Cyclones Amphan and Yaas, which occurred in May 2020 and May 2021 respectively, severely impacted the Sundarbans. Local people who survived the immediate aftermath of these catastrophic weather events found themselves robbed of their self-sufficiency and livelihood as paddy fields and fish ponds were contaminated by extra-high salinity levels from the storm surges. Farmers believed that growing crops on their lands would be near impossible for at least 2-3 years. Life in the Sunderbans is tenuous at the best of … Read More
The Beautiful Baghrol – A Fascinating Feline
What is the state animal of West Bengal? Many of you may guess, Royal Bengal Tiger, because of the ‘Bengal’ in the name. Or you may remember Bengalis’ love for all things piscine, and say it is the fish! But you would be wrong again, for it is neither the tiger, nor the fish, but an animal associated with both – the fishing cat (Prionailurus viverrinus), locally known as Baghrol or Macchbagha… Read More
Beaches and sunsets are what come to mind when most people think of Goa. This small state in western India has earned its reputation as one of the most favoured top tourist destinations. But very few know that Goa also has a rich diversity of flora and fauna. Much of the eastern rim of Goa falls within the Western Ghats (a global biodiversity hotspot). Goa has an area of 3,702 sq.km with several rivers spread across the state, all of … Read More
A walk along the beach is something most people would enjoy. When we see crabs trying to run away from our path, often the child in us comes to the fore and we run about chasing them! It was during my first visit to Devbagh, Karwar, off the North Karnataka coast that I was taken by surprise by the beauty of coastal crabs.
Over the years, during the many visits to Devbagh, I have spent considerable time looking for crabs … Read More
The Ruddy Kingfisher (Halcyon coromanda) is a poorly understood kingfisher species. An uncommon kingfisher in the subcontinent, it is found in the Eastern Himalaya, NE India and Bangladesh, from tropical and subtropical evergreen forests as well as mangroves. It was earlier concluded that this medium-sized, rufous-orange tree kingfisher, with bright red bill and legs, is a passage migrant to the mangrove forests of Sundarbans in West Bengal, and can be seen for only for a week’s time at the most. … Read More
A mega project is being undertaken by the World Bank, to conserve the biodiversity of the Sundarbans and to develop the regio socio-economically. This is based on a recommendation from the planning commission of India. The project will be completed by the end of the year. The State minister for Sundarbans Affairs has said that steps will also be taken to develop the site as a major tourist destination. There is concern from environmentalists though that the region is already … Read More
Over 75,000 migratory birds have landed at Bhitarkanika National Park (BKNP) in Orissa. The birds are local migrants and will Bhitarkanika their seasonal home for nesting. Grey Herons, Purple Herons, Darters, Cormorants and Large, Intermediary and Little Egrets are prominent amongst the visitors. Bhitarkanika has little human interference, ideal climactic conditions, cool breeze and an ideal river system. All these have proved to be ideal conditions for the birds.
BKNP is intersected by a network of creeks with Bay of … Read More
In a study done by researchers at University of Calcutta, the mangrove forests of Sundarbans, which have an area of 2118 sq. km, store around 4.15 crore tonnes of CO2, This is valued at US$ 79 billion in the international carbon trading markets. The two year study has been funded by the Union Ministry of Earth Science to analyze the carbon sequestration efficiency of the Mangrove Forests. Above ground biomass was estimated for carbon content using laser beams. The study … Read More
More carbon is said to be stored in Coastal Mangroves than any other forest ecosystem on Earth. The findings were published in Nature Geoscience and were the conclusions of a research team from the US Forest Service’s Southwest and Northern Research Stations, University of Helsinki and the Center for International Forestry Research. Per hectare, mangrove forests store four times more carbon than most tropical forests. The findings were based on their examination of 25 mangrove forests across the Indo Pacific … Read More