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Last Updated: August 19, 2019 16 hours ago

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  • Scientists found two new fish species

    16 hours ago
    The Scientists of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) have discovered two new species of freshwater fish in Mizoram and Himachal Pradesh. Both the fishes were less than seven centimetres. Glyptothorax gopii: Glyptothorax gopii, a new species of catfish was found in Mizoram’s Kaladan river. This species measured 63 mm standard length without caudal fin. It has an axe-shaped anterior nuchal plate which makes it distinct from other species of the genus Glyptothorax. Garra Simbalaraensis: Garra Simbalaraensis was found in Himachal Pradesh’s Simbalbara river. Garra simbalaraensis measured 69 mm standard length without caudal fin. It has a yellowish-grey colour fading ventrally. Garra simbalbara ensis has a prominent unilobed and rounded proboscis with tubercles that help the fish in manoeuvrability. Other discoveries: The recent discoveries include Garra compressa in 1998, yersglanis jayarami in 1999, G. elongata in 2000, Glyptothorax senapatiensis in 2015, G. tamangi in 2016, and G. chindwinensis and Olya parviocula in 2018. These species were all found in north-eastern India.

    Centre plans to make India free of single use plastics

    3 days ago
    The Union Minister Prakash Javadekar announced a massive public campaign to make India free of single use plastics at the function ordered by the Indian Consulate in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The Ministry conducted a series of meet with all the stakeholders including state governments gathering to eliminate the use of single-use plastic. It also suggested shopkeepers to provide eco-friendly bags to their customers. Government's measure to avoid single-use plastics: Narendra Modi-led government has urged the people to use jute and cloth bags to protect the environment. About 20,000 tonnes of plastic waste is generated every day in the country and out of which only 13,000-14000 tonnes are collected. The government also urged the shopkeepers to stop selling the plastic bags and used to sell jute and cloth bags. It also directed the Customers should adopt ways to reduce plastic usage in use to abolish plastic usage.

    NGT suggested MoEF to modify NCAP

    4 days ago
    The National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed the Ministry of Environment to modify the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). NGT said that the timelines should be reduced and the target of reduction should be increased considering its adverse effect on public health. NGT also directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and state pollution control boards to asses and ensure the air quality. It also guided them to install enough number of the real-time online continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring systems within six months. National Clean Air Programme (NCAP): NCAP is the first ever national level strategy to tackle the increasing air pollution problem across the country in a comprehensive manner. This program functions under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The Minister responsible for the Ministry is Prakash Javadekar. NCAP has proposed to reduce  national-level air pollution by 20-30% reduction of PM2.5 and PM10 concentration by 2017-2024. The Centre is working towards scaling up the air quality monitoring network across the Country. Currently, there are 101 real-time air quality (AQ) monitors are there in the country, where at least 4,000 monitors are needed across the country. Various committee has been set up for the implementation of the programme. NCAP has also proposed an extensive plantation plans, research on clean-technologies, landscaping of major arterial roads, and stringent industrial standards, real-time physical data collection, data archiving, and an action trigger system in 102 non-attainment cities, across 23 states and Union territories.

    Kajin Sara lake has set a new record of being the worlds highest lake

    August 13, 2019
    Mountaineers discovered the Kajin Sara lake in Manang district of Nepal few months ago. This lake in Nepal has set a new record of being the world's highest lake and replaced Tilicho Lake of Nepal.  Kajin Sara lake: Kajin Sara lake is situated at an altitude of 4,919 metres in the Himalayan nation. It is located at Singarkharka area of Chame rural municipality. The measurement of the lake which is located at an altitude of 5,200 metres, is estimated to be 1,500 metre (1.5 km) long and 600 metre wide. The water of the Kajin’s lake is formed out mainly by melting waters from Himalaya. Tilicho lake: Tilicho lake is the currently world’s largest lake situated at an altitude of 4,919 metres it is 4 km long and 1.2 km wide and around 200 metres deep in Nepal. Nepal: Nepal is a landlocked country in South Asia. Nepal is the 48th largest country for population. The  capital of Nepal is kathmandu. The President of Nepal is Bidhya Devi Bhandari. The current Prime Minister of Nepal is KP Sharma Oli. The Currency is Nepalese rupee. Nepal's official language is Nepali.

    MoEF unveiled a draft guidelines for CZM

    August 8, 2019
    The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has unveiled a draft plan, Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF). The draft was prepared by the Society for Integrated Coastal Management, an affiliated body of the environment ministry, along with the support of World Bank.  The draft is part of a World Bank-funded project. The document gives guidelines to regulate projects in all state coastal zones. It guides how the infrastructure projects situated along the coast should be assessed before clearance.  Aim: The project aims to assist the government by enhancing the efficiency of the coastal resource by building collective capacity for adopting and implementing integrated coastal management approaches. The three coastal States where the project are carried out are Gujarat, Odisha and West Bengal. Key activities of the proposed project: The project consist of investments by States including mangrove afforestation/shelter beds, habitat conservation activities including restoration of sea-grass meadows, eco-restoration of sacred groves, development of hatcheries, rearing/rescue centres for turtles and other marine animals. It also includes the demonstration of climate resilient or salinity resistant agriculture. The creation of infrastructure and facilities aim to support eco-tourism, community-based small-scale mariculture, seaweed cultivation, aquaponics, and value addition to other livelihood activities.

    Indian Army employs E cars to its Delhi officials

    August 4, 2019
    The Indian Army has launched an ecological initiative by employing electric cars (E-cars) for the use of Government officials in Delhi. E-cars initiative was launched by the Army in partnership with Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EECL) under the Ministry of Power.  The move comes as a solution to the worsening state of air in the capital city. Air pollution has been a major challenge in Delhi, with it crossing the danger mark often.   E-Cars: Electric vehicle technology is an alternative to combat air pollution and to reduce carbon emission footprint. The EESL has played a vital role in providing these e-vehicles to various Government agencies. Several other Indian automobile manufacturers including Tata Motors and Mahindra have also taken the initiative in manufacturing Electric Cars. The initiative Ecars is expected for the development of electric vehicle technology as it will be adopted by the general public in the near future. Indian Army's initiatives to combat air pollution: The Indian Army has played a lead role in several environmental  conservation activities. It has been a part of major environmental protection initiatives such as forestation. These moves by the Indian Army are several conservation activities in close coordination with the locals to help preserve the ecological balance and protect the environment.

    Canada to create a protected marine area in Arctic region

    August 4, 2019
    Canada government plans to create a protected marine area in the country's Arctic region. The move is after a severe climate change that took effect three times faster than global average weather. Multiple species in the coast of Baffin Island, in Canada's northeastern Arctic archipelago are threatened by the Glacial melting and maritime traffic. Aim: The move aims to protect marine area in arctic regions and protect the populations of belugas, narwhals, walruses, seals, polar bears and thousands of other species who depend on year-round sea ice to survive.  These species are now migrating, or in some cases, disappearing, In order to save various species the areas are to be planned in well protecting manner. The establishment of protected marine area would help the Canadian government to achieve its goal to protect 10% of marine and coastal regions by 2020.  Steps taken by Canada govt: Recently, the Canada government had invested in modernizing the Coast Guard. It launched two Arctic patrol vessels. It aimed to increase protection for national interests in the region.

