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Friday, September 25, 2009

Mother Teresa of Cats and Dogs - Part 2


Above pic shows about 5 dogs relaxing on Prof. Bindumadhab Banerji's bed. You'll be surprised to know that this was a regular feature...the dogs were given treatment at par with humans.
They really enjoyed the soft, cushiony feel that the bed provided them.

Alas , all that changed after Mrs. Gita Banerji had the debilitating fall. Now, with God's Grace, it is hoped she would recover from the hip fracture, but at age 83 would be in no condition to tend after 7 dogs.
Her two daughters, son-in-laws, grandson, granddaughter are of opinion that she can manage keeping only
1 or 2 dogs. After 4 visits subsequent to her fall, I am also of the same opinion.


So frantic search is going on for dog lovers who would keep a dog as a pet.





Above is another pic of the dogs chilling out on the bed. In fact, there used to be quite a tussle between the dogs and the cats for occupation of the comfortable bed. It goes without saying that the dogs won.
Now as you can see the dogs are all very obedient, well-behaved. They'll fit in very well with the household. So attached is Mrs. Gita Banerji to her dogs that an interview will be taken of the prospective person adopting the dog. Hope he or she doesn't mind, heh,heh.

Meanwhile, all our prayers are for the recovery of the hip bone fracture that Mrs. Gita Banerji has sustained.
Even the cats need a home, so to speak, but the dogs are the first priority. You can forward this posting to like-minded people who may be interested in keeping a dog as a pet.




Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mother Teresa of Cats and Dogs - Part 1

Above pic is of Nonte, the cat, playing by our window sill. Nonte arrived, motherless, at our apartment, when he was 1 month old. He stayed over for 3 months, but due to objections by other flat members, we had to give him to Dr. Bindumadhab and Mrs. Gita Banerjee(aged 83), who is truly the Mother Teresa of Cats and Dogs. She resides in Kestopur.


This pic shows Nonte, entering adolescence, living happily at Dr. Bindumadhab Banerjee's residence. They stay at Meghnad Saha Abasan,Kestopur,Calcutta. Now, let me tell you about Mrs. Gita Banerjee(aged 83), who FEEDS AND LOOKS AFTER 11 CATS AND 7 DOGS by herself. But she changed my outlook by introducing me to Eco-Spiritualism.

Pic shows the Cats being fed. Now the Banerjees used to carry out their WORK WITH MISSIONARY ZEAL. I was introduced to the Teachings of her Gurus Bamakhyapa, Swami Omkareshwarananda and other Gurus. Their Teachings were similar - "All Creatures are Equal".



So deep is their love that once a Snake was fatally wounded by 4-5 cats. Then the elderly Banerjee couple gave water to the dying Snake, since it was just another "Kesto'r Jeeb". There are countless true stories about this couple.

NOW, COMES THE HARD PART - Mrs. Gita Banerjee suffered a debilitating hip bone fracture. Her Fate, as well as the Fate of the 11 cats and 7 dogs, hangs in Balance.

She is totally immobilized, and is developing slight bed sores. Her well-wishers/relatives are looking for Animal Lovers / Activists who would LIKE TO ADOPT A DOG INTO THEIR HOME. The ideal situation is Mrs. Gita Banerjee can manage 2 dogs and all the "hulo" cats. (meaning male cats).

If you know someone, you can forward this Blog Post.

IN SHORT, A FEW GOOD PEOPLE WHO CAN TAKE UP A DOG AS A PET ARE NEEDED.

Keep reading more on their WORK & BELIEF.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Reintroducing the Indian Cheetah

Above photo courtesy National Geographic.


Now vvv___vv_____vvvvvv_____
As we all know, the Indian (Asiatic) Cheetah became extinct from the grasslands of India way back in the 1950's , as far as I know. Now, here's a piece of great News. There are plans to re-introduce the Asiatic Cheetah.

