Unrestricted Plantation Activity Destroying Lion-tailed Macaque Habitat in Nelliyampathy

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Unregulated plantation activity is destroying the lion-tailed macaque habitat in Nelliyampathy. There are 13 troops with around 200 individuals in the area. This is the second biggest population of the endangered primate in Kerala. Silent Valley hosts around 250 individuals. Nelliyampathy has a fragmented ecosystem for these primates due to coffee and tea plantations, as well as hydel projects. Two-thirds of the evergreen forests in Nelliyampathy was cleared for plantation around 60 years ago. There are forests in the south-west … Read More

Killing a Grassland, Hesaraghatta, Bangalore

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There is an urgent conservation issue related to the Hesaraghatta grasslands in NW Bangalore. Of all places in Bangalore, the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) selects possibly the last remaining grassland to go on a tree-planting overdrive. Using bulldozers, close to 30,000 pits have been dug and most of them planted. The media coverage was helpful and possibly aided in putting a halt to the digging but almost 200 acres of prime grassland is dug and gone — unless the saplings … Read More

Closing Highways to Night Traffic — A Case Study From Karnataka

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This Conservation India exclusive by Sanjay Gubbi, Assistant Director, Wildlife Conservation Society, and Member, State Board for Wildlife, Karnataka, highlights the conservation threat posed by roads and highways through PAs, showcases successful night closures of two major highways running through Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka and provides tips and inspiration for road closures in other protected areas.

Background: Impacts of roads on wildlife

India is in a phase of rapid infrastructural growth where improving the surface transport system is … Read More

Unilever’s Mercury Fever — Dumping Toxic Mercury in a Biodiversity Hotspot

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Corpwatch examines Unilever’s response when caught dumping toxic mercury waste from a thermometer factory in Southern India earlier this year. The Anglo-Dutch company recently closed the factory. Community members, however, allege that the multinational has downplayed the dangers of mercury and misled the public in an attempt to cover up the truth. Indian journalist Nityanand Jayaraman reports for CorpWatch.

In March 2001, residents of Kodaikanal, a pretty hill retreat in Southern India, caught the Anglo-Dutch multinational Unilever red-handed when they … Read More

CEC Report Calls Mining in Chitradurga and Tumkur Illegal and Irresponsible

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The Central Empowered Committee (CEC) of the Supreme Court, submitted a report that agrees with the Karnataka Lokayukta in calling the iron ore mining in Chitradurga and Tumkur districts as illegal and irresponsible. The amicus curiae, A D N Rao has said that the adverse effects in both districts were identical to the one witnessed in Bellary and has advocated that mining be controlled by the apex court, as it was done in Bellary. The court has issued a … Read More

Steady Decline in Tiger’s Habitat Goes Against Tiger Estimation Report Conclusions

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Tiger habitat in the country has been steadily declining in India. Between 2006 to 2010 the country has lost 20,000 sq km of tiger habitat bringing the area down to 72,800 sq km. Close to 30% of the population is outside tiger reserves and there is no real strategy to deal with the situation. The fragmented habitats and shrinking corridors between protected areas mean that young tigers have no room to disperse and create new territories. There are some bright … Read More

Supreme Court Suspends Mining in Bellary, Karnataka

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The Supreme Court suspended mining in 10,868 hectares in Bellary district of Karnataka. The court also said that the Ministry of Environment and Forests will come out with a report on how much Iron ore is needed for the country’s steel industry and also spell out how much is to be domestic and how much needs to be imported. The bench’s decision came after a report from the Centrally Empowered Committee (CEC) that said that illegal mining was not only … Read More

NTCA Sets up Ten Member Committee to Monitor Land Use Practices in Tiger Reserves

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The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has set-up a 10-member expert panel to monitor land-use practices like mining, road construction and railway lines that affect tiger habitats. The panel will draw upon the best practices prevailing in other countries. The panel will examine current demands for diversion of habitat areas towards infrastructure projects in the tiger range states. It will also make recommendations for harmonising land use vis-a-vis tiger conservation in India. The panel will submit its report in six … Read More

Task Force Report On Gangetic Dolphins

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A state level (Bihar) task force on Gangetic Dolphin Conservation, headed by the “Dolphin Man of India” R. K. Sinha, will submit its report to the State Government in the next five to six months. R. K. Sinha is the head of the Patna-based Central University’s environmental department and also chairman of the Central government working group for dolphin conservation. The endangered Gangetic dolphin is India’s national aquatic animal, but faces the following threats:

  • Multiple dams and barriers disrupting free
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NTCA Will Study Adverse Impacts of Adani Power Project Near Nagzira Sanctuary

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The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) will study the adverse impacts of a proposal to divert 163.84 hectares of land to the Adani Power Project in Gondia district. This land is within 10 kms of the Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary. The NTCA study will focus on the adverse impacts of the gaseous and particulate emissions and additional thermal load from the plant on flora and fauna. The Adani plant is meant to be a 3300 MW one. Work is already in … Read More

Final Notification Comes Into Effect in Sigur Elephant Corridor in the Nilgiris

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The final public notification has been issued regarding the proposed elephant corridor in the Sigur plateau of the Nilgiris District. Resort owners and private land owners have to vacate and hand over their land to the Collector immediately. Private land owners will be given adequate compensation and those living on government poramboke lands will be given alternative dwelling sites as per the Forest Dwellers Act, 2006. The proposed corridor falls within Sholur, Masinagudy, Hullathy and Kadanad villages.

The public notice … Read More

Immense Environmental Toll of Coal Mining in India

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Coal mining threatens many of India’s sensitive wildlife habitats as the coal ministry is pressing the Ministry of Environment and Forests for access to even more forested areas. In 2009, the ministry had categorized 203 coal blocks as no-go areas. However, early this year it agreed to relax the no-go constraint on 53-percent of these areas, apparently under pressure from the coal ministry. Under a later meeting in April, this rose to 71-percent of the reserved areas and apparently, under … Read More

Study to understand impact of Jaitapur Nuclear Project on Marine Ecology and Biodiversity

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The National Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) has planned to undertake a study to understand the possible effects of the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project on the marine ecology and biodiversity. The study will be conducted by five environmental organizations and headed by the BNHS director, A.R. Rahmani. The marine ecology around Jaitapur is considered vibrant. The study is expected to take a year and cost Rs. 5.86 crore. However, activists and experts are skeptical of the study as environment … Read More

Bharatpur — Can we Regain this Bird Paradise?

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The year 2004 was a fateful one for Bharatpur, India’s most famous bird sanctuary. In order to appease farmers belonging to particular community, the then Chief Minister of Rajasthan, issued an order diverting water from the Ajan Bund away from the Bharatpur marshes and into the fields surrounding the park, unleashing catastrophic consequences for this 250 year-old artificial wetland. Since then, Bharatpur has never been the same. While various schemes to bring water to the park are under consideration, bird Read More

Ranthambore Canal Work Continues Despite Rejection by the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL)

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In a gross violation of Wildlife Protection Act and Forest Conservation Act, construction activity continues despite the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) ban earlier this year.

In a letter to Mr. M. K. Jiwrajka, Member Secretary, Central Empowered Committee (CEC), conservation biologist Dharmendra Khandal of Tiger Watch working in the area writes:

“You have already advised the Rajasthan state government for no construction activity in Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve (file no. 1-26/CEC/SC/2010-PC.XXXVIII, Dated: 8th March 2011). However, recently there is new construction … Read More