From pollution levels reducing drastically to now marine life being able to breathe in peace, it seems like the coronavirus lockdown is seriously helping nature recoup.
Olive Ridley sea turtles have come ashore for mass nesting at the six-kilometre-long Rushikulya beach of Odisha’s Ganjam district in the last five days and it’s owing to the coronavirus lockdown.
These rare sea turtles are renowned for their mass nesting and come to Indian shores and Odisha’s coast every nesting season; the areas are their largest nesting site in the region. According to the Odisha Wildlife Organisation ( OWO), nearly 50 per cent of the world population of these rare turtles come to Odisha’s coast for nesting.
On March 22 at around 2 am, 2,000 female Olive Ridleys started coming out of the sea to the beach, Berhampur Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Amlan Nayak, told The Hindu.
Ankit Kumar, IFS@AnkitKumar_IFS
ARRIBADA ~Spanish Word – means ‘Arrival’
Refers to mass-nesting event when 1000s of Turtles come ashore at the same time to lay eggs on the same beach.
Interestingly, females return to the very same beach from where they first hatched, to lay their eggs.
Olive Ridley Turtle
NEW DELHI: Rumours claiming spread of coronavirus through chickens, circulated widely through social media platforms such as, WhatsApp, has severely impacted sale of chickens in the country.
Chicken sales have come odwn by 50 percent, said an official from Agribusiness company Godrej Agrovet Limited.
Godrej Agrovet Managing Director B S Yadav said that sales have fallen to 40 million birds from 75 million in just four weeks.
Farmers have also been hurt as they are unable to recover costs earning Rs 30-Rs 35 per bird.
According to some reports, farmers have already started cutting down on production which might cost price hike in coming months.
It is important to note that bird flu is also a huge concern for many people.
In January this year, as many as 900 fowls were culled after the avian influenza virus was detected in a dead bird in Bangalore. “A chicken was found dead on December 29 at a chicken shop in (suburban) Dasarahalli area and it was confirmed after lab tests that the bird was infected with the H5N1 avian influenza virus,” Bruhat Bengaluru Mahagara Palike (BBMP) Joint Commissioner S. garaju told IANS.
China has reported a deadly H5N1 bird flu outbreak among chickens in Hunan province, which lies on the southern border of Hubei, the epicenter of the rapidly spreading coronavirus that has killed 304 people.
More than 100,000 poultry have been culled in 10 provinces and cities of Vietnam where A/H5N6 and A/H5N1 bird flu broke out, Vietnam News Agency cited the country’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said that between early January and February 24, Vietnam had 34 bird flu outbreaks with over 100,000 poultry culled, among which 29 were A/H5N6 and the rest five were A/H5N1 in 10 provinces and cities of Hanoi, Bac Ninh, Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Tra Vinh, Thai Binh, Binh Duong, Ninh Binh, Hai Phong, and Quang Ninh.
H5N1 virus-infected birds spread the virus through their saliva, mucus and faeces. Although the virus does not usually infect people, it can cause fever, diarrhoea, respiratory illnesses in some affected people.
In a shocking episode, more than 1,000 migratory birds were found dead under mysterious circumstances at Rajasthan’s Sambhar Salt Lake on Monday, November 11.
Located near Phulera in Jaipur, Sambhar Lake witnesses a vast number of winged visitors during the winter season. Tourists and ornithologists from across the world regularly visit the region as it plays host to various migratory species of birds including the Northern Shoveler, Green Bee-Eater, Cinnamon Teal coming from Siberia, north Asia and other places. As the winter season progresses, the forest department is running against time to identify and address the cause of such mass deaths.
While the carcasses were immediately buried, officials have sent samples of the birds’ visceral remains to the forensic science laboratory in Bhopal. Experts say no signs of bird flu were observed till now, and the likely contamination of water could be the trigger. Further examination of birds’ internal organs could help pinpoint the cause of death.
The death of these birds came to fore when a few ornithologists went to Sambhar Lake for photography on Sunday and were taken aback to see the dead birds across the lake. Veterinarians suspect water contamination or algae poisoning to be the primary reason behind the deaths, reports The Times of India.
While officials claim that the death toll is 1,500, the locals claim that the number of dead birds could be around 5,000. The dead bodies were found around a section of the Sambhar Salt Lake named Ratan Talab. Different species of waders and ducks, including the likes of pallas’ gull, ruddy shelduck, ruddy turnstone, gull-billed tern, redshanks, black-winged stilts, common coots, plovers, avocets, shovelers and sandpipers, were among the waterbirds whose dead bodies were found at the lake.
