Environment

Meet Shivi Anand, a crusader who dreams of a sustainable planet Earth

Posted on 6 May 2020 11:21:47 GMT - environment

Shivi Anand has a dream! A dream of sustainable planet earth, where everyone does their bit for the goodness of mankind! If you think she is just another dreamer, think again! Shivi Anand is a thinker, a minimalist and a crusader, who walks the talk, without sounding preachy.

But that is not all. Shivi is a national-level swimmer, who is compassionate about her causes. She practices what she preaches and that is why she leads a zero-waste lifestyle and even involves herself to oversee the family's consumption of resources.

Speaking about environmental degradation and how it affected her, Shivi says, "I first learned about the waste problem when I was in the second grade. It amazed me that despite our awareness of it being such a grave issue, we as a community continued to produce insurmountable amounts of trash. When I was nine years old, I participated in my previous school's annual 'trash fashion show' on earth day. On that very day, I watched one of the most memorable and inspiring presentations by the students of the higher grades. It was about the installation of light bulbs made with plastic bottles in rural communities."

She insists that environmental degradation has always made her uncomfortable and confused, even angry. To handle all these extreme emotions, she takes help from reading about other environmental crusaders, e.g. Greta Thunberg. It was Greta's inspiration that pushed Shivi to go for the historic climate strike on March 15, 2019. Speaking about the experience, Shivi recalls, "It began when a week before the strike, I read an article about Greta Thunberg's call for a 'school strike' where she urged students like me to skip school and show the world that we want a brighter future than is currently on the road of creation. That's when I decided that I wanted my school to participate. The following week, I met with the organizers of the strike and they welcomed me to the team. After a round of selection, I was given a chance to speak at the event, as one of the six student speakers.

She is a national level swimmer too, an activity that she enjoys indulging in. About swimming, she says, "I started swimming when my parents put me into it because they thought it was an important life skill. And I really enjoyed being in the water." Her source of inspiration is the idea of "being better than yesterday."

Today, she follows a zero-waste lifestyle, which involves producing little to no non-compostable, dry trash. Explaining further, Shivi says, "By switching to simple alternatives such as biodegradable sanitary pads, bamboo toothbrushes, non-packaged soap bars, home-baked bread, bottled milk and pulses and grains bought in our own containers, I have even led my family in reducing our household waste significantly."

From turning a vegetarian to slowly moving towards a minimalistic way of living, Shivi Anand is showing the world the way to a better tomorrow!

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Photographer Tapan Sheth Does His Bit To Conserve The Nature And Wildlife In India

Posted on 16 Mar 2020 07:35:59 GMT - environment

 While photography is one of the most promising careers in today’s time, there are many categories under photography that are challenging. Nature and wildlife are one such category that is tough but is worth pursuing a career in. Photographers need to capture several clicks as wildlife photography is dynamic. Animals make movements like blinking their eyes, turning their heads and so on. The most important thing every for every photographer is to be extremely active and that’s what makes Tapan Sheth the best name among the wildlife photographers of India. He is from Surendranagar, Gujarat and in his career he has captured many breath-taking pictures of nature and wildlife.

 After completing his graduation in commerce from M.P Shah Commerce College, he moved to Rajkot for better career options. However, he chose to make his career in Information Technology for which he moved to Ahmedabad. It was after he purchased Canon EOS 550D, he started clicking pictures in it and developed his love for photography. “I would say that I have learnt things step by step. Photography is a beautiful career option and I started learning it by myself. I was always fascinated by capturing the moments of nature and wildlife as it made me extremely happy. I love to travel and capture images of species in their habitats”, said Sheth.

 His work has been widely appreciated and featured by top companies and media houses like BBC, Apple, National Geographic and Natgeo. Moreover, his major focus has been on documenting endangered species like Asiatic Lions to make people aware of wildlife conservation. For his work, he has got recognition and has earned several accolades including the winner of Nature’s Best Photography Asia 2016. He was also the winner of Wildlife Reserves Singapore Group, Through The Lens 2017. To conserve the mother nature, Tapan Sheth is doing his best by portraying some of the phenomenal works through photography.

