Friday, October 31, 2014

Taking annual break

Hi guys,
             I am taking my annual break. I am going on a trip filled with hiking, Microlight flying and skydiving.
I will be back on blogging scene first week of December.
             Have a great time

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Inger Andersen named IUCN Director General


 Inger Andersen has been appointed as the new Director General of IUCN starting in January 2015. A Danish national, Ms Andersen began her career working on desertification and dryland issues in Sudan, and with the UN Sudano-Sahelian Office in New York. With the establishment of the Global Environment Facility(GEF) in 1992, she moved in  as the Arab Region Coordinator for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), a position she held until 1999 when she moved to the World Bank. She is Currently Vice President for Middle East and North Africa (MENA) at the World Bank. At the World Bank, Ms Andersen worked primarily on water, environment and sustainable development, with special focus on the Africa and MENA Regions.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Biodiversity conservation - We need better metrics rigorously tested

The different t metrics, that we use, such as species abundance and extinction risk, paints different impressions of conservation success. Collen and Nicholson argue that to be successful, conservation efforts require an agreed set of metrics of biodiversity change. These metrics may include existing as well as new ones and must undergo rigorous testing to ensure that they are suitable for our conservation aims

Science 10 October 2014: Vol. 346 no. 6206 pp. 166-167

Friday, October 10, 2014

The 50th anniversary of IUCN Red List of Threatened Species,

As part of communications and fundraising campaign to support the 50th anniversary of   IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, IUCN have released a stunning video explaining the importance of The IUCN Red List as a powerful tool that drives action for nature conservation. The video was produced by the photographer and filmmaker Mattius Klum, who is also an IUCN Goodwill Ambassador.






Monday, October 06, 2014

A beautifully written book



It is not every day that you read a good book. I was delighted to read this very interesting book by Christopher Uhl during my sojourn and it gave me tremendous satisfaction.

Christopher Uhl explores the path to living in harmony with Earth. He believes it begins - not with fixing the environment - but with fixing ourselves, vis-à-vis, our perceptions about Earth. The book gives us enough reasons to ponder the road we are taking and what the future holds in store for us and the corrections that are long overdue.

According to Uhl, economism is the driving force of life stories of people today. Everything is seen in terms of money, without understanding the consequences of their actions on the Earth and on others. Uhl describes economism as a pseudo religion and believes that the present time is an "age of separation”.

Activities and discussion questions follow each chapter, making it a highly useful book for students. It makes them aware of what it means to be alive and to be surrounded by life.


Go ahead and read this wonderful book

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

No update for next five days

Hi Guys,
               I am travelling to areas with no internet connectivity. Consequently there won't be any update for the next five days. Have a great time.Cheers

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Parents of all children should use ventilation while using a gas stove.

This post has nothing to do with wildlife conservation, but I thought what I am going to write has great relevance for parents with children.
A new study by Oregon State University specifically recommends that parents with children at home should use ventilation when cooking with a gas stove. The study showed an association between gas kitchen stove ventilation and asthma, asthma symptoms and chronic bronchitis.
Homes that used ventilation while cooking with gas stoves were 32%less likely to have asthma than in homes where ventilation was not used.  Asthma and bronchitis are common chronic problem in children.

The findings were published recently in the journal Environmental Health.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Social science and conservation

A Guide to Understanding Social Science Research for Natural Scientists
KATIE MOON and DEBORAH BLACKMAN
Conservation Biology, Volume 28, Issue 5, pages 1167–1177, October 2014

Conservationists are increasingly depending on social research to study and find solutions to conservation problems.  Conservation problems are commonly social problems.  To get maximum advantage conservationists should have an understanding of the philosophical principles and theoretical assumptions of the discipline, which are embedded in the design of social research. Here the researchers have developed a guide to assist natural scientists in understanding the philosophical basis of social science to support the meaningful interpretation of social research outcomes. The 3 fundamental elements of research are ontology, what exists in the human world that researchers can acquire knowledge about; epistemology, how knowledge is created; and philosophical perspective, the philosophical orientation of the researcher that guides her or his action.  The researchers’ sign off saying the use of their guide can also support and promote the effective integration of the natural and social sciences to generate more insightful and relevant conservation research outcomes.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

We should develop awareness and even people's pride in the concept of corridor conservation

Moving Beyond Science to Protect a Mammalian Migration Corridor
JOEL BERGER and STEVEN L. CAIN
Conservation Biology
Volume 28, Issue 5, pages 1142–1150, October 2014

It was with great fascination that I read this paper on corridor conservation in the journal conservation biology.  The scientists  argue that conservation scientists can and should step beyond traditional research roles to assist with on-the-ground conservation by engaging in aspects of conservation that involve local communities and public policy.


The focus of research is on a North American endemic mammal that relies on long distance migration as an adaptive strategy, the pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) of the southern Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The researchers found that the role of science in realizing policy change, while critical as a first step, was surprisingly small relative to the role of other human dimensions. The researchers built partnership between government and private interests and then enhanced interest in migratory phenomena across the landscape with divergent political ideologies and economic bases. By developing awareness and even people's pride in the concept of corridor conservation, they  achieved local, state, and federal acceptance for protection of a 70 km long, 2 km wide pathway for the longest terrestrial migrant in the contiguous United States. The paper holds good lessons for conservationists round the world. Go ahead and read it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fossils and the way to restoring lost island biodiversity

University of Florida scientists have discovered how fossils can be used to restore lost biodiversity. The scientist hit on organic materials found in fossil bones, which contain evidence for how ancient ecosystems functioned. The clues gave vital inputs for saving endangered island species and re-establishing native species.
The scientists say “A better understanding of species' natural roles in ecosystems untouched by people might improve their prospects for survival."
The details of the study appear in the September issue of Journal of Herpetology.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Road in Kutch sanctuary Okayed. Is it the right thing to do?

The wildlife board has Okayed, a road through Kutch sanctuary. The road was opposed by environmentalists and the previous board. The main arguments against the road was that it would, in all probability, result in the abandonment of the breeding site of flamingos and India would lose the only breeding site of flamingoes. There is also an argument that an alternate alignment which is feasible, cost-effective and easy to build is available. The environmentalists also say the proposed road would also eliminate the sacred grove of "Shravan Kavadia'', a unique mangrove system, found nowhere else in the world.


Tahrcountry makes a fervent plea to the Prime Minister and the Environment Minister, to look in to all aspects before giving a final clearance to the project. The misgivings of the environmentalists have to be allayed. The common man should feel that tax payer’s money has been spent on a project that would take the country forward without compromising on environment. If more studies are needed it should be done. Development is the need of the hour for the country, but it should not be at the cost of destroying what is irreplaceable.

Friday, September 19, 2014

World's first microbe-powered, self-sustaining wastewater treatment system

Researchers from Washington State University have developed a unique method to use microbes buried in pond sediment for waste cleanup in rural areas.

The newly invented Microbial fuel cells use biological reactions from microbes in water to create electricity. The fuel cell does the work of an aerator and uses only the power of microbes in the sewage lagoons to generate electricity. In the lab the microbes were able to successfully power aerators for more than a year. The researchers hope to test a full-scale plant shortly for eventual commercialization.

The researchers claim that the technology could be used in underdeveloped countries to clean polluted water effectively at a cheap rate.


Details of the research appears in the latest issue of journal “Journal of Power Sources