Corridors of death

News: The recent deaths of Elephants in Tamil Nadu and Assam in train collisions has again highlighted the gaps in efforts to reduce man-animal conflicts in the country. Of the 29,964 elephants in India, the majority are in the southern region. What are the reasons behind it? Project Elephant division (MoEF&CC) reported unnatural killing of… Continue reading Corridors of death

Chocolate-bordered Flitter

What is the News? A team of researchers have discovered a new Butterfly species in Sikkim. They have named it ‘Chocolate-bordered Flitter’. About Chocolate-bordered Flitter Chocolate-bordered Flitter (Zographetus Dzonguensis) is a golden yellow butterfly discovered in Dzongu in North Sikkim. The butterfly has been named ‘Chocolate-bordered Flitter’ as it has a chocolate coloured border around… Continue reading Chocolate-bordered Flitter

Explained: What is Kyhytysuka sachicarum?

What is the News? An international team of researchers has discovered a new marine reptile in Columbia. The reptile has been named as Kyhytysuka sachicarum. Note: This reptile was named Kyhytysuka which translates to ‘the one that cuts with something sharp’ to honour the ancient Muisca culture in Columbia that existed there for millennia. What… Continue reading Explained: What is Kyhytysuka sachicarum?

Longest in-country migration route of lesser florican from Rajasthan tracked

What is the News? A recent study has for the first time tracked the longest in-country migration route of lesser Floricans from Rajasthan to Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district. About the study The study on the Lesser Florican Migration Route has been launched as part of the bustard recovery programme which is a conservation initiative for the… Continue reading Longest in-country migration route of lesser florican from Rajasthan tracked

‘1,160 elephants killed in a decade’

What is the News? A document accessed from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change(MoEFCC) has provided the data on the death of Elephants. What is the data provided by the document? Source: The Hindu Around 1,160 elephants were killed in the country for reasons other than natural causes in the 10 years up… Continue reading ‘1,160 elephants killed in a decade’

Kaiser-i-Hind is Arunachal’s State butterfly

What is the News? For the first time, Arunachal Pradesh’s cabinet meeting was held outside the State capital Itanagar. It was held at Pakke Tiger Reserve. During that, Arunachal Pradesh’s Cabinet approved Kaiser-i-Hind as the State butterfly of Arunachal Pradesh and adopted Pakke Tiger Reserve 2047 declaration. About Kaiser-i-Hind Kaiser-i-Hind (Teinopalpus imperialis) literally means Emperor… Continue reading Kaiser-i-Hind is Arunachal’s State butterfly

Micro snail species discovered in Meghalaya’s Mawsmai cave

What is the News? Researchers have recently discovered a micro snail species named Georissa mawsmaiensis from Mawsmai, a limestone cave in Meghalaya. This is significant as the last discovery of the same genus was made in 1851. The species was named as Georissa saritta. It was collected and described from the Musmai (Mawsmai today) valley… Continue reading Micro snail species discovered in Meghalaya’s Mawsmai cave

Explained: What is Allium negianum?

What is the News? A team of researchers has discovered a new species of the genus Allium named “Allium negianum” from the Uttarakhand Himalayan region of India. What is Allium? Allium is one of the largest genera in Amaryllidaceae, a family of herbaceous, mainly perennial and bulbous flowering plants. The genus has about 1,100 species… Continue reading Explained: What is Allium negianum?

Arctic melt: will polar bears vanish by 2100?

What is the News? According to a study published in the journal Earth’s Future, if carbon emissions continue at current levels, then by 2100 Arctic sea ice may disappear during the summer, which could drive polar bears and other ice-dependent species to extinction. What is the importance of Arctic Ice? In winter, most of the… Continue reading Arctic melt: will polar bears vanish by 2100?

