OUR APPEAL TO THE GOVERNMENT OF KARNATAKA
Wildlife filmmaker and conservationist Shekar Dattatri addresses some of the common misconceptions that people have about conservation, and provides pointers on how “ordinary people” can get started in saving wildlife.
At one time or another, most conservationists have had someone come up to them and say, “I’m into conservation too! I have two dogs and a cat, and I volunteer at the Blue Cross on weekends”. Actually, wildlife conservation has nothing to do with keeping pets, being compassionate towards domestic … Read More
Wildlife conservation at crossroads
An interview with Dr. K. Ullas Karanth
Dr Ullas Karanth, a Senior Scientist with the international NGO, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), is a world-renowned wildlife biologist. In a wide-ranging interview with wildlife and conservation filmmaker, Shekar Dattatri, he outlines the basic problems that beset wildlife conservation in India’s human dominated landscape, and shares his views on preserving these last wild places.
(This is an updated version of an interview that was first published under the title … Read More
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
Ritualistic Hunting — The Silent Wildlife Killer of West Bengal
HEAL has been documenting South Bengal’s hunting festivals since 2016 and working with enforcement authorities to put an end to this indiscriminate mass killing of endangered wildlife.
All of us are acutely aware of the hunting of megafauna connected with the multi-billion dollar illegal wildlife trade. Many of us also know of the problem of hunting that persists in the … Read More
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
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
On May 27 2020, an oil rig operated by the public sector unit Oil India Limited (OIL) in Baghjan, Assam broke out into a fire, and a consequent raging inferno on 9th June, 2020 after leaking oil and gas uncontrolled, for 12 days. The disaster has caused irreversible damage to the region’s fragile ecology and wildlife, and acutely impacted the livelihoods of communities that rely on the wetlands and forests.… Read More
Thoughtless construction work and habitat alterations may spell doom for Karnataka’s last Great Indian Bustards. Urgent action needed!
The Great Indian Bustard or GIB (Ardeotis nigriceps) is one of the rarest birds in the world. Endemic to the Indian subcontinent, it is listed under Schedule-1 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. With fewer than 150 birds estimated to be surviving in the wild, the GIB is listed as Critically Endangered in the IUCN’s red list, and sadly, could be first … Read More
Once the most common large raptor in the subcontinent, the white-rumped vulture (Gyps bengalensis) has undergone a 99.7% decline over its home range. One of four vultures listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of threatened species, this vulture is now regionally extinct in China, Myanmar, and Bangladesh.
The decline of this species in India was first noticed in Keoladeo National Park, and a country-wide population decline was noted between 2000-2007.
The widespread decline of vultures across South … Read More
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
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
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
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
HESARAGHATTA RESOURCE CENTRE
The Hesaraghatta lakebed area and grasslands in the surrounding catchment area in the north-west of Bangalore are an important reservoir of biodiversity. In addition to supporting wildlife, these grasslands also provide valuable ecosystem services that is critical to the residents of Bangalore. It is a an important water catchment area and protection of this area is also to the proposed rejuvenation of the Arkavathy river basin, which can provide vital water security to Bangalore.
Hesaraghatta … Read More