- M-STrIPES, short for Monitoring System for Tigers – Intensive Protection and Ecological Status is a software-based monitoring system launched across Indian tiger reserves by the Indian government’s National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in 2010. The system’s objective is to strengthen patrolling and surveillance of the Endangered Bengal tiger. Forest guards in tiger reserves are equipped with personal digital assistants and GPS devices to capture data relating to tiger sightings, deaths, wild life crime and ecological observations while patrolling.
- The software system maps the patrol routes of forest guards, and the resulting data are then analyzed in a geographic information system. This is intended to enhance the effectiveness and spatial coverage of patrols. Additional target outcomes are the evaluation of human pressure and ongoing monitoring of habitat change.
- The android-based software will be used across all national Tiger reserves of the country.
- Use of the system in the Pench Tiger Reserve is reported to have resulted in “a significant check in anti-forest and anti-wildlife activities”
Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve
- Sathyamangalam Forest in Erode district has been declared a Tiger Reserve. It is the fourth such reserve in Tamil Nadu. The three other tiger reserves are at Mudumalai in the Nilgiris district, Anamalai in Coimbatore districtand Kalakad-Mundanthurai in Tirunelveli district.
- Irulars, Ooralis, Kurumbas and Soligars are the native tribals of the region.
- Sathyamangalam forest range is a significant wildlife corridor in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve between the Western Ghats and the rest of the Eastern Ghats and a genetic link between the four other protected areas which it adjoins, including the Billigiriranga Swamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, Sigur Plateau, Mudumalai National Park and Bandipur National Park.
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary
- a bird sanctuary in the Mandya District of the state of Karnataka in India. It is the largest bird sanctuary in the state.
- comprises six islets on the banks of the Kaveri river.
Indian Star Tortoises
- Indian Star Tortoises is categorised as ‘Vulnerable’ in the red list of endangered species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it.
- The species are also listed in the Schedule IV of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 and prohibited from export under the Foreign Trade Policy. The species are liable for confiscation under the Customs Act, 1962.
- Portuguese man-of-war, a jelly-like marine organism, washed ashore on the popular beach in north Goa.
- The marine organism is commonly known as ‘bluebottle’ or ‘floating terror’.
- While most jellyfish stings are harmless to humans and cause only a mild irritation, species like the bluebottle are venomous and can cause harm on contact.
- Even a dead bluebottle washed up on shore can deliver a sting.
- First aid that can be delivered include washing the stung area with hot water, as heat breaks down the toxins. Vinegar is also known to diffuse the poison present in the tentacles. Ice packs can reduce swelling but a visit to the doctor is recommended.
- Several species of bats are listed under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, fruit bats remain listed as vermin in Schedule V of the WPA. Bat biologists say they help in pest control and aid in pollination and dispersal of seeds.
- Some members of the Yerukalas — who come under the Scheduled Tribes — traditionally eat bats as bushmeat.
- Yerukala community belongs to Telangana.
- Peacock, the national bird, is protected under Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and killing the bird is punishable under section 51(1-A) with imprisonment that may extend to seven years, and financial penalty.
- Lemurs are to Madagascar what giant pandas are to China — they are the goose that laid the golden egg, attracting tourists and nature lovers.
- Madagascar is one of the most biodiverse nations in the world.
- The species identified as “critically endangered” is the northern sportive lemur, of which there are thought to be only 50 individuals left, IUCN said.
- The arboreal primates with pointed snouts and typically long tails are found only in Madagascar, where rainforest destruction, unregulated agriculture, logging and mining have been ruinous for lemurs, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said.
National Mission for Clean Ganga
- It is a registered trust that runs the ‘Namami Gange’ mission — India’s most ambitious endeavour to clean the Ganga river. The NMCG has a ₹20,000-crore, centrally-funded, non-lapsable corpus and consists of nearly 288 projects. Previous attempts to clean the river have been unsuccessful because treatment infrastructure never kept pace with the scale of pollution and riparian states and the Centre had not ensured that pollution was checked at source before being emptied into the river.
- The NMCG’s thrust is on roping in the private sector to not only set up sewage treatment plants but also maintain them. In return, the government offers to contribute 40% of the capital costs upfront and disburse the rest — with a profit margin — over 15 years subject to performance indicators being met.
- The mission also has projects to clean the ghats, rid the river of biological contaminants and improve rural sanitation and afforestation.
- Most of the Ganga’s pollution is due to five States on the river’s main stem — Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal.
Hauz Khas lake
- Dozens of floating islands have popped up across the Hauz Khas lake over the last few months.
- These 2×2-metre green patches on the lake are floating on discarded plastic bottles, but wait before you jump to any pollution conclusion.
- These artificial lakes are designed to soak up the lake’s pollutants and not add to it, as would be the popular guess.
- The Hauz Khas lake, a 14th-century waterbody that was dug up to serve as a tank during Alauddin Khilji’s reign, had been dying a slow death over the years.
M.M. Hills Wildlife Sanctuary and Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary
- In a bid to minimise human disturbance to wildlife, the authorities plan to introduce restriction on vehicle movement through M.M. Hills Wildlife Sanctuary and Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary in due course.
- At present, State Highway 38 connecting Kollegal to Satyamangalam passes between BRT Tiger Reserve and M.M. Hills sanctuary.
- Both M.M. Hills and Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuaries are relatively new compared to Bandipur which was declared a tiger reserve back in 1973.
Malabar Pied Hornbill
- In what appears to be a sign of a healthy ecosystem, 12 active nests of Malabar Pied Hornbill (Anthracoceros coronatus) were recorded in a research done on the population and habitat of the species in the Pilloor valley in Coimbatore.
- The dozen active nesting suggests that at least 24 birds live in the forests in the valley which belongs to the southern part of the Nilgirii Biosphere Reserve.
- Listed under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
- As a frugivorous bird, Malabar pied hornbill also play an ecological role in the dispersal of fruit seeds. Germination capacity of the seeds also increases as they are dispersed through droppings.
- Presence of the species in the valley is also attributed to the increase in the number of individuals in the nearby Athikkadavu valley, another prime habitat of the bird.