Illegal Wildlife Trade Amidst the Biggest Animal Fair of Asia – The Sonepur Animal Mela in Bihar

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Background

The Sonepur Cattle Fair, aka the Harihar Kshetra Mela, the biggest cattle fair of Asia is rooted in Hindu mythology. Based on a sacred legend in Hinduism – Gajendra Moksha (The Liberation of Gajendra), folklore has it that Lord Vishnu descended upon earth to protect Gajendra, (the elephant) from the clutches of Makara, (the crocodile) and awarded him Moksha (salvation).

An official survey of the Sonepur Cattle Fair, led by TRAFFIC in November-December of 2013, unveiled … Read More

Declaring Wildlife as Vermin — Legalising Hunting?

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Uttarakhand, Bihar and Himachal Pradesh have had – in recent months – notifications issued by the Central Government stating that select species of wildlife have been declared as vermin in specified areas. In other words for a specified period, in these areas, the wild pig in Uttarakhand, wild pig and Nilgai in Bihar and Rhesus Macaque in Himachal Pradesh are shifted to schedule five of the Wildlife Protection Act. Besides, Maharashtra and Telangana have had culling orders issued by the … Read More

Coexistence of River Dolphins with Fisheries in India

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Authors Nachiket Kelkar, Jagdish Krishnaswamy, Sunil Choudhary, and Dipani Sutaria have investigated the distribution of the Gangetic River Dolphin (Platanista gangetica gangetica) and correlated their abundance with fishing activity to find if there can be successful coexistence of fisheries and conservation of the dolphins. These are the highlights of a paper that was published in Conservation Biology in 2009.

The present state of rivers in India is dismal. Pollution and intensive fishing pose a serious threat to most river and … Read More

Eco-friendly Stoves Introduced In Villages Inside Valmiki Tiger Reserve

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Traditional mud stoves, which depend on the forest for fuel, have been replaced by eco-friendly ‘chulhas’ in over a hundred households inside Valmiki Tiger Reserve. These green stoves are expected to cut firewood fuel use by 40 percent and thus helping the forest to rejuvenate. The households are part of 25 revenue villages in Done Valley, spread over 45 sq km in the heart of the Valmiki Tiger Reserve. The project is being implemented by the Wildlife Trust … Read More

Gangetic River Dolphins Population Grows

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The population of the endangered Gangetic river dolphins have grown to 223 from about 175 last year. This was revealed in a census conducted by the Vikramshila Biodiversity Research and Education Centre (VBREC). Gangetic river dolphins are India’s national aquatic animals. They are poached regularly for their flesh and oil, which is used as an ointment and aphrodisiac. Their carcasses wash up on shore regularly. There are only 2000 river dolphins left, down from tens of thousands a few decades … Read More

Task Force Report On Gangetic Dolphins

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A state level (Bihar) task force on Gangetic Dolphin Conservation, headed by the “Dolphin Man of India” R. K. Sinha, will submit its report to the State Government in the next five to six months. R. K. Sinha is the head of the Patna-based Central University’s environmental department and also chairman of the Central government working group for dolphin conservation. The endangered Gangetic dolphin is India’s national aquatic animal, but faces the following threats:

  • Multiple dams and barriers disrupting free
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CEC hearing on July 6 for illegal road widening in Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar

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The central empowered committee (CEC), appointed by the Supreme Court to look into the cases related to the violation of Forest (Conservation) Act and Wildlife (Protection) Act, has fixed July 6 for the hearing of the case related to the violation of rules in a road widening work inside Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) of Bihar. The CEC admitted the case on the basis of a petition filed by Ashok Kumar, vice-chairman of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) based on an … Read More