Source: "www.timesonline.co.uk"

"

The Mogul emperor Akbar was said to own a thousand of the beasts as part of his 16th-century hunting retinue. Since then, however, India’s cheetahs have turned from hunter to quarry — the last three known were shot by the Maharajah of Surguja in 1947.

That may now change, with plans revealed by the Indian Government to reintroduce the world’s fastest land animal to the sub-continent.

A meeting of international experts is to be held in Rajasthan in September. It will draw up a preliminary budget, likely to be millions of pounds, to cover the import of cheetahs from Africa and the foundation of a “breeding nucleus” site, from which the animals can be introduced to other areas of India.

“We have to get [cheetahs] from abroad to repopulate the species. We soon hope to do so,” said Jairam Ramesh, the Minister of State for Environment and Forests."


Debajyoti Dutta Roy's personal take :
This is an excellent move. Hats off to Jairam Ramesh. But all wildlife and environmental enthusiasts have to keep many parameters in mind:
  • The cheetah flourishes in uninhabited grasslands. So, one has to choose a locale where there is minimum human population.
  • One has to study the FOOD PYRAMID. If the base, that is, the grasslands are abundant, one can introduce deers to sambars to the cheetah's natural prey.
  • So, the natural prey of the Asiatic Cheetah flourishes.
  • The cheetah has a great time. But one has to be also careful that it is not threatened by other predators bigger than it is. Or pack predators like the hyena or indian wild dogs .."dholes" they're called, as far as I remember.
  • One has to study the habitat where the Asiatic Lion is still surviving. These are, as far as I remember, from an excellent site felidtag (Cat Specialist Group) - Iran, parts of Saudi Arabia, etc. Congrats to these countries for still preserving the Asiatic Cheetah.
Hope the program succeeds. One can also have active monitoring / audiovisuals to generate interest amongst the common people. Another point that distinguished the Cheetah from the rest of the Big Cats is their extremely low genetic diversity.

Quoting
from catsurvivalist group -

"
At the end of the last Ice Age, more than 10,000 years ago there was a massive population crash. Few individual cheetahs survived, consequently very little genetic diversity exists in their populations. There is ten to one hundred times less genetic variation in cheetahs than is observed in the other cats."

So, it might be a good idea to have 4 - 5 isolated , very sparsely populated grasslands where the cheetahs survive. Then cheetahs from ecosysytem 1 are introduced to ecosystem 3. More genetic diversity.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

WILDLIFE ACTIVISM OBJECTIVES


Late Mr. Amitabha Sen’s name will remain ETERNAL through the work that will be done through this Wild Life Activism Group.

It will be God's Own Work.

I have promised to God Himself not to make a single penny / cent/ paisa of money from this Fund. ..let any independent global organization do the Audit…

Objectives:
• Saving Eco-systems. This is one of the most difficult tasks.
• Saving keystone predators like the Bengal Tiger, snow leopards, Gangetic dolphins, red pandas, 
• Afforestation (Planting trees)….Have identified SPECIFIC Project Sites also in West Bengal. As also Uttarakhand. 
Note that Uttarakhand people are VERY ENVIRONMENT-CONSCIOUS...and great work can be done over there.Field trips have to be taken. BIODIVERSITY OF PROJECT AREA HAS TO BE STUDIED. After that the afforestation Project has to be undertaken. You have no idea how tough it is to START and MAINTAIN a 1 km. X 1 km forest.
• Massive e-campaigning through the Internet.
• Raising Awareness through the usage of Media
• Tie-up with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), People for Animals (PFA),Cat Specialist Group,Greenpeace,Save the Elephants, etc. to make a difference.
• Saving cats and other pets within our own city.
• DONATE money to NEEDY people / family, who are carrying out God’s work by feeding/giving shelter to injured and homeless cats and dogs.
• Protest / Campaign against rogue people in the future for killing endangered species.
• Network with similar smaller organizations within West Bengal for e-campaign / joint ventures...
• Eco-Spiritualism..every Religion espouses tolerance towards the lesser creatures. Read the scriptures carefully. 