The officials buried the bird carcasses in a ditch. While a total of 669 dead birds were buried, many others were left unattended as it was difficult for the forest department personnel to go into the slippery muddy areas to retrieve their carcasses.
The incident of mysterious bird deaths is a second in Rajasthan within a week. Thirty-seven Demoiselle cranes were found dead in Vijay Sagar Lake in the Alwar district of Rajasthan on last Thursday. However, no link has been found in the two mass-death incidents, as the cranes supposedly died after eating poisoned grain. Officials have sent their viscera too for investigation.
The Sambhar Salt Lake is India’s largest inland saltwater lake. Located in Jaipur district of Rajasthan, it spreads across 190 to 230 square kilometres.
The lake has always attracted a host of migratory birds that travel tens of thousands of kilometres, typically to escape harsh winter conditions. However, the developmental activities around Sambhar in recent years, including the extension of salt pan operations, new settlements and changes in the weather, have reportedly decreased the number of birds flocking to the lake.
India, long associated with the spread of superbug ‘New Delhi metallo-beta lactamase-1’ and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, has now been identified as one of the global hotspots of rising antibiotic resistance among animals as well.
Other hotspots include China, Pakistan, Vietnam, Turkey, Brazil and South Africa, says a review study jointly done by Princeton University and Delhi-based Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy and published in Science journal Thursday night.
Antibiotics are added to animal feed to make them healthier. The study said that increasing demand for animal protein in lower middleincome countries had led to increased production (rearing of food-animals) using antibiotics liberally.
In May, a local study from Mumbai published in ‘Acta Scientific Microbiology’ journal showed resistance in chicken liver meat and eggs collected from poultry shops across 12 locations in the city. That study tested the samples for bacteria salmonella that was resistant to widely used antibiotics such as amoxicillin, azithromycin, ciprofloxacin, ceftriaxone, chloramphenicol, erythromycin, gentamicin, levofloxacin, nitrofurantoin and tetracycline.
Now, the CDDEP study has said that antibiotic resistance is seen in several food-animals across the globe. “It is of particular concern that it is rising in low- and middle-income countries because this is where meat consumption is growing the fastest while access to veterinary antimicrobials remains largely unregulated,” said the study, adding that animals nowadays consume three times as many antibiotics as humans.
The study’s main author, CDDEP’s Ramanan Laxminarayan, said: “The study found the proportion of antimicrobial compounds in food animals that showed resistance higher than 50 % increased overall between 2000 and 2018.”
The trend is dangerous because increase in antibiotic-resistant infections among animals will finally affect humans as well.
Updated Jun 20, 2019 | 18:19 IST | Mirror Now Digital
Pani spread across villages after the locals saw the dead leopard and informed authorities. Forest department officials reached the spot after getting reports of the leopard hanging from high-tension wires.
The feline’s face was said to be badly burnt. | Photo Credit: ANI
Gurugram: A leopard was found dead in a tree alongside an electric pole in Mandawar village in Sohna near Gurugram. The big cat was found hanging on the electric pole, presumably electrocuted while he was hunting, on Thursday morning.
Panic spread across villages after the locals saw the dead leopard and informed concerned authorities. Forest department officials reached the spot after getting reports of the leopard hanging from high-tension wires.
“It is a clear case of electrocution. There is no foul play. It seems the feline came in contact with the wires while chasing prey, most probably a monkey. The face of the leopard is completely burnt,” a report in The Hindu quoted Divisional Forest Officer Shyam Sunder as saying.
The big cat’s face was said to have been badly burnt. The body of the leopard, said to be around that of a two-year-old animal, was removed from the pole by forest officials and sent for post-mortem.
In another such incident of a wild animal dying inside human habitat areas, a wild cat was beaten to death by villagers in Mandawar in 2016.
Leopards often wander into nearby villages dotting the Aravali mountain area, often in search of food and water. Many cases of leopard deaths through electrocution have been reported in the past few years.
According to a report in The Hindu, a big cat died in Hyderabad in Telangana in 2017 when it climbed an electric pole and got stuck in the wires. As forests shrink due to encroachments and increasing human habitation, many felines have been killed in accidents on roads.
According to a report in News18, around half-a-dozen deaths of leopards have been reported from the Aravali Hills. In 2014, four leopards were found dead under mysterious condition near the Manesar Golf Course. A leopard died in an accident near Sahrawan village near Manesar in 2014.
