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Italy Ngala Offline
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ONE OF LAST 3 SUMATRAN RHINOS IN SABAH – PUNTUNG – CRITICALLY ILL
April 5, 2017

Puntung as seen on Wednesday, being fed by a Sabah Wildlife ranger on Wednesday, April 5. – Photo credit Sabah Wildlife Department

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By BORNEOTODAY REPORTERS
KOTA KINABALU: Puntung, one of the last three Sumatran Rhinos in Malaysia, is critically ill with an abscess deep inside her upper jaw, the Sabah Wildlife Department disclosed Wednesday.

Augustine Tuuga

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SWD Director Augustine Tuuga said there is grave concern because there are signs that Puntung’s infection is deep and very likely has spread even deeper and it has not responded to drainage and antibiotic treatment.

“We are especially worried about sepsis, an infection that can spread quickly through the body and rapidly cause death,” he said in a statement.

Sabah is home to only three out of last few tens of the critically endangered Sumatran rhino, the last all being in Indonesia.

All three Malaysian rhinos are cared for at the Borneo Rhino Sanctuary in Tabin Wildlife Reserve, Lahad Datu, Sabah, by Borneo Rhino Alliance (BORA), a non-governmental organization contracted by Sabah Wildlife Department.

Puntung was captured in 2011 and was subsequently found that she was the last remaining wild rhino in the Reserve.

The abscess as seen last week which has not responded to treatment.

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“We estimate that Puntung is around 25 years old. Sumatran rhinos have a life expectancy of around 35 years,” said Datuk John Payne, BORA executive director.

“The loss of Puntung now would be a tragedy, because she potentially has quite a few years of egg production left.”

Veterinarian Dr Zainal Zahari Zainuddin has been caring for Puntung since the day of her capture and he is doing all that possible to treat Puntung, added Payne.

When Puntung was first captured, the idea was to allow her to contribute towards preventing the species extinction by mating her with male, Tam, in a managed, fenced facility.

It was then found that Puntung had a severe array of cysts lining her uterus, which were resistant to treatment, making her unable to bear a pregnancy.

Puntung in a temporary treatment point in her forest paddock last week.

*This image is copyright of its original author

Since 2014, with the capture of one more female rhino in Sabah, efforts have been directed towards trying to make rhino embryos through in vitro fertilization, the merging of a sperm and egg in the laboratory.

This has been done by Professor Thomas Hildebrandt and his team of specialists from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Germany, Professor Cesare Galli of Avantea laboratories in Italy, and Professor Arief Boediono of Institut Pertanian Bogor.

If successful, embryos could be offered to Indonesia for implantation into surrogate mother rhinos of the same species in Sumatra.
"Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin." C. Darwin
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Nepal Jimmy Offline
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( This post was last modified: 04-10-2017, 02:06 PM by sanjay Edit Reason: corrected the image )

Greater one horned rhino translocation is under way in Chitwan national park. After a gap of seven years the second batch of rhinos was finally let loose in the far western Shuklaphanta national park following the decision to shift atleast five rhinos to the park. And some twenty five to the Bardia national park later in year. Here are some amazing moments captured by phographer Prakash Mathema.


*This image is copyright of its original author


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India sanjay Offline
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@Jimmy, Images are not visible.
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( This post was last modified: 04-10-2017, 02:04 PM by Jimmy )

@sanjay Really, i had inserted All the URL to the imgage code.... looks like @Rishi has seen. if not here is the news in nepali but it's a photo blog so you can get an idea. http://www.mysansar.com/2017/04/27182/
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( This post was last modified: 04-10-2017, 02:10 PM by sanjay )

Never mind,
I fixed it. The images has last extension as .webp, I replaced it with .jpg and its working now
I read the news and its awesome to see the incident even in Image, Also video is worthwhile to mention



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Big Grin  ( This post was last modified: 04-18-2017, 10:32 AM by Rishi )


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Started searching after reading article in "Ebala" a local newspaper.
Turns out...



Buzz over wolf sighting in Sunderbans
TNN | Apr 18, 2017, 06.00 AM IST


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Kolkata: An Indian wolf (Canis lupus pallipes) has reportedly been sighted for the first time in the Sunderbans, taking wildlife enthusiasts by surprise. This is the first photographic evidence of the animal in the entire Sunderbans spread over both India and Bangladesh, they claim.