The last Objective is, of course, an almost impossible task..but it might be one way of achieving World Peace.

Disclaimer : I keep changing my auto-forwarding list so often....sometimes in a hurry forget revising the names...hope this doesn't reach the wrong person....hope you go through ALL my blogs 'n' enjoy the new look

Thursday, September 18, 2008

THIS IS WHAT I FIGHT FOR...part 1

All pics taken at Bindujethu's house (Ph.D. in Physics, teacher respected by many) ...jethu aged 91, senile. Jethima, 82, still carrying on God's Work feeding 15+ cats and 7+ dogs. Though poor in this material anthropocentric world...

Directly and indirectly Greed of Humans is responsible for these deaths :

....death of the kitten displayed above, fond memories playing with you


....death of 3 to 4 of the dogs lying on the bed....the black one was such a good faithful feller



This is not some cheap donation camp.....Bindujethu frowned 3 times I gave them such a paltry sum I'm really ashamed of...they returned it away... & family are too proud to ask...they never have...AND NEVER WILL.


But I HAD A DREAM....this Legal Case...split 50-17-33 ...17% could have been donated to a Wildlife Fund.....the kitten probably couldn't have been saved, though I have fond memories playing with it.
The 3-4 dogs could have been...I'm 100% sure.

...Make no mistake :


The Eyes of God are Watching You
नमः शिवाय

Monday, September 8, 2008

West Bengal Forest Cover Status



The statistics that I got is indeed a very encouraging one for environmentalists in
the Indian State of West Bengal. That the forest cover increase considering the whole of India has been maximum in West Bengal.


source indiapost.com :

"8 July:West Bengal has registered maximum increase in forest cover (1650 sq.km) followed by Meghalaya (1255 sq.km) and Tamil Nadu (1161 sq.km) wheras maximum loss has been observed in Punjab (852 sq.km) followed by Madhya Pradesh (836 sq.km) and Maharashtra (617 sq.km).

As far as increases in forest cover in view of States’s geographical area is concerned, Tripura registered 9.8% increase followed by Meghalaya (5.6%) and Chandigarh (5.26%) whereas Lakshdweep has shown decrease of 12.5% followed by Punjab (1.70%) and Haryana 0.54%."

However, since this matter is very close to my heart, I am researching the matter very
carefully...vis a vis previous images, etc. I've seen some spectacular afforestation in the district of Bankura...was really surprised, at least from our driver-cum-guide's story....I'll have to scan a helluva photos to post 'em.

Areas near Mukutmanipur, Bankura-Purulia border jungles, Sususnia, etc...they show healthy foliage of sal, palash and dry deciduous forests...and of course, mahua...as my crazy friend was searching 15 minutes to take a pic of.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Martyred for a Green Blue Planet...

Jill Phipps died at age 31.

The Cause espoused by Environmentalists and Wildlife Activists is probably one of the few that cuts across the barriers of nationality, religion, caste, race and other factors......
Image from wikipedia:




Quoting wikipedia :

" Jill Phipps died at age 31. (15 January 1964 — 1 February 1995) was a British animal rights activist. She lived in Coventry, England.

On 1 February 1995, Phipps was crushed to death under the wheels of a lorry carrying
live baby veal calves into Coventry Airport in Baginton, England, to be flown to Amsterdam for distribution across Europe.

10 of the 33 protesters present had broken through police lines and were trying to
bring the lorry to a halt by sitting in the road or chaining themselves to it. Phipps was crushed beneath the lorry's wheels and her fatal injuries included a broken spine.

Phipps' brother Zab commented
"Jill was crushed and died on the way to hospital. Our mother, Nancy, was with her. The lorry driver has not been charged, not even with driving without due care and attention."

NET RESULT : Through her martyrdom, Veal calf exports from a certain Airport ended months later.