    India and UK launch clean air initiative in Bengaluru

    August 2, 2019
    Innovating for Clean Air (IfCA), a two-year UK-India joint initiative providing Indian and UK stakeholders opportunities to test interventions related to air quality and EV integration The event was launched in Bangalore. British Deputy High Commissioner Dominic McAllister collaborative initiatives are an example of UK. India can work as a joint force for good on innovative solutions. The country can bring the best of our research communities, academia and businesses together to address shared challenges, such as clean air. The initiative provides a unique measurement system for air quality by integrating satellite and sensor data and helping to support India's transition to electric vehicles. The programme is led by Innovate UK  It is a part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). It is funded by the Newton Fund with matched resources from various partners in Karnataka and India. The key partners for the programme are the Indian Institute of Science, Enzen, Project Lithium, Confederation of Indian Industry, C40 Cities and Clean Air Platform. The other partners include Citizens for Sustainability, World Resources Institute, International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore, Shakti Foundation, Shell Technology Centre, Global Business Inroads and India Smart Grid Forum.

    PM Narendra Modi released the All India Tiger Estimation Report

    July 30, 2019
    PM Narendra Modi released the All India Tiger Estimation Report 2018. The massive tiger census is conducted every four years. India now has 2,967 tigers. The growth in the 4th cycle of the Tiger Census has been a 33%. PM Narendra Modi, who released the figures of the tiger estimation and also he says that India has achieved the target of doubling tiger population before the deadline, that is 2022. India achieved its target: According to the survey taken in 2006, the recorded figure of tiger was 1,411. In the St.Petersburg Summit held at Russia in 2010, India vowed to double the growth rate of tigers. In 2014, the population of tigers in India was 2,226. According to the latest Tiger census report, it rose to 2,967, that is 33%, in 2018. Indiahas doubled tiger population and has achieved its target for 2022. Also, in 2014, the number of protected areas were 692, the number increased to more than 860 in 2019. The number of community reserves were 43 in 2014 and it has been to more than 100 in 2019. The recent census indicates that tiger numbers have been increasing continuously.

    Pro Ahaetulla antique, 26 million years old species of Vine snake found in the southern Western Ghats

    July 29, 2019
    Researchers from Indian Institute of Science(IISc), Bengaluru discovered new vine snake species named Pro Ahaetulla antique (member of the Ahaetuliinae family) evolved around 26 million years ago in the southern Western Ghats. The common name suggested for these individuals is ‘keeled vine snake’.  Vine snakes get their names due to their slender bodies and vine-like appearances. There are 4 species of commonly distributed vine snakes, and another one was discovered in Odisha recently in India  This research report has been published in the journal PLOS ONE in collaboration with researchers from Chennai Snake Park, Chennai, and Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai. The study was funded by the Department of Biotechnology(DBT), Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), DBT-IISc Partnership Programme and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund.

    Scaly foot snail, first species to be declared endangered as a result of deep sea mining

    July 27, 2019
    Researchers of Queen’s University Belfast found that the scaly-foot snail is the first species to be declared endangered as a result of deep-sea mining. The study also covers assessments of animals living in deep sea hydrothermal vents in the Indian Ocean. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has also added the scaly-foot snail to its global Red List, the international inventory of at-risk species. Also, 14 more species were found in a hydrothermal vent ecosystem that are to be included in the next edition of IUCN’s Red List to be out in 2019.   About Scaly Foot Snail: Scaly foot snail was first discovered in 2003. It live at depths of up to 9,500 feet in the sea. Its's shell consists of three layers: ♦ the outer layer which is fortified with iron sulphides ♦ an organic middle layer ♦ a calcified inner layer The type of snails has an enormous heart.Only an enormous heart can circulate enough blood to oxygenate the snail and its many microbial passengers. 

    Indias first Dragon blood-oozing Tree discovered in Assam

    July 26, 2019
    Researcher discovers Dracaena Cambodia  A dragon tree species in Assam’s West Karbi Anglong district. Plant It is a plant that yields a dragon’s blood.It is a bright red resin used in ancient times as a medicine, body oil, varnish, incense, and dye. The sap turns bright red after coming in contact with air.This is for the first time that a dragon tree species reported from India. In India, the Dracaena genus belonging to the family Asparagaceae It is represented by nine species and two varieties in the Himalayan region, the northeast and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.The Dracaena cambodiana Dracaena cambodiana is the only true dragon tree species. It is an important medicinal plant as well as an ornamental tree.It is a major source of dragon’s blood, a precious traditional medicine in China.Several antifungal and antibacterial compounds, antioxidants, flavonoids.They have been extracted from various parts of the plant.The species is already listed in the inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants of China.The recent overexploitation to meet the increasing demand for dragon’s blood resulted in rapid depletion of the plant.The habitat of the plant is severely fragmented due to the open excavation of a stone quarry. There is a continuing decrease in its area of occupancy and number of mature individuals. The Dracaena seeds are usually dispersed by birds. Due to the large fruit size, only a few species of birds are able to swallow the fruits, thus limiting the scope of its nature conservation.

    Researchers have discovered a new vine snake species in the southern Western Ghats

    July 26, 2019
    Researchers from Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru have discovered a new vine snake species in the southern Western Ghats. The species 'Proahaetulla antiqua' is believed to have evolved around 26 million years ago. It was first discovered in 2011. It looks similar to Ahaetulla dispar which is a small-sized vine snake with similar morphological characters. The vine snake species are not only a new species but also belong to a new genus. The unique features of the snake was studied by the researchers from Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru along with Chennai Snake Park, Chennai and Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai. The study was funded by the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), DBT-IISc Partnership Programme and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund.  There are similar species in Africa and South America. The Asian vine snakes are distributed throughout Asia.

    BSI reported that India hosts 1,256 species of orchid

    July 18, 2019
    A recent report by the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) that India hosts 1,256 species of orchid. It also released the census containing photographs of 775 species of Orchids. This is the first time the report showed the importance of orchids in floriculture. The photographs included nearly 60% of all species. Orchids in India: The highest number of orchid species has been recorded from Arunachal Pradesh with 612 species. Sikkim has 560 species of Orchids. The richest, in terms of orchid species is the Himalayan zone. North-East India rank at top in species concentration of Orchid and the Western Ghats have high endemism of orchids.  CITES: The entire orchid family is listed under CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). CITES bans illegal trade of wild orchid globally. Orchids: Among 1,256 orchid species that are found in India, 388 species of orchids are endemic to India. Among the 388 species of orchids about 128 endemic species are found in Western Ghats. Orchids can be broadly categorised into 3 life forms Types: Three types of Orchids are: Epiphytic type of orchids grow on another plants including those growing on rock boulders and often termed lithophyte. About 757 species are epiphytic. Terrestrial type of orchids grow on land and climbers. 447 species in India are terrestrial.  Mycoheterotrophic type of Orchid derive nutrients from mycorrhizal fungi. 43 species in India are mycoheterotrophic.

