Yellow-bellied Weasel, Mishmi Hills, Arunachal Pradesh

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We found this huge rodent lying on the road, dying. We stopped to check what it was. We assumed that a biker who was going ahead had knocked it down, but weren’t sure. As we were discussing this, we saw a tiny animal pop out from a nullah, which was covered by dense vegetation next to the road. It immediately disappeared into the shrubs.

We initially mistook it to be a young Yellow-throated Marten. But then, out it popped again … Read More

Trapped Slow Loris for Sale, Nagaland

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I visited Nagaland for a butterfly and moth survey from 6 to 14 April 2013.

While on the Dimapur – Kohima highway, just before Zubza, there were 3 people on the road holding a long bamboo pole with an animal tied at the end of the pole. We stopped to see what it was and we were shocked to see a Slow Loris (Nycticebus bengalensis) tied with a string trap. We asked him what he was doing with it. He … Read More

Joy as migratory Amur Falcon reaches its wintering grounds again in South Africa

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Raptor enthusiasts across the world were overjoyed and relieved to learn that a migratory adult female Amur Falcon (Falco amurensis) finally reached her wintering grounds at Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal again on the 10th of January 2013 after an eventful 14,500km journey from the species’ breeding grounds in north-eastern China which started in mid-October last year.

This bird was fitted by Prof. Bernd Meyburg of WWGBP, the World Working Group on Birds of Prey, with a solar-powered satellite transmitter … Read More

Tokay Gecko — The Million-rupee Reptile

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The Tokay Gecko (Gekko gecko) is one of the largest geckos in the country and the world; at about 15 inches the males are gigantic! This is a nocturnal arboreal gecko, ranging from northeast India, to Nepal and Bangladesh, throughout Southeast Asia, Philippines to Indonesia and western New Guinea. They are very colourful lizards too.

Occurring in the rainforests, it is primarily a tree-dweller. However, they have adapted well to human habitations where they can be seen on … Read More

Rare Bird — Spot-breasted Laughing Thrush, Nagaland

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The Spot-breasted Laughing Thrush Garrulax merulinus is found in several South-east Asian countries. It is well known amongst birders for its beautiful vocalisations and extremely skulky nature. The bird is seldom seen and is known from India by very few, scanty records. The last time this bird was collected from the Indian sub-continent was in 1952. In 2007 Tanmoy Ghosh recorded this species from Changlang district in Arunachal Pradesh where he photographed a dead bird killed by locals. Following this, … Read More

YETI 2011 Concludes in Guwahati

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The three-day 2011 Young Ecologists Talk and Interact (YETI) concluded in Guwahati. A number of workable solutions for conservation challenges in the North East have come out of the conference. A panel discussion on “Conservation Challenges in NE India” underlined the need for sharing research output among government departments and researchers. Dr. Ravi Chellam, Director, Madras Crocodile Bank Trust, stressed on the need to bring out conservation issues to larger forums outside the region.

Aparajita Dutta, senior scientist, Nature Conservation … Read More

Manas and Kaziranga National Parks at Risk From Dams

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Manas National Park, which recently regained its World Heritage Site status continues to be at risk from hydel projects. The Kurichu hydro electric project (60 MW) and the Mangdechu hyrdro electric project (720 MW) in Bhutan are deemed likely to threaten Manas. The Kurichu dam has already flooded Manas once in 2004, killing large numbers of wildlife. Release of water from the dam has been reported on several occasions in the last six years creating floods in the Manas Biosphere … Read More

Study Identifies North East Forests and Western Ghats as Vulnerable to Climate Change

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A forest impact study by a four-member team from the Centre for Sustainable Technologies, Bengaluru has identified that due to climate change, there is going to be a 45 percent change in forest vegetation in the North East and the Western Ghats, by 2100. The study, along with a related crop impact study, was published in the latest issue of the Indian Science Journal, Current Science. In addition to climate change, low biodiversity, low tree density and fragmentation also contribute … Read More

Climate Change to Have Large-scale Effect on North-east States

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The impact of climate change is likely to result in large-scale changes in the biodiversity of the North-east, a study has revealed. The study, sponsored by The Energy and Resource Institute (TERI), has warned that change in temperature, quantum and intensity of rainfall coupled with extreme weather conditions would have a long-term impact, particularly on the structure and composition of forests in the region. The impact is likely to be more severe in areas where other pressures are deemed to … Read More