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Last Updated: March 26, 2020

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  • FAO reports peatlands can help attain climate goals

    13 days ago
    Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations reported that Peatlands can play a crucial role in regulating the global climate by acting as carbon sinks. The report was authored by 35 experts. Report Highlights: ♦ The report recommended countries to restore and manage the Peatland ecosystems as these land are facing degradation. ♦ Peatlands cover only 3% of Earth's surface. The degradation of the land occurs due to drainage, fire, agricultural use, and forestry. It can trigger the release of stored carbon in a few decades. ♦ It highlighted important case studies from Indonesia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Peru in their attempts to map and monitor peatlands. Peatlands: Peatlands contain 30% of the world's soil carbon. These lands are formed due to the accumulation of partially decomposed plant remains over thousands of years under conditions of water-logging. When drained, the lands emit greenhouse gases (GHGs). It contributes up to one gigaton of emissions per year through oxidation. Peatlands are currently facing degradation. This can be controlled by monitoring and mapping. The groundwater level of peatlands should be continuously monitored as it can turn into carbon emission sources. The mapping of Peatlands will tell the location of the peat and its condition. Mapping, along with conservation and restoration measures, will help to maintain water regulation services. The report provided methodologies to map the peatlands. 

    NBRI develops pest-resistant variety of cotton against whiteflies

    20 days ago
    National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), Lucknow has developed a pest-resistant variety of cotton against whiteflies. The field test trials will begin from April to October at the Faridkot Center of Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana. Highlights: ♦ Whiteflies are one of the top devastating pests in the world that can damage more than 2000 plant species. It also functions as vectors for some 200-plant viruses.  ♦ Cotton is one of the worst-hit crops by the Whiteflies. In the year 2015, two-third of the cotton crop was destroyed by the pest in Punjab. ♦ Researchers explored 250 plants to develop the pest-resistant variety from lower plant biodiversity to identify novel protein molecules that are toxic to whitefly.  ♦ During the trial, the leaves were extracted from all the plants. They were prepared separately. Then, the whiteflies were led to feed on a total of 250 plants. It was observed that the leaf extract of the edible fern Tectaria macrodonta caused toxicity to the whitefly. ♦ This fern is known as a salad in Nepal. The plant worked against whiteflies but being safe for application on the crop plants and provides protection from the plant. ♦ As the whiteflies fed on sub-lethal doses of insecticidal protein, it resulted in very poor egg-laying, abnormal egg, nymph, and larval development and extraordinary poor emergence of the fly.  ♦ The test also showed that the protein is specifically toxic only to whitefly and does not cause any harmful effects on other beneficial insects like butterfly and honeybee.

    Newly discovered treehopper species named after Lady Gaga

    26 days ago
    A newly discovered species of treehopper was named after the performer Lady Gaga. The insect species has been named as Kaikaia Gaga. It was named by Brendan Morris, a University of Illinois, a Ph.D. entomology student. Kaikaia Gaga: Kaikaia Gaga is a part of the family Membracidae. The species is around 40 million years old. K. gaga was found nearly 30 years ago in a tropical forest near the Pacific coast of Nicaragua. The bugs are known for their bright coloring and individuality in appearance. It sings to each other by vibrating plant stems.

    Worlds only female white Giraffe and calf killed by Poachers

    28 days ago
    Conservationist stated that Kenya's only female white Giraffe and her calf had been killed by poachers. White giraffes are rare animals that aren't found anywhere else in the world. Now, only one white Giraffe, a lone male borne by the same slaughtered female, is alive.  White Giraffe: White Giraffe is leucistic and not albino. The white Giraffe has a genetic condition that inhibits pigmentation in skin cells. Due to leucism, they continue to produce dark pigment in their soft tissue, giving them dark eyes.

    Scientists say Black carbon might influence melting of Gangotri Glacier

    35 days ago
    Scientists from Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG) said that black carbon concentration in the Gangotri glacier was increased by 400 times during summer.  Report Highlights: ♦ The study suggested the reason behind this seasonal increase is agricultural burning and forest fire.  ♦ Along with agricultural burning and forest fire, the long-range transport of pollutants in winter, also influence the melting of  Glacier. ♦ The light-absorbing nature of black carbon can trigger glacial melt. ♦ A study on Chirbasa station near Gangotri Glacier found that black carbon (BC) concentration changed from 0.01μgm−3 in winter to 4.62μgm−3 during summer, for the year 2016. Equivalent Black Carbon (EBC): EBC aerosols contribute significantly to global warming because of its light-absorbing nature. The presence of EBC in the eco-sensitive zone, like the Himalayan glacier valleys, should be monitored meticulously. However, baseline data on BC is rarely available from most of the glaciated Himalayan region. 

    World Wildlife Day celebrated on March 3

    36 days ago
    World Wildlife Day is being celebrated on the 3rd of March every year to create awareness about the importance of protecting wildlife. The year is significant on two counts. The bio-diversity super year because of the large number of eco-friendly initiatives being taken the world over. The year 2020 is especially significant to India because it has taken over as the President of CoP13 for Action Against Climate Change. Theme The theme for this year is Sustaining all life on earth. Importance of the Day World Wildlife Day 2020 will celebrate the special place of wild plants and animals in their many varied and beautiful forms as a component of the world’s biological diversity. The main aim is to create awareness of the multitude of benefits of wildlife to people around civil society, private sector actors and individuals to add their voices and take actions to help conserve wildlife and ensure its continued use is sustainable. The year 2020 known as biodiversity super year will host several major global events that place biodiversity at the forefront. It provides a unique opportunity to deliver transformative progress for the conservation and sustainable use of the species of wild animals and plants.

    Thirty Three crores allocated for Kaziranga under Project Tiger scheme

    36 days ago
    Financial assistance to the tune of Rs 1.51 crore sanctioned to Kaziranga National Park during the fiscal years 2018-19 and 2019-2020 under Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA).  Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Babul Supriyo said that Rs and Rs 51,24,670 sanctioned to Kaziranga National Park during the financial years 2018-1 g and 2019 2020 respectively under CAMPA.  Project Tiger scheme Project Tiger scheme financial assistance of Rs 10.30 crore and Rs 22.81 crore were allocated by the government. It is a conservation program launched in April 1973 by the Government of India during Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's tenure.The project aims at ensuring a viable population of Bengal tigers in their natural habitats, protecting them from extinction, and preserving areas of biological importance as a natural heritage forever represented as close as possible the diversity of ecosystems across the distribution of tigers in the country. Government of Assam The Assam government informed the Centre that it has taken a number of steps to protect wildlife in national parks, including the deployment of frontline forest staff. In addition, the Assam Forest Protection Force, Special Rhino Protection Force, and Home Guards are supplementing the regular frontline forest staff to protect wildlife. Highlands and platforms have also been constructed in national parks to give shelter to animals during the high flood. Anti-poaching camps in strategic locations have also been built with sufficient armed guards, besides deployment of boats during flood and use of modern technologies like 'electronic eye' for smart patrolling.  