The sighting is significant since wolves in Bengal are mostly found in the western parts bordering Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. An endangered animal, the Indian wolf prefers to live in scrub lands, grasslands and semi-arid pastoral/ agricultural landscape. Less than 2,000 wolves are currently found in the forests of India.

The animal was sighted by naturalist Riddhi Mukherjee during a photographic tour on April 14 at Jatirampur village in Pakhirala, just opposite the Sajnekhali wildlife sanctuary. "We sighted it for about 15 minutes before it vanished into the thickets," Mukherjee said.

Sunderbans Tiger Reserve field director Nilanjan Mullick said there were camera traps in the area that could confirm the presence of the animal. "We can only comment about the species and its origin after seeing the photograph," he said, adding that presence of the Indian wolf has never been recorded in the Sunderbans.
Chief wildlife warden Pradeep Vyas said he has seen Mukherjee's photograph, but would comment only after checking the camera trap images. "Wolves are usually found in a pack. This is a solitary animal. So, we have to investigate," he said.



Wildlife Institute of India (WII) scientist Y V Jhala said the "facial markings show it's an adult wolf". "Since wolves can travel long distances, it's possible that this animal has probably dispersed from the western part of Bengal. Probably, there's a pack. It's a great sighting."

State wildlife advisory board member Joydip Kundu, though, cautioned against creating euphoria. "It's a very important discovery, but we should not get carried away creating euphoria but focus on conservation of the species with locals."



Sources said there have been reports of bird and cattle lifting from the fringe villages of Pakhirala, Ayenpur and Jatirampur over the past few says. Locals suspect the involvement of the photographed wolf behind this.

Sources said rigorous experiment now needs to be carried out to find out whether the Sunderbans is a natural habitat for the particular animal or whether it is an introduced species.
In the wild, expect the unexpected, as we humans haven't really much clue of what to expect.
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https://news.mongabay.com/2017/04/scient...t-species/ )

Scientists launch global search for 25 ‘lost’ species
19 April 2017  

Shreya Dasgupta
Mongabay interviewed Robin Moore, communications director of Global Wildlife Conservation, to find out more about the Search for Lost Species campaign.

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  • The first phase of the this campaign, launched today by the Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC), will see groups of scientists spreading out across the world in search of "25 most wanted lost species".
  • Collectively, these 25 species have not been seen in more than 1,500 years.
  • The top 25 species include 10 mammals, three birds, three reptiles, two amphibians, three fish, one insect, one crustacean, one coral and one plant, found across 18 countries.


Unseen for decades in the wild, many species are now feared extinct. Some exist only as museum specimens, others are only known from old drawings or photographs.
But some of these missing species may still be out there, lurking in remote, unexplored regions of our planet. And to find them, scientists are embarking on what is believed to be the largest-ever global quest for our world’s forgotten animals and plants — the Search for Lost Species campaign.

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The Top 25 Lost Species. Poster by Global Wildlife Conservation (click on the image to enlarge).

The first phase of the this campaign, launched today by the Global Wildlife Conservation (GWC), will see groups of scientists spreading out across the world in search of “25 most wanted lost species”. These include the the tiny bullneck seahorse from Australia that has never been seen in the wild; the Himalayan quail that was last recorded 141 years ago in India; the Wondiwoi tree kangaroo, known only from a single specimen collected in 1928 in Indonesia; the pink-headed duck, once-widespread across India, Bangladesh and Myanmar, but last seen in 1949; and the Fernandina Galápagos tortoise, last seen in 1906 on the Galápagos’s youngest and least-explored island.
“These species include quirky, charismatic animals and plants that also represent tremendous opportunities for conservation,” Robin Moore, GWC communications director and conservation biologist, said in a statement. “While we’re not sure how many of our target species we’ll be able to find, for many of these forgotten species this is likely their last chance to be saved from extinction.”
The top 25 species in GWC’s long list of more than 1,200 lost animals and plants, include 10 mammals, three birds, three reptiles, two amphibians, three fish, one insect, one crustacean, one coral and one plant, distributed across 18 countries. Together, these 25 species have not been seen in more than 1,500 years, GWC said in the statement.
While some of these species are listed as critically endangered (and may even be possibly extinct) by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, others are listed as endangered, vulnerable or data deficient.
Mongabay interviewed Robin Moore, the brain behind the exciting Search for Lost Frogs initiative in 2010, to learn more about the Search for Lost Species campaign.
An interview with Robin Moore:
Mongabay: Why look for lost species? What do you hope to achieve?
Robin Moore: Put simply, to create flagships for conservation. To engage people in the protection of endangered species and critical habitats by raising the profile of some of the world’s forgotten species.
Rediscovery is such a powerful vehicle of hope — and hope is a much more powerful motivator than despair. I know I have gotten pretty used to talking to people about what we are losing, because I see it and live it every day, but we also need to be reminded that there is still an incredible, diverse world out there that is worth fighting for. I hope that by inviting people to join us on this quest — from its inception — we can rekindle those embers of curiosity and inspire people to connect with the wonder and awe of the natural world on a deeper level.