Development projects threaten Bengal florican habitat in Assam

What is the News? Bustard Specialist Group (BSG) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature has written to the Assam government on the urgent need to prevent land-use changes at Kokilabari Seed Farm in the state to protect Bengal floricans and other species. About Kokilabari Seed Farm Kokilabari Seed Farm is located in Assam.… Continue reading Development projects threaten Bengal florican habitat in Assam

Fish species found only in the Pacific, discovered in the Bay of Bengal

What is the News? Researchers have discovered a unique, lesser-known fish species named Hoplosebastes Armatus in the Indian Ocean.This fish species was till now thought to be found only in the Pacific Ocean. What is Hoplosebastes Armatus? Hoplosebastes Armatus is also known as the flower scorpionfish. It belongs to the order of ray-finned fish that… Continue reading Fish species found only in the Pacific, discovered in the Bay of Bengal

Over 100 countries sign Kunming Declaration on biodiversity conservation

What is the news?  The “Kunming Declaration” was adopted by over 100 countries in the ongoing virtual 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD).  The theme of the COP-15 is “Ecological Civilization: Building a Shared Future for All Life on Earth”.  COP15 is being held… Continue reading Over 100 countries sign Kunming Declaration on biodiversity conservation

New cicada species in Nagaland underscores need for conservation

Source: This post is based on the article “New cicada species in Nagaland underscores need for conservation” published in Down to Earth on 12th October 2021. What is the news? Recently a new Cicada species Platyomia kohimaensis was discovered in the Naga Hills. The species was found near the village of Mitelphe within the Kohima district. ​… Continue reading New cicada species in Nagaland underscores need for conservation

Conserving India’s dhole population: Study earmarks 114 talukas

What is the news? A recent study has identified 114 priority talukas/tehsils where habitats can be consolidated to enhance population connectivity for the Dholes. The study was conducted by scientists from the Non-profit Wildlife Conservation Society–India (WCS-India), National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bengaluru, University of Florida, United States, Non-profit Conservation Initiatives and Centre for Wildlife… Continue reading Conserving India’s dhole population: Study earmarks 114 talukas

Two day meeting of 30 range countries of Central Asian Flyway begins

What is the news?  Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change has started two days Online Meeting of Central Asian Flyway (CAF) Range countries to strengthen the conservation actions for migratory birds and their habitats in the Central Asian Flyway. Flyways  A flyway is a geographical region within which a single or a group of migratory species completes its annual cycle –… Continue reading Two day meeting of 30 range countries of Central Asian Flyway begins

New eel species discovered in Mumbai well

What is the news? A new species of swamp eel belonging to the genus Rakthamicthys that is endemic to India was discovered in a well in Mumbai. It was named Rakthamichthys Mumba – the Mumbai blind eel. This is the fifth species from the genus to be described from India. Also, this is the first… Continue reading New eel species discovered in Mumbai well

These animals and plants of India could have become ‘possibly extinct’ : IUCN

What is the news?  In the latest edition of the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species, a number of animals and plants have been listed as ‘possibly extinct’, including many species from India. What are the findings of report?  First, among animals, there is the coconut crab, the largest terrestrial arthropod in the world. There are… Continue reading These animals and plants of India could have become ‘possibly extinct’ : IUCN

Explained: Why Assam govt is burning 2,500 rhino horns in a special ceremony

What is the News? Assam will mark World Rhino Day — September 22 — with a special ceremony by burning a stockpile of nearly 2,500 horns of the one-horned rhinoceros. About Greater One-Horned Rhino Greater One-Horned Rhino (or “Indian rhino”) are identified by a single black horn about a grey-brown hide with skin folds, which… Continue reading Explained: Why Assam govt is burning 2,500 rhino horns in a special ceremony

Explained: Why ‘black tigers’ sound a warning

What is the news? Recently, scientists resolved the genetic mystery of Simlipal’s so-called black tigers. Single genetic mutation in these tigers caused black stripes to broaden or spread into the tawny background.  Must Read: Scientists unravel mystery behind Odisha’s ‘black tigers’ What is pseudo-melanism?  Tigers have a dark stripe pattern on a light background of white or… Continue reading Explained: Why ‘black tigers’ sound a warning

Scientists unravel mystery behind Odisha’s ‘black tigers

What is the news?  Recently, scientists have resolved the mystery behind the ‘black tigers’ of Simlipal in Odisha. A recent study has discovered that the coat colouration and patterning that make the wild cats appear dark boil down to a single mutation in the Transmembrane Aminopeptidase Q (Taqpep) gene.  The researchers found that the Similipal black tigers may have arisen from a… Continue reading Scientists unravel mystery behind Odisha’s ‘black tigers

