Moving Waters Film Festival — Max Mueller Bhavan, Bengaluru, September 17 – 18, 2016

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“No water, no life. No blue, no green.” – Sylvia Earle

71% of our planet’s surface is covered with water. Our seas and rivers sustain us, keep us alive, but we know little about them. We know less about the ocean floor than the surface of the Moon or even Mars! They are among the last frontiers of adventure and exploration. Yet, our rivers and oceans are threatened by exploitation and pollution, that is often beneath the surface and invisible … Read More

Bird Poaching in Bangalore’s Wetlands

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Bird poaching was one of the pressures that birds in the city faced in the 90’s. It was thought to have died down since then. So much so that, during the planning of the Bangalore Mid Winter Water Bird survey 2015-2016, the coordinators and those assisting in planning the survey had considered dropping some of the parameters such as bird netting, bird shooting, poaching, trapping, etc. However, we were in for a rude shock when we visited a few survey … Read More

Irrawaddy Dolphin, Chilika Lake

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This rare photograph captures an Irrawaddy dolphin calf as it leaps out of the water. Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) are quite shy, and all that can be seen of them most of the time is a dorsal fin or a tail fluke. They are believed to give birth to a single calf every two to three years, after a gestation of 14 months. A newborn is said to be 1 m long, weighing about 10 kg. As per … Read More

Strangled

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Once bustling with Snipes, Crakes and Sandpipers among other birds, the Rampura lake near Horamavu is now dying a slow, woeful death. A large area of the lake bed serves as a dumping ground for garbage and construction wastes. Water is choked by hyacinth and other weeds and a large electric line cuts right through the lake. However, there is no shortage of the number of ‘lake view’ property projects in the immediate vicinity.… Read More

Growing Metros Choking Lakes

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Under the pretext of development, lakes in cities like Bangalore are getting choked by the construction of lake view apartments (as in the picture). There is an urgent need to preserve water bodies including the adjoining catchment areas, if we are to find some solution to our water crisis. The biodiversity of these ecosystems is also under threat. The checkered keelback (Xenochropis piscator) in the picture is living on the edge, literally.… Read More

Flamingoes and Trucks – Birds at Lake Rajewadi, Satara District.

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I made this image at Rajewadi Lake, Satara, Maharashtra where even in summer, huge flocks of birds are seen. Even ‘Reversed Migrants’ like Flamingos (Greater and Lesser) and Black-tailed Godwits were seen apart from the resident Spoonbills, Painted Storks, Herons & Egrets, Small Pratincoles, Great Thick-knees, etc during this week in June. This tells us that the lake has a preferable habitat for such birds and already holds good populations. The water level seemed to be quite low because of … Read More

Painted Storks — Living with Trucks and JCBs, Pune

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Pune Municipal Corporation has undertaken the work of “restoring” the Pashan Lake in Pune. Lots of digging; new additions to the habitat are being made. I hope the flora & fauna present in and around the lake, benefit after the changes take place. Detailed information of the project is not yet available to me. This image shows the ‘Near Threatened’ Painted Storks with a truck carrying rocks in the background.… Read More

Q: What protection do lakes enjoy in urban / rural landscapes? Under what jurisdiction do they come? Are they protected? How does one report violations about lakes — both protection to the waterfowl as well as the lake itself?

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Answer from Praveen Bhargav & Shekar Dattatri:

  1. Some lakes / water bodies / wetlands such as Bharatpur, Ranganathittoo or Vedanthangal are notified as protected areas and enjoy the same protection as any sanctuary or a national park.
  2. Waterfowl listed in any of the Schedules of the Wildlife Protection Act (WLPA) receive legal protection from hunting and anybody found even in possession of a gun near any lake can be prosecuted under the Wildlife Protection Act (WLPA). For more details read
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