Jill wasn't alone. There were many others who were martyred for the Cause of a Green Blue Planet. J.Anderson, Steve Irwin, amongst others....

Was going thru' the real meaning of Fanaa(Sufism)...a difficult concept to understand without understanding the culture/language, of course. But then, there are so many cultures,languages.....



Disclaimer : I keep changing my auto-forwarding list so often....sometimes in a hurry forget revising the names...hope this doesn't reach the wrong person....hope you go through all my blogs 'n' enjoy the new look

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Lightning Strikes ! Video

Lightning strikes along the E.M. bypass .....taken with my ole' cellphone. So, pic qual. not very good + foreground light...

15 people were killed that day throughout Bengal...read the news next day..



video

Video copyright (original 3gp format): Debajyoti Dutta-Roy.

Note : Lightning Strikes at 40 seconds hits ground....vividly clear if you hit pause...slide slowly within 3 seconds here and there.

Another strike is around 3:00 minutes...

some other minor strikes too

There are other strikes can see the whole sky lit up.....but not directly captured..can see silhouettes of trees, buildings against the lightning-streaked brightness.


I'm more afraid of promoters and the mastermind behind them than lightning strikes, BTW....

Really liked the awesome power of Nature.

Disclaimer: I keep changing my auto-forwarding lists....

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Damodarside Sunset at Durgapur....a haven for beetles




Some beautiful scenic spots lie very near megacities, like Calcutta ..... taken with my 1.3 MP (megapixel) cell phone. September 2006.
Shows the sunset and its reflection on the Damodar Reservoir.

This is a neat strip running along the Damodar River , Durgapur. About 2 kilometers upto the Durgapur Barrage. This is part of the reservoir, so it looks placid. But then, had it not been for the Barrage, you could have seen the roaring, spray-filled river.

Nice spot. Bengal's biodiversity of flora is quite a thing to study.

Found some interesting looking beetles that I've never seen in Calcutta...
...sometimes, in looking at the big picture , we miss the very interesting small details of life.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Serious Thought for all Cat Sympathisers ...

36 species of Cats remain in the wild as of today....their importance is vital as:

Being at the top of the food pyramid / ecosystem keystone predator , the NUMBER OF CATS IS AN INDICATOR OF HOW HEALTHY THE ECO-SYSTEM IS.

By Cats, I mean not only the Threatened/ Critically Endangered Species Big Cats .........but even the big-medium (snow leopard, puma) to the medium-sized cats (like serval, caracal, ocelot, bobcat ) to the smallest (like the Black-Footed Cat, African Golden Cat, Fishing Cat, Andes Mountain Cat & so on).......

Incidentally, that's a Black-footed Cat, one of the smallest cats , weighing only 1.5 kgs ! ) threatened by loss of habitat...Image Source: Cat Specialist Group IUCN/SSC :



Even the number of Wild Jungle Cats are indicative of how many Birds are there in the eco-system. Lesser the Cats...lesser the Birds.

So, all serious Cat Sympathizers.......do read the following Cat Manifesto:

I am quoting directly from the Cat Specialist Group (IUCN/SSC)..
Source: www.catsg.org/catsgportal
----------------------------
"Cat manifesto

1. Preamble

Cats have been part of the environment, culture and mythology of human beings for thousands of years. The lion, in particular, has been widely used as a symbol of royalty and state to the present day. In pre-Colomban civilisations in Mexico and Central America, the jaguar had high ritual significance. The tiger has figured in the art and culture of the great civilisations of Asia. Domestic cats were revered in ancient Egypt, and in many countries today they rival the dog as a beloved companion of man.

1.2. Nevertheless, almost all species of wild cats are declining seriously in numbers because of human impact; some subspecies are already extinct; and others are on the brink of extinction.