Discovery of New Species of Hybodont Shark From Jurassics of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan 

What is the news?  Recently, teeth of new species of hybodontshark  of Jurassic age (approximately, between 160 and 168 million-years-old) have been reported for the first time from Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.    What is the history of Hybodonts?  Hybodonts, an extinct group of sharks, was a dominant group of fishes in both marine and fluvial environments during the Triassic and early Jurassic time.   It started… Continue reading Discovery of New Species of Hybodont Shark From Jurassics of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan 

What are dugongs, where is India’s first dugong conservation reserve?

What is the News? The Tamil Nadu State government has announced plans to set up a 500-sq km Dugong Conservation Reserve in Palk Bay. This is India’s first dugong conservation reserve. About Dugongs Dugongs(Dugong dugon), also called the sea cow, is a herbivorous mammal. They can grow up to three meters long, weigh about 300… Continue reading What are dugongs, where is India’s first dugong conservation reserve?

Air gun surrender could be conservation’s silver bullet

What is the news? Auranchal Pradesh has initiated the program ‘Air gun Surrender Abhiyan’ to check the killing of birds and animals in the region. What is ‘Air gun Surrender Abhiyan’? In Auranchal Pradesh, hunting was a seasonal activity and limited primarily to tribal rituals. Post the proliferation of air guns and rifles, found freely… Continue reading Air gun surrender could be conservation’s silver bullet

Drug debacle: Endangered vulture population still under threat

  Synopsis: India’s vulture populations are not safe; they are still small to recover quickly and will not survive another catastrophic event. Introduction Vultures were quite common till the 1980s and are fighting to survive currently. Currently, seven species in Africa and eight species in India are threatened with extinction. India has lost 99% population… Continue reading Drug debacle: Endangered vulture population still under threat

Over 900 species of animals have become extinct according to latest IUCN Red List

What is in the news? The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recently released a Red List reporting the official extinction of 902 species. This was released at the World Conservation Congress in Marseille, France. Key Findings in the recent Red List The recent Red List mentioned that some 902 species are officially extinct.… Continue reading Over 900 species of animals have become extinct according to latest IUCN Red List

Footprints of 3 dinosaur species found in Thar

What is the News? A team of palaeontologists have found footprints of three different species of dinosaurs in the Thar desert of Jaisalmer district in Rajasthan. What are the three different Dinosaur Species? The three species of dinosaurs include Eubrontes cf. giganteus, Eubrontes glenrosensis and Grallator tenuis. The footprints of these dinosaur species were spotted… Continue reading Footprints of 3 dinosaur species found in Thar

Indian biologist wins global award in turtle conservation

What is the News? Indian biologist Shailendra Singh has been awarded the Behler Turtle Conservation Award for bringing three critically endangered turtle conservation species back from the brink of extinction. Who has given this award? The award was given by several global bodies involved in turtle conservation such as Turtle Survival Alliance, IUCN/SSC Tortoise and… Continue reading Indian biologist wins global award in turtle conservation

Raptor attention: 160 species of birds of prey endangered worldwide

What is the news? A new analysis by ‘International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and BirdLife International’ remarks about the threats faced by the birds of prey. The study claims, 30 percent of the 557 raptor species around the world are threatened by extinction to some degree. What are the key findings of… Continue reading Raptor attention: 160 species of birds of prey endangered worldwide

Missing the woods: 18% of India’s 2,603 tree species threatened with extinction

Source: This post is based on the article “Missing the woods: 18% of India’s 2,603 tree species threatened with extinction“ published in Down to Earth on 2nd September 2021. What is the news? According to the State of the World’s Trees report, released by London-based Botanic Gardens Conservation International, some 469 of India’s 2,603 tree… Continue reading Missing the woods: 18% of India’s 2,603 tree species threatened with extinction

Snow leopard, Black necked crane declared state animal and birds in Ladakh

Source: This post is based on the article “Snow leopard, Black-necked crane declared state animal and birds in Ladakh” published in Times of India on 2nd September 2021. What is the News? The Administration of Union Territory of Ladakh has declared ‘snow leopard‘ as its state animal and black-necked crane as its State Bird. Note:… Continue reading Snow leopard, Black necked crane declared state animal and birds in Ladakh

