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Illegal Trade in Star Tortoise Thrives

Illegal Trade in Star Tortoise Thrives
(January 28, 2020) More than a lakh of turtles and tortoises were poached in a span of a decade. Experts throw light on the illegal trade, where most of the poaching takes place, what is done after they are rescued and how their numbers can increase.Star Tortoise spotted in Bandipur. Photo courtesy: HarshaIn October 2019, wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC released a report which claimed that over the past decade since September 2009, at least more than 1 lakh freshwater turtles and tortoises were poached i...

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Students, Safeguard Turtles the TSA Way

Students, Safeguard Turtles the TSA Way
(January 24, 2020) To save and conserve turtles, people need to get involved and raise awareness about them. One is not too young to help safeguard the endangered species from extinction. This is exactly what Turtle Survival Alliance does, by conducting outreach programs and spreading the word among school and college students.Students of Tezpur University attend an outreach program conducted by Turtle Survival Alliance at their Nature Discovery Centre in Biswanath Ghat, Assam. Photo courtesy: TSA IndiaTurtles are...

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All about flying squirrels

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”

“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!

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

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

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!

(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

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

(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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