    MoEF has recommended for the survey and exploration of uranium in Amrabad Tiger Reserve

    July 12, 2019
    The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has recommended for the survey and exploration of uranium in Amrabad Tiger Reserve, Telangana.  The exploration was approved by the Atomic Minerals Directorate. The approval comes inspite of the contrary reports by forest officials after field inspections which was conducted in 2016. The proposal sought permission to explore uranium in 76 km in Amrabad and Udumilla regions, besides 7 km in the adjoining Nagarjunasagar Tiger Reserve in Andhra Pradesh. The exploration is for the use in nuclear power generation. Disturbance to ecosystem: Mining for exploration may cause destruction and disturbance of ecosystems and habitat fragmentation. This does not recommend any permission for the proposal. The Forest Officer of the Nagarjunasagar Tiger Reserve has made similar recommendations, listing threat to several species in Schedule I and II of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, besides others.

    Nepal's effective measures to clean up the Mount Everest

    July 8, 2019
    Nepal conducted a month-long cleaning campaign to clean the trashes in Mount Everest by collecting over 10,000 kg of rubbish from the region. Mega clean-up campaign: The historical mega clean-up campaign was coordinated by government and non-government agencies of Nepal. A dedicated Sherpa team from the base camp to four higher camps collected waste from the roof of the world. Instead of sending solid waste to dump in the landfill site near Kathmandy, the items were segregated, processed and recycled as raw materials for various products.  The collected materials were segregated in different categories like plastic, glass, iron, aluminium and textile. Among 10 tonnes of waste received, 2 tonnes have been recycled while the remaining eight were soil mixed with wrappers and semi-burned items, which could not be recycled. The authorities suggested to set up an initial processing unit in the mountain area itself, so that waste can be segregated immediately and easily managed.  Nepal's other measures: As per the Nepal's regulation, the country charges $11,000 as royalty and $710 for a Nepali climber to scale the 8,848-meter-tall mountain. The Nepal government has laid a provision that if a climber brings back at least 8 kg of garbage then it will refund. It has been claimed that piles of trash are still found in the mountain. If it prevails, it will cause an adverse impact on health and the environment. It is necessary that the government should come up with new policies to have a separate fund, which can be used to continue the cleanliness campaign to make the mountaineering industry sustainable. 

    Telangana government has introduced the Miyawaki method of afforestation

    July 7, 2019
    Telangana government has introduced the Japanese Miyawaki method of afforestation to grow urban forests and expand the green cover as well as to meet the stipulated plantation target under the Telanganaku Haritha Haaram (TKHH). About Miyawaki: Miyawaki is a Japanese technique introduced by Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki, that helps build dense, native forests in a short time. Miyawaki method helps to create a forest in just 20 to 30 years, while through conventional methods takes anywhere between 200 to 300 years. It has revolutionised the concept of urban afforestation by turning backyards into mini-forests.This method includes planting trees, only native species, as close as possible in the same area  The approach ensures that plant growth is 10 times faster and the resulting plantation is 30 times denser than usual. Miyawaki method helps to create a forest in just 20 to 30 years, while through conventional methods takes anywhere between 200 to 300 years. Miyawaki Process: The native trees of the region are identified and divided into four layers namely shrub, sub-tree, tree, and canopy. The quality of soil is analysed water retention capacity, and nutrients in it, is mixed with it. A mound is built with the soil and the seeds are planted at a very high density three to five sapling per square meter. The ground should be covered with a thick layer of mulch. These tress lack some qualities of natural forests, such as medicinal properties and the ability to bring rain. Such fast-growing plantations can be used for wood lots, recreational uses like bird watching, bushwalking, and wildflower appreciation. Several environmentalists have accelerates the growth of trees as it is not a good idea to force plants to photosynthesize fast. Telangana Ku Haritha Haram (TKHH): Telangana Ku Haritha Haram or Haritha Haram was launched by Chief Minister Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao on July 2015.  TKHH is a large-scale tree-planting program implemented by the Government of Telangana.  The plan aimed to increase the amount of tree cover in the state from 24% to 33%. The State has allocated Rs.5500 crores of its budget for the project. The flagship programmes aims to rejuvenate degraded forests, protecting these forests from threats such as smuggling, encroachment, fire and grazing.   

    A volcano on the Italian island of Stromboli has erupted

    July 5, 2019
    A volcano on the Italian island of Stromboli has erupted on 3 July. The Volcanic eruption killed a person.  Mt. Stromboli: Stromboli is known as the "Lighthouse of the Mediterranean" and has a population of around 500. The volcano is one of the most active on the planet and has been under a regular state of eruption since 1932. The last major eruption was in 2002, when a blast destroyed local buildings and piers, injuring six.

    Special Rhino Protection Force (SRPF) has been currently deployed across the Kaziranga National Park

    July 4, 2019
    The Special Rhino Protection Force (SRPF) has been currently deployed across the Kaziranga National Park. A first ever batch of 82 constables of a SRPF has been deployed in various parts of UNESCO World Heritage Site Kaziranga National Park in Assam. The force consists of 74 men and 8 women who underwent 43 weeks of training. The constables assumed their duties across the national park to protect one horned rhino.   Aim: This is the first time a special force that has been dedicated to keep a check on rhino poaching and related activities in the Kaziranga National Park. From 2013, there was rampant rhino poaching in Kaziranga. In 2013 and 2014, 27 poaching incidents each year was reported. In the last 2 years there has been 6 cases each year. In 2019, there have been three cases so far.   About Kaziranga: Kaziranga National Park, the prestigious national park of India, is situated in the state of Assam. It was created in 1908 and it was declared as National Park on 11 February 1974. It was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year 1985.   About Rhinos in Kaziranga: The Assam state forest department reported that there are 2,547 rhinos in Assam in its 2018 census. Greater One-Horned rhinoceros and the Asian One-Horned Rhinoceros falls under the IUCN list of endangered species. A report said that about 3,000 Rhinos live in the wild, and around 2000 of which are found in Kazirnaga National Park.

    For the first, the Lucknow government has begun the construction of roads using plastic waste

    June 18, 2019
    The Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) is constructing a road using plastic waste for the first time ever. The road is constructed from Gomti Nagar Police Station to Indian Institute of Management (IIM) under a pilot project by LDA in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. The LDA has followed guidelines of the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) in road construction. The research showed mixing plastic waste increases the durability of the roads by 40-50%. These roads will be more durable and will stay in good condition for a longer time. Around 8-10% of plastic waste is being mixed in coal tar.  The initiative was inspired after the success of roads in many foreign countries. In India too, many civic bodies have started road construct using plastic waste in an environmental-friendly experiment. The LDA plans to conduct more research on this road experiment in the next two years to know if there can be some improvement. Plastic roads: The implementation of plastics in roads has opened a new option for recycling post consumer plastics. The US, the UK, Australia, Indonesia, India and many other countries have used technology which can incorporate plastic waste into an asphalt mix. Plastic composite roads, however, have existed and demonstrate characteristics superior to regular asphalt concrete roads; specifically, they show better wear resistance.  Central Road Research Institute (CRRI): CRRI was established in 1952. The CRRI is located in New Delhi. It is a constituent laboratory of India's Council of Scientific and Industrial Research.  It conducts research and development in the areas of design, construction, maintenance and management of roads and airport runways. It also works in area of traffic and surface transportation planning.