The funeral of a man killed when Indian soldiers fired mortar shells into the Pakistani-controlled part of Kashmir. At least two Pakistani soldiers and two civilians were killed in renewed fighting across the disputed border.CreditAmiruddin Mughal/EPA, via Shutterstock
— Intense shelling erupted along the disputed border between India and Pakistan on Saturday, killing several civilians and making it clear that hostilities between the two nuclear-armed nations were hardly over — only a day after Pakistan handed over a captured Indian fighter pilot in what it called a “good-will gesture.”
At least five civilians and two soldiers were killed, according to officials on both sides.
At the same time, independent security analysts continue to questionIndia’s claims this past week that it had killed “a very large number” of terrorists at a major training camp in a cross-border airstrike. The bold strike set off an enormous mobilization of Indian and Pakistani forces and a cycle of military attacks, bringing South Asia to red alert.
Michael Sheldon, a researcher at the Atlantic Council, a think tank in Washington, said on Saturday that after studying satellite imagery of the area in Pakistan that India had bombed, he could see “no evidence any buildings were hit.” He added, “It appears to me they didn’t hit their targets.”
Instead, he said, all publicly available evidence and accounts from witnesses on the ground indicated that the Indian bombs had landed in an unpopulated forest and had taken out some pine trees. He set out his argument in an online article titled “Surgical Strike in Pakistan a Botched Operation?”
The administration of India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, who faces an election in a few months, had presented the airstrike as a robust response against a terrorist group, Jaish-e-Mohammed, that claimed responsibility for a devastating suicide bombing in February that killed more than 40 Indian troops.
Why Do India and Pakistan Keep Fighting Over Kashmir?
A simple guide to the roots of the conflict and what could happen next.
The troops were part of a large convoy crossing Kashmir, a highly militarized mountainous territory claimed by both India and Pakistan and the source of violent tensions between the two countries for years. Indian officials have declined to offer any photographs, witness accounts or other tangible evidence that their airstrike on Tuesday killed a large number of terrorists.
But they remain adamant that the Pakistani government has allowed anti-India militant groups to operate in Pakistan, which officials there deny. Indian officials have said that the target of their airstrike was a hilltop training center run by Jaish-e-Mohammed near the town of Balakot in northern Pakistan.
They told reporters that no structures were damaged during the Indian airstrike and that the only person hurt was a 62-year-old man who suffered a small cut above his eye. The villagers led reporters to several large holes in the ground in the forest, where they said the bombs fell.
Western intelligence officials say that militant groups in Pakistan still provide material support and expertise, such as bomb-making skills, to insurgents fighting Indian rule in the Indian-controlled parts of Kashmir.
On Wednesday, Pakistan mobilized its air force and shot down an Indian fighter jet above Kashmir, capturing the pilot. On Friday, Pakistan released the pilot, Wing Cmdr. Abhinandan Varthaman, calling it a gesture to ease tensions.
The prospect of a major conflict erupting between India and Pakistan, which was a real fear just a few days ago, may have receded somewhat. But this region remains jittery. On Saturday, United Airlines rerouted some of its flights from India, citing concerns about the airspace.
Residents said the artillery battle that raged on Saturday was much heavier than usual, with both sides pounding each other’s positions for hours.
“The shells are landing everywhere,” said Najeeb Ahmad, a primary-school teacher who lives on the Indian side of the disputed border, called the Line of Control.
The funeral in Srinagar, Kashmir, on Saturday, of two Indian paramilitary troops killed in a gunfight.CreditTauseef Mustafa/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Along the border, artillery exchanges break out all the time and large rounds continually sail over the troops dug in on each side and crash into nearby villages, maiming and killing civilians.
Every night, villagers crawl into bunkers and huddle together, waiting for the intense pounding to stop. Sometimes, there is no place to hide. The people who live along the border say their continued existence is now purely up to the soldiers’ mood.
Mr. Ahmad, the teacher, said an artillery shell from the Pakistani side had smashed into a house where a woman was living with her two children. “They were sleeping in the kitchen,” he said. “All of them died.”
Both India and Pakistan accused the other of firing first.
Pakistani military officials said on Saturday that they had lost two soldiers, and that two civilians in the part of Kashmir controlled by Pakistan were killed by Indian shelling. A Pakistani military statement said its troops then gave “a befitting response.”
Pakistan has also threatened to lodge a formal complaint against India at the United Nations, accusing it of “eco-terrorism” over the bombs that damaged several pine trees.
A peacemaking plea urging both sides to quit fighting was published as a letter in one of India’s leading newspapers and signed by more than 600 scholars, lawyers, scientists, writers and actors.