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Pink headed duck. Photo courtesy of Global Wildlife Conservation.

Mongabay: How did you shortlist the 25 ‘most wanted’ lost species?
Robin Moore: We invited experts from over 100 Specialist Groups of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to nominate candidate species. We took these nominations — over 1,200 species in total — and applied a number of criteria to determine the top 25 — a few of which are outlined below:
Firstly, we selected species representing a diversity of taxonomic groups — from mammals, birds and reptiles to corals, crustaceans and plants.
Secondly, we tried to achieve a good geographic spread to represent many of the biodiverse but imperiled habitats around the world.
Third, we assessed the likelihood that a species could be found. We took into account previous search effort and expert opinion on the added value of further searches. We omitted any species classified by the IUCN Red List as Extinct, instead focusing on species that are possibly extinct or simply too little known to gauge.
Fourth, we assessed the scientific and conservation importance of a rediscovery, reaching out to partners on the ground to assess possible follow-up conservation actions to protect the species and its habitat.
Finally, species with a compelling back story made strong candidates for the Top 25, because it is easier for people to connect with species whose story draws them in. It’s hard to overstate the power of a good story.
Mongabay: Why do mammals form the bulk of the top 25 species?
Robin Moore: Ten out of our Top 25 Lost Species are mammals, largely because we had fuller back stories on many of these species, which helped elevate them to candidates for poster species of the campaign. People generally connect more easily with mammals than they do with species further away from us on the evolutionary tree. There is a reason that most flagships for conservation are large-bodied mammals. But we want to use the “charisma” of a lost colobus monkey and tree kangaroo to draw people in, and to learn more about the Sierra Leone Crab, Wellington’s Solitary Coral, and Velvet Pitcher Plant, for instance. But we have to get our foot in the door with people’s attention first.

*This image is copyright of its original author
The Namdapha flying squirrel is known only from a single specimen collected in Namdapha National Park in 1981. Photo from Zoological Survey of India (CC BY-SA 3.0).

Mongabay: How does the campaign work with local partners? How many scientists and organizations are likely to be involved in this?
Robin Moore: We have collaborated with more than 100 scientists and conservation partners around the world to compile the list and develop searches. Our aim is to make this a truly collaborative campaign, and to work with as many local partners as possible, as this is our model at Global Wildlife Conservation. Our aim is to establish long-term partnerships that will lead to the protection of these species and their habitats. We also want to engage people beyond our conservation and scientific partners in the search, and have created a project within iNaturalist so that anyone can submit observations of lost species. We also invite people to nominate lost species that may be missing from our list.
Mongabay: How do you fund such an expansive search?
Robin Moore: Creatively! We will be adopting a number of approaches to raise the funds for expeditions, from an auction of lost species artwork by renowned artists, to enticing individuals and companies to sponsor expeditions, to crowdfunding.

*This image is copyright of its original author
A live bullneck seahorse has never been seen in the wild. Image by Sara A. Lourie.