    Genetic study shows that there are to separates species of red panda

    36 days ago
    Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences discovered that there are two distinct species of Red pandas namely Chinese red pandas and Himalayan red pandas. Substantial divergences have been found among the species. The scientists found three genetic markers in an analysis of DNA from 65 of the animals. The recognition of the existence of two separate species is expected to guide conservation efforts for the mammal. Red Pandas: Red Pandas are bushy-tailed and russet-furred bamboo munchers. They dwell in Asian high forests. The two species differ in coloration and skull shape. The Yalu Zangbu River marks the geographical boundary that separates the two species. Earlier, it was believed that Nujiang River was the geographical boundary.  A total population of roughly 10,000 red pandas in the wild has been estimated so far. The species is listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List because of the wild population. Chinese red pandas: Chinese red pandas are found in northern Myanmar, southeastern Tibet, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces in China.  Himalayan red pandas: Himalayan red pandas are native to India, Nepal, Bhutan and southern Tibet in China. This panda is the scarcer of the two. Also, it needs urgent protection because of low genetic diversity and small population size. Scientists also said that interbreeding between species may harm the genetic adaptations already established for their local habitat environment. Red pandas have a short snout, pointed ears, thick fur. The animal spends much of their life in trees. Deforestation and degradation of their habitat due to human development remains a major threat to the red panda.

    Maharashtra to become single-use plastic-free by 1 May

    39 days ago
    Maharashtra State government is set to become single-use plastic-free by 1 May 2020. The announcement was made by the State environment minister Aaditya Thackeray. Highlights: ♦ The ban on plastic bottles can not be implemented in the state as clean drinking water is still not universally available in the state.  ♦ The drive against single-use plastic has been taken against 53 manufacturers so far. All their units have been shut down.  ♦ As an alternative measure, the used plastic bags will be used in road repairs. Around 7% of plastic is being used for building roads, and for buyback in the state which has decided to pay Rs.15 per kg.  ♦ The state government has announced that the self-help groups will be given Rs.5 crore to procure cloth bags.

    NTPC, CPCB to set up 25 CAAQMS in States and UTs

    41 days ago
    NTPC Limited has agreed to help the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to set up 25 Continuous ambient air quality monitoring stations (CAAQMS) across six States and three Union Territories (UTs) in India.  Agreement: ♦ As per the agreement, NTPC will provide financial support of Rs.80 crore for the installation of CAAQMS in the States and Union Territories. ♦ The six states are Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh, Ranchi in Jharkhand, Patna in Bihar, Varanasi, Lucknow, Kanpur, and Allahabad all in Uttar Pradesh, Pimpri-Chinchwad in Maharashtra and Madurai in Tamil Nadu. ♦ The 3 UTs where the CAAQMS will be installed are Port Blair in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Silvassa in Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman in Daman & Diu. ♦ The data collected from the respective stations will be used for the evaluation of the air quality index for these cities. Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB): Established on: September 1974 Chairperson: S.P.Singh Parihar Member-Secretary: Dr. Prashant Gargava CPCB functions under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC). It holds power under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1989.

    Scientist discover first-ever animal that does not need oxygen to breathe

    41 days ago
    Researchers at Tel Aviv University have discovered a unique organism that doesn't need to breathe. Henneguya salminicola, the tiny parasite, is the first known multicellular animal that can survive without oxygen. It lives in an anaerobic environment. The parasite lives in salmon tissue and evolved so that it doesn't need oxygen to produce energy. The researchers made the discovery accidentally while sequencing the Henneguya genome. Henneguya salminicola: H. salminicola is a relative of jellyfish and corals. It lives within the muscle tissue of salmon. It is relatively harmless. It causes diseases like milky flesh or tapioca, which is named for the white fluid-filled cysts it causes in the fish. The parasite lacks mitochondrial genes. Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. It captures oxygen to make energy through aerobic respiration. Researchers are still trying to find how exactly the parasite produces energy. It is suspected that the parasite may be drawing energy from the surrounding fish cells, or it may have a different type of respiration such as oxygen-free breathing, which typically characterizes anaerobic non-animal organisms.

    Annual census reported reduced number of dolphins at Gahirmatha marine sanctuary

    42 days ago
    The January 2020 census reported that the number of dolphins at Odisha's Gahirmatha marine sanctuary has nearly reduced to half over a year. This has pushed down the state's overall count. The census was released on 24 February 2020. Census Highlights: ♦ The January 2020 census spotted only 62 of the marine mammals at Gahirmatha, which is located within Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha's Kendrapara district. ♦ Odisha's state's total dolphin count reduced to 233, down from 259 in 2019. ♦ Dolphin, the sea mammal, was included in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. It is included in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and in Appendix II of the Convention on Migratory Species. ♦ It has been listed as endangered on the International Union in the Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List. Note: The census was first conducted in Gahirmatha in 2015. The census in 2016 and 2017 was cancelled due to bad weather. The census in 2020 was the fourth such dolphin census undertaken in the marine sanctuary. The 2015 census reported 270 dolphins.

    Animal culture is linked to conservation action at COP13 CMS

    48 days ago
    Animal culture is being linked to conservation action for the first time at the thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP13).  Animal culture and Conservation: ♦ In addition to individual learning, some animals including whales, dolphins, elephants, and primates have the ability to learn socially from adults or peers about various behaviours, including optimal migration routes. These animals acquire some of their knowledge and skills through social learning. For the conservation of the Eastern Tropical Pacific Sperm Whale and the nut-cracking Chimpanzee, two such proposals were presented at the CMS COP13. ♦ The measure is to protect animals from severe impacts. The human activities that disrupt the social fabric of culturally developed species can have severe impacts.  ♦ If a species vanishes from an area, critical knowledge about the species will also be lost. But genetic mixing might recover the impacts. ♦ Animal culture has been proved to be significant by scientific researchers.

