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India Sanju Offline
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( This post was last modified: 01-05-2019, 12:59 PM by Sanju )

This Park Is Killing Humans To Protect Rhinos

By Jhaneel Lockhart

*This image is copyright of its original author

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Are animal lives more important than human ones? One park in India seems to think so.

Officials at the Kaziranga National Park in India have been accused of torturing and killing poachers and local villagers in an effort to protect the country’s vulnerable rhinoceros population, according to the BBC. Park guards have essentially been given free rein to gun down would be-poachers and they face few, if any, legal consequences.

Quote:The guards killed 50 people in the last three years, and in 2015, more people died than the number of rhinos that were killed by poachers, according to the BBC’s detailed report. In some cases, innocent villagers were injured or killed for accidentally trespassing onto the park’s property at night.


*This image is copyright of its original author

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Poaching is a big problem for the Indian one-horned rhinoceros, which is found in India and Nepal. Rhino horns sell for thousands of dollars in China, where it is believed to have medicinal properties.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which lists the Indian rhino as a vulnerable species, excessive hunting during the early 20th century and a decline in the quality of their habitat wiped out much of the population.

Quote:As of 2006, more than 70% of the world’s Indian one-horned rhinos live at the Kaziranga National Park.


*This image is copyright of its original author

Image: Wikimedia Commons

There’s no doubt that their efforts have been successful. Fewer rhinos have been poached in recent years, and the overall rhino population continues to increase. But some activists say these brutal measures go too far. Sad




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When Need turns to Greed, our Extinction happens, lol.
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India Sanju Offline
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( This post was last modified: 01-06-2019, 09:06 PM by Sanju )

In a first, octopus spotted in Narmada river
mumbai Updated: Jan 06, 2019 15:24 IST

*This image is copyright of its original author

Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times, Mumbai

*This image is copyright of its original author

The 17 specimens of Cistopus indicus are 190-320mm in length.(HT Photo)

Quote:The 17 specimens, which are 190-320mm in length, are about the size of a human arm. The maximum length of the species was 325mm with a weight of 56.2g. The maximum length of this species along the Indian coastline was 600mm from the Bay of Bengal

In a first along the Indian coastline, an octopus species was recently spotted in the estuarine zone of Narmada river, said scientists. Marine biologists confirmed that there were no previous reports of octopuses being spotted in inland waters along the Indian coastline.
Octopus is a marine species that is spotted up to the depth of 50m and is known to inhabit coastal sea waters. It is rarely observed in the estuarine brackish waters.

Seventeen specimens of the Cistopus indicus, commonly known as the old woman octopus, were identified by scientists from the Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute (CIFRI) Vadodra, Gujarat, under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). The octopuses were spotted during CIFRI’s routine survey as a part of a fish catch at Bhadbhut village, 35kms off the Gulf of Khambhat on December 16. CIFRI scientists declared their findings on Friday. “According to data collated by us since 1988, in India, octopuses are caught mainly as by-catch in trawl nets used for shrimp trawling, shore seines, boat seines, hooks, lines and stake nets, but they have never been caught within brackish estuarine water bodies,” said Dr Dibakar Bhakta, scientist, CIFRI Vadodra.

The 17 specimens, which are 190-320mm in length, are about the size of a human arm. The maximum length of the species was 325mm with a weight of 56.2g. The maximum length of this species along the Indian coastline was 600mm from the Bay of Bengal, said Bhatka. There are around 200 species of Octopus reported across the world and 38 species reported from Indian seas.

According to Bhakta and his team, the salinity of the Bhadbhut and adjacent Mahegam region was in the range of 18-20 parts per thousand (ppt) during December. The salinity of water in the ocean is around 35 ppt. The mixture of seawater and fresh water in estuaries has salinity ranging between 0.5 and 35 ppt.
“Initial analysis and high salinity show that ingress of high tide water may have allowed this marine species into the estuary. However, considering the low quantity of marine fish catch in these brackish waters between 2017 and 2018, environmental disturbances and anthropogenic alterations to their habitat can be another cause for their displacement,” said Bhakta.
Deepak Apte, director, Bombay Natural History Society, said marine species, mostly fish, are known to move into brackish waters for breeding mostly around winter months. “However, there are no previous records of octopuses depicting such behaviour.”

Independent experts who have carried out research on octopuses also said high tide water had most probably brought the species to the estuary. “It is extremely rare to spot such a find and further studies need to ascertain the level of water during low and high tide and species diversity in both phases,” said Vinay Deshmukh, marine biologist and former scientist, Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI).

