Fourteen dancing frog species discovered in India


This video says about itself:

8 May 2014

Scientists have discovered 14 new species of so-called dancing frogs in the jungle mountains of southern India – just in time, as scientists fear they may soon become extinct.

From Associated Press:

Dancing frog species discovered in Indian jungle mountains

14 species of acrobatic amphibians found in Western Ghats, a region expected to be hit by changing rainfall patterns

Thursday 8 May 2014 10.18 BST

Scientists have discovered 14 new species of so-called dancing frogs in the jungle mountains of southern India.

Indian biologists say they found the tiny acrobatic amphibians, which earned their name with the unusual kicks they use to attract mates, declining dramatically in number during the 12 years in which they chronicled the species through morphological descriptions and molecular DNA markers. They breed after the yearly monsoon in fast-rushing streams, but their habitat appears to be becoming increasingly dry.

“It’s like a Hollywood movie, both joyful and sad. On the one hand, we have brought these beautiful frogs into public knowledge. But about 80% are outside protected areas, and in some places, it was as if nature itself was crying,” said the project’s lead scientist, University of Delhi professor Sathyabhama Das Biju.

Biju said that, as researchers tracked frog populations, forest soils lost moisture and perennial streams ran inexplicably dry. He acknowledged his team’s observations about forest conditions were only anecdotal; the scientists did not have time or resources to collect data demonstrating the declining habitat trends they believed they were witnessing.

The study listing the new species published Thursday in the Ceylon Journal of Science brings the number of known Indian dancing frog species to 24. They’re found exclusively in the Western Ghats, a lush mountain range that stretches 1,600 kilometers (990 miles) from the western state of Maharashtra down to the country’s southern tip.

See also here.

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Do British children know marine animals?


This video from India is called Reef Life of the Andaman (full marine biology documentary).

From Wildlife Extra:

Survey reveals some children struggle to identify turtles, rays and even penguins

British children are struggling to identify some of the most common sea life, according to research commissioned by the National SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham, with some as old as 12 unable to correctly name a turtle.

The research was carried out to establish the extent of children’s knowledge of marine life. More than 500 youngsters between the ages of five and 12 were shown images of various species of sea life including a ray, turtle, otter, seahorse, octopus, jellyfish, penguin, clown fish, crab and starfish.

Overall, boys performed slightly better than girls of the same age, and children in the Midlands, East Anglia, Scotland and Wales were the best performers by region. Those in Northern Ireland, the North East and London had the highest number of incorrect answers.

Almost all of those surveyed correctly identified the starfish and the seahorse, but there was some confusion when it came to deciding on the octopus and jellyfish, with almost a third of eight year olds wrongly naming the octopus, and more than a quarter of nine year olds believing a jellyfish was called a glow fish.

Surprisingly, almost half of seven to nine year olds were unable to recognise a ray, with some thinking it was a shark, and 20 per cent couldn’t distinguish a green sea turtle from a tortoise.

In many languages other than English, like German, Dutch, Spanish and French, the children would not have gotten bad notes for this; as in those languages, the word for “turtle” is the same as the word for “tortoise”.

Most unexpectedly, though, many children struggled to recognise a penguin, with a fifth of seven year olds opting to call it a puffin or even a Pingu – the friendly television character penguin. Understandably, a fictional character also influenced five year olds to identify the instantly recognisable orange, white and black striped clown fish as Nemo.

James Robson, curator at The National SEA LIFE Centre in Birmingham, said: “The results of the survey are really interesting – and very surprising! We chose to use some of the most well-known animals at the centre in the survey and, whilst some aren’t straightforward to identify, we didn’t think others like the turtle or ray would cause so much confusion. It shows just how important the educational aspects of The National SEA LIFE Centre and other animal-focused attractions really are.

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Animal welfare award


This video from India is called Anthony Marr: Champion of Bengal Tiger – part 1 of 2.

And this is Anthony Marr: Champion of Bengal Tiger – part 2 of 2.

From Wildlife Extra:

The WVS Animal Champions Award 2014

January 2014: The Worldwide Veterinary Service have launched a new award, the WVS Animal Champions Award 2014 and want your ideas on how they can help make the biggest difference to animals in need, wild or domestic.

The winner of the award will be provided with support to tackle an animal welfare project of their choice. An experienced WVS team will be sent to work on the project for one week and financial support will also be provided for essential materials and equipment. They are therefore seeking applications for projects that the WVS team can achieve during this time frame and that will have a lasting impact to support and sustain animal welfare in your area.

Applications are welcomed from all WVS supported charities and the deadline for applications is 1 February 2014. The winner will be selected and notified in the week commencing 4 February and the project will then take place between February and May.

For more information click HERE.

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Indian gang-raped woman recovering


This video from India says about itself:

Indian woman allegedly gang-raped recovers in hospital

23 Jan 2014

The woman who was allegedly gang-raped in India, on orders from tribal village elders who objected to her relationship with a man, was recovering in a local hospital on Thursday.

So, now at least a bit of good news after yesterday’s horrible news.

Now, one should hope for more good news. Like complete recovery for this woman. Like effective anti-rape policies, in India and elsewhere.

And police in India used water cannons on women protesting last week’s horrific gang-rape and murder of two teenage girls.

India 2014 election results: here.

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