    State of Indias Birds 2020 states 79 percent of the bird species are on a decline

    49 days ago
    State of India's Birds 2020 reported that 79% of the bird species are on a decline in the last five years. The report was released at the 13th Conference of Parties (COP-13) of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) which is hosted in India.  Report Highlights: ♦ The report stated a dramatic rise in Peafowl/Peacock population calls for an assessment of crop damage caused by the bird.  ♦ The report was based on data provided by citizen scientists and enthusiasts. ♦ The Indian bird species was compiled from the 10 million observations provided by birdwatchers on an online database known as eBird. ♦ It determined the population trends for only 261 species. Out of the total species, 52% of species showed a decline and 43% of bird species had a stable population.  ♦ Vultures and bustards showed the biggest decline. ♦ 101 species were classified as high conservation concerns out of which 34 species are not considered to be threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

    IGIA became the first airport to be free of single-use plastic usage

    49 days ago
    Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) has become free of single-use plastic usage. With this feat, GMR-led Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) became the first single-use plastic-free airport in India. The implementation of single-use plastic-free airport measures within IGI Airport's operations was certified by the Confederation of Indian Industry-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development (CII-ITC CESD).  IGIA: ♦ The move by IGIA is in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision to abolish all single-use plastic from India by 2022.  ♦ DIAL has committed to preserving the environment. ♦ It has significantly reduced the plastic waste generation with the use of eco-friendly sustainable alternatives. ♦ Some plastic items that are exempted from the list of banned items include sealed PET (poly(ethylene terephthalate)) bottles, security tamper-evident bags, pre-packaged materials from manufacturers meant for sale and compostable plastic bags.

    Uttarakhand Cabinet approves 377 sq km for ESZ in Corbett Tiger Reserve

    55 days ago
    The Uttarakhand State cabinet approved a 377 sq km area for the proposed eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) for the Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR) on 12 February. The proposal will be forwarded to the Central government. ESZ allotment: ♦ The creation of the ESZ has been an issue as the villagers protested villages in the ESZ fearing loss of livelihood due to the restrictions imposed by the creation of such a zone.  ♦ The proposed ESZ does not include any village, for which the maximum area has been defined as 7.96 km.  ♦ Earlier, the Uttarakhand high court had directed that a 10km area around CTR and other sanctuaries in Uttarakhand to be declared as ESZ. Corbett Tiger Reserve: Established on: 1936 Location: Nainital, Uttarakhand The park was named after a known hunter and naturalist Jim Corbett. It was established to protect the endangered Bengal tiger.

    Scientists registered the hottest temperature ever in Antarctica

    60 days ago
    Scientists from Argentina meteorological agency said that Antarctica recorded the hottest temperature ever on 6 February at a remote station on the continent's northern tip. The temperature was recorded at nearly 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 Celsius) at Argentina's Esperanza research station. The temperature surpassed the previous record of 63.5 degrees Fahrenheit (17.5 Celsius) set on 24 March 2015 at the same location. The current temperature records from Esperanza date back to 1961.  Reason for Climate change in Antarctica: The rapid heating up of the Antarctic region is due to heat-trapping gas pollution from humans. The observed warming rate has serious global consequences, especially for the millions of people living on the world's coasts who are vulnerable to sea-level rise. According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the temperatures rising in the Antarctic peninsula is nearly 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius) in just the last 50 years. Many other studies have shown that Antarctica's massive glaciers are melting rapidly due to global warming. Also, warm ocean waters are melting the gigantic Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica. It should be noted only these glaciers have the potential to raise global sea levels more than 10 feet.

    SASE reported that Himalayas get 20 percent above normal snowfall in 30 years

    62 days ago
    Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment (SASE) report on mid-winter assessment stated that the snowfall received from November 2019 to January 2020 has been the highest in the past 30 years. Report Highlights: ♦ Snowfall in the western Himalayas during the first half of the ongoing winter season has been about 20% above the long period average. ♦ It also forecasted that snowfall in the Himalayas during February to April would be good. ♦ The winter season over the Himalayas officially lasts from November to April. ♦ It stated that Strong El Nino in the Eastern Pacific Ocean during the year 2019 has favoured a significant increase in snowfall during the current winter season over western and central Himalayas. Snow and Avalanche Studies Establishment (SASE): SASE is the Defence Research & Development Organization's (DRDO) laboratory. It is located in Manali. The main objective of SASE is to conduct research in the field of snow and avalanches. It provides avalanche control measures and forecasting support to Armed forces.

    Scientists Discover Warm Water in Antarctica below Doomsday Glacier

    63 days ago
    Environmental change is quick, affecting the living creatures on land and sea the same. Because of the extraordinary increment in an unnatural weather change levels, the icy masses are softening at a higher rate than at any other time. No big surprise, the ocean levels are rising, and progressively seaside regions are getting inclined to the overwhelming impacts of this incredible wonder.  Thwaites Glacier As indicated by the news reports, the researchers have just found warm water underneath the Thwaites Glacier, which earned the epithet Doomsday Glacier for being Antarctica's quickest softening ice sheets. Estimating 74000 sq mi, this ice sheet evaluated to be the size of Florida in the United States of America. This disclosure has raised an alert about the icy mass breakdown, which can prompt almost 3 ft to ascend in the ocean level. Where the ice sheet is in contact with the ocean has been recorded as 2-degree Celsius over the frosty temperature. The essentialness of Thwaites lies in the way that it eases back the ice behind it from effectively going into the sea.  Ice Break Down It isn't clear, be that as it may, to discover the pace of decay of the icy mass. As indicated by contemplates, it may entirely fall in 100 years or a couple of decades. The warm water present in the establishing line alludes to the plausibility of a quick breakdown. Purportedly, a submerged robot called Icefin advanced underneath the outside of the dissolving icy mass and found the uncommonly warm temperature. It was a beautiful yellow remotely worked robot submarine that dropped through a 2300 ft profound gap, which was bored through the ice sheet.  The revelation is a piece of the International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration, a US-UK-based research firm that dives into the Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica, analyzing how quickly it may dissolve. Analyst David Holland is now frightened to observe warm waters in a cool area like Antarctica that signs at the expanding a dangerous atmospheric deviation and environmental change all through the planet.