1.3. The extinction of species of wild cats would be an inestimable loss to the world, not least because of their ecological role as predators. It behoves us to make every effort to prevent it, because human activities are largely responsible for their deteriorating status.

2. Why Cats Should Be Conserved

2.1. Human beings have no right to eliminate other species. Indeed, in view of the extent of human domination of the natural environment, we have a responsibility and obligation to all species and to our descendants to perpetuate their existence. Extinction is forever.

2.2. The decline of a carnivore generally alters the ecological balance of its biological community. Cats are linked through predation to herbivores, which are, in turn, linked to each other through competition and to plant communities by their foraging. They are particularly sensitive to environmental disturbance, and the decline or disappearance of these vulnerable cat species serves as an indicator of changes in their ecosystem, which may be the result of natural phenomena or, as is increasingly the case in present times, of the impact of human activities. These changes frequently involve a deterioration in the human environment, such as the loss of forests and grasslands and their valuable animal and plant products, or impairment of water supplies essential to human life and agriculture. Furthermore, large cats, being at the pinnacle of the food chain, need considerable space, and are, therefore, key species in determining the area required to define an appropriate ecosystem.

2.3. In addition to the ecological consequences of the disappearance of these carnivores, many people feel a sense of inner loss when such magnificent and mysterious animals are gone from the wild.

3. Problems Faced by the Cats

3.1. Accelerating loss of habitat has now reached a critical stage as the human population continues to soar. In many cat ranges, remaining habitat represents but a small percentage of what existed in the past, and what remains could be wiped out in the near future.

3.2. Cats have long been hunted. They are killed because they have been viewed as competitors for prey. They are killed because they have taken livestock. They are killed for sport, and their body parts are used in some places as medicine. Young cats are captured for pets. And some, especially spotted cats, are killed for the fashion trade, which has often led to over-exploitation.

3.3. At the same time, the disappearance of natural prey has frequently deprived cats of their normal sustenance and contributed to conflict with humans and their livestock, leading inevitably to reprisal killing of cats, often including those not actually involved.

3.4. Where cat populations have been reduced to small numbers they are increasingly vulnerable to extinction due to fortuitous local events, such as epidemics, fires and floods. Some scientists also fear the possibility of deterioration through inbreeding depression and loss of genetic diversity in the long term, which might reduce the ability of small populations to adapt to changes in their environment.

4. The Decline of the Cats

4.1. Cat populations have long been in decline and today every indicator suggests that declines are accelerating and have reached, in some cases, a critical stage.

4.2. The Asiatic lion is a classic example of decline because of human impact. Ranging 2,000 years ago from Asia Minor to Central India, it was hunted and exterminated, so that by the beginning of this century only a few survived in India's Gir forest. Fortunately, conservation efforts have succeeded in maintaining a lion population in the Gir, but it is confined to this single habitat, and thus is still dangerously vulnerable.

4.3. In 1947 the last recorded Asiatic cheetahs in the Indian sub-continent were shot. The subspecies still survives in Iran, but only in small numbers in fragmented habitat.

4.4. The Bali tiger is thought to have already become extinct before 1940, and during this present decade of the 1980s, its neighbour, the Javan tiger appears to have passed into oblivion. No trace of the Caspian tiger has been found for several decades, and reports suggest that the Amoy tiger, which is endemic to China, is on the verge of extinction, and that other subspecies of tiger may have vanished from the wild there by the end of the century.

4.5. The Indian or Bengal tiger had declined to dangerously low numbers by 1970, but has recovered as a result of dedicated, internationally-supported conservation programmes implemented by the Indian and Nepalese governments. Nevertheless, it will remain vulnerable unless these programmes continue.

4.6. Among the small species, the Iriomote cat, endemic to a Japanese island east of Taiwan, is nearly extinct because of destruction of its habitat and human over-exploitation of its natural prey.

4.7. These examples of the decline of the cats and of suitable habitat are representative of the general situation throughout their world range.