Land, freshwater species in Asia-Pacific impacted by plastic pollution: UN Study

Source: This post is based on the article “Land, freshwater species in Asia-Pacific impacted by plastic pollution: “UN Study” published in Down to Earth on 1st September 2021. What is the news? Recently, a study titled “Impacts of Plastic Pollution on Freshwater Aquatic, Terrestrial and Avian Migratory Species in the Asia and Pacific Region” was… Continue reading Land, freshwater species in Asia-Pacific impacted by plastic pollution: UN Study

Odisha’s Kendrapara now India’s only district to have all 3 species of crocodilians

Source: This post is based on the article “Odisha’s Kendrapara now India’s only district to have all 3 species of crocodilians“ published in Down to Earth on 31st August 2021. What is the News? Odisha’s Kendrapara became the only district in India to be home to all three species of crocodilians found in the country.… Continue reading Odisha’s Kendrapara now India’s only district to have all 3 species of crocodilians

India adds 557 new species to its fauna: Zoological Survey of India

Source: The Hindu What is the News? The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has released a document titled “ Animal Discoveries 2020”. ZSI has been publishing this document since 2007. Key Findings of the Document: India has added 557 new species to its fauna (animal life). This includes 407 new species and 150 new records.… Continue reading India adds 557 new species to its fauna: Zoological Survey of India

The clean-up crew we need (On vulture conservation)

Source: The Hindu Relevance: Importance of vultures for an ecosystem Synopsis: Vultures play a very important role in an ecosystem by acting as its scavengers. However, their declining population has increased various concerns. Let’s have a brief look into it. Context India lost more than 95% of its vulture population through the 1990s and by… Continue reading The clean-up crew we need (On vulture conservation)

Indian scientists discover new algae

Source: Tribune What is the News? Scientists from the Central University of Punjab, Bathinda have discovered a new species of marine green algae from Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The green seaweed is named Acetabularia jalakanyakae. About Acetabularia jalakanyakae: Acetabularia jalakanyakae is a bright green algae with a size as small as 20 to 40 mm. This… Continue reading Indian scientists discover new algae

New species of Cascade frog discovered from Arunachal Pradesh

Source: The Hindu What is the News? A team of researchers from Delhi University (DU) have discovered a new species of cascade frog in Arunachal Pradesh. They have named the frog species as “Adi Cascade Frog (Amolops Adicola)”. About Adi Cascade Frog: Adi Cascade Frog is a predominantly brown colour frog with a size ranging… Continue reading New species of Cascade frog discovered from Arunachal Pradesh

Meet the fishing cat: Protecting this shy species will save our precious wetlands

Source: Times of India What is the news? Around 87% of world’s wetland ecosystem have been lost due to anthropogenic activities threatening wildlife species such as fishing cat. About Fishing Cat: The fishing cat is one of only two animals among the 40 odd members of the cat family which can survive in wet landscape… Continue reading Meet the fishing cat: Protecting this shy species will save our precious wetlands

Why the Global South needs birds and bees more than the North?

Source: Down to Earth Relevance: Implications of the decline in pollinator population Synopsis: World’s biodiversity is facing a risk from reduction of pollinators such as bees, butterflies, birds, bats, etc. It is believed that the risk is greater for most of the developing world. A brief look. Context A recent study on the causes and… Continue reading Why the Global South needs birds and bees more than the North?

African cheetahs in Kuno-Palpur: Have we assessed disease risks well

Source: Down to Earth What is the news? The forest minister of Madhya Pradesh had announced in July that 10 male and 10 female cheetahs will be flown from South Africa to Gwalior in two phases in November. They will then be sent by road to the Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary. Background After the Supreme court order… Continue reading African cheetahs in Kuno-Palpur: Have we assessed disease risks well

In Karur, a conservation dilemma regarding the slender loris

Source: Down to Earth What is the news? The district forest officer (DFO) of Karur district has recently submitted a proposal for implementing a species recovery programme to protect and improve the population of the endangered slender loris. Threats to the species Since there is great demand for keeping these animal as pets, they are… Continue reading In Karur, a conservation dilemma regarding the slender loris

