Category: Wildlife

Did you call? Misuse of bird call audio is disturbing bird behaviour

Using recorded audio calls downloaded from the internet or “call playbacks” for birdwatching has increasingly become a problem in India. The overuse of such artificial methods can affect breeding habits and social behaviours. Parks and guides are now considering ways to limit misuse so as to prevent harassment of birds, though some disagree with a complete ban.

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What happens to an ecotourism town when the wildlife doesn’t show?

Since the 90s, a town in the Philippines has based its economy around tourists viewing whale sharks. And while the sharks showed up in reliable numbers during the first decade of Donsol’s venture into tourism, their numbers have become highly unpredictable in the past decade for reasons still unknown.

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That Malagasy forest featured in Netflix’s ‘Our Planet’? It’s vanishing fast.

Viewers inspired by Netflix’s “Our Planet” to explore the stunning landscapes it captures may find one destination shockingly different from its lustrous on-screen depiction. Between shooting for the series in 2016 and its launch this month, there has been such rapid deforestation in Madagascar’s Kirindy Forest that large patches of the forest showcased in the series have disappeared forever.

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How the elusive otter has made its home in Goa’s mangroves

Human-dominated mangroves are far from what is considered an ideal environment for otters. And yet this estuarine island on India’s western coast is home to a thriving population of the threatened smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata). Recent studies of this elusive species living in the brackish waters of Chorao island—far from the freshwater sources that otters are typically believed to rely on—offer new insights into otter behaviour that could inform future conservation efforts.

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India’s sharks and rays: an ancient species on the brink of extinction

Across the planet, entire populations of sharks and rays are being overfished, in some cases leading them to the brink of extinction. The situation is particularly grim in the Arabian Sea where, according to a new study, over 50 percent of the shark species found in these waters are threatened. And as one of the top shark fishing nations in the world, India is leading the charge.

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As Arctic ship traffic increases, narwhals and other unique animals are at risk

A recent study assessed the vulnerability of 80 populations of Arctic marine mammals during the “open-water” period of September, when sea ice is at its minimum extent, to understand the relative risks of vessel traffic across Arctic marine mammal species, populations and regions. The study found that more than half (53 percent) of these populations – including walruses and several types of whales – would be exposed to vessels in Arctic sea routes. This could lead to collisions, noise disturbance or changes in the animals’ behaviour.

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‘Citizen science can help reduce wildlife mortality’

In an interview with Manu Moudgil, Dr. Andheria (President of the Wildlife Conservation Trust) talks about various aspects of wildlife conservation, including mitigation measures along linear infrastructure, fragmentation of forests and implementation of the Forest Rights Act.

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Rainforest coffee better for taste and biodiversity, but needs policy support for farmers’ income

Kodagu district in Karnataka, which was battered by the recent rains, is the starting point of Kaveri river and home to most of India’s coffee production. The native coffee-growing ecosystem has comparable tree diversity as the rainforest in which it is grown. It is also good for the climate, since it has similar carbon storage. But, there is a decline in both biodiversity and carbon storage as the coffee ecosystem moves from Coffea Arabica to C. Robusta, and as exotic silver oak trees replace the native shade trees. 

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