5. Problems of Cat Conservation

5.1. There is still only limited knowledge of the distribution, numbers, biology and behaviour of almost all species of cat. Research to increase understanding of these factors is essential to the planning and implementation of effective conservation measures.

5.2. Economic planners and decision-makers often fail to recognize the importance for human welfare of wild lands, including ecosystems of which cats are part. Consequently, development programmes are carried out with little or no consideration of the longer-term impact, which may result in the decline and extinction of many species, including cats, as well as impoverishing the human environment.

5.3. As a result of increasing fragmentation of habitat and the pressure of human activities in their vicinity, large cats may become problem animals, particularly through livestock predation, and in rare cases taking human life. Demands may then arise for elimination, not only of the offending animals, but of all the large cats in the area.

5.4. Insufficient resources are made available to pursue necessary research, and to implement protective measures and conservation management of natural habitats of cats, often because of failure to recognize their ecological significance and through lack of political will.

6. How Cats Can Be Conserved

6.1. Protected habitats of sufficient size and productivity to support viable populations of cats must be preserved, and linking corridors maintained wherever possible.

6.2. The distribution of each species and the habitat available to it needs to be established in detail down to the level of discrete populations.

6.3. Legislation to ensure long-term conservation of cat species and their prey, including controls on trade, national and international, must be passed and enforced.

6.4. Conservation of cats has to be reconciled with the needs of humans. Some conflict may be inevitable in areas where agriculture or livestock farming impinges on cat habitats, but it should be minimized by appropriate management measures. For many cats, and particularly large cats, parks and reserves may not be adequate. Land-use patterns in adjacent areas need to be designed so that they are compatible with use by both humans and cats.

6.5. Local people must feel that efforts are being made to protect their interests. Information about the role of cats and ways to conserve them should be part of conservation education at all ages and levels of the community, including the politicians, officials, industrialists and businessmen who are the decision-makers.

6.6. Captive propagation programmes should be considered as an important precaution to serve as a genetic and demographic reservoir, which could, in appropriate circumstances, be used to reinforce wild populations.

6.7. All these measures should be included in an overall conservation strategy for each species to ensure its survival.

7. Conclusions

7.1. Species need not be lost provided action is taken to conserve them. Experience has shown that seemingly desperate situations can be reversed, if protection is given to species and their ecosystems.

7.2. The Cat Specialist Group is pledged to do all in its power to achieve the conservation of all cat species, and appeals for the cooperation of all people to ensure that these magnificent animals continue to coexist with humans as they have through the ages."

-----------



Monday, February 18, 2008

Environmental Status of 3 ecosystems in the Indian State of Bengal

Compared to Himalayan states like Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh,Sikkim and others.....East Indian States of Bengal and Jharkhand have witnessed rapid environmental degradation.

This is primarily attributable to unbridled population growth.

If you were to visit some spots that you had been 20 years earlier, you just wouldn't be able to recognize...such has been the deforastation.

Let me point out 3 locations ( 2 locations have seen rampant deforestation , 1 ecosystem is preserved) :

The Santiniketan area is a global heritage site, founded by India's only Nobel Laureate in literature Rabindranath Tagore's forefathers. This site had a 'reserve forest' (it's just a strip forest, BTW) Ballavgarh Forest - home to sal, palash, chhatim and sonajhuri trees, not to speak of a rich shrub and undergrowth cover. It also has a ravine based ecosystem called the 'khowai' along with specific wetlands.

The wetlands serve as a 'winter home' to migratory birds wich come from afar as the Siberian marsh lands and taiga/tundra. It is vital for their survival as these migratory birds fly to these Shantiniketan wetlands for thousands of years travelling thousands of miles. These wetlands are now threatened. Many of the minor ones have vanished.

The water level has also gone, thanks to rampant human encroachment. I noticed almost no birds, just a few salamandars or newts by the pools along the wetlands. Now, if these wetlands are gone....so is the survival of millions of these Siberian birds threatened. This is because their 'locator device' is basically a paramagnetic body located inside their brain.