    Researchers have found that the Islands ice sheet has lost more than two gigatonnes in a day

    June 18, 2019
    Researchers have found that the Island’s ice sheet has lost more than two gigatonnes (a gigaton is equal to one billion tonnes) of ice in just a day on June 13 to a widespread melting event. This is a sign that 2019 could once again set records for loss in Greenland ice. The Danish Meteorological Institute, the Greenland melting season started very early this year on April 30. This is the second earliest in a record that stretches back to 1980. This year’s start of April 30 is second only to 2016, when a very unusual weather pattern caused an early start to the melting season in mid-April.  Number three on the list is May 2, 2010, when a similar weather pattern triggered an early melting onset closely followed by May 7 in 2017. The top four have all occurred within the last 10 years.  Reason for Melting: The researchers found that the Greenland melting event was due to an atmospheric circulation in the Arctic and North Atlantic. The sudden spike in melting can be compared to some spikes seen seven years ago. Melting off early in the season leads to further ice loss later in the season. The reason why melting has spiked in 2019 is that Greenland experienced a dry and cold winter.

    India to host COP-14 of UNCCD

    June 18, 2019
    India will be hosting the 14th session of the Conference of Parties (COP-14) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) for the first time. COP-14 will be held between September 2 and 14 in Delhi. Participants: It is expected that atleast 5,000 delegates from nearly 197 countries will be participating.  The Centre launched a flagship project, part of a larger international initiative called the Bonn Challenge ahead of the COP-14. The flagship project aims to enhance India’s capacity for forest landscape restoration (FLR). The Bonn Challenge is a global effort to bring 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded land under restoration by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030. COP-13 of UNCCD: The 13th session of the Conference of Parties (COP-13) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) was held in Ordos, China. Around 113 countries had agreed to specify concrete targets with clear indicators, to rehabilitate more land and reverse degradation, which currently affects over a third of the world’s land resources. United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD): Drafted: 17 June 1994 Signed: 14 October 1994 Location: Bonn, Germany Parties: 197 (196 states + the European Union) UNCCD aims to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through national action programs that incorporate long-term strategies supported by international cooperation and partnership arrangements.  

    Scientists has discovered a new frog species in the Northeast

    June 13, 2019
    Scientists from Delhi University and Wildlife Institute of India in collaboration with researchers from Indonesia and the USA has discovered a new frog species in the Northeast.  Appearance: The frog is reddish brown in colour. It has prominent dark streaks and ash grey mottling on the lateral sides. Web is absent on its feet. Microhylid genus: The frog has been named Micryletta aishani. It belongs to the Microhylid genus. The first known species of the genus was found in Sumatra, Indonesia. At present, the Microhylid genus has only four recognised species that are commonly known as paddy frogs. But the new frog species that was found on the Northeast India was confirmed as a new species after detailed comparison of both DNA and morphology with all previously known species across Southeast and East Asia. The study also revealed that this kind of paddy frog might be found in Southeast regions such as Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.

    Study says every individual ingest 5g of microscopic plastic particles every week

    June 13, 2019
    Researchers said that the people could be ingesting 5g of microscopic plastic particles every week.  Microplastics are tiny plasstics pieces ranging from 5 millimetres down to 100 nanometres in diameter.  Microplastics in food: Microplastics enter our body through marine source, non-marine source and sometimes indoor dust. The consumption happens mostly from tap and bottled water, nearly invisible bits of polymer were also found in canned fish, shellfish, beer and salt. Analysis: The result was drawn from studying 52 peer-reviewed studies. These are the first to estimate the sheer weight of plastics consumed by individual humans. The result showed that about 250 g over the course of a year is consumed by individual human. Grand View Research reported that in the last two decades, the world has produced as much plastic as during the rest of history, and the industry is set to grow by 4% a year until 2025.

    Mount Sinabung volcano erupted in Sumatra Island

    June 11, 2019
    Mount Sinabung volcano erupted in Sumatra Island of western Indonesia. A huge column of ash was blasted and spread 7 km high to southeast and south of crater. Mount Sinabung blew for nine minutes. It caused panic among the island’s residents. The volcanic activity was accompanied by multiple earthquakes felt in nearby villages. No casualties have been reported due to the eruption. Indonesia has nearly 130 active volcanoes, more than any other country. Mount Sinabung: Sinabung was inactive for around 400 years before it erupted in 2010, 2014 and February 2018. Since then it has become one of south east Asian nation's most active volcanoes. Mount Sinabung is a Pleistocene-to-Holocene stratovolcano located in North Sumatra. It is particularly prone to seismic activity due to its location on the Ring of Fire. Ring of Fire: It an arc of volcanoes and fault lines encircling the Pacific Basin. 

    Bihar government has announced to waive off 50% of the total taxes levied on e rickshawas

    June 7, 2019
    The Bihar State government has announced to waive off 50% of the total taxes levied on the purchase and running of battery-propelled e-rickshawas. The announcement was made by the deputy chief minister of state Sushil Kumar Modi.  Aim: The move is to combat air pollution. 3 cities of Bihar namely Patna, Gaya and Muzaffarpur are placed among the most 20 polluted cities of the world in a report by the World Health Organization (WHO). Seven departments of the state government have collectively prepared an integrated action plan to tackle the menace of pollution in the polluted cities of Bihar. Also, the State has made arrangements, in 45 fuel-refilling centres in Patna alone, to check the pollution emission from vehicles at over 500 fuel refilling centres in addition to run eco-friendly electric buses. Bihar: Formed on: 22 March 1912 Capital: Patna Governor: Lal Ji Tandon Chief Minister: Nitish Kumar Deputy Chief Minister: Sushil Kumar Modi Districts: 38 Official Language: Hindi Bihar is bordered by Nepal in the north, Uttar Pradesh in the west , Jharkhand in the south, West Bengal in the east

    Indian Army commissioned a Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring System under Go Green initative

    June 4, 2019
    Indian Army commissioned a Continuous Ambient Air Quality Monitoring System (CAAQMS) at Fort William Military Station, Kolkata, West Bengal. It is a part of the countrywide Go Green' initiative.   The Air Quality Monitoring System was commissioned by Lt Gen M M Naravane, General Officer Commander-in-Chief, Eastern Command. It will be overall sixth CAAQMS in Kolkata. CAAQMS: Along with measuring air pollution, the CAAQMS will display the wind speed, direction, ambient temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation, barometric pressure, and rain gauge.  The CAAQMS at the Eastern Command headquarters, Fort William in Kolkata, will measure air pollution, including SO2, NO, NO2, NH3, CO, O3, VOC and particulate matters (PM 10 and PM 2.5) continuously throughout the year. West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) or any other local or international weather monitoring bodies can also use CAAQMS. The data can be remotely monitored on the internet and collated into various desired formats. Its readings will be considered a benchmark of quality. The data will be published via the Internet for public awareness. Army's previous efforts: Apart from this, initiatives have already been taken to reduce the consumption of electricity as well as conserve water and segregate waste at Fort William.  It has reduced electricity bills and distributed nearly 100 sets of dustbins in the garrison for segregation of waste. Eastern Command of Indian Army: It is one of the seven operational commands of the army. It is headquartered in Fort William in the city of Kolkata, West Bengal. Current commander: Lt Gen M M Naravane, PVSM, AVSM, SM, VSM  

