IUCN Red List Current Affairs - 2020

Baltic Sea: Seal Pups face tough winter due to reduced ice levels

The Seals need ice to keep themselves safe from predators such as wolves and foxes. However, the declining ice in the Baltic sea has disrupted their survivals

Highlights

With depleting ice levels, the seals are forced to inhabit the islets (small islands) that they normally hesitate to inhabit. This has caused overcrowding and is disrupting the survival rates of their pups. Around 3,000 Seal pups are born on the Baltic Sea Coats every year.

The Grey Seals are the most common seals in these seas and have been categorized as “Least Concern” under IUCN Red List. However, experts believe that the depleting ice levels has raised concerns and it is time to change their conservation status.

Baltic Sea

Baltic Sea is a Mediterranean Sea. It is enclosed by Estonia, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Sweden, Poland, Germany, Russia. The group of countries that are currently referred to Baltic states are Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania.

Helsinki Convention

The Helsinki Convention that was signed in 1992 is on the protection of the marine environment of Baltic Sea. It was signed by Russia, Estonia, Czechoslovakia, Estonia, Poland, USSR, Germany, Sweden, Latvia, Lithuania, Denmark and Finland.

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National Chambal Sanctuary declared as Eco-Sensitive Zone

On March 2, 2020, the Government of India declared National Chambal Sanctuary as Eco-Sensitive Zone. The Sanctuary is home to Gangetic Dolphins and critically endangered Gharials.

Highlights

The Sanctuary is home to naturally living Gharials. 75% of Gharials live in the Sanctuary. It also harbours 180 species of migratory birds and fresh water Gangetic Dolphins. Being declared as Eco Sensitive Zone, construction of resorts, hotels or other residential and industrial activities are prohibited.

National Chambal Sanctuary

The Sanctuary begins in the Vindhyan Ranges, extends along the Chambal river and ends in Yamuna river. It is spread across Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

Eco-Sensitive Zone

The Eco-Sensitive Zones are protected areas that act as “shock absorbers”. They also act as transition zones. They are governed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change. The governing is an important factor as land is a state subject. There are no acts that regulate the zones. However, they are regulated with guidelines framed by the Ministry.

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