Category Archives: Wildlife

PM Modi Releases Book on Birds Found in Kutch Region of Gujarat

New Delhi: The Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a book titled “The Birds of Banni Grassland” in New Delhi, today. The book was presented to the Prime Minister by the Scientists of Gujarat Institute of Desert Ecology (GUIDE).

The Book is a compilation of the research work, relating to more than 250 species of birds found in the Banni area of Kutch, Gujarat.

The Gujarat Institute of Desert Ecology, located at Bhuj, has been studying the plant, bird and marine life in the Rann of Kutch for over 15 years.

Odisha gears up to Protect and Conserve Olive Ridley Turtles

Bhubanewar: Odisha is home to 50 percent Olive Ridley turtles in the world. In order to protect and conserve this turtle population the State government keeps taking adequate measures towards the conservation and protection. Odisha chief secretary J K Mohapatra held a review meeting to explore the possibilities to involve the local communities, community based organizations and NGOs in the conservation and protection activities of these sea turtles.

The government also plans for eco-tourism activities during the nesting season in selected sites. Chief secretary Mohapatra has also advised the department to explore possibilities of webcasting those mass nesting scenes which are ethical and aesthetic in the perspective of wildlife protection and promotion of eco-tourism. It is felt that webcasting of this rare scenes of nesting in natural habitat will attract more tourists and wildlife enthusiasts.

Steps have begun for the sea turtle protection and conservation operation for the coming mass nesting season in Odisha from November, 2013. And since Odisha houses 50 percent of total world population of the olive ridleys and around 90 percent of Indian sea turtles population adequate precautions were under taken during last nesting season ensuring undisturbed nesting activities of turtles. According to official sources, around 48 on-shore camps and 6 off-shore camps were established at strategic locations. 580 sorties and 580 days of sea patrolling had been undertaken by Forest & Environment Department. Besides, 53 joint sorties and 53 days sea patrolling were conducted by Fisheries department.

During this period a total of 63 fishing vessels including 33 trawler, 20 gill netter and 10 mechanized boats were seized and 56 cases registered and court trials were initiated against the offenders. Hoardings were installed at 16 fishing bases and massive awareness campaign was undertaken in the locality.

Sources added that due to protective measures undertaken during the nesting seasons the number of mass nesting of Olive Ridley turtles in Odisha coast has increased constantly over the years from 35,000 in the year 2002 to 4,65,000 in the year 2006 with upward increase to 5,13,000 in the year 2010. And during the year 2011 recorded sudden rise of nesting to the level of 7,24,000. Records also suggest that the Olive Ridley causalities in Odisha coast has declined over the years from 12,997 recorded causalities in 2002 to 5,003 causalities in 2010 and 2,717 in the year 2013.

This year the State government plans to further strengthen the protective measures for the coming nesting season of 2013-14. Chief Secretary has directed to make Ariel surveillance of the movement of the turtles and give advance information to the authorities so that the coast guards and joint patrolling teams take extra caution to protect them. It has been decided to hold 50 on-shore and 6 off-shore patrolling camps by December 2013. Each camp will be manned by Forest Staff and daily wage workers from the local community. Additional camp personnel as per the provisions of ICZM project shall also be posted. Babubali, Agarnasi, new Devi Nasi island , Purunabanda and some other identified locations shall be the bases for going in to the sea on patrol. Each camp will be equipped with VHF communication facilities, mobile phones and required camping material. The Regional Chief conservator of Forests Bhubaneswar, Berhampur and Baripada will monitor the activities at the circle level. The NGOs, community based organisations will be involved in good numbers in creation of awareness, mobilization of fishing community, regulation of human activities at nesting places and safeguarding of the eggs. Chief Secretary has directed departments of Home, Fisheries, DRDO, Coast guard, Port Authorities of Paradeep, Gopalpur and Dhamra to be actively involved in this operation. A proposal to establish Sea Turtle Research Center has been sent by the government to the Ministry of Forest & Environment, government of India. The State government has revealed that it would go ahead with the proposal if the central government turns down the proposal.

Odisha to Specify Sensitive Zone for each Sanctuary after Proper Verification

Bhubaneswar: In a high-level meeting chaired by the State Chief Secretary B K Patnaik, it was decided to specify sensitive zone for each sanctuary with proper verification of actual field situation. Chief Secretary Patnaik advised the Principal Secretary, Forest & Environment Raj Kumar Sharma to involve the concerned departments more specifically Revenue & Disaster Management, Housing & Urban Development and Steel & Mines Department in this exercise.

According to sources, these departments have also been asked to have direct involvement and active participation in defining the eco-sensitive zones. It is also understood that clear instructions have been given so that it is very important and significant exercise and should be performed with all sincere commitments in interest of the developmental intervention needed for people, protection of wild life and preservation of forest.

The issues relating to determination of distance between Sanctuary and Mining area was discussed in the meeting. Discussions reveal that in the meanwhile DGPS survey of the major mining areas is already been completed. Available data show ORSAC has completed DGPS survey of 220 mining lease areas. The major sanctuaries in Odisha include the Chilika bird sanctuary, Similipal National Park, Satkosia Tiger Reserve, wild life sanctuaries at Kothgarh Sunabedha, Debrigarh, Balukhand, Bhitarkanika, Badrama, Kuldiha wild life sanctuary, Baisiapalli, Kalarpat, Khalasuni, Hadgarh, Unshakothi, Chandka-Dampada, Nandankanan and Kapilash. The Forest Department has completed GPS survey of all the sanctuary areas. Chief Secretary Patnaik has directed experts in ORSAC to integrate these two sets of data in GIS domain and find out the distance. Patnaik has also advised experts to cross check the data through field visits wherever necessary. The PCCF has also been advised to take up DGPS survey of all reserve forest areas.

Principal Secretary Steel & Mines Rajesh Verma, Special Secretary Forest & Environment Sri S.S. Srivastav, PCCF Wild Life J.D. Sharma, CCF, Nodal R.N. Reddy along with other senior officers also participated in the meeting.

National Tiger Conservation Authority Approves Setting up of 4 Tiger Reserve Parks including Sunabeda in Odisha

New Delhi: The in-principle approval has been accorded by the National Tiger Conservation Authority for creation of four new tiger reserves, and the sites are:, Pilibhit (Uttar Pradesh), Ratapani (Madhya Pradesh), Sunabeda (Odisha), and Mukundara Hills (including Darrah, Jawahar Sagar and Chambal Wildlife Sanctuaries) (Rajasthan). Final approval has been accorded to Kudremukh (Karnataka) for declaring as a tiger reserve. This was stated by Shrimati Jayanthi Natarajan Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment and Forests, in a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.

The Minister further stated that the State Governments have been advised to send proposals for declaring the following areas as tiger reserves: (i) Bor (Maharashtra), (ii) Suhelwa (Uttar Pradesh), (iii) Nagzira-Navegaon (Maharashtra), (iv) Guru Ghasidas National Park (Chhattisgarh), (v) Mhadei Sanctuary (Goa) and (vi) Srivilliputhur Grizzled Giant Squirrel / Megamalai Wildlife Sanctuaries / Varushanadu Valley (Tamil Nadu).