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“Conservation is not the mandate of a single department, every single individual has to work for conservation.”: An interview with R Keerthi, Director, State Forest Training Institute, Kerala

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“Conservation is not the mandate of a single department, every single individual has to work for conservation.”: An interview with R Keerthi, Director, State Forest Training Institute, Kerala
(July 06, 2020) From ranking first in the Indian Forest Service (IFS) Exam nearly nine years ago, to now leading the State Forest Training Institute (STFI), Walayar, Kerala, R Keerthi has come a long way in her prestigious career as a forest officer.We spoke to her about her motivations for serving in the IFS, her biggest learning experiences, and her current role as Director, STFI.Tell us a little bit about your motivations behind joining the IFS. What drew you to it?I always loved nature. When I was a kid, wa...

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Conservation Alliances

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Conservation Alliances
(June 25, 2020) Quite often as wildlife biologists or conservationists, we tend to forget about the interests of other humans. Especially if one is fresh off the boat equipped with a degree in biology and conservation. Conservation becomes all about saving whatever enigmatic flora, fauna or habitat that has caught the eye. It can easily blind one into not considering other denizens – the people – who are as much a part of the story as the species or habitat. It is easy to forget that people can be a...

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"We’re competing with wildlife for their food & shelter": Prakriti Srivastava on Challenges in Conservation and Human-Wildlife Conflict

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"We’re competing with wildlife for their food & shelter": Prakriti Srivastava on Challenges in Conservation and Human-Wildlife Conflict
(June 15, 2020) Prakriti Srivastava is an officer from the Indian Forest Service, currently country director, Wildlife Conservation Society - India. In this interview with Aditi Phadnis, she discusses a host of challenges faced by those who want to conserve wildlife, including the animal-human conflict.Illustration by Binay SinhaThe horrific incident in which an elephant died in Kerala recently has once again brought to the fore the conflict between animals and humans. The bestiality of this attack has shocked ...

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Of Pets, Delicacies and Calipee: A glimpse into the seamless trade in freshwater turtles and tortoises

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Of Pets, Delicacies and Calipee: A glimpse into the seamless trade in freshwater turtles and tortoises
(June 11, 2020) By Ramya Roopa SengottuvelTrade in wildlife has existed for decades. However, trafficking is no longer synonymous only with illegal trade in big charismatic fauna or their parts, such as the pelts of big cats, rhino horns, elephant ivory and so on. Several animal and plant species – newer, rarer and barely known, have come to enter and dominate illegal markets, both nationally and internationally. Like other trade industries, trends in the type and quantity of the commodity traded (a speci...

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The Sound of Nature: Using AI to protect life on land and below water

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The Sound of Nature: Using AI to protect life on land and below water
(June 05, 2020) Artificial Intelligence has given computers vision. It is now giving conservationists the “ears” they need. Recognizing endangered species by their call in the wild is a critical element in conservation efforts. Unlike vision, sound can be used to track them even if the animals are camouflaged and irrespective of the direction where they are located. Also, sound travels a long distance in the wild. This means that tracking by sound can work even in areas that are difficult to access....

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ವಿಸ್ಮಯಲೋಕದ ನಾವಿಕರು... (ಭಯ, ಕುತೂಹಲ, ಹಾಸ್ಯ) Sailors of the Amazing World (Part 1)

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ವಿಸ್ಮಯಲೋಕದ ನಾವಿಕರು... (ಭಯ, ಕುತೂಹಲ, ಹಾಸ್ಯ) Sailors of the Amazing World (Part 1)
(May 28, 2020) ವಿಸ್ಮಯಲೋಕದ ನಾವಿಕರು...(ಭಯ, ಕುತೂಹಲ, ಹಾಸ್ಯ)ದಂಡಕಾರಣ್ಯದ ಸುತ್ತ ಚಲಿಸುವ ಹೆಜ್ಜೆಗಳು...ಲೇಖಕರು – ಸತೀಶ ಗ. ನಾಗಠಾಣಬೆಳಗಿನ ಹೊತ್ತು ತಂಪಾಗಿ ಬೀಸುತ್ತಿರುವ ಗಾಳಿ ಮತ್ತು ದಟ್ಟವಾಗಿ ಕವಿದಿದ್ದ ಮೋಡಗಳು ನೆಲಕ್ಕೆ ತಾಗಿದಂತಾಗಿತ್ತು. ದಟ್ಟ ಕಾಡು ಕಿಕ್ಕಿರಿದು ತುಂಬಿದ ಬೃಹತ್ ಮರಗಳ ಸಾಲುಗಳ ಮಧ್ಯದಲ್ಲಿ ಒಂದು ಅಂಕು-ಡೊಂಕಾದ ಮಣ್ಣಿನ ರಸ್ತೆ ಬಹಳ ದೂರದವರೆಗೆ ಹಾದು ಹೋಗುತ್ತಿತ್ತು. ಗುಡ್ಡಗಾಡುಗಳಿಂದ ಆವರಿಸಿದ ಕಣಿವೆಗಳ ಸುತ್ತ ಚಿಕ್ಕ-ಚಿಕ್ಕ ನೀರಿನ ಜಲಪಾತಗಳನ್ನು ತನ್ನ ಒಡಲೊಳಗೆ ಧುಮ್ಮಿಕ್ಕಿ ಹರಿಯುವ ಇಳಿಜಾರುಗಳಿಂದ ಕೂಡಿದ ಆಳವಾದ ತಗ್ಗು ಪ್ರದೇಶ ಅದಾಗಿತ್ತು. ಸಮರೋಪಾದಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಚಲಿಸುವ ಮಣ್ಣಿನ ರಸ್ತೆ ತನ...

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"We must unite and fight to save the bustard": Dr. Nigel Collar's Message on Bustard Conservation

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"We must unite and fight to save the bustard": Dr. Nigel Collar's Message on Bustard Conservation
(May 21, 2020) A message from Dr. Nigel Collar, Chairman of the IUCN Bustard Specialist Group to the WCS event at CMS, February 2020.Dr. Nigel Collar with other experts at the Desert National Park. Photo courtesy: H S Sathya Chandra SagarThousands of species are coming to the end of their lives in our current extinction crisis. Many of them can be saved with relative ease (if global warming does not take away their habitat), because they have restricted ranges in which reserves can be establishe...

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Better Tourism for a Better Terra

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Better Tourism for a Better Terra
(May 19, 2020) By Jisha JacobOn July 5th 1841, 500 people took an excursion from Leicester to Loughborough on a chartered train. Thomas Cook had marshalled one of the first organized tourism packages ever, kick-starting the era of modern tourism. Little did he know that he had pioneered a global industry. Over the century, the travel and tourism industry has grown immensely. Today it has spread out into various niche areas; rural, medical, cultural and heritage tourism being few of the many. Globally, the indu...

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Small or Big, Your Home Garden Has the Potential to Be a Refuge for Urban Wildlife

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Small or Big, Your Home Garden Has the Potential to Be a Refuge for Urban Wildlife
(May 15, 2020) In recent days, I have taken to reading a book that has opened my eyes to much of my city Bangalore’s ecological history. Nature in the City: Bengaluru in the Past, Present and Future, authored by Harini Nagendra, ecologist and Professor of Sustainability at Azim Premji University explores urban green spaces in the city, including parks, slums, streets and lakes.However, what stayed with me was a chapter on home gardens, and their role in supporting much of a city’s biodiversity.Phot...

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

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(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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