    Europes highest volcano Mount Etna erupted

    June 4, 2019
    Mount Etnaa, Europe's Highest Volcano and one of the world’s most active volcanoes, erupted spitting molten lava high into the sky. It is located on the east coast of Sicily, Italy, in the Metropolitan City of Catania. This is 2019's first eruption as the volcano on the island of Sicily as the Mount last erupted on  24 December 2018. The eruption did not affect the nearby residential areas or for flights at the closest airport at Catania. About Mount Etna: Etna is an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, Italy. A stratovolcano is a conical volcano built up by many layers of hardened lava, tephra, pumice, and ash. The stratovolcano is also known as a composite volcano, It is the highest active volcano in Europe outside the Caucasus. The Mount is elevated to 3,326 m (10,912 ft).  It is the highest peak in Italy south of the Alps. It is located above the convergent plate margin, which is between the African Plate and the Eurasian Plate. It is also the largest of the three active volcanoes in Italy. The other largest volcanoes are Mount Vesuvius and Mount Stromboli. The United Nations has designated Mt. Etna as a Decade Volcano. In June 2013, it was added to the list of The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites.  

    Kappaphycus alvarezii seaweed spreads to coral reef areas in Valai island in GoM

    June 1, 2019
    The invasive Kappaphycus alvarezii seaweed, which smothers and kills coral reefs, has spread its wings to coral reef areas in Valai island in the Gulf of Mannar (GoM) and set to invade new coral colonies in the marine national park. Macrofaunal and fish density decreased when Kappaphycus cover increased. After invading Shingle, Kurusadai and Mulli islands in Mandapam cluster of the GoM, the red algae invaded Valai island along Kilakarai coast following its cultivation in south Palk Bay.  Findings: In the report submitted to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFC) by the Reef Research Team (RRT) of Suganthi Devadason Marine Research Institute (SDMRI), Thoothukudi, said that the destructive algae had invaded the reef areas of Valai Island, Palk Bay Gulf of Munnar. The research team counted 32 coral colonies of Acropora nobilis affected by Kappaphycus algae. The team said that the algae was firmly attached to the coral colonies and started forming a mat over them. It would eventually smother and kill corals. Steps taken: A 2005 Government Order had restricted cultivation of the exotic seaweed only to the seawaters north of the Palk Bay and South of Thoothukudi coast. The Forest department is to take up the issue with agencies, which promoted the cultivation of the seaweed. The department had been carrying out manual removal of the seaweed every year since 2014 to protect coral reefs.

    A new species of wasp from the genus Kudakrumia was found in Goa

    June 1, 2019
    Scientists have recently identified a new species of wasp from the genus Kudakrumia in Goa. The wasp, Kudakrumia rangnekari, has been named after Goa-based researcher Parag Rangnekar. It belongs to genus Kudakrumia. The Kudakrumia is a genus of primitive wasps that is described and previously known only from Sri Lanka. The new species was collected Cotigao Wildlife sanctuary. The Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary is located in South Goa district, of Goa. The sanctuary was established in 1968. Wasp: A wasp is any insect of the order Hymenoptera and suborder Apocrita that is neither a bee nor an ant. Wasps are adept at controlling pest populations and are regularly deployed to protect crops. For example, in Brazil, farmers control sugarcane borers with a kind of parasitic wasp. Mr.Rangnekar: Mr.Rangnekar’s quest to document the butterflies of this unique region resulted in a record of 220 species, of which 13 species had not been spotted before. Mr. Rangnekar, who is the founder-president of the Goa Bird Conservation Network (GBCN), has now taken up the documentation of the dragonflies in the State. He wrote ‘Butterflies of Goa’, a first field guide with photographs of the species found in Goa region.

    Malaysia to send back hundreds of tonnes of imported plastic waste

    May 29, 2019
    The Malaysian government said that hundreds of tonnes of imported plastic waste will be shipped back to where it came from insisting that the country did not want to be a global dumping ground. The announcement was made by the Malaysian Minister for Energy, Science, Technology, Environment, and Climate Change Yeo Bee Yin.  The Ministry said 450 tonnes of contaminated plastic waste in 10 containers from Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and the United States will be shipped back. Plastic imports to Malaysia have tripled since 2016, to 8,70,000 tonnes in 2018. The Malaysian government also urged the developed countries to review their management of plastic waste and stop shipping garbage to developing countries. Processing such materials produce toxic fumes. Villagers near the recycle plant are suffering from asthma and itchiness. Steps taken by the Malaysian government: Malaysia sent back five containers filled with plastic waste to Spain in April. 150 illegal waste recycling plants had been shut down. As little as nine percent of plastic produced between 1950 and 2015 has been recycled. Pictures of coral reefs smothered in plastic bags and river systems choked with PET bottles are produced to create awareness of the need to deal with the problem. Basel Convention: The country is able to do this through the Basel Convention, an international waste treaty meant to prevent developed countries from dumping their rubbish in the Global South. World leaders came together last year to add plastic, but the U.S. didn’t sign off on that.  Other Countries: China had previously taken a large amount of waste for recycling but abruptly stopped in 2018, saying it wanted to improve its own environment. Southeast Asian countries that stepped in to plug this gap say they have had enough.  

    One billion year old fungi is found to be earths oldest fungus

    May 26, 2019
    Microfossils of a globular spore connected to a T-shaped filament excavated in an Arctic region of northwestern Canada represent the oldest-known fungus. This discovery sheds light on the origins of an important branch in earth’s tree of life. Scientists said that the multicellular fungus that they named Ourasphaira Giralda, a forerunner to an immensely diverse group that today includes the likes of mushrooms, yeasts, and molds, lived in an estuary environment about 900 million to 1 billion years ago. Until now, the oldest-known fungus fossil was one about 410 million years old from Scotland.  The microscopic fossils, contained in shale rock from the Northwest Territories of Canada, date back to the Proterozoic era, before the advent of complex life forms. The study was published in Nature. Fungi: Fungi belong to a broad group of organisms, called eukaryotes, that possesses a clearly defined nucleus and also includes animals and plants. A fundamental difference between fungi and plants is that fungi are incapable of photosynthesis, harnessing sunlight to synthesize nutrients. Fungi play a key role in global ecosystems such as in the organic decomposition process.  

