Author: Oishimaya Sen Nag

Editor's PickEnvironment

India’s State Animals Are A Mixed Bag Of Happy And Sad Stories

Many state animals remain highly threatened in the present day with diminishing hope of survival. While Hangul suffer from a skewed sex ratio, fishing cat is beaten to death. The Alpine musk deer is an endangered species mercilessly killed for the musk pod of the males. Many other state animals like the clouded leopard of Meghalaya, Nilgiri tahr of Tamil Nadu, Phayre’s langur of Tripura, red panda of Sikkim, sambar of Orissa, wild water buffalo of Chattisgarh, and the Sangai of Manipur are also highly threatened.

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Editor's PickEnvironmentPublic Policy

Illegal Wildlife Trade Is Silently Killing Lesser Known Species In India

Although the Indian culture is generally gentle towards flora and fauna of the country, certain ritualistic practices and traditional beliefs are not. ‘Siyar singhi’ (‘jackal horn’) is a part extracted from a golden jackal’s skull and used as a talisman to satiate superstitious beliefs. The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau of India seized over 370 such talismans between 2013 and 2019. Owls are trapped and illegally traded in India during Diwali and Laxmi Puja to be sacrificed to appease the deities for tantric rituals and ceremonies, endangering the survival of the owl species. People also extensively poach turtles and tortoises for their meat in several parts of the country or capture them for the illegal pet trade.

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CultureEditor's PickEnvironment

Seashells Belong To The Sea, Not Our Homes

While the world is busy trying to save the tigers, lions, sharks, and whales, the marine organisms with seashells are silently vanishing from the sea and filling up our homes. Their absence is creating a void in the oceans that will have a long-lasting impact on every species’ survival in the coming times. Let us leave the seashells where they belong and admire them for the life they harbour and the ocean ecosystem they sustain.

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Agumbe Rainforest In India: An Enchanted Land Waiting To Be Explored

When talking about rainforests, the Amazon rainforest of Brazil is what first comes to our mind. But did you know that India has its own rainforests that are no less fascinating than such forests elsewhere? I consider myself really lucky to have had the opportunity of visiting one such Indian rainforest recently – the Agumbe rainforest. And indeed, the experience was enthralling, and the forest was mesmerizing. Here, life unravels itself in forms never seen elsewhere. Those visiting this rainforest must always ensure to leave behind nothing but footprints and take back nothing but photographs and memories to cherish forever. 

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Editor's PickEnvironmentPublic PolicySociety

Local Communities Key To India’s Wildlife Conservation

In a country with a burgeoning human population, creating or extending such protected areas is not feasible. Several Indian communities, like Bishnoi, Maldhari, Mumbai Adivasi, and people of Sundarbans, have deep-rooted beliefs that allow them to live with wild animals, including large predators. Such an attitude toward wildlife has allowed the world’s second-most populous country to protect and preserve its biodiversity to a significant extent. As Indians, we all have a duty and a role to play in fostering community-based conservation in our country to allow our rich biodiversity to thrive in the coming decades.

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Editor's PickEnvironmentHealthIndia

Protect the Protectors of Indian Ecological Wealth

The second wave of the pandemic has claimed many of these valuable employees of the IFS ranging in rank from senior officers to daily wagers. But unfortunately, although the forest departments of several protected areas have requested the administration to include foresters in the list of frontline workers, no action has been taken in this regard. Lack of concern towards the health of foresters reflects general apathy of policymakers. As a progressive nation, it is our duty to address the issues and protect the protectors of our ecological wealth.

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