The Central Empowered Committee constituted by the Supreme Court has ordered that all construction activity that violates the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 and other court directives, be stopped. The directive is the result of a petition by Belinda Wright, executive director of Wildlife Protection Society of India. Massive construction work is being undertaken by the forest department to construct 20 big dams. The forest department is undertaking these activities in response to a severe scarcity of water last summer. … Read More
TR Shankar Raman, a member of the Nature Conservation Foundation has been asked to draft a policy guideline to minimize the adverse impacts of man made intrusions, such as roads, powerlines and railway tracks, on wildlife habitats. Shankar Raman, has already presented a background paper on the subject in meeting held on Jan 24th by the Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife. Shankar Raman has identified the issues of fragmentation, spread of alien species, dessication, windthrow and animal … Read More
Residents of around 14 hamlets in the Masinagudi Panchayat observed bandh on March 9th, protesting against lack of clearances from the forest department for developmental activities. Many hamlets, being adjacent to reserve forests have been identified as elephant corridors or as tiger reserves. According to the president of the Forum against Harassment by the Forest Department, the demands include the setting aside of GO 145 (identifies Mudumalai Tiger Reserve core area as 321 sq. km) and implement GO 50 (where … Read More
Union Minster of State for Environment and Forests, Mr. Jairam Ramesh, announced that a Western Ghats Ecology Authority (WGEA) will be setup shortly. After being notified, the body is expected to identify places to be declared “no development areas” in the 51 districts of six states that form a part of the Western Ghats. Nine such authorities have been setup under the Environment Protection Act (EPA). He disagreed with suggestions that the previous authorities were toothless. Mr. Jairam Ramesh was … Read More
A massive thermal power plant planned on the Kutch coast in Gujarat continues to face pressures from the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF). OPG Power Gujarat Private Limited is behind the project, which threatens the sensitive coastal environment of Bhadreshwar. There are accusations that OPG Power did not carry out its obligations to hold public hearings, as well as violations of state government directives to not begin any activity until environmental clearance was obtained. There are also accusations that … Read More
The state of Madhya Pradesh is planning on increasing conservation activities around the Great Indian Bustard (GIB). The state has lost all the GIBs from the Karera sanctuary in Shivpuri and is left to preserve only a handful in Ghatigaon sanctuary (Gwalior). Chief Wildlife Warden HS Pabla closely monitored the conservation of the GIB in Desert National Park on his recent visit to Rajasthan, which is protecting around 100-150 GIBs. Only eight GIBs have been spotted in the last census … Read More
The 163-MW Athirappilly hydroelectric project proposed by the Kerala State Electricity Board could wipe out Great Hornbills from these unique low-elevation (180 m MSL) riparian forests. The Athirappilly Falls is situated on the Chalakudy river, which originates in the upper reaches of the Western Ghats. Many endangered and endemic species of flora and fauna are found in the forests of the Athirappilly-Vazhachal area. This area is the one of the few places in the Western Ghats where all four endangered … Read More
Dadri in Greater Noida is now home to a bird species that is rarely seen in the Indian subcontinent — the Bristled Grassbird. Bird watchers have not only spotted breeding grounds of the rare bird but also managed to capture the sight of their breeding on camera for the first time.
Enthusiasts from Delhi, Noida and adjoining areas have recorded the presence of over 220 species of rare migratory and resident birds in the wetlands of Bil Akbarpur village.
But … Read More
When two powerful entities such as the World Bank and a State Government agency make an expensive ecological blunder, what are the chances that they can be persuaded to undo the damage? In the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, a massive coastal plantation project initiated by the two was about to permanently destroy sea turtle nesting grounds. Would a small group of conservationists be able to make them see sense? Shekar Dattatri recounts the untold story of a campaign … Read More
JAIPUR: The beauty of the Aravalli-flanked Sariska Reserve may soon be a thing of past with Rajasthan government granting 40 new mining leases in the eco-sensitive zone, something that’ll leave the area pock-marked with quarries and pose a threat to an ambitious tiger rehab project.
The government sanctioned the leases on Tuesday on a plea that Aravalli range, where stone mining had been sanctioned, had contours less than 100 feet, which is not considered as a hill as per state … Read More
Spread before me is a grassland — a seemingly unending sea of golden grasses gently swaying in the wind, looking not unlike waves rising and falling to the rhythm of the wind. Out of this azure landscape, something, a bird, shoots straight up in the air some two metres high, but before I can catch and ‘paint’ the picture in my mind’s eye, it’s gone…then, a few furlongs ahead, another one emerges, leaps, a hen-sized bird–shimmering black body, silvery white … Read More
India is a fascinating country. Not only is it is home to the largest number of languages, religions and cultures but also supports some of the richest biodiversity areas in the world. If we consider just the large carnivores, India has 4 species of large cats, 4 bears and 6 in the dog family. If we compare this to all of Europe, they have only 4 species of large carnivores. Even at a human density of more than 300 people … Read More
CHENNAI: Wood apple trees form a canopy over the mud trail leading through the forest, the chirruping of crickets fill the air, butterflies flit to and fro, and an ashy drongo sweeps across and settles onto a branch. It’s hard to believe that the busy Sardar Patel Road is just a 10-minute walk away. It’s noon at Guindy National Park (GNP) and not the best time to spot creatures but there’s still so much to see.
A recent announcement, however, … Read More
Mountain after mountain in Nagaland reveals the same scenes — naked slopes and timber mills (a lot of them illegal). … Read More