Gujarat Government initiates Sloth Habitat Project

Gujarat Government has initiated Sloth Habitat Project in Jessore wildlife sanctuary to provide better habitat to sloth bears.

The project aims at restoring the ecology of sloth bears in the sanctuary by planting fruit trees and removing unwanted plant species that have intruded in the habitat.

The planted trees will basically serve as food habitat for the sloth bears as their population increased. Nearly 293 sloth bears were found in the state forests in last census of 2011.

Unwanted encroached plant species like Lantenaspp and Prospisjuli-flora, which is called as Gando Baval in local language will be removed.

Background

State government’s decision to initiate this project comes after pilot project in this regard has shown positive results. This pilot project was implemented in Banaskantha district by state forest department in coordination with the Gujarat Ecology Commission (GEC).

However, the final testing will be conducted in the forests of Jessore sanctuary in monsoon season from June or July and after necessary process the project will be handed over to the state forest department for implementation on large area.

About Sloth bears

  • Sloth bear (Melursus ursinus) is a nocturnal insectivorous species of bears found in India.
  • Categorised as vulnerable species in International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red list.
  • It is black and dark brown in colour with yellowish patch on the chest and has large feet and claw.
  • Sloth bear is omnivorous animal and mainly eat honey, termites, fruits (mangoes and figs) and grass.

2,000-year-old aqueduct unearthed in Israel

An ancient aqueduct dating back 2,000 years ago was unearthed near Har Homa in in East Jerusalem city of Israel.

The discovered lower aqueduct was used in ancient times to transport water into the city of Jerusalem.

Key facts

  • Constructed during the rule of kings in the Hasmonean dynasty (140 B.C. to 37 B.C). It was one of Jerusalem’s principal sources of water.
  • It is 21 km long with starting point located at the En ‘Eitam spring, near Solomon’s Pools, south of Bethlehem.
  • Water through it flowed down a gentle slope to Jerusalem, passing through the Israel’s modern-day cities of Umm Tuba, Sur Bahar, East Talpiot and Abu Tor.
  • During the Ottoman period, around 500 years ago a terra cotta pipe was installed inside the channel in order to protect the water.

Apart from this, other sections of the extensive aqueduct were unearthed in the past in

  • Armon Ha-Natziv tunnels located in the City of David.
  • Around the Sultan’s Pool along the west side of Mount Zion in Jerusalem.
  • On the Sherover promenade in southern Jerusalem.