Mongabay: Shouldn’t we be focusing our efforts and funds on saving species that we know are out there and are imperiled?
Robin Moore: We definitely should. But it is also not a zero sum game. One of the primary goals of this campaign is to raise support for conservation that would otherwise not be available, by inspiring people to become engaged in the cause.
Global Wildlife Conservation has worked with partners around the world to create more than 20 new nature reserves, home to more than 100 threatened species. And we continue to do this important work. But there is a reason I am being asked about this campaign instead — it taps into something very different inside of us. It is a promise to bring people with us on an odyssey of exploration and discovery to uncharted lost worlds, to feel the tingle of excitement at the first glimpse of an animal that has not been sighted in 100 years, and never before photographed.
Mongabay referred to our Search for Lost Frogs as “one of conservation’s most exciting expeditions”. It is this excitement that I think we need to connect with more deeply, as this is what we feel when we first fell in love with the natural world, and it is what is going to inspire a new generation of conservationists. We are also tapping into our innate tendency to value more what we have lost than what is right in front of us to create novel flagships for conservation and inspire action.
It’s important to note that species rediscoveries often result in conservation efforts that benefit not just the species but also their habitats and other wildlife. Take the Jamaican Iguana — after four decades without trace it was rediscovered and brought back from the brink of extinction by an international consortium — it is now a flagship for the conservation of an imperiled dry forest habitat in Jamaica.
Mongabay: What are some of the hurdles you foresee in your search?
Robin Moore: Many of the places in which these species live are extremely remote, and the species themselves are elusive and poorly known. Take the Bullneck Seahorse — it has never been seen in the wild, and so it is unclear exactly where to target a search. Also, as we discovered during the Search for Lost Frogs, the weather does not always cooperate with the best laid plans, and in one instance torrential rains and mudslides forced a team back before they really got going. It’s hard to plan to find something that hasn’t been seen for 100+ years — but if it weren’t so challenging, it wouldn’t all be so tantalizing.

*This image is copyright of its original author
Fernandina Galápagos tortoise was last seen alive in 1906 on the Galápagos’s youngest and least-explored island. Image by John Van Denburgh courtesy of Global Wildlife Conservation.

*This image is copyright of its original author
The Himalayan quail was last seen 141 years ago in India. Photo from ARKive of the Himalayan quail (Ophrysia superciliosa) – http://www.arkive.org/himalayan-quail/op...66137.html
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In the wild, expect the unexpected, as we humans haven't really much clue of what to expect.
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( This post was last modified: 05-14-2017, 06:50 AM by Rishi )

First Syrian brown bear in 60 years caught on camera in Lebanon

BY KEEGAN CLEMENTS-HOUSSER JANUARY 16 2017



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A Syrian brown bear in Heidelberg Zoo, Germany (Wikimedia Commons

The Syrian brown bear has long been considered extinct in Lebanon. That's why a recent, exceptionally rare sighting has conservationists and the Lebanese public so excited. 
In late December, a group of men in the Beqaa Valley in the eastern part of the country, near the Syrian border, reportedly filmed the female bear ambling along in the snow with a young cub in tow.




Editor’s note: The first few seconds of this video feature a different bear filmed in Armenia by the Foundation for the Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FPWC). Footage of the recent Beqaa Valley sighting follows.

The footage was sent along to the Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL), who verified that the animals were, in fact, Syrian brown bears. SPNL director general Assad Serhal told The Independent that the "historic" discovery was a "positive development".

"What is unusual about this finding is that no bear has been recorded in Lebanon for over 60 years and the closest big population would probably be more than 500km away in Turkey. Also, brown bears would usually be hibernating or tucked in their dens during this time of the year," adds an update on the SPNL website.

Though it can still be found in the Caucasus Mountains of Russia and in countries like Georgia, Armenia and Iran, the Syrian brown bear (Ursus arctos syriacus) has been considered extinct in Israel and Lebanon for decades. Even its namesake country, Syria, classified the bears as extinct in 2009 (and the subspecies had not been seen there for decades before that).

Populations have been declining for some time. In Lebanon, the bear was first identified in 1828, and it steadily lost ground to habitat destruction and overhunting over the next 130 years. 

The SPNL is not certain of the circumstances surrounding the sighting, and it's unclear at this stage whether the Beqaa Valley appearance is a sign of an ursine comeback here – the bears may simply have been passing through. The fact that they were spotted in the winter, when would normally be hibernating, suggests this pair may have been fleeing danger or conflict elsewhere. 


For the SPNL, the rare footage has raised many questions. "Could there really be a Syrian brown bear, subsisting on human-grown fruits and possibly wild juniper, roaming the hills on the Syria-Lebanon border? Was this a stray bear, perhaps wandering over from Syria or even Turkey or Iraq? Did the war in Syria make it cross the border?" writes the group.

This isn't the only fairly recent evidence of the presence of wild Syrian brown bears in the region – paw prints likely belonging to the subspecies were found in Syria in 2004. Other tracks have been documented in the years since. 

The unusual sighting has sparked much public interest, and according to The Independent, there have been calls for the Lebanese Ministry of the Environment to protect the immediate area in order to keep the roaming bears safe from hunters.

