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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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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Pushed to Periphery: The Case of Mudumalai Tiger MDT-23

Biodiversity or wildlife-related conflicts are often described as situations where wildlife comes into conflict with humans over common resources. However, in many situations, particularly in those where conservation organizations are active, conflicts take the form of disputes between different stakeholder groups over wildlife management goals or priorities, and it is increasingly being acknowledged. Recent research shows that the development of conservation management schemes is affected by a multifaceted range of criteria and this has implications for the design of such schemes, and the way in which their aims are communicated to those affected and executed. There is now a growing awareness amongst conservation biologists that sociological and psychological approaches are often required to achieve a realistic understanding of such issues. Local communities are carrying a very heavy burden of conservation, while elites have the pleasure of enjoying the wilderness and wildlife, resulting in the cost-benefit ratio of conservation being strongly skewed in favour of tourism companies, national governments, and the international conservation community. Compensation and enhanced assistance to the locals should be regarded as a payment for ecosystem service they were generationally safeguarding and contributing towards its sustenance.

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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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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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Fishing in Troubled Waters: Lake Kolleru

“To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent thinking”, said Aldo Leopold. Lake Kolleru is showing signs of poor water quality and habitat deterioration. There is an urgent need to ascertain the levels of habitat destruction, over-exploitation, and encroachments in the once peerless fishermen’s paradise and birds’ heaven.

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Wildlife Biologists: A Case for Inducting Them for Scientific Management of Forests

Wildlife biologists can save India’s ecology by bringing in scientific know-how to assist the administration in the scientific management of forests. The wildlife biologists can be absorbed by the Forest Departments as biologists, endangered species specialists, and conservation education officers. Inducting new services will not interfere with the power and administration of our current forest management system.
The Union and State Governments should build confidence on this matter in view of the changing roles in present-day science.

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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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The Song of Urban Forest

When will the birds in the backyard sing again, louder than our morning alarms, the bees do the bumble dance, and the vision of the landscape change with the greens around? We must be willing to give them a chance, not in the hit of a moment, not as a ‘cool’ thing to do but as a necessary step to build a better today and resilient future. Do we have the boldness to leap?

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Is COVID Giving Birth to an Inevitable Climate-Crisis?

Imagine a future where the plastic in the ocean will weigh more than the fish in it, approximately 710 million metric tons of plastic dumped in the environment, and plastic eventually entering the human food chain. Unless the handling of COVID-19 induced plastic is not addressed on war-footing, the scenario will just worsen with rapid global warming and a major climate crisis.

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Time to educate about nature!

Its time to educate about nature. A child trained in a conservation-oriented philosophy will seek to respect nature in the world he will grow up in and take steps to pass on the heritage to his/her forthcoming generations.
The reverence provided to elements of nature has decreased drastically because of the reduction of dependency and a perceived decrease of benefits to us, the humans.

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