FDA Maharashtra Issues Order on Diclofenac Malpractices in Veterinary : A Step forward

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Recent pilot surveys by our team indicated a significant lack of awareness as well as rampant malpractice among stakeholders with respect to the veterinary use of (banned) diclofenac in Pune district, Maharashtra. Typical issues reported were :

  • Lack of knowledge on the ban on veterinary use of diclofenac.
  • Unrestricted over the counter sale of diclofenac for veterinary use.
  • Easy access to human formulations of diclofenac for veterinary use.

These issues were raised with senior forest officers. In response to the … Read More

Egyptian Vultures near Hassan, Karnataka

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I spotted a group of over 25 Egyptian Vultures on 12th January 2013, near Hassan, Karnataka. A research paper by scientists from the Bombay Natural History Society (BHNS) shows that the number of vultures in the country increased marginally between 2011 and 2012. While it is heartening to hear of the stabilization, vulture populations are hardly out of the woods, until Diclofenac, the killer veterinary drug that wiped out vultures, is truly eliminated. Its use continues despite a ban. As … Read More

Palamu’s Killer Tracks

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One of the biggest threats to the wildlife of Palamu Tiger Reserve (PTR), spread over an area of 1130 sq.kms in West-Central Jharkhand, has been the New Delhi-Ranchi Railway line that slices through the Tiger Reserve’s core ranges of East & West Chhipadohar over a distance of 8 kms. About 70 trains — both passenger and freight — ply on this busy rail route everyday (these lines have been in existence before Palamu’s notification as a Tiger Reserve in 1973). … Read More

Turtle and Terrapin Trade Busted in Raichur, Karnataka

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Forest officials along with Mr. Santosh Martin, Honorary Wildlife Warden of Bellary, raided and arrested several people in the notorious wildlife trading markets of Bengali camp number 2 in Sindh Anur taluk of Raichur district, who were poaching and selling hundreds of turtles and terrapins.

Martin informed Karnataka PCCF (Wildlife) Mr. Deepak Sarmah along with photographs of the thriving wildlife market and the PCCF initiated immediate action. Ms. Radha Devi, CCF Gulbarga and Mr Chakrapani, DFO Raichur sent forest officials … Read More

Flamingo City Campaign Update — NBWL Clears Road Project

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Campaign Update July 2013

The road proposal whose ecological damages CI highlighted in this campaign was unanimously and strongly rejected by all members of the MOEF constituted Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) on June 6th, 2013. The project was rejected on grounds that it was having a serious impact on the wildlife of the fragile Kutch region particularly the nesting site of flamingoes.

Unregulated Tourism at Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary, Nannaj

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There are a lot of tourism-related pressures on the critically endangered Great Indian Bustards in Nannaj, Solapur district, Maharashtra where the population is on the decline. The  population estimate for the Nannaj region is just 10-11 birds. Estimated population of the bustards in Maharashtra is around 35-40 birds. The Pune-based NGO GIB Foundation has proposed some specific recommendations for reducing tourism-related pressures for the bustards, especially during the monsoon — when bustards gather in their traditional breeding grounds — when … Read More

A Dead Blue Pitta

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The Blue Pitta (Pitta cyanea) is a very rare bird in India. There have been no recent reports (and certainly no photographs) from India. Pam Rasmussen (Birds of South Asia) lists it for the South Assam Hills (North Cachar, Tripura and an old specimen from Garo Hills).

This image of a dead Blue Pitta featured in the brilliant award-winning documentary called “The Wild Meat Trail” directed by Rita Banerji and Shilpi Sharma (Dusty Foot Productions) on sale in … Read More

Effective or Not? Has the Ban on Diclofenac to Save India’s Vultures Worked?

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The results of a study published in 2011, five years after the ban in 2006, says yes, there has been a perceptible change in the use of diclofenac for veterinary use. But there is much more work to be done for the ban to be a success and for the country to see a rise in vulture populations.

The Indian subcontinent lost 95 per cent of its vultures in just 15 years. Of the eight species of vultures found in … Read More

Long-billed Vulture Chick, Ramanagara, Karnataka

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The welcome sight of a Long-billed Vulture chick on the crags of Ramanagara signal some hope for the augmentation of the very low population of this bird in the south of India. As of now, the number of Vultures at this location seem to have dwindled from thirteen, a year or two earlier, to only nine or ten. The painkiller chemical, Diclofenac, which is still not banned for human use, has decimated the population of Long-billed Vultures across the Indian … Read More

Olive Ridley hatchlings at Rushikulya, Orissa

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Olive Ridley turtles are the smallest marine turtles. They hatch in millions on certain sections of Orissa’s coasts. But due to several threats (all man-made), very few of those that hatch make it to the sea — a distance of less than a 100 metres. And even those that make it to the sea get caught in fishermen’s dragnets further lessening the number that grow into adults to come back and lay eggs.

Some NGOs are working hard to protect … Read More

Lesser Florican Sighted In Bangalore After A Century!

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Out on a cold gloomy morning with the intent of photographing birds, Mr. Raghavendra Bhat sat in his car in the outskirts of Bangalore, waiting for the sun to warm up the day. As the day brightened-up in about 20 minutes, he observed a medium sized bird cross the kuchha road in front and walk into the grass. At first, he thought it to be a juvenile junglefowl, but on seeing the structure of the head, he thought it could … Read More

Rusty-spotted Cat, Maharashtra

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The Rusty-spotted Cat (Prionailurus rubiginosus) is the smallest wild cat species that occurs only in India and Sri Lanka. Available information relies on a few sightings across its range and the species is thought to be rare. I discovered a breeding population of rusty spotted cats from a human-dominated agricultural landscape in W. Maharashtra. I propose that we should also focus on agricultural landscapes, which are likely to have high rodent densities, to study some of the smaller … Read More

National Level Plan Drawn To Protect Endangered Bustard And Floricans

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A draft plan for national recovery of the critically endangered Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps) and the endangered Lesser Florican (Sypheotides indica) has been submitted by a special task force to the MoEF. The ‘Draft Guidelines for Species Recovery Programmes’– is hosted on the MoEF website. Comments/suggestions are invited from civil society owithin a week of issue of this notification, the website says.

“There is an immediate need for an executable plan both at the … Read More

Lesser Florican and Humans — Conflict or Co-existence?

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An endangered male Lesser Florican (Sypheotides indicus) displays in the Sonkhaliya grasslands in Ajmer, Rajasthan. Most of Sonkhaliya have been converted into agricultural fields and the remaining into shrub land of the invasive Prosopis juliflora. Surprisingly, in a recent survey more than 150 male floricans were seen in the Sonkhaliya area of about 100 square kilometers. This author (G.S. Bhardwaj — a scientist at the Wildlife Institute of India) who conducted the survey in NW India observed … Read More