Indian caecilians threatened by traffic


This music video from California in the USA says about itself:

Caecilian Cotillion

21 April 2014

Celebrating the 200th known species of caecilian (it’s Ichthyophis multicolor from Myanmar), another AmphibiaWeb song by the Wiggly Tendrils (supported by the California Academy of Sciences).

Download the song here at the Wiggly Tendrils’ Bandcamp.

From the Navhind Times in India:

Environmentalists concerned over rise in caecilian deaths on roads

July 21, 2015

SANKHALI: Environmentalists have rued the rise in number of caecilians that are killed by speeding vehicles on roads in Chorla Ghat area. Chorla Ghat comes under the jurisdictions of Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka states and is home to many varieties of caecilians. Every year during monsoon season a large number of caecilians cross the road and come under the vehicles, observed environmentalists.

Well-known caecilian expert and wild-lifer associated with Bombay Natural History Society Doter Varadagiri said, “The Chorla Ghat region is rich in caecilian diversity. There is a need to study the unknown facets of their life.”

Gajanan Shetye, a volunteer of Vivekanand Environment Awareness Brigade said that they find many caecilian carcasses on the road. Nirmal Kulkarni, a wild lifer associated with Mhadei Research Centre, who was instrumental in discovering three species of caecilians, said, “Caecilians are important since they play important role in enriching soil nutrients and increasing its fertility.”

Good tiger news from Thailand


This video from India says about itself:

Tiger (Panthera tigris) in water pool during hot dry summer

13 February 2013

The tiger (Panthera tigris) is the largest cat species, reaching a total body length of up to 3.3 metres (11 ft) and weighing up to 306 kg (670 lb). It is the third largest land carnivore (behind only the Polar bear and the Brown bear).

Its most recognizable feature is a pattern of dark vertical stripes on reddish-orange fur with lighter underside. It has exceptionally stout teeth, and the canines are the longest among living felids with a crown height of as much as 74.5 mm (2.93 in) or even 90 mm (3.5 in).

In zoos, tigers have lived for 20 to 26 years, which also seems to be their longevity in the wild. They are territorial and generally solitary but social animals, often requiring large contiguous areas of habitat that support their prey requirements. This, coupled with the fact that they are indigenous to some of the more densely populated places on Earth, has caused significant conflicts with humans.

After bad tiger news from Thailand, some better news.

From Mongabay.com:

Tigers expanding? Conservationists discover big cats in Thai park

Jeremy Hance

June 04, 2015

For the first time conservationists have confirmed Indochinese tigers (Panthera tigris corbetti) in Thailand’s Chaloem Ratanakosin National Park. In January, camera traps used by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and Thailand’s Department of National Parks took a photo of a tigress, confirming what had only been rumors. A couple months later the camera traps photographed a male tiger in the same park.

At 59 square kilometers, Chaloem Ratanakosin National Park is one of the smallest protected areas in the regions. But it is a part of Thailand’s vast and sprawling Western Forest Conservation Complex (WEFCOM), which is covers an area of 18,000 square kilometers—about the size of Fiji. WEFCOM is made up of 11 national parks and six wildlife refuges, and is considered one of the largest forests left in Southeast Asia.

The photos of tigers in Chaloem Ratanakosin National Park may be a sign that the species is expanding its range in the protected area complex.

“It’s great to have real evidence that tigers are found in a greater area of the WEFCOM than previously thought,” said Kittiwara Siripattaranukul, Tiger Project Manager at ZSL, based in Thailand. “Until now, there have only been unconfirmed reports of tigers in the area, but to capture photographs that prove their presence is really encouraging. We hope that the region will become a new territory for tigers.”

The IUCN estimates that there are only 202-352 Indochinese tigers left across possibly five countries: Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Thailand is believed to house the vast majority of these tigers with 185 to 200 individuals. Tigers have long persisted in the northern section of WEFCOM—with a population of 150-plus in Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary—but this is one of the first documentations of the top predators in the south. Experts believe WEFCOM could one day house as many as 2,000 tigers.