“Even a limited confrontation would resolve nothing,” the letter said. “Unfortunately, the climate of jingoism that tends to develop around this sort of situation is obscuring these simple truths.”
Jeffrey Gettleman and Hari Kumar reported from New Delhi, and Sameer Yasir from Baramulla, Kashmir. Salman Masood contributed from Islamabad, Pakistan.
(CNN) — Officials have started removing hundreds of crocodiles from the site of the world’s largest statue in India, prompting an outcry from conservationists and concerns about the welfare of the reptiles.
The crocodiles are being relocated to allow for a seaplane service to carry tourists to the Statue of Unity, a 597-foot-tall statue that opened in Gujarat in October, AFP reported.
At least 15 have already been lured into metal cages and moved elsewhere in the west Indian state, the Indian Express newspaper reported, with hundreds still remaining in the waters surrounding the landmark.
But the operation has been criticized by environmentalists and politicians.
The statue is twice the height of the Statue of Liberty.
SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
“Have we collectively lost our minds?” Bittu Sahgal, the editor of environmental magazine Sanctuary Asia, tweeted in response to the story.
“As any environmentalist will tell you, this is sheer insanity!” Indian journalist and activist Pritish Nandy added, while others questioned whether the move contravenes the country’s wildlife protect laws.
Crocodiles are a protected species in India, listed under Schedule 1 of the country’s Wildlife Protection Act, meaning they cannot be moved unless a state government determines it is “necessary for the improvement and better management of wildlife therein.”
Local forestry official Anuradha Sahu said the state’s government had ordered the removals “for safety reasons as the tourist influx has increased,” according to AFP.
But the All India Mahila Congress, the female wing of opposition party the Indian National Congress, said the move showed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government was “keeping the environment at bay again.”
The Gujarat Forest Department did not immediately respond to a CNN request for comment.
The towering Statue of Unity depicts Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, a popular political and social leader who was part of the freedom struggle that resulted in India’s independence from British colonial rule in 1947.
Twice the height of the Statue of Liberty, the landmark is estimated to have cost more than $410 million to erect.
Indian construction workers at the plinth structure of the statue.
SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
It is widely seen as the personal project of Modi, who announced the plans in 2010 and formally unveiled the statue in October.
But transport links to the site, which sits in a remote part of the Narmada district around 100 kilometres from the city of Ahmedabad, are limited, with most tourists currently arriving by bus.
The government finalized three seaplane routes in the region in June to improve access.
With just a few days to go for the country’s biggest festival, Diwali, Indian owl species are going to face a cruel fate. Even though we term Diwali to be the festival of lights, these are dark times for countless owls whose lives are endangered at the hands of poachers.
Indian Owls sacrificed during Diwali
While the illicit trade of these protected bird species goes on throughout the year, it is during Diwali that the business is at its peak. This is mostly because ignorant people, fueled by misguided beliefs and superstitions carry out the age-old practice of sacrificing owls during this time. The Logical Indian spoke to Delhi-based Ornithologist and author Bikram Grewal who shed some light on the bird trade across the country.
He said that throughout the year, these birds are sought for their body parts like skulls, talons, beaks, feathers and even blood. Driven mostly by irrational myths, tantriks or black magic practitioners use the parts to make medicines, he informed. However, during Diwali, the bird, owing to its status as the ‘vaahan’ or vehicle of Goddess Lakshmi, is sacrificed with the belief that it will compel the Goddess to remain in their homes and bring good luck all year long.
According to Grewal and other wildlife activists, Agra serves as one of the biggest hubs of the illegal trade of this bird in India. He said, “Around the Agra region, more specifically Korai-Karavili village is where rampant sale and purchase of the owls go on.” Of course, being illegal, the activities are carried out in secrecy to keep the authorities and wildlife activists away from the crime. All Indian Owl species are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. The Forest Owlet is protected under Schedule I of the Act while all others are under Schedule IV. Reportedly, some Indian Owl species also find their places in the Red List of threatened or endangered species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Clandestine sale of Owls in India
Over the years, there have been several news reports which highlight the plight of these birds. Earlier this year, there were news reports of police in Karnataka arresting two people for selling owls. The Assam Tribune had in 2017 reported that some species of Indian Owls which are highly prized in both domestic and international markets are trafficked from Assam to markets in Delhi on the occasion of Diwali. The news report cites two Owl species – the Brown Fish Owl and Indian Scoops Owl as being most trafficked.