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This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies. Mid-day accepts no responsibility or liability for its dependability, trustworthiness, reliability and data of the text. Mid-day management/mid-day.com reserves the sole right to alter, delete or remove (without notice) the content in its absolute discretion for any reason whatsoever

Rare zebra with 'Polka dots' leaves everyone baffled

Posted on 20 Sep 2019 06:52:44 GMT - environment

A rare picture of a 'polka-dotted' zebra surfaced the internet and left astound. In a viral post doing the rounds on social media, a newborn zebra with polka dots is a rare sight and has created a buzz for its uniqueness. This zebra was captured at the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya and has left the netizens baffled. Check out the post below!

This beautiful zebra with a unique polka dots pattern was spotted in Kenya at the Maasai Mara National Reserve. The Maasai Mara National Reserve took to the social media platform, Facebook to share the picture of the adorable polka dot zebra. They captioned the picture as, "The dotted zebra foal which has been spotted in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve causing excitement among tourists."

Netizens baffled by this rare sight couldn't keep calm and showered the post with likes and comments. This post has garnered a total of 189 comments and 599 shares. This is how the internet reacted:

polka dot zebra

Most zebras are born with dark skin underneath their fur but the stripes consist of both black and white fur giving it the stripe pattern with contrast. But this rare zebra has a unique pattern nowhere close to the ordinary striped one.

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Climate change affecting shark pups development, reveals study

Posted on 18 Sep 2019 03:04:26 GMT - environment

Washington D.C.: Climate change is showing its catastrophic effect on the growth and body condition of shark pups, says a recent study. Dr Jodie Rummer from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University (Coral CoE at JCU) is a co-author of a new study that compared the foraging and condition of two populations of newborn reef sharks: one in St-Joseph atoll in Seychelles and the other in Moorea, French Polynesia.

"We found that although shark pups are born larger, heavier and better conditioned in Moorea, they soon lost their physical advantage over the pups in St Joseph," said Dr Rummer.

St Joseph is an uninhabited, remote and small atoll in the outer islands of Seychelles, where no environmental changes happened at the time of the study that published in the journal, ' Scientific Reports'. However, Moorea is a popular tourist destination -- one that is still recovering from a loss of up to 95 per cent of its live coral cover about five years before the four-year study commenced.

"At birth, newborn sharks receive extra fat reserves from their mother," said Ms Ornella Weideli, lead author from the Save Our Seas Foundation D'Arros Research Centre (SOSF-DRC) and PhD student at the Centre de Recherches Insulaires et Observatoire de l'Environnement (CRIOBE) in France.

"These energy reserves sustain them during the first days and weeks after birth," Ms Weideli said. "The 'energy boost' is important, as sharks are independent of their mothers from the moment they are born."

A total of 546 young sharks were captured and measured at that time. What they ate was also analysed. The study found the number of energy reserves varied between locations.

"Bigger mothers give birth to bigger babies, which is what happens in Moorea," Dr Rummer said. "But that doesn't necessarily mean the babies will eat and grow quickly after that."

Instead, the bigger pups from Moorea soon lost their advantage in size, weight, and condition.

"Against our expectations, the larger pups from Moorea that received greater energy reserves started foraging for food later in life, which resulted in considerable declines in their body condition," Ms Weideli said.

On the contrary, despite being smaller and lighter for their size, the pups from St Joseph started foraging for food earlier in life and became more successful predators than their Polynesian counterparts.

The authors think the bigger pups lost their physical advantage because Moorea was experiencing a degraded quality and quantity of prey, coupled with human-induced stressors such as over-fishing, climate change and coastal development.

This new study is crucial for informing critical shark nursery areas, sanctuaries, and marine protected areas.

The corals in Moorea bleached earlier this year during very hot temperatures after the completion of the study. Dr Rummer said the sharks in this area will now have an even more difficult time growing and surviving, as the conditions around them continue to degrade and water temperatures rise.

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Ten-year-old male elephant dies at Nandankanan Zoological Park

Posted on 15 Sep 2019 09:34:57 GMT - environment

Bhubaneswar (Odisha): The Herpes virus infection allegedly claimed the life of a 10-year-old male elephant named Chandan at Nandankanan Bhubaneshwar on Sunday at 3.40 am. After suddenly falling ill on Friday afternoon with reduced appetite, nasal discharge, and swollen glands on both sides of its face, Chandan received immediate treatment by veterinarians at Nandankanan Zoological Park on the advice of the Centre for Wildlife OUAT Bhubaneswar.