    Current Affairs: APGCL to set up a waste-to-energy plant in Assam

    72 days ago
    The Assam Power Generation Corporation Ltd (APGCL) has announced that it is to set up a waste-to-energy plant in Assam. The facility will be established near the proposed integrated solid waste management facility (ISWMF) of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) on the campus of the old Chandrapur Thermal Power Plant.  Background: The move by APGCL comes after the memorandum of agreement (MoA) signed by GMC with the APGCL on taking over the old Chandrapur Thermal Power Plant campus for the purpose of setting up of a unit of the ISWMF of the Guwahati Capital Region. According to the MoA, the GMC will store the waste in a scientific manner to prevent contamination. After the segregation of the waste, it shall be made available to the APGCL. It will be used by APGCL for its proposed waste-to-energy plant. As per the MoA, a project facilitation committee (PFC) will be constituted. The committee will comprise of the representatives of the GMC, APGCL and the Government of Assam.

    Researchers discovered a new species of Allosaurus in Utah

    73 days ago
    Paleontologists have unveiled a remarkable new species of the meat-eating dinosaur at the Natural History Museum of Utah. It is suspected that the species must have evolved at least 5 million years earlier than fragilis. Allosaurus jimmadseni: ♦ The new meat-eating species has been named dinosaur Allosaurus jimmadseni.  ♦ 5 million years ago, it was the most common and the top predator in its ecosystem. ♦ The researchers stated that the species inhabited the flood plains of western North America during the Late Jurassic Period, between 157-152 million years ago. ♦ Allosauroids are a group of small to large-bodied, two-legged carnivorous dinosaurs that lived during the Cretaceous periods. ♦ These dinosaurs have a short narrow skull with low facial crests extending from the horns in front of the eyes forward to the nose. It has a relatively narrow back of the skull with a flat surface to the bottom of the skull under the eyes. ♦ The paleontologists earlier thought that only one species of Allosaurus existed in Jurassic North America. But the latest study showed there were two species namely the newly described Allosaurus jimmadseni and Allosaurus fragilis.

    First e-waste clinic to be opened in Bhopal

    75 days ago
    India's first e-waste clinic is to be inaugurated in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh on 24 January. It was jointly set up by the Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). The e-waste clinic will be started on the basis of a three-month pilot project.  e-waste clinic: ♦ The clinic is set up in accordance with the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016. ♦ The e-waste clinic will segregate, process and dispose of the waste from both household and commercial units.  ♦ Electronic waste will be collected either from door-to-door or can be deposited directly at the clinic in exchange for a fee.  ♦ The CPCB will provide technical support at the unit ♦ The e-waste clinic has been prepared on a junk low floor bus. The bus will be decorated with e-waste material from outside and inside. A TV has been installed in it, in which documentary films on the subject of environmental damage caused by e-waste will be shown.

    India achieved complete phase out of ozone depleting chemicals

    76 days ago
    India has successfully achieved the complete phase-out of Hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-141 b. HCFC-141b is not produced in India and all the domestic requirements are met through imports. The government announced the prohibition of the import of HCFC-141 b and has completely phased out the important ozone-depleting chemical. HCFC-141 b: ♦ It is a chemical used by foam manufacturing enterprises and one of the most potent ozone-depleting chemicals after Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).  ♦ HCFC-141 b is used mainly as a blowing agent in the production of rigid polyurethane (PU) foams. ♦ India has decided to make provide environment-friendly and energy-efficient technologies and phase out Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs). ♦ India is one of the few countries globally and a pioneer in some cases in the use of technologies, which are non-Ozone Depleting and have a low Global Warming Potential (GWP).

    Platypus under threat from Climate Change

    76 days ago
    A study led by UNSW Sydney's Centre for Ecosystem Science said that the prolonged drought and other climatic changes in Australia have caused a threat to the extinction of Platypus. It is a unique and enigmatic mammal endemic to Australia. The researchers studied the potentially devastating combination of threats to platypus populations, including land clearing, climate change, water resource development, and increasingly severe periods of drought. Platypus: ♦ Platypus is referred to as the duck-billed platypus.  ♦ The semi aquatic egg-laying mammal was earlier widespread across the eastern Australian mainland and Tasmania. ♦ It has been hunted for its fur. ♦ Platypus is vulnerable to pollution and climate change. ♦ The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has recently downgraded the platypus' conservation status to the Near Threatened category in the Red List.

    Wildlife census began in Kalakkadu-Mundanthurai tiger reserve

    76 days ago
    The annual wildlife census has begun in the Kalakkadu - Mundanthurai tiger sanctuary in Tamil Nadu on 22 January 2020. It will be held until 27 January. The census results will be included in the annual State of Wild Life Population report of the Union Ministry of Forest and Environment. Survey: ♦ The survey will be conducted in the entire 60,000 hectare area of the sanctuary. ♦ In the first phase of the survey, carnivores like jackals, tiger, crocodile, etc, will be counted. ♦ In the second phase, herbivores like elephants, deer, gaur, etc will be considered.  ♦ Census is a very important tool as it aims to protect the precious wildlife wealth in the country. It should be conducted effectively without any distractions. ♦ More than 3,000 personnel, including forest officials, wildlife experts, and college students are involved in the exercise. ♦ The survey will take note of the condition of the forest environment and its effect on the pattern of distribution of wild animals.  ♦ During the survey, possibilities for man-animal conflicts will be identified and necessary eco-friendly steps to avoid them will also be suggested. Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR): Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve is located in Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu. It was established in 1988. As per the 1977 Census, there are at least 150 endemic plants, 33 fish, 37 amphibians, 81 reptiles, 273 birds and 77 mammal species in the reserve. 

    APEDA sets up 186 Agri products testing laboratories

    79 days ago
    Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has added 135 laboratories to existing 51 recognized laboratories. With this addition of laboratories, APEDA recognition of laboratories has reached 186 laboratories in India.  Added labs: The move is significant as the Laboratory testing requirements are crucial in the Agri export supply chain. The number of laboratories added includes 35 in Maharashtra, 23 in Gujarat, 10 in Andhra Pradesh & Telangana, 23 in Tamil Nadu 17 in and Karnataka.  New Policy: ♦ APEDA introduced a policy decision for the simplification of APEDA recognition of laboratories to increase the laboratory network further. It has been decided that the laboratories which are National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) accredited will be recognized by APEDA. These laboratories will be added in the network of APEDA recognition laboratories. ♦ It is expected that this will enable APEDA to continuously expand its recognition network of laboratories in India ♦ The policy will enable the exporters to have easy access to the laboratories for testing of APEDA scheduled products for exports.

