Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Recently Hangul was in news !!!

Over rising fear that the endangered Kashmiri stag Hangul may soon become extinct, the environment ministry has decided to step in and initiate a conservation process to check its fast dwindling population.

  • The horned stag, which is found only in Dachigam National Park in Kashmir, has been reduced from thousands to around 200, raising an alarm over the possibility of its extinction. 
  • The environment ministry has, therefore, decided to step in to conserve the state animal of Jammu and Kashmir through funding and other technical assistance, official sources said.
  • The ministry had earlier sanctioned Rs 22 crore for the recovery programme of the near-extinct species, but due to some reasons the state wildlife department received only Rs 3 crore for the conservation, officials said.
  • Dachigam National Park, located 22 km from Srinagar, was once the exclusive hunting reserve of the Maharaja of Kashmir. 
    • Dachigam was declared a national park in 1951. According to latest estimates by NGO Wildlife Trust of India, the number of Kashmiri stags in Dachigam has been reduced to 200. Historically, the Hanguls were distributed widely across the state “from north and east of Jhelum to lower Chenab rivers, from Shalurah in the north to Ramnager in the south”, and even in Gamgul Siya-Behi Sanctuary in Himachal Pradesh.
    • The first ever census of the Hanguls by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources was held about four decades back in early 1970s which sounded alarm bells as their numbers were found to be mere 170.  The State Government initiated several measures to save the Hangul from extinction.  These included the enactment of Wildlife Act and the setting up of a full-fledged wildlife department. These and other steps had started giving great results and the Hangul population increased to over 340 by 1980.
    • But unfortunately, the outbreak of militancy over two decades back set the clock back, while the Wildlife Department staff feared to venture out into the Hangul habitat some nomads reportedly took undue advantage of the situation and encroached with their sheep into the designated grazing grounds of Hangul. The Wildlife Institute of India shockingly found a steep drop in their number ranging somewhere between 117 and 160 making the Kashmir stag critically endangered. However, with situation on the ground improving in recent years, the conditions for Hangul’s survival are changing for the better.  

Even the GREAT INDIAN BUSTARD was in newzz !!

  • The endangered birds, Great Indian Bustard and Lesser Florican have got a dedicated land for breeding in the Shonkaliya Region of Ajmer District, Rajasthan. The villagers of Ajmer District have agreed to conserve 30 hectares of land for the breeding activity of these endangered birds.
  • Population of the Great Indian Bustard (the state bird of Rajasthan) is reportedly not sizeable with six males, present in the area. The Great Indian Bustard needs to lure at least three to four females in number for making of the family. Nests of the Great Indian Bustard have been noticed in the crop fields of the area.
  • The Lesser Floricans are available in a large number as compared to the Great Indian Bustards’ in the region. Nest of lesser Floricans have also seen around the crop lands of the area. Floricans make a visit to this north-western region of the country during their breeding season of advancing monsoons.

This move of conservation of the Lesser Floricans and the Great Indian Bustard is an initiative to use MNREGA, the job guarantee scheme of the central government as a conservative tool. At the time of Manju Rajpal, the former collector of Ajmer district, the villagers of Shonkaliya agreed to earmark a dedicated zone in 30 hectare of land for breeding of the birds from their total of 100 hectares. From 1st May to 30th September entry of cattle as well as people will be restricted in the protected land.

  • According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species for birds, the Great Indian Bustard is on the brink of extinction and is now listed as ‘Critically Endangered’ species. The population of Great Indian Bustard has drastically reduced in the past few years due to several factors such as habitat loss and degradation, and illegal hunting.
  •  Funds have been released to the Government of Rajasthan for the Desert National Park under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme- Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats’ for various activities, including protection of Great Indian Bustard and its habitat. 
Recently the Govt announced a Recovery plan for 
endangered birds

  • In a bid to ensure a secure future for two of the most critically endangered birds—Great Indian bustard and Jerdon’s Courser - the Forest Department is launching ‘Special Recovery Plans’ from April this year.
  • While the Rs.10-crore programme for Jerdon’s Courser is all set to begin soon, a similar proposal has been submitted to the Ministry for Environment and Forests for its approval for the Great Indian Bustard, according to A.V. Joseph, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife).
  • Jerdon’s Courser, which is endemic to the State (Andhra Pradesh), was believed to be extinct until it was rediscovered in 1986 near Reddipalli village, Kadapa district. It is categorised as “critically endangered” in the IUCN Red List, indicating that species is closest to extinction. There might be around 25 birds of this species and are found only in the Sri Lankamalleswara Wildlife Sanctuary (located in the same district) in the world.
projects would be taken up in collaboration with Bombay Natural History Society and other organisations.
  • Under the plans, infra red cameras would be installed in the habitats of the endangered birds, their numbers established, biological behaviour studied and attempts would be made to breed them artificially. Ultimately they would be released into habitats in which they would survive.
  • The Great Indian Bustard, which was found widely in the grasslands of India and Pakistan in the past, is now scattered to the grasslands of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. 
Also Vultures made news !!!