The elephant received help for 36 hours after which it breathed his last on Sunday. Although the death is suspected to be due to Herpes virus infection, the cause of death will be ascertained on Sunday forenoon after postmortem.

To provide advance preventive treatment to the remaining six female elephants, the authority is now taking steps to prevent the spreading of this virus

Edited by mid-day online desk with inputs from ANI

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World leaders agree on ban on international commercial trade of smooth-coated otter

Posted on 27 Aug 2019 06:45:30 GMT - environment

There is some good news for the conservation of smooth-coated otter as a ban on international commercial trade has been agreed by an overwhelming majority by world leaders who attended the 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES CoP18), currently being held in Geneva, Switzerland.

It may be noted that the smooth-coated otter will now be listed on Appendix I of CITES which lists species threatened with extinction and prohibits commercial trade in them internationally.

The smooth-coated otter is found in India, Bangladesh, Nepal and several other Asian countries. According to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, smooth-coated otters are vulnerable to extinction. Poaching, illegal trade, demand for young otters in the pet trade, in addition to habitat loss, pollution, overfishing and climate change, are among the conservation concerns for these two species.

Humane Society International/India and its global affiliate Humane Society International, part of one of the largest global animal protection charities in the world has welcomed the CITES uplisting as essential to the survival of these species.

Senior marine scientist at Humane Society International, Mark Simmonds, said, "This Asian otter species are being adversely affected in the wild by a wide variety of threats, including habitat loss, pollution and trade both for their fur pelts and, increasingly, for growing pet trade. The ‘cuteness’ of this species may prove their down-fall in that many people, especially in Asia, now want to own them. Classified as Vulnerable by IUCN, these otters will now benefit from this very welcome, precautionary agreement to place them on CITES Appendix I which effectively bans international trade for commercial purposes and removes one of the key threats that they face. Hopefully, this listing will also inspire further vital actions within the otters’ home ranges to ensure their survival. We commend India, Nepal and Bangladesh for bringing these proposals forward, and all the countries and conservation organizations that supported them."

Also read: Explore the otter side

Sumanth Bindumadhav, HSI/India's wildlife campaign manager who presented an intervention on the floor of CITES CoP on behalf of 26 other national and international non-profit organisations, said, "An Appendix I listing will benefit this otter species by sending necessary market signals, including to online and social media audiences, that trade in them is detrimental to their welfare and survival. It will also add further trade controls, enhance scrutiny of captive-breeding operations, and aid enforcement, given the difficulty in distinguishing between tropical Asian otter species once in a trade.”

The decision needs to be ratified at the plenary session of the CITES conference on August 27/28th and the proposal to up-list the second otter species, the small-clawed otter will conclude today i.e. 26th of August, Geneva time.

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Jumbo Julie dies at Odisha Zoo

Posted on 27 Aug 2019 04:36:24 GMT - environment

Bhubaneshwar (Odisha): Female elephant Julie on Monday passed away at the Nandankanan Zoological Park in Bhubaneshwar on Monday. The elephant was displaying the sign of acute abdominal colic from late afternoon on Monday that caused it physical discomfort and died by 7:09 pm during treatment. The actual cause of death is yet to be ascertained.

Julie was rescued from a forest in Dhenkanal Division at the age of two in May 2009 and was brought to Nandankanan Zoo, where she had been residing since then. "It had been accepting less feed from yesterday and was showing sign of acute colic from 2.00 PM today causing physical discomfort. It was attended quickly by Zoo vets and treatment was continuing. During treatment, it breathed its last. The exact cause of death shall be ascertained after a Post Mortem," a zoo official said. The Nandankanan Zoo is now left with one male and six female elephants.