    Vice President Venkaiah Naidu has called for protecting Ongole cattle breed

    May 26, 2019
    Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has called for protecting Ongole cattle breed on May 20, 2019. Vice President Venkaiah Naidu released a compendium on Ongole breed of cattle at Vijayawada recently. He also stressed that cattle wealth was national wealth. Mr.Naidu highlighted that Brazil has imported these cattle breeds and produced hybrid Ongoles to earn huge revenue through export. While in India this cattle is neglected. Ongole cattle: Ongole cattle is an indigenous cattle breed that originates from Prakasam District in the state of Andhra Pradesh.  The breed derives its name from the place the breed originates from, Ongole.  The Ongole breed of cattle, Bos Indicus, has a great demand as it is said to possess resistance to both foot and mouth disease and mad cow disease.  The Ongole is one of the heaviest breeds. They weigh approximately half a ton, are 1.7 meters in height and have a body length of 1.6 meters and girth measuring 2 meters. These cattle are commonly used in bull fights in Mexico and some parts of East Africa due to their strength and aggressiveness. They also participate in traditional bull fights in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.  The Ongole is one of the heaviest breeds. They weigh approximately half a ton, are 1.7 meters in height and have a body length of 1.6 meters and girth measuring 2 meters.

    NGT directed NHAI to furnish fresh details on green cover

    May 25, 2019
    The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) informed the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that around 1 crore trees have been planted across the country along highways in the past three years to maintain ecology and environmental balance. NGT Bench's decision: A Bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel was not satisfied with the report furnished by NHAI. It directed the NHAI officials to be present before the Tribunal. It further directed the NHAI to furnish details on why encroachments are taking place along the highways and details of steps taken to ensure removal of the same. Reason: The directions came on a plea filed by NGO Society for Protection of Culture, Heritage, Environment, Traditions, and Promotion of National Awareness, seeking execution of a 2017 NGT order where the NHAI had informed NGT that it would rule mentioned in the Green Highways Plantation, Transplantation, Beautification and Maintenance Policy will be followed.

    Not all animals migrate by choice Campaign inaugurated

    May 23, 2019
    United Nation (UN) Environment India and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) of India, for the International Day of Biological Diversity, which was celebrated on 22 May, initiated an awareness campaign by the name of 'Not all animals migrate by choice' to be displayed at major airports across India. The campaign was inaugurated by Dia Mirza, the UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador (and also UN Secretary-General's SDG Advocate), in presence of officials from Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), Wildlife Crime Control Bureau of India (WCCB), UN Environment, UN agencies, and GMR Group. Wildlife Crime Control Bureau is a statutory multi-disciplinary body established by the Government of India under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, to combat organized wildlife crime in the country. Aim: The aim is to raise awareness on illegal wildlife trade,  to garner public support for conservation and protection of wildlife, prevention from smuggling and for the reduction in demand for wildlife products. It also complements worldwide action taken on illegal trade in wildlife via UN Environment's global campaign called Wild for Life.  WCCB and UN Environment started a comprehensive approach with a focus on awareness building towards the issue of prevention of illegal trade, smuggling of wildlife (and wildlife products) through exit points. Phases of the initiative: In the first phase of the campaign, Tiger, Pangolin, Star Tortoise and Tokay Gecko have been chosen as they are highly endangered due to illegal trading in International markets.  - Tiger is traded for its skin, bones and body parts - Pangolin, the most illegally traded wild mammal on the planet is trafficked for its meat and its scales are used in traditional medicines - Star Tortoise for meat and pet trade  - Tokay Gecko in traditional medicine mostly into South East Asia and particularly Chinese Markets.  Phase two will see more threatened species and explore other routes of trafficking. Need for the initiative: Illegal wildlife trade drives a species to the brink of extinction. India is also seeing a sharp rise in its illegal trade in wildlife. There is an urgent need for awareness, action and stringent law enforcement to curb illegal wildlife trade which is threatening biodiversity and conservation in wild.  Conservation is natural to India's ethos. Although, while wildlife faces global threat and India's flora and fauna's demand continues to rise in illegal global markets, India's stringent provisions for protection of wildlife under its Wildlife Protection Act (WPA), 1972, and efforts towards creating awareness among public at large would still have to go a long way to help protect our wildlife. 

    Scientist have unearthed a new species of flying dinosaur

    May 16, 2019
    Palaeontologists from Ludwig-Maximilians University (LMU) in Munich and the University of Fribourg have unearthed a new species of flying dinosaur that flapped its wings like a raven and could hold vital clues as to how modern-day birds evolved from their reptilian ancestors. The scientists came across a petrified wing, which the team initially assumed to be the same species while examining rock formations in the German region of Bavaria which is home to nearly all known Archaeopteryx specimens. The new bird-like dinosaur was named Alcmonavis poeschli after Roland Poeschl, the scientist who discovered the fossil.  As well as being significantly larger than Archaeopteryx, the new specimen had more notches in its wing bones that pointed to muscles which would have allowed it to actively flap its wings. Significantly, this "flapping" trait found in Alcmonavis poeschli is present in more recent birds, but not in Archaeopteryx. The discovery is likely to fuel debate among dinosaur experts over whether birds and dinosaurs developed the ability to flap their wings from earlier gliding species.

    Radioactive carbon in marine organisms have been found

    May 16, 2019
    Scientists have found traces of radioactive carbon in marine organisms that inhabit the Mariana Trench, the deepest spot on Earth. The radioactive carbon was released into the atmosphere from 20th-century nuclear bomb tests. Organisms at the ocean surface have incorporated the bomb carbon into the molecules that make up their bodies since the late 1950s. The crustaceans in deep ocean trenches are feeding on organic matter from these organisms when it falls to the ocean floor. The results also help scientists to understand how creatures have adapted to living in the nutrient-poor environment of the deep ocean.  The studied the crustaceans live for an unexpectedly long time by having extremely slow metabolisms, which they suspect may be an adaptation to living in this impoverished and harsh environment. How did Radioactive particles mix in the ocean? Carbon-14 is a radioactive carbon that is created naturally when cosmic rays interact with nitrogen in the atmosphere. Carbon-14 is much less abundant than non-radioactive carbon, but scientists can detect it in nearly all living organisms and use it to determine the ages of archeological and geological samples. Thermonuclear weapons tests conducted during the 1950s and 1960s doubled the amount of carbon-14 in the atmosphere when neutrons released from the bombs reacted with nitrogen in the air. Levels of this bomb carbon peaked in the mid-1960s and then dropped when atmospheric nuclear tests stopped. By the 1990s, carbon-14 levels in the atmosphere had dropped to about 20% above their pre-test levels. This bomb carbon quickly fell out of the atmosphere and mixed into the ocean surface. Marine organisms that have lived in the decades since this time have used bomb carbon to build molecules within their cells, and scientists have seen elevated levels of carbon-14 in marine organisms since shortly after the bomb tests began.  

