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Photo courtesy: Anjani KumarIn a primary school cl...

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Conservationist Bano Haralu’s Efforts to Give Wings to Amur Falcons

(February 11, 2020) Every year, during October and November, thousands of Amur falcons converge in the Wokha district of Nagaland, as they wing along their migration route from Siberia through the Himalayas all the way to South Africa. However, on this great sweeping voyage, an estimated 120,000 – 140,000 Amur falcons were being slaughtered in a remote part of north-eastern India for economic gain and consumption, resulting in a huge decline in their population. Bano Haralu, a journalist-turned-conservationis...

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Nothing Novel about Coronavirus!

(February 06, 2020) Even as China struggles to battle the spread of Coronavirus, India will do well to ruthlessly crack the whip on illegal wildlife markets, lest they give rise to India’s very own zoonotic disease. Experts say that increasing interaction or contact between humans and wildlife are one of the key drivers of disease outbreak.Hunting of wild animals for meat (Picture for representation purpose only). Photo courtesy: Raghuram RAs China grapples with the outbreak of the ‘novel Coronavirus 20...

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The Way Ahead for Wetlands

(February 03, 2020) February 2 was World Wetlands Day, as also the day on which the Convention on Wetlands was adopted in 1971 in Ramsar, Iran. Incidentally, India, too, is a signatory. Wetlands are hugely beneficial as they control floods, recharge groundwater and purify water, besides offering other advantages. Hence, the need to conserve them. Recently, Ramsar declared 10 more wetland sites in India as sites of international importance, an encouraging step. Here’s an interview with scientist T. Ganesh on t...

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