According to the Wildlife Conservation Society, WEFCOM is also home to 150 mammals, 490 birds, 90 reptiles, 40 amphibians, and 108 fish species.

Classified as Endangered by the IUCN Red List, tigers are down to only about 2,500 animals in the wild. Their populations have been relentlessly punished by deforestation, poaching for traditional medicine, human-wildlife conflict, and prey decline. But tigers have also been the recipients of some of the largest conservation funds—and efforts—ever from both wildlife NGOs and governments.

Largest colony of olive ridley turtles discovered in Gabon


This video says about itself:

28 July 2010

An Olive Ridley Turtle lays eggs on a moonlit night at Rushikuliya beach in Orissa, India. Feel privileged to view this rare insight into the private life of the Ridley Turtle!

The Olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), also known as the Pacific Ridley, is one of the smallest species of sea turtle. It is named for the olive-green color of its heart-shaped shell. Costa Rica is the one of the most important nesting sites. Ostional Beach in Guanacaste Province has the highest monthly concentration of these turtles. The “arribadas”—mass arrival and nesting—occur every month. October and November features the highest nesting rates (approximately 200 turtles per hour).

‘This clip of professionally-shot broadcast stock footage belongs to the archive of Wilderness Films India Ltd., and has been filmed on either Digital Betacam or 1080i HD.

From Wildlife Extra:

The Atlantic’s largest turtle breeding colony has been discovered

The central African country Gabon is providing an invaluable nesting ground for a vulnerable species of sea turtle considered a regional conservation priority say scientists from the University of Exeter

The scientists surveyed almost 600 km of Gabon’s coastline and uncovered the largest breeding colony of olive ridley turtles in the Atlantic. The results suggest that Gabon hosts the most important rookery for this species in the Atlantic, with estimates indicating that there could be up to 9,800 turtle nests per year compared with around 3,300 in French Guiana and 3,000 in Brazil.

Olive ridley turtles are one of the smallest of the sea turtles and are named for the greenish colour of their shell and skin. Although considered the most abundant of the marine turtles, there has been a net decline in the global numbers of the species, such that they are currently listed as ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Although a considerable proportion of nesting occurs within protected areas in Gabon, a range of illegal activities and external pressures continue to exist highlighting the need for continued conservation efforts.

Dr Kristian Metcalfe, lead author from the Centre for Ecology and Conservation (CEC) at the University of Exeter said: “Conservation efforts for sea turtles can be hampered by their migratory life cycles, which carry them across jurisdictional boundaries and international waters. That makes this first population assessment which covered extensive areas of Gabon’s coast outside of monitored regions all the more valuable and worthwhile, and demonstrates the importance of focusing beyond intensively monitored beaches”.

The data generated as part of this study was used to inform the development of a new network of marine protected areas covering nearly a quarter of Gabon’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

Even after long years of nesting monitoring, there are still things that surprise us all. For the first time on Vamizi Island in Mozambique, on the turtle monitoring project that started over 10 years ago, four albino green turtle hatchlings were found on the island’s most successful nesting beach, two of which were still alive. What was even more interesting about these hatchlings, was their red eyes (lack of pigmentation), a common consequence of albinism: here.

Indian villagers protect rare bats


This video says about itself:

Vampire bats nesting in a cave – Expedition Guyana – BBC

1 April 2010

Canopy expert Justine Evans goes in search of red howler monkeys but instead comes across a group of animals with a fearsome reputation – vampire bats nesting in a cave deep in the forest.

From PTI news agency in India:

Meghalaya hamlet dedicates forest for conservation of bats

Pynurkba: A tiny hamlet in Meghalaya’s East Jaintia Hills district has dedicated its forest for the conservation of an extremely rare Wroughton’s free-tailed bats, considered to be a critically endangered species.