    Amazon India to induct 10,000 EVs into its delivery fleet

    79 days ago
    Amazon India has announced that it is to induct 10,000 electric vehicles (EV) into its delivery fleet by 2025. It is a part of the company's measures to reduce the carbon footprint and environmental impact of its operations in the country. Amazon's EV delivery fleet: ♦ Amazon India's commitment to electric mobility comes after running successful pilots in several cities in 2019.  ♦ The company is to have its electric fleet operating in 20 cities across India including Delhi NCR, Bangalore, and Hyderabad within 2020. ♦ The company aims to build a supply chain that will minimize the environmental impact of our operations ♦ It will continue to invest in the electrification of the delivery fleet in order to reduce the company's dependence on non-renewable resources. ♦ The move is the company's 5-year plan that includes creating 1 million new direct and indirect jobs, export goods worth $10 billion from small and medium businesses and manufacturers in India.

    Arunachal Pradesh signs MoU with IUCN to red List Orchids

    83 days ago
    Arunachal Pradesh has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the IUCN on 13 January in Arunachal Pradesh. The MoU was signed by Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Manmohan Singh Negi and the IUCN’s country representative Dr. Vivek Saxena. The environment & forests department is the nodal department for executing the project. MoU Highlights: ♦ According to the MoU, the Arunachal Pradesh state government will collaborate with the IUCN and carry out a red-list assessment of the orchids in the state. ♦ The state has become the first state to initiate the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) red listing at the state level.   ♦ The project will be spread across the state in 12 months ♦ Many workshops on red list assessment will be conducted by experts from the IUCN. IUCN: Founded on: 5 October 1948 Located at: Gland, Switzerland Director-General: Grethel Aguilar President: Zhang Xinsheng  IUCN aims to conserve nature and work for the sustainable use of natural resources. It collects data and conducts research, analysis, field projects, advocacy, and education. IUCN Red List: The IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species is a critical indicator of the health of the world's biodiversity. The list has been acting as a powerful tool to inform and catalyze action for biodiversity conservation and policy change. IUCN has projected that it is complexities to protect natural resources.  Arunachal Pradesh: Governor: Brig. (Dr.) B.D. Mishra (Retd.) Chief Minister: Pema Khandu Capital: Itanagar Literacy rate: 66.95%

    Australian Koalas become endangered in bushfires

    86 days ago
    The Australian government is to declare koalas as an endangered species after the bushfire crisis. It destroyed 30% of the habitat of koalas across the country.  Australian bushfire: Since September 2019 the Australian bushfires have been raging. It is one of the worst in its history. The bushfire has killed 26 people, burned over 10 million hectares of land, destroyed over 2,000 homes and pushed many species towards extinction. It has been recorded that over 1.25 billion animals were dead in the wake of bushfires. Also, the experts believe that hundreds of billions of insects may have been wiped out.

    Second wetland bird count of Kaziranga recorded 96 species of wetland birds

    86 days ago
    The officials of the Kaziranga National Park, Assam, and Avian specialists conducted the Second wetland bird count on 9-10 January 2020. The survey said that Kaziranga has 96 species of wetland birds. The survey covered four ranges of the park namely Agoratoli, Kohora, Bagori, and Burapahar. Survey: ♦ As per the report, a total of 19,225 birds belonging to 96 species under 80 families are present in the National park. ♦ The first waterfowl census was taken in 2018. It yielded 10,412 birds covering 80 families from 21 families. ♦ Goose count topped the list With 6,181 individuals. It was followed by the common teal at 1,557 and northern pintail at 1,359. All the 3 species belong to the family anatidae. ♦ The other species with notable numbers in the list include gadwall, common coot, Indian spot-billed duck, lesser whistling duck, little cormorant, tufted duck, ferruginous duck, Asian openbill, Eurasian wigeon, northern lapwing, spot-billed pelican, and ruddy shelduck. ♦ The national park has more than 250 seasonal water bodies. ♦ More than half the birds, around 9,924, and 85 of the 96 species were recorded in Agoratoli Range. The reason is that Sohola wetland is in this range. Sohola is the largest of Kaziranga's 92 perennial wetlands. More than 34% of the birds counted were found in Sohola. Kaziranga National Park: Kaziranga National Park is one of the highest for wildlife preserves in India. It was established in 1908. It is located about 220 km east of Guwahati, Assam. It is a World Heritage Site since 1985. The park is governed by the Government of Assam and Government of India. The park is home to two-thirds of the world's great one-horned rhinoceroses. It has a total area of 1,030 sq km with a core area of 430 sq. km.  Note: The first wetland bird survey in Kaziranga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was conducted in 2018 since 1985.

    GAIC launched imported water-soluble fertilizers in Gujarat

    88 days ago
    Gujarat Agro Industries Corporation (GAIC) launched imported water-soluble fertilizers in Ahmedabad. The move aims to encourage the use of high-grade agri-inputs in the state.  GAIC: ♦ GAIC promotes agro-based industries in Gujarat. ♦ It imported 300 tonnes of water-soluble fertilizers from China. ♦ In this move, the role of GAIC will be to import, pack and sell the imported water-soluble fertilizers to the farmers through its network of dealers across the State.  ♦ The new-generation fertilizers/water-soluble fertilizers will be sold in the market under its brand 'AGRO'.  ♦ The water-soluble fertilizers that were launched include, AGRO NPK, AGRO CN, AGRO MKP, AGRO MAP, AGRO SOP, AGRO NOP.

    Ten new songbirds have been found in the Wallacea Island

    89 days ago
    Scientists found ten songbirds, five new species and five new subspecies, near Sulawesi, have officially joined the scientific record. One among them is a Togian jungle-flycatcher was found in the Wallacean islands off Indonesia's east coast. It is one of the several new bird species. The finding suggested that humans' understanding of biogeographically complex regions such as Wallacea remains incomplete. Wallacea Island: Wallacea is a group of mainly Indonesian islands separated by deep-water straits from the Asian and Australian continental shelves. Wallacea includes Sulawesi, Lombok, Sumbawa, Flores, Sumba, Timor, Halmahera, Buru, Seram, and many smaller islands. Among them, Sulawesi is the largest island in the group. Note: It should be noted that around 160 new species have been discovered in the last 30 years.