Cave lion cub found in Siberian permafrost is 28,000 years old

Source: The Hindu What is the News? Scientists have found two perfectly frozen cave lion cubs which lived 28,000 years ago. The lion cubs were found in Siberia’s Permafrost in Russia and have been nicknamed Boris and Sparta. About Cave Lion: Cave Lions (Panthera spelaea) are also known as European cave lions and Eurasian cave… Continue reading Cave lion cub found in Siberian permafrost is 28,000 years old

India’s first leopard reserve offers lessons in coexistence, conservation

Source: Business Standard Relevance: Ecosystem conservation via community participation. Synopsis: Communities have long co-existed with leopards in Jhalana (Rajasthan) which is India’s first leopard reserve declared in 2016. Benefits of leopard conservation Stray dog population is kept under check Forest acts as a temperature and pollutant sink Leopards scavenge carcasses of cattle that villagers would otherwise… Continue reading India’s first leopard reserve offers lessons in coexistence, conservation

Bihar plans GPS trackers for endangered Greater Adjutant Storks

Source: Down to Earth What is the news? In a first, Bihar has decided to tag endangered greater adjutant storks (Leptoptilos dubius), locally known as ‘Garuda’, with GPS trackers to monitor their movement as a part of efforts to conserve them. Bhagalpur’s Kadwa Diara floodplains area is the third-most popular breeding centre for the greater adjutant… Continue reading Bihar plans GPS trackers for endangered Greater Adjutant Storks

Fourth edition of dragonfly census across Delhi-NCR

Source: TOI What is the News? The Fourth Edition of the Dragonfly Census 2021 will start from Delhi-NCR. DragonFly Census 2021: Conducted by: World Wide Fund for Nature(WWF-India) in partnership with Bombay Natural History Society(BNHS), United Nations Environment Programme, Zoological Survey of India and others. Aim: To spread awareness about the importance of the Dragonfly… Continue reading Fourth edition of dragonfly census across Delhi-NCR

Common survey to count elephants and tigers

Source: The Hindu What is the News? On World Elephant Day, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has announced that population estimation of elephants and tigers will be done together in 2022. What is the present practice? Currently, the Tiger and Elephant Census are conducted separately:  All India Tiger Census: The All India Tiger… Continue reading Common survey to count elephants and tigers

Sultanpur, Bhindawas wetlands near Delhi get Ramsar tag

Source: TOI What is the News? Two wetlands of Haryana — Sultanpur National Park and Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary — have been included in the Ramsar list. With this, the number of protected Ramsar sites in India has now gone up to 46. About Sultanpur National Park: Sultanpur National Park is situated in the Gurgaon district… Continue reading Sultanpur, Bhindawas wetlands near Delhi get Ramsar tag

‘Visibly elusive’ Bengal tree frog gets recorded as new species

News: Herpetologists have discovered a new species of tree frog from West Bengal. It has been named Brown Blotched Bengal Tree Frog (Polypedates bengalensis). Facts: About Brown Blotched Bengal Tree Frog (Polypedates bengalensis): It belongs to the genus Polypedates- a genus of tree frog found throughout South and Southeast Asia. The frog’s body colour is… Continue reading ‘Visibly elusive’ Bengal tree frog gets recorded as new species

DU scientists discover frog in Assam, name it after Northeast

A team of scientists from Delhi University and the Wildlife Institute of India, in collaboration with researchers from Indonesia and the US, have discovered a new species frog from Assam in Northeast India. The frog belongs to the microhylid genus Micryletta. Micryletta is a group of narrow-mouthed frogs that is primarily and widely distributed in… Continue reading DU scientists discover frog in Assam, name it after Northeast

Ecologists have 596 reasons to cheer

In 2018, 596 new species of flora and fauna from India have been documented by scientists and taxonomists. The details have been published by Botanical Survey of India (BSI) and the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) in the publications Plant Discoveries 2018 and Animal Discoveries 2018. Of the 596 species, 372 come under fauna (311… Continue reading Ecologists have 596 reasons to cheer