And, if the birds are gone....so will the foxes, jackals, civet cats and other animals that depend on these birds for prey disappear.

A 'preserved' ecosystem is the Mahanada Wildlife Sanctuary...to be more specific the Terai and upper Teesta Valley forest system.......at least last time in 2000 end I saw a healthy population of the red-faced variety of monkeys. Wonder if the black-faced langurs are found. Anyway,the foliage was like before. Healthy population of monkeys is good......as leopards like to feast on 'em.

Compare this to the East Calcutta Wetlands...which is basically a RAMSAR SITE. Rampant filling up of these wetlands is going on. It is impossible to think that fishing cats existed in these areas.... (Image Source of fishing cat hunting for fishes : felidtag.org)

Note that the fishing cat served as an important cog in the eco-system, hunting not only fish.....but also cleaning up insects and arachnids which are 'pests' to humans. I guess, if the fishing cat population goes down in the East Calcutta Wetlands.....well, there'll be an invasion of 'pests' like different types of arachnids (read, SPIDERS) and insects into the living rooms.


Add to this the depressing fact that was revealed just 4 days ago that probably there were less thanonly about 1500 tigers left in India.
Only Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand has recorded a POSITIVE GROWTH. All other regions, barring Sinderbans (no records available) have recorded a decline. Which makes it more imperative to carry out a Tiger Census in the Sunderabans, the last refuge of the Bengal Tiger.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Positive Legislative Steps to protect the Bengal Tiger (critically endangered)

Some positive steps have been taken to protect the endangered Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris bengalensis) in the state of West Bengal in India recently.

These are directed to reduce human - tiger conflict and the step taken is to initially demarcate the Buxa Tiger Reserve, and more importantly the Sunderban Tiger Biosphere as "critical wildlife habitats". It acknowledges that the Bengal Tiger is critically endangered.

Enforcement of this regulation would prevent human encroachment into the Core Areas of the Tiger Reserves, depletion of trees (which are cut down), depletion of prey (like deer) and of course, poaching. It is a step in the right direction.




Image source popartuk.com taken by Andy Rouse. Cubs of the Bengal Tiger start swimming from an early age to survive the harsh environment.


The Jaldapara Asiatic one-horned Rhinocerus population has also shown an increase in numbers. The rhino population was 14 in 1986, increasing to 108 in 2006 and in 2008 stands at 122. This is a feat in itself, given the long gestation period of the female rhino.

However, the enforcements vis a vis the tiger have to be carried out on a PRACTICAL LEVEL to ensure the protection of the Royal Bengal Tiger.

Add to that the problem of carrying out a proper tiger census in the difficult terrain of Sunderbans. But a census has to be made.

Monday, December 31, 2007

For the Lesser Creatures might inherit the Earth again ?

The human population now is believed to have crossed the 7 billion mark.....officially it's 6.6 billion as of September 2007.

Now, what does it basically translate to ?

It means

  • More and more contribution to the phenomenon of Global Warming. Our species has just recently woken up to this phenomenon, and it's one of the most fashionable topics of discussion (though fashion parades do also contribute to the same phenomena)......Setting off a chain-reaction which already IMHO has spun out of our control. It's elementary: we have still not been able to discover all the sub-atomic particles, that is the components of a single atom. Can we stop Global Warming ? It's a phenomena involving millions of interacting parameters........
  • Increasing conflicts directly attributable to fights for natural resources. Lest we forget, wars have been fought for water & other resources. Indirectly, of course....conflicts will increase due to clash of interests, or call it the Clash of Civilizations.
  • This humongous "human biomass" (which is, the total mass weight of human beings) is going to destroy the environment to a large degree. Beautiful keystone predators like the tiger, snow leopard, polar bears will be lost.
There could be many more points, but what's the point?

