Ecologists urge MoEFCC to revoke the EIA draft notification, 2020

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On 11th August, 2020, a group of 20 wildlife biologists/ ecologists submitted their comments and objections against the draft notification for Environmental Impact Assessment 2020, to the Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC).

The letter brings to fore incidents involving recent environmental catastrophes ranging from the Baghjan oil blow-out and locust swarms to the global impact of zoonoses such as COVID-19 and the importance and need for laws that ensure scientific and social evaluation of impacts … Read More

Voice your rejection of the Hubballi Ankola Railway Line Project (HARP) in Uttara Kannada

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The Western Ghats are among the most important biodiversity hotspots in the world, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The controversial Hubballi-Ankola Railway Line Project (HARP) will destroy some of the last remaining primary forests of the Western Ghats in Uttara Kannada and result in massive, irreversible ecological destruction. This region has already lost 3300 sq km of pristine forests, and stands to lose more if HARP becomes a reality. No amount of mitigation will compensate for the loss of … Read More

Withdraw the EIA 2020 Draft Notification

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In March 2020, a draft notification for Environment Impact Assessment 2020 was issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC). This is an important notification, since all new infrastructure projects – and expansion of existing ones – such as, roads, mining projects, factories, and power plants, are required to conduct a mandatory Environment Impact Assessment and submit a report to the Ministry.

An EIA report assesses how a project will impact the environment and is the basis … Read More

Dibang Valley Must Be Saved from Destruction — Act Now!

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The proposal for the Etalin Hydro-Electric Project (3097 MW) in Arunachal Pradesh’s Dibang Valley (RO/Ministry File Number F. No. 8-20/2014-FC), was placed for approval before the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) on the 23rd of April, 2020. Reports state that 2.7 lakh forest trees will be felled in the process. Long-term research in Dibang Valley (including areas which will see impacts of the proposed hydro-project) show that the region is crucial habitat for many Schedule I endangered species, including a genetically … Read More

Hornbill Nest Adoption Program (HNAP) — A Community-based Conservation Initiative in Arunachal Pradesh

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Background

Research on hornbills in Pakke Tiger Reserve (PTR) began with a 4 year PhD study (1997-2000) on various aspects of hornbill biology (Datta 2001). The research program of the Eastern Himalaya Program of the Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF) has continued in the Pakke Tiger Reserve since 2003. Long-term monitoring of hornbill nesting showed that nest sites were limiting and that there was competition for nest trees between hornbill species. While three species of hornbills (Great, Wreathed and Oriental Pied … Read More

Wild Canids and Hyenas: Flagships for Increasing India’s Conservation Potential?

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India has a wide diversity of carnivores that represent multiple unique ecosystems like forests, grasslands, scrublands, open / barren lands, deserts, ravines and the trans-Himalayan plains. A recent study by researchers from Wildlife Conservation Society–India, University of Florida (USA), Ashoka Trust for Ecology and the Environment, Wildlife Conservation Trust, National Centre for Biological Sciences and James Cook University (Australia) proposes that protecting wild dogs or dholes, jackals, wolves, foxes and hyenas, and their habitats, can offer incredible potential to expand … Read More

Sightings of Adult Gharial in Mirzapur stretch of River Ganga in Uttar Pradesh

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A Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) has been sighted on multiple occasions at different locations in the Mirzapur stretch of the Ganges in Uttar Pradesh. It was first reported by two fishermen (Naresh Sahni and Ravindra Sahni) at Shitladham ghat, Adalpura (Chunar) while they were fishing around 4 pm on 26th February, 2020. According to them, the Gharial was old, and may weigh approximately 200 kgs.

In another sighting, on 29th February 2020 near Shastri Bridge, Mirzapur, it was basking on a … Read More

Treading a Conservation Path — Community Reserves in Zunheboto, Nagaland

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Unsteadily, we inch our way along the narrow trail on the edge of the mountain, peering cautiously over the edge in search of the elusive spot-breasted parrotbill (Paradoxornis guttaticollis). The parrotbills were spotted along this grassy hillside in Nagaland’s Zunheboto district just a couple of weeks ago by Angulie Meyase, Nagaland’s leading bird guide. So throwing caution to the wind we thread down this treacherous, twisting necklace. An unending expanse of clouds beneath us gives us the illusion we … Read More

From Killer Roads to Humane Highways

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A 17-minute conservation film on the impact of roads and highways on wildlife.

The rapid expansion of roads and highways through Protected Areas and corridors is one of the most serious threats facing India’s wildlife today.

In this context, we are pleased to announce the release of a powerful conservation film on this topic by wildlife and conservation filmmaker, Shekar Dattatri.

‘From Killer Roads to Humane Highways’ addresses the adverse impacts of roads and highways on wildlife, and showcases some … Read More

Save the Great Indian Bustard (GIB) from Extinction!

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Powerlines in GIB habitat should go underground. 

The critically endangered Great Indian Bustard has disappeared from over 90% of its former range due to habitat loss, hunting, disturbance and lack of protection in many ‘lekking’ and nesting sites (see 2013 CI campaign). Now, overhead power transmission lines that crisscross its habitat are sounding the death knell of this low-flying, ground-dwelling species (see attached map). According to a study by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), as many as … Read More

Rare Yellow-throated Laughingthrush at Doyang, Nagaland

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The Yellow-throated Laughingthrush is a secretive species with a very limited distribution in India, mainly along the India-Myanmar border. It has been only reported from a handful places in Nagaland and Manipur in the recent past. The species is most reported from Pungro region in East Nagaland after it was originally described in May 2011.

This species was recently recorded at the Doyang reservoir in Nagaland. After spending the whole day watching the spectacular Amur Falcon congregations at Doyang … Read More

Nepal Vulture Release Shows Removing Diclofenac is Key to Success

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First release of captive-bred* vultures in Asia.

Nepal and Asia witnessed a further landmark for vulture conservation on 17th September 2018, when the Government of Nepal and national and international conservation organisations released 12 critically endangered White-rumped vultures (Gyps bengalensis), including the first eight birds actually hatched within the conservation breeding programme. Releases last year of birds reared (but not hatched) in the programme have so far shown very promising signs of survival and success, and in addition, … Read More

The Endangered Fishing Cat, Howrah, West Bengal

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The Fishing Cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) is listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List, and is a unique example of the great abilities and diversities of the felid family. Recent studies have shown that they are strongly linked to marshlands. Unfortunately, marshlands are considered to be “wastelands” under Indian land-use policies and are thus subjected to degradation and conversion, especially outside protected areas.

In West Bengal alone, where this image was taken, there has been a 44% decline in marshlands … Read More

Asian Vulture Crisis – It’s Not Over Yet

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The widespread use in cattle of the painkiller and anti-inflammatory drug, diclofenac, led to the unprecedented and dramatic disappearance of vultures over the past 20 years. This inadvertently poisoned around 40 million vultures, causing populations to plummet across South Asia. It’s tempting to think that with the government bans now in place for over ten years, the job is done. While there are indeed some early indications that the remnant vulture populations may be stabilising, albeit at very low … Read More

Saswad Grasslands near Pune in Danger

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20 km to the Southeast of Pune lies the Purandar District with its headquarters at Saswad. As we leave the semi-urban environs of Saswad behind, we enter a unique habitat – a mosaic of grasslands interspersed with agricultural lands and human settlements. This human dominated semi-arid savannah landscape harbours unique and threatened faunal diversity.

These areas, historically labelled as ‘wastelands’, have long been ignored by environment policy makers due to the cryptic nature of diversity which they possess. As the … Read More