  • Vulture Population Estimation-2013  was conducted in Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh by the State Government. The Vulture Population Estimation-2013 started from 16 January 2013. It was found that there are 867 vultures in the Panna Tiger Reserve which include 160 migratory birds as well as 48 unidentified birds. The Technical report of Vulture Population Estimation-2013 would be submitted by February end 2013. Around 102 live nests were present in this tiger reserve. 
  • Yet another survey would be conducted in April-May 2013 in order to find out the success of vulture breeding in Panna Tiger Reserve. The Vulture Population Estimation is undertaken every year in January in the Panna Tiger Reserve since 2010. The population of vultures was less in comparison to the 2012 population and the reason for their decreasing number is rise in temperatures in this area. 

What was found in the Vulture Population Estimation-2013?

•The Regional Director Panna Tiger Reserve informed that 659 residential vultures were present in the Panna Tiger Reserve during this Vulture Population Estimation-2013.
•Out of the 659 residential vultures, 476 were the Long Billed Vultures, 86 were the White Backed Vultures, 52 were the Egyptian Vultures and 45 were the Red-headed Vultures.
•There were 160 migratory vultures in the Reserve. Out of these, 41 were the European Griffon, 115 were the Himalayan Griffon and 4 were the vultures of cinereous species.

Reasons for decline in vulture population
  • Over the past few years, there has been a sudden decline in the vulture population. Post mortem as well as the diagnostic tests of the vultures revealed that there was a decrease in their population because of consumption of veterinary drug Diclofenac. 
  • Diclofenac was consumed by the vultures who fed on the carcasses of livestock. Diclofenac led to deposition of uric acid in the visceral organs of vultures which caused their sudden death.
  • In the year 2006, a ban was created on the use of diclofenac in the South-Asian region and this ban resulted in the some fall in the number of deaths reported in case of these vultures.
Even Lion Tailed Macaque was in news !!

  • The lion-tailed macaque, one of India’s endangered mascot species, is no longer on ‘The World’s 25 Most Endangered Primates’ list, after the international body compiling it determined that the State governments had acted positively to protect it.
  • The list of 25 primates is put out by a group of specialist agencies — the Primate Specialist Group of the IUCN/Species Survival Commission; the International Primatological Society; Conservation International (CI); and the Bristol Conservation and Science Foundation.
  • The Western Hoolock gibbon found in northeast India was also removed from the ‘list of 25’ earlier, though “it is still not doing wel
  • The habitat of the lion-tailed macaque continues to be fragmented though it is getting positive attention in the Western Ghats. Across India, the growing problem is one of conflicts among langurs, macaques and humans, aggravated by lack of understanding of primate behaviour.

Additional Reading 

Critically Endangered Birds
·         White-bellied Heron - Ardea insignis
·         Spoon-billed Sandpiper - Eurynorhynchus pygmeus
·         Siberian Crane - Grus leucogeranus
·         White-rumped Vulture - Gyps bengalensis
·         Indian Vulture - Gyps indicus
·         Slender-billed Vulture - Gyps tenuirostris
·         Forest Owlet - Heteroglaux blewitti
·         Bengal Florican - Houbaropsis bengalensis
·         Himalayan Quail - Ophrysia superciliosa
·         Jerdon's Courser - Rhinoptilus bitorquatus
·         Pink-headed Duck - Rhodonessa caryophyllacea
·         Red-headed Vulture - Sarcogyps calvus
·         Sociable Lapwing - Vanellus gregarius
Critically Endangered Animals (Mammals, Reptiles, Amphibians and Fishes)
·         Knifetooth Sawfish - Anoxypristis cuspidata
·         Four-toed Terrapin - Batagur baska
·         Red-crowned Roofed Turtle - Batagur kachuga
·         Namdapha Flying Squirrel - Biswamoyopterus biswasi
·         Pondicherry Shark - Carcharhinus hemiodon
·         Large Rock-rat - Cremnomys elvira
·         Andaman White-toothed Shrew - Crocidura andamanensis
·         Jenkin's Shrew - Crocidura jenkinsi
·         Nicobar Shrew - Crocidura nicobarica
·         Leatherback - Dermochelys coriacea
·         Sumatran Rhinoceros - Dicerorhinus sumatrensis
·         Hawksbill Turtle - Eretmochelys imbricata
·          - Fejervarya murthii
·         Fish-eating Crocodile - Gavialis gangeticus
·         Ganges Shark - Glyphis gangeticus
·          - Indirana gundia
·          - Indirana phrynoderma
·          - Ingerana charlesdarwini
·         Deccan Labeo - Labeo potail
·          - Micrixalus kottigeharensis
·         Kondana Rat - Millardia kondana
·          - Philautus chalazodes
·          - Philautus griet
·          - Philautus ponmudi
·          - Philautus sanctisilvaticus
·          - Philautus shillongensis
·          - Philautus sp 'Amboli Forest'
·          - Philautus sp 'Munnar'
·         Pygmy Hog - Porcula salvania
·         Leichhardt's Sawfish - Pristis microdon
·         Narrowsnout Sawfish - Pristis zijsron
·          - Rhacophorus pseudomalabaricus
·         Javan Rhinoceros - Rhinoceros sondaicus
·         Malabar Civet - Viverra civettina 


Blog Archive