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How the tiger can regain its stripes

How the tiger can regain its stripes Context: The most recent estimation of tiger population in India has noted that there has been an increase in tigers from about 2,000 in 1970 to around 3,000 presently. K Ullas Karanth, a leading tiger expert in India, points out serious concerns regarding tiger conservation efforts in India. Low growth rate of tiger population: Despite, the fact that Tiger population has increased in India and despite India having done better than other

Indian Bison

Indian Bison An Indian Bison, or Gaur, in Pune’s urban landscape died due to human-animal conflict. It is mainly found in South and Southeast Asia. Location: Native to South and Southeast Asia in India, they are found in Nagarhole, Bandipur, Masinagudi National Parks and BR Hills. Conservation Status: Vulnerable in IUCN Red List. Included in the Schedule I of the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972. Important Facts: It is the tallest speci

Himalayan Griffon Vulture

Himalayan Griffon Vulture It is a migratory bird species native to Himalayas, has been spotted in Point Calimere wildlife sanctuary in Tamil Nadu. It is usually found in the high-altitude regions. They originate from the Himalayan Chain and Plateau of Tibet. The IUCN status of the bird is Near-threatened. It is listed in Appendix II of the CITES.  

Peacock soft-shelled turtle

Peacock soft-shelled turtle Peacock soft-shelled turtle - vulnerable species have been rescued from a fish market in Assam’s Silchar. Scientific Name: Nilssonia hurum. Features: They have a large head, downturned snout with low and oval carapace of dark olive green to nearly black, sometimes with a yellow rim. The head and limbs are olive green; the forehead has dark reticulations and large yellow or orange patches or spots,&n

Great Indian Bustard

Great Indian Bustard The Wildlife Institute of India proposed to put all power transmission lines passing through Great Indian Bustard (GIB) habitat underground. GIB, a bird native to India and Pakistan, is the State Bird of Rajasthan. The largest population is found in Rajasthan. Quick FACTS The GIB is one of the heaviest flying bird’s endemics to the Indian subcontinent. They are primarily terrestrial birds. The GIB lays one egg every 1-2 years and the succe

Great Indian Bustard or Godawan

Great India Bustard (GIB) or Godawan Context: Great Indian Bustard is an important topic for UPSC Prelims Examination 2021. It is one of the most repeated questions in UPSC Prelims Examination.   It is one of the heaviest Flight birds. They have weak eyesight. Habitat is grassland (not covered under Forest Conservation Act, 1980). It is endemic to Indian subcontinent found in Central India, west India and eastern Pakistan. Bustard species found in India: Great Indi

Leopard and Snow Leopard

The Status of Leopards in India 2018 report Context: Leopard is an important topic for UPSC Prelims Examination 2021. It is one of the most repeated questions in UPSC Prelims Examination. It revealed that the Western Ghats was home to close to 3,387 leopards. The population of leopards in India has gone up by 60 %, as per the ‘Status of Leopard in India 2018’ report. India now has 12,852 leopards, witnessing a substantial increase in comparison to the 2014 data. Ca

Indian Rhino/ Great One Horned Rhino

Indian Rhino/ Great One Horned Rhino It is the largest of Rhino species found in Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan and India. It is Vulnerable and in Schedule I of Wildlife Protection Act. 22 September is Rhino Day. India is home to 2,200 rhinos, or over 85 % population. In India it is found in UP, West Bengal and Assam. According to WWF data of 2012,  Assam has 91 % of total Rhino of India which is mainly concentrated in Kaziranga National Park (Largest absolute population),

Pangolin and Porcupine

Pangolin Out of the 8 species of Pangolin in the World, Indian and Chinese Pangolin are found in India. Indian Pangolin Indian pangolin is an endangered animal that is rarely sighted in forests. Indian Pangolin is the only scaly mammal hunted for meat and used in traditional Chinese medicine. They are nocturnal. Indian Pangolins are among the most trafficked wildlife species in the World. The projected population declines range from 50% to 80% across the genus. Scienti

Dolphin killed by a group in UP

Dolphin killed by a group in UP A video of a group of men and boys in Uttar Pradesh’s Pratapgarh district beating to death a Gangetic river dolphin surfaced on social media on Friday. An endangered species, the Gangetic River Dolphin is recognised as the National Aquatic Animal. The Pratapgarh police said they had arrested three persons and sent them to jail. Further legal action was being taken. Killing the Gangetic River Dolphin is a punishable offence under Section 9/51 of t

Siberian Mammoths

Siberian Mammoths Scientists have recovered and sequenced the oldest DNA on record, from the molars of mammoths that roamed Siberia up to 1.2 million years ago. Until now, the oldest DNA came from a horse that lived in Canada's Yukon Territory about 700,000 years ago. Researchers gained insights into mammoth evolution and migration by comparing the DNA to that of mammoths that lived more recently (4,000 years ago). The molars of the mammoths were discovered near the Krestovka Riv

Dickinsonia Fossils Found in Bhimbetka Caves

Researchers discovered three fossils in Madhya Pradesh. These fossils are possibly of the earliest known living animal named ‘Dickinsonia’ (550-million-year-old). The fossils are found on the roof of Auditorium Cave at Bhimbetka Rock Shelters. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Madhya Pradesh. The fossil can be identified from the white leaf-like patches with a central vertebra (central midrib) and connecting veins. These are the only Dickinsonia fossils available in