    GoI notified new set of rules to conserve wetlands

    89 days ago
    The government of India has notified a new set of rules to conserve wetlands across the country. The rule set by the Ministry of Environment was issued on 6 January 2020.  New set of rules: ♦ The new rules prohibit setting up or expansion of industries, and disposal of construction and demolition waste within the wetlands.  ♦ The rules ensure to set up authority in each state and Union Territory (UT).  ♦ The authority has been directed to prepare a list of all wetlands of the state/UT within 3 months and make strategies for conservation and wise use of wetlands within their jurisdiction. ♦ The official should recommend mechanisms to maintain ecological character through promotional activities for land within the boundary of notified wetlands. ♦ The authority will include one expert each in the fields of wetland ecology, fisheries, hydrology, landscape planning, and socio-economics. ♦ The experts will be nominated by the state government.  Wetlands in India: In September 2019, the government has identified 130 wetlands for priority restoration in the next 5 years. It has also directed the States to submit their respective integrated management plan. The highest number of such identified wetlands are Uttar Pradesh with 16, Madhya Pradesh with 13, Jammu & Kashmir with 12, Gujarat with 8, Karnataka with 7 and West Bengal with 6. According to the data by ISRO provided national wetlands atlas on the basis of satellite imagery and mapping over 2 lakh wetlands that cover around 4.63% of the total geographic area of India.

    Scientists developed a viable scientific method to cultivate Indian Pompano fish in ponds

    90 days ago
    For the first time in India, the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has developed a viable scientific method to cultivate Indian Pompano fish in ponds. Pompanos are marine fishes. The Indian government began the scientific study on Pompano in 2014.  Research highlights: ♦ The method will be of an alternative to shrimp. The funding was provided by the National Fisheries Development Board (NFDB). With this, it will now be officially cultivated in ponds of Vishakhapatnam.  ♦ The experiment recorded 750 grams of meat per fish in open ponds and 1 kg in cages. The new scientific invention by CMFRI recorded 95% of the survival of the fishes. The method provided 3 tonnes per acre yield and a profit of 25% to 30% of input cost per acre.  ♦ The scientists also said that growing Pompano along with shrimp will increase the survival rate of the shrimp as the Pompanos breaks the life cycle of viruses that attack shrimps. ♦ The government is currently planning to implement inter-cropping of Shrimp and Pompanos.

    EU records 2019 as the 2nd hottest year

    90 days ago
    Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) reported that 2019 was the second hottest year on record and ended the hottest decade in history.  Report Highlights: ♦ C3S's data showed that worldwide temperatures in 2019 were second only to 2016.  ♦ It also stated that the temperatures were boosted by an exceptionally strong El Nino natural weather event to 0.12 degrees Celsius. ♦ It said that the average temperature in 2019 was only a few hundredths of a degree below 2016. ♦ The report recorded that five last years of the last decade (2010-2019) were the hottest period. ♦ It stated that the global temperatures in 2019 were 0.6 Celsius warmer than the 1981-2010 average.  ♦ Earth's temperature over the last five years was 1.1 deg C-1.2 deg C warmer than pre-industrial times. ♦ Global concentrations of CO2, the potent heat-trapping gas, also continued to increase in 2019. It increases by approximately 2.3 parts per million (ppm). What is El Nino? El Nino is a climate cycle that happens in the Pacific Ocean. It causes a global impact on weather patterns. The cycle begins as the warm water in the western tropical Pacific Ocean shifts eastward along the equator toward the coast of South America. Generally, this warm water pools near Indonesia and the Philippines. Copernicus Climate Change Service: Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) is the European Union's climate monitoring service. C3S are vital to climate change adaptation. It provides climate and climate change information and knowledge by means of accessible, timely, reliable, and user-oriented products.  Note: Copernicus is the EU's Earth Observation Programme. It consists of a complex set of systems that collect data from multiple sources. The collected information will be processed and provides users with information through a set of services that address the atmosphere, climate change, land, marine, emergency management, and security. 

    IMD reported that 2019 is recorded as the seventh warmest year

    91 days ago
    The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said that the year 2019 was recorded as the seventh warmest year since 1901. It also said that the heating was substantially lower than the highest warming observed in 2016.  Report Highlights: ♦ The reports stated that 1,562 people died due to extreme weather events including heatwave, avalanches floods, and thunderstorms.  ♦ It highlighted that the average temperature over India during the year 2019 was above normal. ♦ The average annual mean surface air temperature in India during 2019 was 0.36 degree Celsius above average recorded between 1981 and 2010 period.  ♦ It records the warming during 2019 was substantially lower than the highest warming which was observed over India with 0.71 degree Celsius during 2016. ♦ The five warmest years recorded by IMD are 2016 with 0.71 degree Celsius, 2009 with 0.541 degree Celsius, 2017 with 0.539 degree Celsius, 2010 with 0.54 degree Celsius and 2015 with 0.42 degree Celsius.

    Punjab approves Rs.650 crore for the rejuvenation of Budah Nallah

    92 days ago
    Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has approved Rs.650 crore for the rejuvenation of highly polluting Budah Nallah at Ludhiana. The state government has directed the local government department to ensure the timely completion of the project, within two years. Out of the total approved amount Rs.342 crore will be contributed by the state government, Rs.208 crore will be contributed by the government of India and Rs.100 crore by the private operator.  Project Implementation: In the first phase of the mission, augmentation and refurbishment of dairy effluent treatment, sewage treatment facility, survey to find out missing links for industrial effluent and laying of dedicated conveyance system for industrial wastewater to carry the same to Common Effluent Treatment Plant would be executed. The second phase will involve Rs.150 crore. It will include reuse of treated effluent, and landscaping. Beautification along the Buddha Nallah will be undertaken at a cost of Rs.283 crore.  Budah Nallah pollution: Budah Nallah has a total length of 47.55 km, of which 14 km passes through Ludhiana city. Ludhiana has been heavily polluted by the industrial and domestic waste thrown into the Nallah. It caused a major threat to public health and the environment. The State government has called for the participation of the local industry, NGOs, religious and social organizations to carry out the mission. The Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) reported that the actual waste discharge being generated in the city is 711 million litres per day (MLD) including 610 MLD of domestic sewage discharge, 86 MLD discharge from  industrial effluent and 15 MLD discharge from the dairy complex.

    Bihar to inaugurate rehabilitation centre for freshwater turtles

    93 days ago
    Bihar's Bhagalpur forest division is to inaugurate a first-of-its-kind rehabilitation centre for freshwater turtles in January 2020.  Rehabilitation centre for freshwater turtles: ♦ The rehab centre is spread over half a hectare. It will be able to shelter 500 turtles at a time.  ♦ The aim of the state government is because several turtles were found severely wounded and sick when rescued from smuggles by rescue teams. It is expected that this centre will play a significant role in treating these animals and their proper upkeep before being returned to their natural habitat. ♦ It is necessary as the eastern Bihar has been an ideal breeding ground for turtles.