Moreover, while the traffickers pay a meagre amount of money for both juvenile and adult Owls, to the customers, they are sold at a hefty price which can range anywhere between Rs 2000 for a bird to Rs 40,000, informed Grewal. The quality of life for these trafficked birds are needless to say, subpar. Life inside tiny cramped cages is horrible, to say the least. Sometimes, the bird’s eyes are also sewed together and bones broken.
Difficult to rehabilitate
Owing to the secret nature of the trade, it is difficult to get data on the number of Owls which are sacrificed or killed each year, however, the numbers are large. Jayanti Kallam, Executive Director of Avian and Reptile Rehabilitation Centre (ARRC) in Bengaluru while talking to The Logical Indian said that out of the 30 Owl species found in India, the Indian Eagle Owl is the most sought-after compared to other kinds. Her organisation even issued an appeal on social media to make people aware of the issue.
Talking about the rehabilitation of the trafficked owls, she said that the rehabilitation centres can only spring into action when they are informed of such owl trade in and around the cities by others. “No one is actively working for the protection of the owls,” she said.
Even though the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, a statutory multi-disciplinary body established under the Ministry of Environment and Forests deploys police force and other volunteers to keep a check on the crime in illegal markets in India, owing to the clandestine nature of the job, the task becomes almost impossible, she added.
The Logical Indian Take
The entire superstition surrounding the practice does not even make sense. Sacrificing an owl is supposed to keep Lakshmi at home, or is it supposed to force Lakshmi into staying? There is a difference. People need to be sensitised about these irrational beliefs and spare the innocent lives of the voiceless creatures. Owls are a symbol of wisdom and where is our wisdom when we mercilessly kill the bird just for apparent personal gain?
These birds are threatened and need protection. People also need education and awareness. The Logical Indian condemns this practice and urges authorities to take strict action the culprits found guilty.
NEW DELHI — Bollywood star Salman Khan was convicted Thursday of poaching rare deer in a wildlife preserve two decades ago and sentenced to five years in prison. The busy actor contends he did not shoot the two blackbuck deer in the western India preserve in 1998 and was acquitted in related cases.
He was in court for the ruling in the western city of Jodhpur on Thursday. He is expected to be taken to a local prison while it could take days for his attorneys to appeal the conviction and seek bail.
Four other stars also accused in the case — Saif Ali Khan, Sonali Bendre, Tabu and Neelam — were acquitted by Chief Judicial Magistrate Dev Kumar Khatri. They were in the jeep that Salman Khan was believed to be driving during the hunt. Tabu and Neelam both use just one name.
In 2014, the Mumbai High Court acquitted him in a drunken-driving, hit-and-run case.
The judges found that prosecutors had failed to prove charges of culpable homicide, in which they accused Khan of driving while intoxicated in 2002 and running over five men sleeping on a sidewalk, killing one of them.
The government of Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital, has challenged his acquittal in the Supreme Court.
This press release was orginally distributed by SBWire
Hyderabad, India — (SBWIRE) — 03/08/2018 — The alternative substances that are utilized in the place of eggs in various edible items are known are egg replacers. These help the manufacture replace eggs without having a subsequent change in the taste or texture of the product. It also successfully reduces the cholesterol content in the food products, thereby increasing the nutritional value of the product after all.
The global Egg Replacers market value is calculated to grow with a CAGR of 6.1% to touch the valuation of USD 1277 million by the end of 2021, from 2016’s value of USD 950 million. The increasing proportion of the vegan population in the world is a major driver behind the projected growth of the market revenue.
The outbreak of various bird-borne diseases like the Bird Flu and Avian Flu has had a positive effect on the expansion of the egg replacers market. This, coupled with the increasing number of diet conscious people choosing non-vegetarian food products is estimated to result in a significant rise in demand for egg replacers market.
Some kinds of egg replacers in the market also act as nutritive supplements to the products by providing essential vitamins or proteins. According to the analysis of the market by Application, the Bakery & Confectionaries segment has provided the biggest share of the global egg replacers market. This is reasoned with the comparatively high cost of various baked goods and bakery products.
As per the geographical study of the global market, the North America region is calculated to have possessed almost 50% of the global market share. On the other hand, the highest growth rate is ascribed to the Asia-Pacific market in the near future, due to the presence of different untapped markets in the region.
The key players of the global Egg Replacers market encompass Ener-G Foods, Inc., E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, Florida Food Products, MGP Ingredients, Arla Foods, Ingredion Incorporated and Orchar Valley Foods Limited.
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