Humboldt Penguin

Humboldt penguin is named after the cold ocean current, known as Humboldt current (discovered by German explorer Alexander von Humboldt), that is typical for the natural habitat of this species of penguin (west coast of South America). Its habitat is highly influenced by the cold, nutrient-rich Humboldt Current flowing northward from Antarctica, which is vital to the productivity of plankton and krill and fosters fish abundance. Migration: When not raising chicks, these penguins have been

African Swine Fever Virus

Scientists have found a natural mutation in the African swine fever virus (ASFV) that could be less deadly than the strain that ravaged the world’s largest pig herd in 2018 and 2019. ASFV is an intra cytoplasmically-replicating DNA arbovirus, which is the sole member of the family Asfarviridae. ASF is a severe viral disease that affects wild and domestic pigs resulting in a highly lethal haemorrhagic fever, but doesn’t affect humans. It has almost 100% case fatality rate (CF

Snow Leopard

  Also known as Ghost of the mountains acts as an indicator of the health of the mountain ecosystem in which they live, due to their position as the top predator in the food web. Habitation: The Snow Leopard lives at high altitudes in the steep mountains of Central and Southern Asia, and in an extremely cold climate. They inhabit the higher Himalayan and trans-Himalayan landscape in the states/union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim,

Himalayan Serow

A Himalayan Serow has been spotted in Manas Tiger Reserve, Assam.  It is a mammal that is somewhere between a goat and an antelope, which is a high-altitude dweller found 2,000-4,000 metres above sea level. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species Status - ‘Vulnerable’. It is listed under Schedule I of The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, which provides absolute protection. A black-necked crane (Near-threatened) and white-

Sharks Conservation in India

As per a recent study, the global population of sharks and rays reduced by over 70% in the past 5 decades. About Sharks: Sharks come under a subclass of fish species called elasmobranchii. The species in this subclass have skeletons made from cartilage and not bones. They use gills to filter oxygen from the water. Sharks inhabit 3 major marine habitats such as continental shelves, deep-sea and open ocean. Sharks have been around for more than 400 million years—long befor

Great Indian Bustard and Conservation Efforts

Great Indian Bustard and Conservation Efforts It is one of the heaviest Flight birds. They have weak eyesight. Habitat is grassland (not covered under Forest Conservation Act, 1980). It is endemic to Indian subcontinent found in Central India, west India and eastern Pakistan. Bustard species found in India: Great Indian Bustard, Lesser Florican and Bengal Florican; Houbara Bustard in Pakistan. It is considered as the flagship/ indicator grassland species, representing the health

IUCN Declares African Elephants as Critically Endangered

The IUCN has declared African Forest elephants as ‘critically endangered’ and Savanna (or bush) elephants as ‘endangered’. Previously IUCN listed both African elephants as “vulnerable”. But now it has opted to list them separately. It is after genetic evidence proved that both are different species. About African Elephants African elephants are the largest land animals on Earth. They are slightly larger than Asian E

Dolphin boom in Odisha’s Chilika lake

Syllabus subtopic: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment Prelims and Mains focus: about the census and its findings; about Irrawaddy dolphins and why they are important; about Chilika lake Dolphin boom in Odisha’s Chilika lake The population of dolphins in Chilika, India’s largest brackish water lake, and along the Odisha coast has doubled this year compared with last year. The wildlife wing of the State Forest and En

Great Indian Bustard poaching

Great Indian Bustard poaching Great Indian Bustard and Conservation Efforts It is one of the heaviest Flight birds. They have weak eyesight. Habitat is grassland (not covered under Forest Conservation Act, 1980). It is endemic to Indian subcontinent found in Central India, west India and eastern Pakistan. Bustard species found in India: Great Indian Bustard, Lesser Florican and Bengal Florican; Houbara Bustard in Pakistan. It is considered as the flagship/ indicator grassland

Crocodile species in India

Crocodile species in India There are 3 species of crocodilians in India — Saltwater/ Estuarine Crocodile; Mugger/ Marsh/ Indian/ Broad snouted Crocodile and Gharial or Gavial or Fish eating crocodile Mugger Crocodile or Marsh Crocodile or Broad snouted crocodile It is mainly a freshwater species, and found in lakes, rivers and marshes. It is Vulnerable in IUCN; Appendix I of CITES; Schedule I of WPA. Its habitat i

Ladakh adopts State animal and bird

Ladakh adopted two endangered species, snow leopard and black-necked crane, as State animal and State bird, two years after it was carved out as a separate Union Territory (UT) from the erstwhile State of J&K. “The snow leopard (Panther unica) and black-necked crane (Grus nicricollis) shall be the State animal and State bird respectively of the UT of Ladakh from the date of issue of the notification,” reads an order issued by the Lieutenant Administration (LG) of L

Shailendra Singh wins Behler Turtle Conservation Award

Shailendra Singh wins Behler Turtle Conservation Award Indian biologist Shailendra Singh has been awarded the Behler Turtle Conservation Award for bringing three critically endangered turtle conservation species back from the brink of extinction. A press statement issued by the headquarters of the Turtle Survival Alliance earlier this week said: “For some species, such as the red-crowned roofed turtle (Batagur kachuga), northern river terrapin (Batagur baska), and black softshell t

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