__
In the wild, expect the unexpected, as we humans haven't really much clue of what to expect.
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( This post was last modified: 05-18-2017, 12:33 PM by Rishi )

Tigers kills six elephants in Kerala’s Wayanad as drought triggers fierce water war

Officials say large-scale migration of animals from nearby Bandipur and Mudumali wildlife parks to the Wayanad sanctuary in search of water amid a debilitating drought have probably brought things to a head.

May 10, 2017 07:59 IST


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Ramesh Babu 
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram



*This image is copyright of its original author

As Kerala is slipping into an unprecedented drought man-animal conflict has risen sharply. Wild animals like elephants have started raiding human settlements frequently. (HT Photo)




[/list]
Eighteen elephants have died in Kerala’s Wayanad wildlife sanctuary over the past four months, including at least six in tiger attacks that officials say could have been triggered by bitter turf wars over scarce water.
Officials say large-scale migration of animals from nearby Bandipur and Mudumali wildlife parks to the Wayanad sanctuary in search of water amid a debilitating drought have probably brought things to a head.
While six elephants were killed by tigers, two tuskers died fighting each other.
Tiger attacks on elephants are rare because the latter move in large herds.


“This year Wayanad is witnessing a mass influx of wild animals. Naturally high density of animals is bound to trigger intense fights between them,” said Wayanad wildlife warden Dhanesh Kumar.



“Though we can’t attribute these deaths directly to drought, the pressure is intense on wild animals during severe weather conditions,” Kumar added.

Veterinarian Arun Zacharia pointed out that the summer temperature this year was at least 4 degrees Celsius more than in the previous years, causing immense stress to the animals. “During scant rainfall, elephants have little option but to come out of their comfort zone in search of greener pastures,” he explained.

Wayanad witnessed 12 elephant deaths during the corresponding period last year.

With water bodies drying up in view of the crippling drought, thought to be the worst in Kerala in 115 years, locals are reporting increasing incursions by elephants into human habitation. At least four people have been trampled to death and 120 elephant incursions reported in the past four months.
The current drought has been caused by successive failed monsoons. The south-west monsoon was deficient by 33.7% and the northeast monsoon less by 60%. A majority of the state’s 44 rivers are also either dry or near-dry.
In the wild, expect the unexpected, as we humans haven't really much clue of what to expect.
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The droughts are over & floods are here... Kaziranga has been engulfed by the annual monsoon deluge.


Kaziranga park turns into watery grave - Assam police to keep an eye out for poachers

Ritupallab Saikia

*This image is copyright of its original author

A rescued hog deer near Methoni tea estate on Tuesday. Picture credit: Bhaskar Choudhury/IFAW-WTI

Golaghat, July 11: Seventy per cent of Kaziranga National Park, a World Heritage Site, is under water following incessant rain over the last few days, forcing animals to cross National Highway 37 to seek refuge in the hills of Karbi-Anglong. The park is 200km east of Guwahati.
A park official today said additional police are being deployed to protect the animals from falling prey to poachers.


Thirty Assam police personnel reached Kaziranga today and more will join in a day or two. They will patrol NH-37 that runs through the park and keep a strict vigil on speeding vehicles.

"Seventy per cent of Kaziranga National Park and around 120 camps are under water," park director Satyendra Singh said, adding that the situation is critical.

Last year the park authorities faced one of the worst floods in recent times and 107 animals were rescued. The rescue efforts were led by the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation (CWRC), a joint venture of the International Fund for Animal Welfare-Wildlife Trust of India (IFAW-WTI) and the Assam forest department.

A statement issued by CWRC, the jointly-run wildlife care facility of the Assam forest department, IFAW and WTI today said it had rescued nine hog deer in the flood-hit park.

The CWRC has released three of them back to the wild. Two seriously injured deer died during treatment and one is under care at CWRC. Three deer were found dead by the rescue team.

One hog deer was found taking refuge in a house near a tea garden market and rescued after tranquillisation.

"In a bid to avoid such mishaps, we, in collaboration with the Bokakhat and Kaliabor administrations, have been issuing entry cards to vehicles plying on the 28km stretch from Amguri to Haldibari. We are slapping a fine of Rs 5,000 if any vehicle crosses the fixed speed limit of 40km per hour. The speed of vehicles is being controlled between Bokakhat and Jakhalabandha. The Bokakhat and Kaliabor administrations have imposed Section 144 CrPC from Burapahar to Latabari area of the park," the divisional forest officer of the park, Rohini Ballav Saikia, told The Telegraph today.

