Environment Current Affairs - 2019

Latest Environment Current Affairs 2019 for UPSC Exams, Bank Exams, Civil Services, SSC and other Competitive Exams. Latest developments in Environment and Climate Change 2019 all important national updates in Environment events for the year 2019.

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 For the first time Grizzled Giant Squirrel Nests sighted near Gingee

For the first time more than 300 nests of Grizzled Giant Squirrel were sighted by researchers at Pakkamalai Reserve Forests near Gingee (in Eastern Ghats) in Tamil Nadu.

About Grizzled Giant Squirrel

  • It is a large tree squirrel in genus Ratufa (Scientific name is ‘Ratufa macroura’).
  • Features: It is an agile climber and is almost entirely an arboreal, very rarely coming to ground to escape from predators. It is smallest of all the giant squirrels found in Indian subcontinent,
  • Distribution: In India it is found in patches of riparian forest along Kaveri River and in hill forests of southern states-Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It is also found in Sri Lanka
  • It is generally known to nest in foothills of Western Ghats ranging from Chinnar Wildlife sanctuary in Kerala to Anamalai Tiger Reserve and Palani hills in Tamil Nadu and in couple of areas in Eastern Ghats.
  • In 1988, The Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary located in Tamil Nadu was established to protect vulnerable grizzled giant squirrel.
  • Conservation status: It is threatened by habitat loss, poaching and is also in high demand in pet trade.
    • International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List: Near Threatened
    • Listed under Schedule II of CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora).
    • Listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA),1972.

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Purple Frog to be crowned Kerala’s state amphibian

Purple frog could be soon designated as Kerala’s state amphibian. The proposal for this is being mooted by Kerela’s leading Herpetologists (a specialist in study of reptiles and amphibians). The odd-looking species is endemic to Western Ghats. The title would help in protecting species fragile habitat.

About Purple Frog

  • Scientific Name: Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis (N. sahyadrensis).
  • It is also known as Maveli frog or Pignose Frog.
  • Features: Its body appears sturdy and swollen. It is relatively round in shape as compared to other flattened frogs. Compared to other frogs it has a small head and an unusual pointed snout (muzzle). In most cases adults are dark purplish-grey in color.
  • Habitat: For almost its entire life it lives in underground tunnels and comes out to surface for only a single day in a year to breed.
  • Distribution: They were thought to be limited to south of the Palghat Gap (a pass which is located between Nilgiri Hills to north and Anaimalai Hills to south) in Western Ghats, but are now known to be quite widely distributed in Western Ghats.
  • As per Herpetologists purple frog should rightly be called ‘living fossil’ as it is believed that they have co-existed with dinosaurs almost 70 million years ago.
  • IUCN Red List: Their conservation status is endangered as per International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

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