The decision in this regard was taken last month when the village elders were informed of the presence of these extremely rare bats, who are facing loss of habitat due to human encroachment, in their forests.

“The village council decided to declare ‘sacred’ a small forest which is roughly about one square kilometer for the conservation of these bat species,” Pynurkba village secretary Phillip Rymbai told PTI.

The decision followed after a long negotiation with the elders of the village because the forest belongs to the community and not a protected area of the government.

Conservation agencies have lauded the decision of the village and urged the state government to recognize the importance of such an initiative and call for rewarding those at the village with conservation schemes and livelihood programmes.

Though there are three caves in Lakadong area that these bats have made them their homes, biologist and researcher D K B Mukhim said the bat clusters at Pynurkba is the largest with over 55 individual bats spotted lately.

First discovered in 1913, these bats are confined to the Western Ghats area of the country and in a remote part of Cambodia besides the colonies here which were discovered last year, according to the researcher.

The cave is located inside a forest here where another mystery shrouds two streams flows directly into the cave and then disappear.

Locals have it that the cave is haunted and hence left undisturbed for years but biologists believe it won’t be too long before the habitat is destroyed.

“Their haunted stories have in a way helped conservation of the cave and its bio-diversity including the Wroughton’s free-tailed bat species in their caves,” Mukhim said.

The Meghalaya Adventurers Association (MAA) which is organizing expeditions to identify new caves in the south-western parts of the Jaintia Hills is also pleading for conservation of these habitats which are also home to many other life forms.

MAA chairman Brian Dally said at least 1,540 caves have been recorded and surveys are being done every year to help discover more caves.

Cavers have surveyed and mapped over 411 km cave formations in the state, one of the longest in the Indian sub-continent.

First Published: Sunday, June 7, 2015 – 11:26

Conservation awards, 2015


This video is about greater adjutant storks in India.

From BirdLife:

Conservation Leadership Programme awards 2015

By Martin Fowlie, Wed, 15/04/2015 – 13:34

In this, its 30th anniversary year, the Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP) has announced the winners of the 2015 team Conservation Awards.  It is granting 22 awards this year worth a total of $300,480 including 19 Future Conservationist Awards, 2 Conservation Follow-Up Awards and 1 Conservation Leadership Award.

Upon hearing the news of the award, new grantee Purnima Devi Barman from India wrote, “I think no news than this can be better in my life. Thanks a lot to you and entire CLP team for supporting our future works through this leadership project.”

Purnima’s project focuses on promoting the coexistence of people and the Endangered Greater Adjutant stork in India. It is the third grant for the project with it now being granted a Conservation Leadership award.

“This is an incredible CLP project that has broken through complicated societal barriers using the language of conservation. The respect now bestowed to these quirky birds is testament to how effectively the team promoted within all parts of the community”, said Kiragu Mwangi, Conservation Leadership Programme Manager.

Many congratulations to all of the awarded teams. One member from each team will be invited to attend the CLP International Training Course in Canada later this year. This two week course is a fantastic opportunity for conservationists from around the world to receive training in high priority topics and create a peer to peer network. Winning a CLP award also gives a team access to the CLP alumni network which offers more opportunities for funding, training and learning exchanges.

For more information visit www.conservationleadershipprogramme.org and follow us on Facebook

The awarded projects are as follows:

Future Conservationist Awards

Conservation Follow-Up Awards

  • Conserving Angolan scarp forests: a holistic approach for Kumbira Forest
  • Reducing human-snow leopard conflict in Upper Spiti Valley, India.

Conservation Leadership Award

  • Enabling the coexistence of people and greater adjutant in India

The CLP is a unique partnership between BirdLife International, Fauna & Flora International and Wildlife Conservation Society. The mission of the CLP is to advance biodiversity conservation globally by building the leadership capabilities of early-career conservation professionals working in places with limited capacity to address high-priority conservation issues.