Octopus made up merely 0.72% of the total molluscan resource (61688 tonnes) that landed in Gujarat during 2017. “This is clearly the first documentation of an octopus found along inland waters in India. It is unusual for such marine benthic species, irrespective of their size to survive in salinity ranging between 18-20 ppt. We need to study whether similar reports have occurred from other parts of the country to ascertain habitat changes,” said E Vivekanandan, former principal scientist and national consultant, Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute and currently heading the Bay of Bengal project on biodiversity conservation.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/mumbai-ne...WkZbM.html
When Need turns to Greed, our Extinction happens, lol.
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India Sanju Offline
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( This post was last modified: 01-07-2019, 01:58 PM by Sanju )

Exotic trees eating up Western Ghat’s grasslands

*This image is copyright of its original author
Aathira Perinchery
Kochi, January 02, 2019 23:14 IST
Updated: January 02, 2019 23:14 IST

 
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But shola forests have remained “relatively unchanged”

The new year heralds bad news for the high-altitude grasslands of the Western Ghats.
Quote:Over four decades, the country lost almost one-fourth of these grasslands and exotic invasive trees are primarily to blame, find scientists.
Though grassland afforestation using pine, acacia and eucalyptus ceased in 1996, the exotics still invade these ecosystems, confirms a study published on January 2 in the international journal Biological Conservation.

When satellite images revealed to a team including scientists from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER, Tirupati) grassland loss in Tamil Nadu’s Palani hills in early 2018, they decided to study how shola-grasslands (characterised by patches of stunted evergreen shola trees in the valleys and grasslands on hill slopes) across the Ghats – from the Baba Budan Hills in Karnataka to Tamil Nadu's Ashambu Hills – changed in extent between 1972 and 2017. The satellite images they accessed reveal that 60% of the shola-grassland landscape has changed; almost 40% (516 km2) of native high-elevation grasslands have disappeared.

Most of this loss occurred on the mountain tops of the Nilgiri, Palani and Anamalai hill ranges, which comprise more than half of the Ghat’s shola-grassland ecosystems, primarily due to the expansion of exotic trees (pine, acacia and eucalyptus). Even though no plantations were established between 2003 and 2017, invasion by existing trees increased areas under exotic plantations by 27% in the Palanis and 17% in the Nilgiris. Broadly, shola-grassland ecosystems in Tamil Nadu showed the highest rates of invasion. The researchers also visited 840 locations across the Ghats to confirm these changes. Despite this, there’s some good news: shola forests have remained “relatively unchanged” over these years. The Anamalai-Munnar areas have also remained stable during this time.

‘Little research focus’
However, all possible efforts must be made to conserve the remaining grassland tracts, said scientist Dr. Robin V. Vijayan (IISER Tirupati), one of the authors who led the study. “There is very little research focus on grasslands and mechanisms to restore them are also few, unlike forests,” he added.
“The immediate reaction would be to remove all exotics including mature plantations from grasslands but that should not be done,” said Godwin Vasanth Bosco, who has restored some grassland patches in Udhagamandalam.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/k...ALQj40IefI
When Need turns to Greed, our Extinction happens, lol.
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Blue Macaw Parrot From The Movie ‘Rio’ Is Now Officially Extinct
January 5, 2019 Animals,

Remember Blu? The blue macaw from the movie Rio who thought that he was the last of his species? Well, his nightmare has come to life and the blue macaw parrots, who were declared endangered about seven years ago, are now officially extinct in the wild.

*This image is copyright of its original author

This bird from Brazil, also known as the Spix’s macaw can no longer be seen in the wild, concluded a study done by BirdLife International. The study found that the blue colored bird now only exists in captivity and the numbers are extremely few and heartbreaking. Extinct IN THE WILD 20 years after the last sighting in its natural range (though one, probably a release, has been seen in in 2016) .

*This image is copyright of its original author

According to the organization, the bird has gone extinct due to the rise in deforestation and constant loss of habitat. The birds were also not so adaptive and lived near dominant species and predators. 

The birds are believed to still exist in some breeding programs, there’s no official proof of the statement though.
The threat that the species might become extinct and we must do everything to conserve it was sparked in the 1980s! Author Tony Juniper even penned a book called “Spix’s Macaw: The Race to Save the World’s Rarest Bird”, in an attempt to make people aware of the situation in 2002.

*This image is copyright of its original author

Other than the blue macaw, 7 other bird species have been declared extinct. The announcement was made this week, based on the statistical analysis by BirdLife International. Five of the species belong to South America and were victims of deforestation and too much human interference.
Three species – namely – the cryptic tree-hunter and the Alagoas foliage gleaner from Brazil and Poo-Uli from Hawaii have been completely wiped out and are now gone forever. All these extinctions were caused by human interference and not natural causes, it is sickening. How many more extinctions will it take for humans to finally learn to respect the privacy of other animals?

https://beyondblindfold.com/blue-macaw-p...x8iaNp9Yzg
When Need turns to Greed, our Extinction happens, lol.
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