"Till date, we have fined 12 vehicles for violating the speed limit and drones are also being used in Bagori and Kohora ranges of the park to monitor movement of animals," Saikia said.

The National Green Tribunal in May had passed an order saying that any vehicle found overspeeding inside the park will have to pay a fine of Rs 5,000 under the Motor Vehicles Act.

Agriculture minister Atul Bora and forest minister Pramila Rani Brahma visited the relief and forest camps yesterday at Kaziranga and took stock of the situation. They reiterated that there is a need for more highlands inside the park.
"The park authorities have failed to complete construction of 33 highlands before the monsoon and as a result wild animals are suffering the flood fury. Wild animals would have been in a better position had the highlands been constructed before time," Raju Phukon, organising secretary of the All Assam Students' Union, said.








In the wild, expect the unexpected, as we humans haven't really much clue of what to expect.
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Big Grin  ( This post was last modified: 08-13-2017, 08:14 PM by Rishi )

India's elephant population stable & expanding: Census
Jayashree NandiTNN | Updated: Aug 13, 2017, 04:16 AM IST



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NEW DELHI: An elephant census released by the Union ministry of environment, forests and climate change on Saturday revealed an expansion in elephant areas, even while the jumbo population remained "stable" at 27,000, of which 150 roam the forests of Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh & Myanmar as well.

The report 'Synchronised elephant population estimation India 2017', released on World Elephant Day, estimates that the exact population of jumbos in the country is 27312, with Karnataka reporting the highest population at 6049, followed by Assam at 5719.
Though there has been a staistical decline in overall elephant population from 29391-30711 in 2012, but it is only due to a difference in the counting method, as there was much double-counting as the jumbos moved from one state to another. "We have a healthy elephant population in India. There is no question of a decline. In fact, there may have been a slight increase," said elephant expert and head of Asian Nature Conservation Foundation (ANCF) R Sukumar.


The elephant census is also showing an interesting but worrying trend. Many states that never reported any elephant population in previous census have reported elephants, which indicates a gradual expansion in elephant area.

Experts termed the "expansion" trend as worrying because it could lead to an increase in human-animal conflicts. Jumbos have been reported for the first time in Manipur, Mizoram, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and even on some new islands of Andaman & Nicobars, indicating disturbance in the wild animals' original areas or climate change impacts like temperature and precipitation modification.

"This expansion has been happening gradually over 30 years. It is worrying because it will be difficult to manage. The real challenge is that elephants are moving to other forest areas, which could increase the potential for conflicts with humans," Sukaumar said, adding that the last mass translocation was reported from Tamil Nadu in 1983, following a major drought. Herds of elephant had moved to Andhra Pradesh, where the jumbo population had been absent for over two centuries.
In the wild, expect the unexpected, as we humans haven't really much clue of what to expect.
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( This post was last modified: 09-09-2017, 05:02 PM by Ngala )

381 new species discovered in the Amazon
From Phys.org, August 31, 2017

Credit: Zig Koch / WWF

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A new WWF and Mamirauá Institute for Sustainable Development report, released on 30 August, reveals that a new animal or plant species is discovered in the Amazon every 2 days, the fastest rate to be observed this century. The findings come as huge parts of the forest are increasingly under threat, sparking further concern over the irreversible - and potentially catastrophic - consequences unsustainable policy and decision-making could have.

New Species of Vertebrates and Plants in the Amazon 2014-2015, details 381 new species that were discovered over 24 months, including 216 plants, 93 fish, 32 amphibians, 20 mammals (2 of which are fossils), 19 reptiles and 1 bird.

The latest 2014-2015 survey indicates the highest rate of discovery yet, with a species identified every 1.9 days. The average number of new species found in the Amazon in WWF's 1999-2009 report was 111 a year, or one new species every three days, while the 2010-2013 report revealed that at least 441 were discovered, which works out at a rate of one new species every 3.3 days.

A great enigma
Ricardo Mello, coordinator of WWF-Brazil Amazon Programme, says that life within this biome is still a great enigma: "We're in 2017, verifying the existence of new species and even though resources are scarce, we are seeing an immense variety and richness of biodiversity. This is a signal that we still have much to learn about the Amazon".

Mello also states that the new findings should compel decision-makers, both public and private, to think about the irreversible impacts caused by large-scale projects such as roads and hydroelectric dams in the Amazon.

