Ingestion of Plastic is Emerging as a Significant Threat to Asian Elephants in Haridwar and Lansdowne Forest Divisions, Uttarakhand

The ecological implications of plastic pollution on ecosystem processes and human beings are well known. Increasing use of single-use plastic, poor waste management, lack of recycling, and fragmentation of plastic have made it ubiquitous, posing a grave threat to species across trophic levels. Over 1500 species ranging from invertebrates to vertebrates are impacted by plastic pollution. Globally, plastic in marine environments has been reported extensively whereas terrestrial ecosystems have remained understudied. The effects of plastic pollution are alarming, resulting in … Read More

Finding Refuge in India: The Relocation of Asiatic Lions or African Cheetahs

Introduction

Rampant hunting and habitat loss changed the fate of two large Indian carnivores; the Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica) and the Asiatic cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus), the latter of which was driven to extinction in India in 1952. The last and only population of Asiatic lions in the wild is now confined to the Gir Forest in Gujarat and its environs. For years experts have been urging the authorities to translocate a subset of the … Read More

Northern River Terrapin Returns to Sundarbans

The Northern River Terrapin (Batagur baska) is a large-sized species of aquatic turtle with an average carapace length of 60cm. They are known to nest on beaches close to river mouths or on river islands. Once abundant in South Asia (India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar) till the 1900s, the Northern River Terrapin is now listed as Critically Endangered by the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).  Wild terrapin populations precipitously declined due to the … Read More

How State Fisheries Provisions Complement Wildlife Law in Protecting the Listed Marine Species?

Introduction

The menace of illegal wildlife trafficking is primarily understood in the context of terrestrial species from a layperson’s perspective. However, the definition of ‘wildlife’ under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 (WLPA) includes aquatic life and their habitat. The WLPA, in its current form, protects marine species like sea turtles, sea cucumber, sea fans, sea horses, some species of sharks and rays, corals, mollusca, etc., under its Schedules. In addition to these, ITCHS Based Import Export Policy provides for … Read More

Book review: Explore Spiders of India: A Pocket Guide by Karthikeyan S.

Book review: Explore Spiders of India: A Pocket Guide by Karthikeyan S.
Published by EcoEdu. 200 pages, Pocket Size, Full colour, Paperback: ₹400.00.

Spiders have always captured popular imagination as depicted by the famous Spiderman or as a terrifying monster like Aragog from Harry Potter. But leaving aside this perception, spiders play a crucial role in ecosystems they inhabit. Spiders are arachnids and belong to the same class as scorpions, ticks/mites, whip scorpions etc. Spiders are predators and occur in … Read More

Conserving India’s Threatened Myristica Swamps

Introduction

A review paper focuses on the importance of the threatened Myristica freshwater swamps, their ecology, and prior research on them. It focuses on the need for conservation initiatives to save the last few Myristica swamps in India.

What are Myristica swamps?

Myristica swamps are freshwater swamps predominated by members of the Myristicaceae family. These forests are characterized by trees with large protruding roots jutting out of waterlogged soil which remains inundated throughout the year. They have evolved over … Read More

What Can Media Reports Tell Us about Illegal Wildlife Trade? A Case Study from India

Illegal wildlife trade (IWT) is a major threat to numerous wildlife species and ecosystems across the world, with established global links to organised criminal activities and an annual value encompassing billions of dollars. Media reports function as an untapped reservoir of publicly available records that can be utilised to understand the nature and scale of this trade.

A report, “Media-Reported Wildlife Poaching and Illegal Trade in India 2020,” was published by the Wildlife Conservation Society-India. It provides a comprehensive overview … Read More

Walking for Tiger Conservation: An Occupancy Survey of the Satpura-Melghat Tiger Corridor

What is a corridor?

In the sphere of conservation biology, a wildlife corridor is a strip of habitat that connects two wildlife source populations and serves as a movement path for wild animals in search of resources such as food, habitat and mates. In a larger landscape, consisting of many source populations, one can have a network of corridors, connecting pairs of source populations so that they are connected directly or indirectly. Together these populations constitute a metapopulation.

For several … Read More

Hydroelectric Dams in the Himalayas – A Risk Not Worth Taking

On July 11th, 2020, Mint, an Indian business newspaper, carried a centrepiece titled, “The Big Himalayan Earthquake Is Coming”. This story quoted several scientific studies that warned of the risks posed to cities, towns, and hundreds of villages in the Himalayan region from a future earthquake that has been predicted with a high degree of certainty.  The seismological research supporting the key premise of this article is impeccable, has been subject to examination, validation, and peer-review, and therefore … Read More

Conserving Vultures in India – Making India Safe for Vultures Once Again?

The dramatic decline of vultures remains one of the poignant stories of wildlife conservation in India. The primary reason was a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory veterinary drug (NSAID), diclofenac. Being a pervasive drug, diclofenac would remain in cattle even after their death and be indirectly consumed by vultures, which then suffer fatal consequences. Consumption of diclofenac caused gout and kidney failure in three species of Gyps vultures; White-rumped (Gyps bengalensis), Long-billed (Gyps indicus), and Slender-billed (Gyps tenuirostrisRead More