    Lecanorchis taiwaniana discovered in Assam

    May 15, 2019
    Lecanorchis taiwaniana (The parasitic bloom), a type of orchid was accidentally discovered in Assam. This is the first time it is discovered in India. But the orchid species is already known in Japan, Taiwan, and Laos. The orchid was accidentally discovered in Assam by Jatindra Sarma, Assam's forest officer named. He is also the Member Secretary of State Medicinal Plants Board.  The discovery adds to the orchid wealth of northeast India (NEI). India has about 1,300 species of orchids out of which 800 are found in NEI, about 300 species are found in the Western Ghats and 200 in the northwestern Himalayas.  Lecanorchis taiwaniana: Lecanorchis taiwaniana is a mycoheterotroph, which means it is one of two known types of parasitic plants which have abandoned photosynthesis. It derives nutrients and its energy from fungus, it may be of herbal importance.  The orchid was found to have a maximum height of 40 cm and a blossoming period of five-six days. It is a variant of a Japanese orchid. It is India's one of smallest botanically recorded orchids in terms of size and duration of bloom.   

    CSIR scientists sequence Asiatic lion genome for the first time

    May 14, 2019
    For the first time, the entire genome of the Asiatic lion, an endangered species, has been sequenced by scientists from CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad. As the population of the endangered Asiatic lion is very low, only 523 animals are present in the Gir forests, the genome sequencing would enable scientists to develop specific markers to study population genetics and get newer insights into its population status and subsequent management. Comparative analysis with other fields and mammalian genomes unraveled the evolutionary history of the Asiatic lion and its position among other felids. The study noted that the evaluation of genetic diversity placed the Asiatic lion in the lowest bracket of genomic diversity index highlighting the gravity of its conservation status. The genome is estimated to be 2.3 Gb (Gigabase) long and is found to have 20,543 protein-coding genes. The genome sequencing of Asiatic lions would enable scientists to better understand their evolution. Until now only partial genomic information of African lion is available. Therefore comparative genomics between both African lion and Asiatic lions can only be undertaken once a complete genome of the African lion is sequenced. Therefore, once a complete genome of African Cheetah, Royal Bengal tiger, and Jaguar will be available, the comparative studies of all these big cats would be possible. This signifies that the final objective of scientists is to understand species at the DNA level and study that if there are any specific problems with regard to the adaptability of Asiatic Lion to environment or behaviour.  About Asiatic Lion: Scientific Name - Panthera Leo Persica IUCN Red List Status: Endangered  They are also known as Indian Lion. At present, the only home of Asiatic lion is Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat. Threats: Asiatic lion presently exists as a single subpopulation. They are vulnerable to extinction from unpredictable events, like an epidemic or large forest fire and in recent years poaching incidents were also indicated.

    UN Report stated that the Royal Bengal Tigers may not survive Climate Change

    May 12, 2019
    Recent UN report said that Climate change and rising sea levels may eventually wipe out The Sundarbans, which is one of the world's last and largest tiger strongholds. The report rely on climate change scenarios was developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for its simulation models.  Observations listed in the report: If greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions continued at the current rate, the atmosphere would warm as much as 1.5C (above preindustrial levels) by 2040. This climate change would lead to rising sea level and existential threat to the Sundarbans.  In 2010, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWFN), a Non-governmental organization estimated that sea level rise of 11 inches could reduce the number of tigers in Sundarbans by 96% within a few decades. By 2070, there will not be any suitable habitats of tiger remaining in Bangladesh Sundarbans.  70% of Sundarbans is just a few feet above sea level, thus faces grave threat due to climate changes. It is one of the prime habitats of Bengal tigers, who are among 500,000 land species whose survival is in question because of threats to their natural habitats due to climate change. Conservation efforts and fight against habitat loss in Sunderbans needs to begin immediately, as it could take about 20 years for these efforts to even start showing any results, but if action isn't taken soon there won't be any forest or tigers to save in 50 years.

    Study says 2 neutron stars collided near the solar system billions of years ago

    May 10, 2019
    Researchers from Columbia University and the University of Florida, have identified a violent collision of two neutron stars 4.6 billion years ago as the likely source of some of the most coveted matter on Earth. The study says this single cosmic event, close to our solar system, gave birth to 0.3 percent of the Earth's heaviest elements, including gold, platinum, and uranium. The researchers compared the composition of meteorites to numerical simulations of the Milky Way. They found that a single neutron-star collision could have occurred about 100 million years before the formation of Earth, in our own neighborhood, about 1000 light years from the gas cloud that eventually formed the Solar System. It is believed that the study provides insight into a uniquely consequential event in the history.

    Iceland researchers found methods to turn CO2 to rock for cleaner air

    May 10, 2019
    The 21st-century alchemists are transforming carbon dioxide into the rock for eternity in Iceland’s volcano country, cleaning the air of harmful emissions that cause global warming. The technology mimics, in an accelerated format, a natural process that can take thousands of years, injecting CO2 into porous basalt rock where it mineralizes, capturing it forever. In Iceland, at least half of the energy produced comes from geothermal sources. The plant, located on the Hengill volcano in southwestern Iceland, sits on a layer of basalt rock formed from cooled lava and has access to virtually unlimited amounts of water. The geothermal plant pumps up the water underneath the volcano to run six turbines providing electricity and heat to the capital, Reykjavik, about 30 km away. The CO2 from the plant is meanwhile captured from the steam, liquified into condensate, then dissolved in large amounts of water. The fizzy water is piped several kilometres to an area where grey, igloo-shaped domes dot a lunar-like landscape. Here the fizzy water is injected under high pressure into the rock 1,000 metres under the ground. The solution fills the rock’s cavities and begins the solidification process, a chemical reaction that occurs when the gas comes in contact with the calcium, magnesium and iron in the basalt. Almost all of the injected CO2 was mineralised within two years in the pilot injection.

    New species of Pit viper found in Arunachal Pradesh

    May 9, 2019
    A team of herpetologists has described a new species of reddish-brown pit viper, a venomous snake with a unique heat-sensing system, from a forest in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh. India now has a fifth brown pit viper but with a reddish tinge. The new species also make Arunachal Pradesh the only Indian state to have a pit viper named after it. The other four pit viper in India are: Malabar pit viper Horseshoe pit viper Hump-nosed pit viper​​​​​​​ Himalayan pit viper​​​​​​​ They were discovered 70 years ago. Comparative analyses of DNA sequences and examination of morphological features suggested that the snake belonged to a species not described before.  The single known specimen of this species makes it currently the rarest pit viper in the world. The specimen was donated to the museum of the State Forest Research Institute in Itanagar.

    Bajirao, Mumbais last captive White tiger died

    May 6, 2019
    Bajirao, the last captive white tiger, died recently at Sanjay Gandhi National Park, in Borivali, Mumbai. He was 18 years and died due to old age related issues. He suffered from chronic ankyloses and chronic senile generalised arthritis from the past four years. chronic ankyloses are the fusion of bones leads to abnormal stiffening and immobility of joint on the left shoulder. Bajirao was born at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in 2001. There are six remaining Royal Bengal tigers at the park, four female and two male, all above 10 years of age. White tigers and its characteristics: They are not a separate sub-species of tiger. They are basically a pigmentation variant of the Bengal Tiger. Their white colour is due to lack of red or yellow pheomelanin pigment, and the presence of unique recessive genes. They are also called Bleached Tiger.  They have white to almost cream colored fur, pink nose, black/grey/chocolate colored stripes and blue (looks like green or amber). Distribution in India: White tigers were found in Madhya Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, Bihar and in Sunderbans region. Now there are no white tigers in the wild as their entire population in the world lives in captivity. The last white tiger reported in wild was captured in Rewa forest in Madhya Pradesh. Sanjay Gandhi National Park It is a protected area in Borivali suburb in Mumbai, Maharashtra. It was earlier known as Borivali National Park. It encloses two lakes namely Vihar Lake and Tulsi Lake and has a protected archaeological site, called Kanheri Caves in its centre.  