    WHO asked India to take urgent measures to combat air pollution

    111 days ago
    A study by the World Health Organization (WHO), Centre for Science and Environment and others said that India should take urgent action to tackle air pollution.  Survey highlights: ♦ The survey stated that the levels of toxic air in many cities in India are much higher than the recommended guidelines.  ♦ It suggested the Indian government to take measures to reduce pollution as it might cause a major impact on people's health. ♦ It showed that India has a higher proportion of global health loss due to air pollution than its proportion of the global population. ♦ It stated that around 12.4 lakh deaths in India in 2017 can be attributed to air pollution. It also termed toxic air as a leading risk factor for deaths in the country. ♦ It mentioned that the average life expectancy would have been increased by 1.7 years higher if the pollution levels were less than the minimal level that is responsible for causing health loss. WHO's guidelines: WHO air quality guidelines estimated that reducing the annual average of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations from levels of 35 microgrammes per cubic metre (g/m3) to 10 g/m3 will reduce air pollution-related deaths by around 15%.

    Researchers found intense sunshine may be melting ice on Mount Everest

    116 days ago
    The newly installed weather stations atop Mount Everest data were presented at the American Geophysical Union annual meeting in San Francisco on 13 December 2019. The data is among the first scientific results to emerge from the National Geographic Society's and Rolex's Perpetual Planet Extreme Expedition to Everest. Report highlights: ♦ The data reported that the mountain experiences some of the most intense sunlight on the planet.  ♦ It is suspected that it might hasten ice melt atop the world's highest mountains and impacting glaciers in ways that are not fully understood.  ♦ The data helps the researchers to understand the amount of energy available to melt snow and ice in high alpine environments. 5 weather stations: In June 2019, the researchers installed a network of five automatic weather stations at elevations of up to 27,600 feet. It includes the two highest weather stations on the planet. All stations are collecting data on air, pressure, temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed. Every station, except for the highest one, is outfitted with a net radiometer and the lower stations also carry rain gauges and present weather sensors. Note: Radiometer is an instrument that measures incoming and outgoing radiation.

    Poland was left out of European Union's 2050 climate neutrality agreement

    117 days ago
    The European Union (EU) left Poland out of a 2050 climate neutrality agreement. The agreement is part of a plan to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent. Poland was left out as it demanded more funds for economic transition and support for nuclear power. 2050 goal: The 2050 goal is a key commitment under the 2015 Paris Agreement of the Europe Union on climate change. To achieve the goal, the EU countries will have to slash carbon emissions generated by fossil fuels and find ways to offset remaining emissions. Poland: Poland gets 80% of its power from coal. The country resisted the plan during hours of intense debate and was left out of the new commitment. Poland is expected to reach climate neutrality at its own pace. The country asked for an extension of the period to 2070. The other countries said that Poland's position would not deter the commission from moving ahead with the next steps of the green deal.

    IREDA plans to set up Green Window

    118 days ago
    Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) is planning to set up a dedicated Green Window with an aim to serve the unserved segments of renewable energy. It was announced by Shri Anand Kumar, Secretary for the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). IREDA Green Window: ♦ IREDA Green Window aims to provide a significant boost to the renewable energy market. ♦ As India is currently moving towards becoming a $5 trillion economy, it aims to install 450 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity ♦ It is expected to be one of the major drivers of economic growth  ♦ Centre is planning to allocate approximately $20 million for the Green window. It also plans to leverage $80 million from other agencies to establish a facility of $100 million.  ♦ The Green Window will support underserved clean energy markets  ♦ It will also support the scaling up of new clean energy technologies ♦ It will be used to leverage additional sources of capital from both private domestic banks and international sources. ♦ An estimate of Rs.21,45,000 crore is needed for India to accomplish the commitments, between 2018 and 2030, under the Paris Agreement. Green windows: These are the public entities that are created to work with the private sector to increase investment in green energy. It will bring clean energy financing into the mainstream. Green windows are innovative and new tools that were proved successful in countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Malaysia, and the United States. IREDA: Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Limited (IREDA) is a Mini Ratna (Category–I) Enterprise. It functions under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE). It was established in 1987. It aims to promote, develop and extend financial assistance to set up projects that are related to new and renewable sources of energy and energy efficiency.

    Ganga has become one of 10 cleanest rivers in the world

    121 days ago
    Minister of Jalshakti said that Ganga has become one of 10 cleanest rivers in the world among the major rivers category. The announcement was made by the Jalshakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat at the 4th India Water Impact Summit, 2019 in New Delhi.  Centre's measure: ♦ The Centre is committed to ensuring the cleanliness and uninterrupted flow of the Ganga. ♦ India has only 4% of the world's drinking water while 18% of the world's human and equivalent livestock population. ♦ The Integrated water management is need of the hour and people's participation is also required to make it successful. ♦ Ganga Aamantran Abhiyan, a massive river rafting expedition, was launched on 10 October 2019. ♦ Centre approved the establishment of the Clean Ganga Fund (CGF).  ♦ Centre launched the NamamiGange Mission as an integrated mission. The mission aimed at the conservation and rejuvenation of Ganga and its tributaries with a comprehensive basin based approach. SabkaSaath, SabkaVikas, SabkaVishwas is the motto of the mission.

    Rajnath Singh flagged off massive campaign against single-use plastic

    121 days ago
    Ministry of Defence (MoD) organized a special plogging awareness drive rally in Delhi Cantt as part of Swachhta Pakhwada. The massive campaign against single-use plastic was flagged off by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on 7 December 2019.  Aim: The campaign was conducted to spread awareness against the ill-effect of plastic on the environment, bring about behavioural change with respect to sanitation. The drive sent a message to give up the use of plastic including carry bags, plastic cutlery, plastic water bottles, etc. to the people of India. Massive plogging programme: ♦ The massive plogging programme was organized at more than 400 locations throughout the country by MoD. Along with MoD, Indian Army, Navy, Indian Air force, Indian Coast Guard, Border Road Organisation (BRO), Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), National Cadet Corps (NCC), Defence Public Sector Undertakings, and various other defence establishments organized similar campaigns in various location of the country.  ♦ The massive exercise intended to raise awareness in the society to collect plastic waste and make the surroundings clean.  ♦ The slogan for the event was Plastic Se Raksha–Swachhata Hi Suraksha. ♦ Swachhta anthem was played in all the events across the country.  ♦ Community awareness programmes such as debates, quizzes, nukkad nataks, painting competitions were held among students. ♦ During the event, India Army cleaned up waste at 17 locations across the country right from Siachen to Jaisalmer and Bhuj to Bairengte, Mizoram.  ♦ The Indian Navy cleaned up waste at 30 locations from Mumbai to Karwar and Kolkata to Vishakapatnam.  ♦ Indian Air Force cleaned up waste at 150 locations from Hindon to Upper Shillong and Nagpur to Trivandrum.  ♦ ICG conducted the programme in its 47 locations, Cantonment Boards in 62 locations, BRO in 18 locations, Sainik Schools in 31 locations,  NCC in 18 locations, Comptroller General of Defence Accounts in 20 locations across the country. Participants: More than 3,000 people, including schoolchildren, participated in the Massive plogging programme and collected sizeable single-use plastic waste.

