What Is India News Service
Thursday, November 08, 2007


Agriculture | Environment | Pollution



India is a mega-diversity country that is particularly rich in vertebrate fauna.  This is a result of its unique biogeography, and, evolutionary and social histories it has faunal elements from the Indo-Malayan, Afro-tropical and palearctic regions. 

For example out of the 226 extant carnivore species in the world, 52 species - ranging from lions, hyenas, tigers, wolves, snow leopards, leopards and 3 species of bears - occur in India, with even the cheetah being extirpated only fifty years ago. 

The country has an ancient culture that views humans as a part of nature rather than as its masters; that shows a higher degree of toleration for other life forms compared to any other part of the world. 

Partly as a result - and partly due to India's colonial history - several effectively protected nature reserves have been established during the last thirty years. These now cover about 3% of the land area.


However, there are formidable challenges to 'saving wildlife' in India: a billion strong human population largely dependent on land-based occupations; high degree of reliance on biomass for fuel, energy and structural materials; excessive livestock densities - all now supplemented by a modern consumerist economy growing at 6% a year; rapidly changing cultures and attitudes towards wildlife.  The major social and ecological transformation that we are now seeing in rest of the tropical world - such as forest conversation and fragmentation - had occurred in India over a thousand years ago.



The Peace Nobel for Mr Al Gore, former US Vice-President, and Dr Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), brings together the narrator of an “inconvenient truth” and a “climate warrior” on an important platform. (Warming Up To Climate Change, Business Line, Editorial, Business Line, Nov 03, 2007)

Nowadays, it has become a common sight. Wherever you go, in whichever direction you turn, on a walk, on a visit, on the bus, in public or private functions and gatherings, you see almost everyone with his/her hand to the ear, and chattering away. (Mobile, Mobile, Everywhere!, Business Line, Editorial, Business Line, Nov 03, 2007)

Theories in science sometimes fossilise far too easily into dogma. The widely-accepted current explanatory theory of the way the dinosaurs perished is happily likely to be spared this fate as new research and fresh facts have invigorated the . . . . (It Was Armageddon, Pioneer, Editorial, The Pioneer, Nov 02, 2007)

It was our third visit to San Francisco. I was determined not to miss the visit to Alcatraz, which had somehow eluded us the first two times. (A Day In The Prison, New Indian Express, Correspondent or Reporter, Oct 29, 2007)

The world’s largest commercial aircraft, A380, landed at the Changi airport here on Wednesday from Toulouse, France, to an impressive water salute from fire tenders, a colourful Chinese lion dance and the beating of traditional drums. (World’S Largest Aircraft Touches Down In Singapore, Hindu, S. Annamalai, Oct 18, 2007)

In a landmark move to protect lakes from encroachments and mismanagement, the Forest Department has proposed that all the 114 lakes within the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike limits be declared “reserve forests” under the Karnataka Forest Act, 1963. (Lakes In Bangalore Likely To Be Declared Reserve Forests , Hindu, Correspondent or Reporter, Oct 18, 2007)

Wildlife biologist, K. Ullas Karanth, heads the Centre for Wildlife Studies, Bangalore, and is a Senior Scientist with Wildlife Conservation Society, New York. (‘Doomsday Scenarios Do Not Help’, Hindu, Correspondent or Reporter, Oct 15, 2007)

A Special Bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to act against the Uttar Pradesh Governor's decision to refuse CBI the sanction to prosecute Chief Minister Mayawati and her Cabinet colleague Nasdeemuddin Siddiqui in the Taj Corridor scam case. (Taj Corridor: Maya Gets Sc Reprieve , Pioneer, Abraham Thomas, Oct 11, 2007)

It is two years since an earthquake struck this part of the state on October 8, 2005, resulting in large-scale causalties and damage to property, but as the area prepares to observe second anniversary of the quake, very little has been done to . . . . (2005 Quake: Poonch Hospital Cries For Govt Attention , Tribune, Shariq Majeed, Oct 09, 2007)

This essay is an exercise in speculation. Such an act is necessary because sometimes one needs to dream beyond the empirical because an empiricist view of politics is often limiting. (Mayawati In Modiland, Indian Express, SHIV VISVANATHAN, Oct 06, 2007)

Whether there was a Ram Sethu or not, the Sethusamudram project had to be opposed as it threatens the marine ecology and fishermen’s livelihoods and also lays opens the southern shoreline to the risk of a tsunami, a panel of "experts" said in . . . . (‘Dredging Will Open Coast To Tsunamis’, Asian Age, R. Bhagwan Singh, Sep 29, 2007)

THE Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project (SSCP) has seen several twists and turns in its 147-year history, but the latest twist has a touch of irony as well. (A Bridge Too Far, Frontline, T.S. Subramanian, Sep 26, 2007)

Stopping short of condemning the attack on the BJP State headquarters by cadre of its ally DMK, the PMK on Tuesday said it was the responsibility of the Government to protect the public. (Pmk Distances Itself From Dmk, Pioneer, Correspondent or Reporter, Sep 26, 2007)

Bryce Canyon National Park is situated in the American state of Utah. We were so fascinated by the pictures of the park that we decided to visit it. (Colourful Canyon, Hindu, Correspondent or Reporter, Sep 25, 2007)

Russia's cherished Lake Baikal in eastern Siberia is becoming a magnet for the tourist industry as energy revenues fuel an economic boom in this neglected region. (Pearl Of Siberia Draws Investors , Deccan Herald, A N Sudarsan Rao , Sep 20, 2007)

The Government is bent upon pushing ahead with the Sethusamudram Shipping Channel Project. But what about the Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve? What about exposing India's coastline to tsunami? Surajit Dasgupta questions the 'safeguard' . . . . . (Channel To Disaster, Pioneer, Editorial, The Pioneer, Sep 17, 2007)

As a hugely profitable business the world over, illegal trade in wildlife is growing while the rate of conviction for the crime remains low. (Hunt For Profit, Frontline, Correspondent or Reporter, Sep 14, 2007)

No “incontrovertible” proof exists to establish that Lord Ram ever lived, the government has submitted in writing before the Supreme Court. (Hey Ram! God Save The Govt, Telegraph, Correspondent or Reporter, Sep 13, 2007)

Environment groups in this Indian Ocean archipelago yesterday strongly condemned massive wargames in the region, saying the exercise would shatter its fragile ecology. (Naval Drills Will Shatter Country's Fragile Ecology, Singapore Times, Correspondent or Reporter, Sep 11, 2007)

Senior PDP leader Qazi Mohammad Afzal has described the Chief Minister’s decision to relieve him of the portfolio of Forest, Environment and Ecology as hasty and has taken up the matter with his party while describing himself as innocent. (Qazi Calls Decision Hasty , Tribune, Correspondent or Reporter, Sep 04, 2007)


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