    Pangolins are under threat of extinction

    May 2, 2019
    The scaly anteater, or Indian Pangolin, is a rare secretive mammal that lives on a diet of ants and termites, thus playing a vital role in the ecosystem. Pangolins are highly trafficked creatures. The Pangolin is currently under threat in Pakistan because of extensive illegal hunting for its scales, which are illegally exported to China to be used for traditional medicine.  There are eight species of pangolins, and they are all protected by national and international laws. But despite the laws, there is a lot of illegal international trade in them. The Pangolins are now under the threat of extinction. Pangolins' Uniqueness: Pangolins look like reptiles, but they are mammals with a unique feature. Pangolins have large, protective keratin scales covering their skin; they are the only known mammals with this feature. They use these scales for protection. If an enemy comes near it, the pangolin will immediately curl into a tight ball. Only the scales will be visible to the enemy. 8 species of Pangolins: Asian pangolin species: Chinese or Formosan pangolin (Manis pentadactyla) – Critically Endangered Malayan or Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica) – Critically Endangered Indian or thick-tailed pangolin (Manis crassicaudata) – Endangered Palawan or Philippine pangolin (Manis culionensis) – Endangered African pangolin species: Tree or African white-bellied pangolin (Phataginus tricuspis) – Vulnerable Giant ground pangolin (Smutsia gigantea) – Vulnerable Cape or Temminck’s ground pangolin (Manis temminckii) – Vulnerable Long-tailed or black-bellied pangolin (Uromanis tetradactyla) – Vulnerable The black-bellied pangolin is the smallest species, about 80 cm long, including the tail and the giant ground pangolin is the largest reaching up to 1.8 meters.

    A 3,000kg of solid waste collected from Mt. Everest under Nepals clean up campaign

    May 1, 2019
    A total of 3,000 kg of solid waste has been collected from the world’s highest peak, Mt. Everest, since April 14 when Nepal launched an ambitious clean-up campaign aimed at bringing back tonnes of trash left behind by climbers. The campaign seeks to bring back and safely dispose of a total of 10,000 kg of waste. The 45-day Everest Cleaning Campaign: The 45-day 'Everest Cleaning Campaign', led by Solukhumbu district's Khumbu Pasanglhamu Rural Municipality began on April 14 with the Nepali new year. The campaign aims to collect nearly 10,000 kilogrammes of garbage from Mt Everest. The month-and-a-half clean-up campaign is supported by a number of governmental and non-governmental agencies. The campaign will conclude on May 29, the day marked every year to commemorate the first summit of Everest by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953. The collected waste will then be showcased in Namche town, before being ferried down to Kathmandu, where it will once again be showcased on World Environment Day on June 5. After that, it will finally be sent out for recycling. World's highest garbage dump: Every year, hundreds of climbers, Sherpas, and high altitude porters make their way to Everest, leaving behind tonnes of both biodegradable and non-biodegradable wastes including empty oxygen canisters, kitchen waste, beer bottles, and fecal matter, on the highest peak, which has lately acquired notoriety as the world's highest garbage dump.

    Studies says that global warming can impact marine ecosystem most

    April 29, 2019
    Researchers from Rutgers University, the US found that the marine ecosystem and sea creatures are most affected by global warming. The first research compared the cold-blooded marine and land species sensitivity to global warming and their ability to find refuge from heat even while staying in their normal habitats. It studied worldwide research on nearly 400 species from lizards and fish to spiders. Researchers calculated safe conditions for 88 marine and 294 land species and coolest temperatures are needed to each species during hottest parts of the year.  According to the study, global warming can wipe out two times more ocean-dwelling species than land and dwelling species from their habitats. Vulnerability faced by sea creatures might impact human communities relying on fish and shellfish for food and economic activity. Loss of marine population can deplete species genetic diversity, cascade impacts on their predators and prey and can alter ecosystems that benefit human society.   

    Scientists have found a new species of crab

    April 28, 2019
    Alberta University paleontologists have discovered coin-sized cartoon-eyed crab species Callichimaera perplexa, a small and pocket-size crab, through 90-95 million-year-old fossilized remains. They had what looked like the eyes of a larva, the mouth of a shrimp, claws of a frog crab, and the carapace of a lobster. The crab fossils were discovered in 2005 in the Andes Mountains in Colombia. This crab sported a tiny lobster-esque shell, with legs flattened like oars, and huge Pound Puppies-style peepers that protruded from its head, a trait that indicates the creature used its eyes actively for whatever it did.

    Etihad Airways became 1st major airline to operate plastic-free flight

    April 26, 2019
    The UAE's flag carrier Etihad Airways has become the first airline in the Gulf region to operate a flight EY484 without any single-use plastics on board, in a bid to raise awareness about pollution on Earth Day (April 22). Etihad identified that over 95 single-use plastic products are used across its aircraft cabins. As a result of planning the Earth Day flight EY484, Etihad additionally committed to remove up to 20% of the single-use plastic items on board by June 1. The airline also announced that by the end of this year, Etihad will have removed 100 tonnes of single-use plastics from its inflight service. About Etihad Airways: It is the second-largest airline in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Head office: Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi Commenced operations in: November 2003 Subsidiary: Jet Airways

    Indonesias Mount Agung has erupted again

    April 24, 2019
    The active volcano of Indonesia Mount Agung has erupted again to a height of 2km. Two other volcanoes popular with tourists Mount Bromo in East Java and Mount Merapi in Yogyakarta also continues to erupt.  Mount Agung: Mount Agung is an active volcano in Bali of Indonesia. Mount Agung stratovolcano is the highest point on Bali; it dominates the surrounding area, influencing the climate, especially rainfall patterns. It begun erupting in 2017. Agung remained on the boil until late June 2018 when it again erupted with 2 km high plumes interrupting air traffic. This indicated that magma continued to be forced up to the summit. This volcano's latest eruption is ongoing as of 2019 Classification of Volcanoes: A popular way of classifying magmatic volcanoes is by their frequency of eruption, Those that erupt regularly called active Those that have erupted in historical times but are now quiet called dormant or inactive Those that have not erupted in historical times called extinct The lifespan of a volcano can vary from months to several million years, making such a distinction sometimes meaningless when compared to the lifespans of humans or even civilizations. For example, many of Earth's volcanoes have erupted dozens of times in the past few thousand years but are not currently showing signs of eruption. Given the long lifespan of such volcanoes, they are very active. By human lifespans, however, they are not.  

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