IIT Madras, Harvard University researchers develop algorithm to save wildlife from poaching
Indian Institute of Technology Madras and Harvard University Researchers have developed a novel Machine Learning (ML) algorithm named ‘CombSGPO’ (Combined Security Game Policy Optimization) that can help in saving wildlife from poaching.
Tiger-centric conservation efforts push other predators to the fringes
Nepal and India have made huge strides in boosting their tiger populations over the past decade, but these conservation actions may have come at the expense of other predators, research shows. The current approach of burning tall grasses and rooting out tree shoots to give deer and antelope fresh grass, and tigers fresh prey, isn’t even working in the tigers’ favor, one study shows. Conservationists say there needs to be a habitat management approach that accommodates a wider range of both prey and predator species.
Orphaned and exposed, why these Indian leopard cubs can’t return to the wild
Recognised rescues centres and zoos in Maharashtra suffer an acute shortage of space to house an increasing number of large carnivores being deemed for lifetime captivity. The few spots that open for them are replenished by the ones in rescue centres, which are in turn quickly filled up by leopards captured in human-leopard conflict scenarios. There is a pressing need to rehabilitate and release individual animals proactively – they’re better off getting a second chance at survival than spending their lifetime in captivity and burdening a system that is already crumbling without respite.
Money spider, ant-mimicking spider discovered at Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
Money spiders, commonly found in European meadows, have been reported for the first time in the country from the Muthanga range of the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary. The species is called so as it is “believed to bring luck” to the person who comes in contact with it.
Researchers warn about perils of mass drives to plant trees
Researchers at Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) have cautioned on the perils of tree planting drives undertaken annually during World Environment Day on June 5. While state governments, NGOs and CSR professionals go on a tree-planting spree to address climate change, researchers have found that in many of these initiatives, the approach towards tree planting as a natural climate solution is flawed and objectifies trees as a carbon capture solution to the climate crisis.
© The Indian Express
Researchers Put Together the Largest Photo Database of Amazon’s Wildlife
Recently, researchers photographed hundreds of species living in the rainforest to create an archive of life and loss. Think more than 57,000 images of a home and its residents; a giant anteater lazily sitting in a wallow, jaguar cabs playfully bouncing around, short-eared dogs cautiously walking around. Plus, harpy eagles, pumas, Andean bears, tapirs, and a tide of other species that are on the edge of losing their home, prowling and crawling through the corners of the largest rainforest in the world. The album harnesses the power of images to inspire both empathy and action; these are images of chaos, but also survival.
Study establishes key areas for tiger movement in central India
In a paper published in March, researchers from five previous studies that had mapped out tiger corridors in central India came together to combine their results. The collaboration identified overlapping areas where all five studies agreed that habitat connectivity is key for tiger movement in central India. The study authors call these areas “consensus connectivity areas.” They say they hope that having a single map based on scientific consensus will be useful for informing local infrastructure projects and measures to protect and maintain these areas.
Tigers across central India traverse long distances to get from one protected area to another. Maintaining safe areas for the big cats to move through — known as wildlife corridors — is essential for allowing tigers to thrive and avoid inbreeding.
© State of the Planet
Sea of pink near Mumbai — why 1.3 lakh flamingos have flocked to Thane Creek, the ‘highest ever’
Researchers say it’s hard to pinpoint exact reason behind spurt, but feel rapid urbanisation plays a role, and pollution creates conducive environment for organisms these birds feed on.
Over 1.33 lakh flamingos have been observed across the Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary, Sewri, and adjacent areas this year until May. This is the highest number of the migratory birds ever spotted in the region, according to Rahul Khot, deputy director at the Bombay Natural history Society (BNHS), a pan-India wildlife research organisation.