"This biodiversity needs to be known and protected. Studies indicate that the greatest economic potential of a region such as the Amazon is the inclusion of biodiversity in the technological solutions of a new development model, including development of cures for diseases, relying on new species for food purposes, such as superfoods. "

Credit: Zig Koch / WWF

*This image is copyright of its original author

The report comes the week after Brazil's government passed a decree allowing mining in the National Reserve of Copper and Associates (Renca), a huge protected area the size of Switzerland which encompasses nine protected areas. Opening protected areas of the forest up for deforestation and mining, could be disastrous for wildlife and local cultures and indigenous communities. While the decree has since been revised to clarify that mining will not be allowed in conservation or indigenous areas within the former reserve, following national and global outcry, challenges persist for the world's largest tropical forest.

Informing conservation strategies
For João Valsecchi do Amaral, technical and scientific director at the Mamirauá Institute for Sustainable Development, the new knowledge brought by this report will help to identify areas or species that are reeling under pressures, to monitor this biodiversity and establish new strategies of conservation.

"For the conservation of species, it is necessary to know what they are, how many there are and their distribution. These are key details to ensure that ecological and evolutionary processes are understood and maintained to ensure the species survival," he explained.

Protected areas
The creation of protected areas is among the strategies cited in the report to lessen the negative impact of the development that the Amazon is and will continue to be subject to.

The description of new species and the dissemination of scientific results can help raise public awareness and understanding on the importance of the Amazon and the need for greater and more comprehensive knowledge of its biodiversity. They can also form the basis for strategies related to the establishment of protected areas and public conservation policies.

Freshwater fish, Amazon River. Credit: Michel Roggo / WWF

*This image is copyright of its original author

Due to its vast size, variety of species and diversity of habitats, the gaps in scientific knowledge about the Amazon are still enormous. The majority of species recordings are based on observations and collections made along the main rivers, near big cities and in the few protected areas most frequently studied. As a result, new studies on the Amazon's biodiversity, particularly those conducted in the forest's most remote areas, continue to reveal large numbers of species that are as yet unknown to science – and humanity.

New species discovered
As well as recording the new species of vertebrates and plants discovered in the Amazon between January 2014 and December 2015, the report also includes an update on species identified in a previous 2010- 2013 report.

The report, which consolidates the findings from a number of different researchers, highlights some of the most fascinating finds, including:
  • A new species of pink river dolphin (Inia Araguaiaensis) - Estimated to have a population of around 1,000 individuals, the species is under threat from the construction of hydroelectric dams, and industrial, agricultural and cattle ranching activities. Pink river dolphins are an important part of the local culture around the Amazon, with a number of myths and legends around them.
  • Fire-tailed titi monkey (Plecturocebus miltoni) – This striking monkey from the southern Amazon owes its name to its long bright orange tail. The species is under threat from deforestation.
  • A bird that pays tribute to the Brazilian rubber tapper (Zimmerius chicomendesi) – Discovered after its unknown call attracted attention, this bird's name - Chico's Tyrannulet - is a tribute to the rubber tapper and environmentalist Francisco Alves Mendes Filho. Better-known as Chico Mendes, he was a leader of the rubber tapping communities, and played a key role in opening the world's eyes to the problems faced by the Amazon.
  • A bird named after former US President Barack Obama and found in a huge area between Brazil, Peru, and Ecuador (Nystalus obamai);
  • Another bird named after the famous anthropologist and explorer Marechal Cândido Rondon, found in the South of Amazonas (Hypocnemis rondoni);
  • A stingray which has "honeycombs" on its surface, registered in Rondônia, in the region of Alto Madeira (Potamotrygon limai);
  • A bird found at the south of Amazonas, in the Sucunduri region, where WWF-Brazil maintains conservation projects (Tolmomyias sucunduri).
The Amazon contains nearly a third of the earth's remaining tropical rainforests and, despite covering only around 1 per cent of the planet's surface, it is estimated to be home to 10 per cent of the earth's known species. Globally, it is estimated that 80 per cent of species are yet to be identified.

The current rate of human-related extinction of species is between 1,000 and 10,000 times that of the natural rate of extinction. Knowing the total number of species in the region provides a baseline to monitor current and future biodiversity losses. The discovery of new species is important for environmental and natural resource management, and can guide the establishment of protected areas to safeguard wildlife and the communities that depend on these resources.
"Man still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin." C. Darwin
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