    Scientists identified the metallophilic archaeon thrives on eating meteorites

    123 days ago
    Astrobiologist Tetyana Milojevic from the University of Vienna found that the Metallosphaera Sedula feeds on meteorites.  Metallosphaera Sedula: ♦ Metallosphaera Sedula, the metallophilic archaeon is known to thrive on the minerals. These Chemolithotrophic microorganisms derive their energy from inorganic sources ♦ The team selected a rocky type of meteorite called Northwest Africa 1172, a 120-kilogram mineral chunk uncovered back in 2000.  ♦ The microorganism seemed to be benefitted from the meteorite than a diet on terrestrial mineral sources. ♦ It is expected that the meteorites may have delivered a variety of essential compounds the facilitated the evolution of life. ♦ They assessed the biogenicity based on extraterrestrial materials. It is also expected that the extraterrestrial bioinorganic chemistry might have occurred in the Solar System. This has lead one step more in the field of meteorite biogeochemistry.

    Government launched the Operation Clean Art

    126 days ago
    Government launched the Operation Clean Art across India. The operation aimed to crackdown illegal trade in the mongoose hair. This is the first time such an operation is happening in India. It was initiated by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB). Mongoose: The mongoose is a small carnivoran found in southern Eurasia and mainland Africa. It is listed in Schedule II (Part II) ​​​​​​of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. As per the act, smuggling Mongoose or possession of its body part is a non-bailable offence. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has placed Mongoose on the Least Concern category in the Red List. Operation Clean Art: ♦ The operation included raid and check on organized factories that make paintbrushes with mongoose hair. ♦ Raids were carried in Uttar Pradesh, Jaipur, Rajasthan, Mumbai, and Pune in Maharashtra, and in Kerala.  ♦ Under the operation, 54,352 brushes and 113 kg of raw hair. Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB): Formed on: 2006 Headquarters: New Delhi, India WCCB was established by the Government of India. It functions under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC). It combats against the organized wildlife crime.

    Saudi Arabia elected to UNESCOs World Heritage Committee

    132 days ago
    Saudi Arabia was elected to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee for the first time on 27 November 2019. The Kingdom was elected to the UN heritage body's executive board for the term 2019-2023. The approval confirms Saudi Arabia's international status and its role in building peace and contributing effectively to the establishment of the principles of culture and science. Saudi Arabia's UNESCO sites: Currently, there are five sites in Saudi Arabia that are on UNESCO's World Heritage List. The sites are: ♦ Al-Ahsa Oasis ♦ Al-Hijr Archaeological Site (Madain Saleh) in AlUla ♦ Al-Turaif district in Diriyah ♦ Historic Jeddah ♦ Rock art in the Hail region World Heritage Committee: The World Heritage Committee meets once every year. The committee consists of representatives from 21 member states to the convention elected by the United Nations General Assembly. The committee decides and approves of whether a property can be added to the World Heritage List.  The committee examines the state of conservation at listed sites. It then asks the respective member states to take action when they are not being properly managed. 

    Sumatran rhinoceros are extinct in Malaysia

    133 days ago
    The last Sumatran female rhinoceros, named Iman, in Malaysia died. With this, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and Environment announced that Sumatran rhinoceros is now extinct in Malaysia.  Iman: Iman was captured in March 2014. Iman was given the very best care and attention after the capture.  In 2008, the officials captured Tam, a Sumatran male rhinoceros. It was transferred to the Tabin Wildlife Reserve in the state of Sabah. He was left with female rhinoceros Puntung, captured in 2011 and Iman. Puntung, the female rhinoceros, was euthanized in 2017 due to cancer. Tam, the last male Sumatran rhinoceros in Malaysia died in April 2019. Efforts to breed proved unsuccessful. Sumatran rhinoceros: Sumatran rhinoceros also known as hairy rhinoceros, Asian two-horned rhinoceros is the smallest rhinoceros. The weight ranges from 500 to 1,000 kg. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has placed it in the critically endangered category of its red list. This species is inhabited in rainforests and cloud forests in India, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia,  Bhutan, Bangladesh, and China.

    Etawah lion safari opened for public

    135 days ago
    The lion breeding center, the facility is equipped with hospital staff quarters backed by assured water and electric supply and is operated by trained staff.  The wildlife entrusted with this project visited Longleat Safari Park, England, for inspiration.  A lion safari, a deer safari, an elephant safari, bear safari, and a leopard safari.  The 4D theatre, which gives you real closeups with wildlife, as per information available on an official website. The forest minister praised former Chief Ministers Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son Akhilesh Yadav for their efforts to bring the project on the ground. The safari will attract tourists and make Etawah an important tourist center in the country.

    Government add 6 states selected to promote pulses and oilseeds cultivation

    140 days ago
    The Government is to implement the National Food Security Mission (NFSM)–Oilseeds and Oil Palm (OS&OP) in six more States, namely Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare has been included to bring additional area and production of pulses and oilseeds. Aim: The Centre aims to increase the production of oilseeds and the domestic availability of edible oils. The also aims to expand the area under oil palm and TBOs cultivation.  Implementation: ♦ Currently, the implementation of NFSM–(OS&OP) is being done in 29 States. It has three subcomponents, namely, Oilseeds, Oil palm, and Tree Borne Oilseeds (TBOs).  ♦ The oilseeds production, which was 27.72 million tonnes in 2008-09, has been increased to 32.26 million tonnes in 2018-19. During the same period, productivity also increased from 1006 to 1265 kg/ha.  ♦ The edible oil production, which was 6.34 million tonnes in 2008-09, increased to 10.44 million tonnes in 2018-19.  ♦ The government has covered an area of 3.30 lakh ha under oil palm up to 2018-19. ♦ To reduce import dependency, the government is promoting pulses and oilseeds cultivation majorly in the six eastern states, namely Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, and West Bengal, since 2016-17.

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