Under Cover: Orange-bellied Leafbirds as Pets in Nongriat Village, Meghalaya

Ramki Sreenivasan Photos, Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

On 25th May 2019, while trekking from the village of Tyrna to Nongriat in the East Khasi hills of Meghalaya, we spotted a partially covered birdcage outside a house near the famous living-root bridge. A closer look through the camera revealed an agitated male orange-bellied leafbird (Chloropsis hardwickii) fluttering from end to end. As we walked a little further, we chanced upon the owner of the house, who casually remarked that it was a pet.

Leafbirds are small, attractive songbirds … Read More

Illegal Trapping of Birds in Uttara Kannada, Karnataka

Ramki Sreenivasan Leave a Comment

In November 2018, while walking across some fields in my village, Gundbala, in Uttara Kannada district, Karnataka, I was happy to see a lot of bird activity around my village. However, something caught my eye from afar, and when I ventured near I saw that there was a thin net spread across some shrubs/short trees along the dividing fence between adjoining paddy fields. It was thin and looked like a giant spider web, but really strong, with a female Plum-headed … Read More

Mining and its aftermath

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Iron ore was discovered in Kudremukh in 1913, when P. Sampath Iyengar, a geologist from Mysore, set out on a quest for the mineral.  As he rode along the Bhadra River he noticed that fine particles of ore had adhered to his horse’s shoes. Following the trail, he finally reached the Aroli range of hills and discovered Kudremukh’s iron-ore deposits. However, full-scale mining operations only began decades later, when the Iranian government, under Mohammad Reza Pahlavi — the Shah of … Read More

Eating pangolins to extinction — ZSL / IUCN Press Release

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The enigmatic pangolin, or scaly anteater, is literally being eaten out of existence according to the latest update of The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, which shows that all eight species are now threatened with extinction.

Resembling an artichoke with legs and a tail, the pangolin is the world’s only truly scaly mammal. Their scales act as armour against natural predators but offer no defence against poachers.

The IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) Pangolin Specialist Group, which is hosted … Read More

Supreme Court Sets up Team to Resurvey Mining Leases in Bellary-Hospet Forests

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There are 99 mining leases in the Bellary-Hospet forest region of Karnataka with allegations of encroachments and illegal mining outside the demarcations. Rapping the Centrally Empowered Committee (CEC) for not carrying the previous survey properly, the Supreme Court formed a new team comprised of representatives from the CEC, the Forest and Mines and Geology departments of the State Government and the Karanataka Lokayukta. The team would conduct fresh surveys of all 99 leased mines and if any encroachment was found, … Read More