Species will be lost........but since you are a mammal....kindly take a look at our lesser mammals.....your wise cat purring contentedly on that blanket ; the scared, angry Siberian Tiger plodding and stalking through a 30 miles to hunt for its prey ; the wolves baying in that moonlit night......AND THEN TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT YOU.

Do you see the difference ?

The other lesser mammals were the ugly hairy creatures, and we are the hairless ones.

Global Warming....excess ultraviolet radiation.....a nuclear holocaust.....an Ice Age.

Who will survive ?

I find it funny to see some sci-fi films depicting a futuristic, dystopian society devoid of our lesser creatures and showing some weird mutant humans.......

Believe my story, it's those lesser creatures that will eventually survive.

A chilling reminder : the tsunami struck on this day , Boxer's Day. Hundreds of thousands of humans perished....a tragedy beyond compare.

But one of the most amazing facts was :

There were so many of those non-human lesser creatures on those beaches, on the mangrove forests.....ALMOST ALL SURVIVED.

It puzzled a lot of scientists......there were lots of theories.....some did come at parts of the Truth : they could feel the vibration, we humans couldn't, with all our superior cranial capacity.

But, I guess it was their sixth sense...... (BTW, we humans have almost lost our sense of smell ....)

Anyway, on that day......the lesser creatures survived.

We humans did not.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Threatened Tigers of India

It's a shame how the tiger & other endangered species population of India is declining in the past decade.

This is directly attributable to the following points:

  • Rampant deforestation due to corrupt officials & politicians. Only a few honest ones like Maneka Gandhi are taking a stand. Else it's left to the likes of Valmik Thapar and a few others to take up the cudgels for the tiger. How many Belinda Wrights & Peter Jacksons do we have in this country?
  • Poaching is going on in an organized manner .......this is due to the China Factor. It's a shame that some people even planned to have "tiger farms".....where tigers can be bred like cattle, and then skinned for their furs......It seems we have all become subservient to a growing superpower....for a few yens we are prepared to sell our last tigers, our last snow leopards, our last chinkaras down the drain.
  • Some states have taken a positive stand......The tigers in Corbett Park have increased in numbers......the Asiatic Lions of Gujarat are increasing......you can take a look at any neutral site. But what about the tigers of the Sunderbans ? Why has there not been any figures available for the number of tigers? It's well known among conservationists that the mangrove deltas are the last refuge of the Royal Bengal Tiger. What's happened in Sariska ......how come all the tigers vanished without any knowledge of the forest officials ?
  • Human Population Control.....the population of India stands at what? 1.2 billion...........people are foraging into deep forests for a living. As such human habitats come up within the reserve forests. Result : Deforestation. It is plain & straightforward impossible to save the bigger key predators unless this issue is resolved.
  • Fuel emissions leading to global warming...less said the better. Gaumukh, the very source of the River Ganges....has basically disappeared, retreated a few kilometers. Thsi has totally jeopardized the alpine , sub-alpine vegetation leading to chaos amongst the ecosystem in the higher altitudes.

It's time to take a stand.......

We want those responsible for carrying out poaching in an organized fashion to be brought to justice. We want a proper census to determine the number of tigers in the Sunderbans...the last refuge of the Bengal Tiger. We want no villagers to encroach into the Core Areas of the Reserve Forests, like what's happeneing in places like Sariska. Only We want a proper survey of the habitat , prey availability of snow leopards.

Educating people regarding population control. Impulsive teenage pregnancy can be forgiven, but what about we grown-ups ?

Stop deforestation.....Uttarakhand had set an example by imposing fine of 2 lakhs - 5 lakhs for cutting deodars....not to speak of the glorious chipko movement to stop cutting trees. Another example is Rajasthan. take for example the concept of Eco-Spiritualism.......anybody can support the Bishnois. In South Asian Countries with exceptionally high density of population, IMHO, that is the ONLY SOLUTION TO PRESERVE WILD LIFE.