Edited by mid-day online desk with inputs from ANI

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Nine-year-old lioness dies at rescue centre in Gujarat

Posted on 26 Aug 2019 16:42:51 GMT - environment

Vadodara: In a sad incident for wildlife lovers, a nine-year-old lioness died on Monday at a rescue centre located in Jamwala in Gir Somanth district of Gujarat. D T Vasavada, chief conservator of forests (CCF), Junagadh Wildlife Circle said that the big cat was rescued from Zakhiya in the Babariya range of the Gir west division on Saturday, said

The lioness died due to kidney failure. "The big cat was under treatment for weakness, dehydration and kidney-related ailments," he added.

On December 6, 2018, the Forest Department of Gujarat has found a decayed carcass of another lioness in the Gir, the last abode of the Asiatic lion in the world. Th search for her cubs were on then. Kheemabhai Mensibhai Bhola, a farmer in Ambalash region in Talal, Gir, found the dead lion in his farm on Thursday. In October 2018, 23 lions were found dead in a short span of 11 to 12 days. Some of the endangered lions succumbed to the deadly infection of Canine Distemper Virus (CDV). The present case raised concerns among Forest Department officials.

Edited by mid-day online desk with inputs from PTI

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Giant volcanic rock raft found in Pacific Ocean

Posted on 26 Aug 2019 07:11:19 GMT - environment

Canberra: Scientists on Monday said that a vast "raft" of volcanic rocks stretching over 150 sq.km has been found drifting through the Pacific Ocean. The sea of pumice is the size of 20,000 football fields which was first reported by Australian sailors earlier in August. Pumice is a lightweight, bubble-rich rock that can float in water. It is produced when magma is cooled rapidly.

According to experts, the mass has likely come from an underwater volcano near Tonga which erupted around August 7 as seen in the satellite images. In that case, sailors have been warned to stay clear of the potential hazard.

The first to report the "pumice raft", after inadvertently entering the rubble at night were an Australian couple sailing their catamaran to Fiji. They have since sent samples of the pumice stone - which range "from marble to basketball size" - to researchers at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Australia.

A report in news agency IANS revealed that Associate Professor Scott Bryan, a geologist studying the samples at QUT, said such pumice masses could be seen about once every five years in the region. "It is a phenomenon reported over time, usually as islands in the middle of the ocean that people encounter but then can't find again. It can be as if the whole surface (of the ocean) has turned to land. The pumice is currently drifting westwards towards Fiji, and is likely to pass New Caledonia and Vanuatu before potentially reaching Australia in a year's time.

Edited by mid-day online desk with inputs from PTI

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Himachal Pradesh has no government vehicle to monitor felling

Posted on 23 Aug 2019 16:30:14 GMT - environment

Shimla: In a written reply in the Assembly, Himachal Pradesh Forest Minister Govind Thakur on Friday revealed that the state has no government vehicle to monitor illegal felling, mining and fire-related incidents in the mountain state's forests.

He also said that the state Forest Department has 37 regional and six wildlife forest divisions and under them, there are 198 forest ranges. Thirty-nine out of the 198 forest ranges are sensitive ones.

In a report in news agency IANS, the minister said as per a remote-sensing study conducted by the Forest Survey of India, the state's forest cover has increased by 2.67 per cent (393 sq kms) from 2015 to 2017. The Forest Survey of India does forest mapping through remote-sensing system once in two years.

Edited by mid-day online desk with inputs from IANS

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Odisha: Rare flying snake seized from man's possession

Posted on 22 Aug 2019 07:11:53 GMT - environment

Bhubaneswar (Odisha): Officials from the Odisha Forest Department on Tuesday seized a rare flying snake from the possession of a boy in Bhubaneswar. The said boy used to earn his livelihood by displaying the snake in public.

An official of the City Forest Division, Gopal Singh, told ANI, "We rescued the snake from a boy who is a minor, so we are investigating the case carefully." "This colourful snake is called gliding snake and it's a rare species in this region. It is mostly found in the region of Sri Lanka and south India," he informed.

It's a crime under the Wildlife Protection Act to keep a snake at home, the official stated, while adding that the reptile will be released in a forest." The recovered snake, a thin reptile, had patterns in black, light grey and rust-red on its body.

Flying snake is a common name given to the Chrysopelea species of the reptile. The name, however, is a misnomer as these snakes only use free fall and flexibility to generate lift and cannot actually fly. They mostly prey on frogs, birds, rodents and bats.

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