Red List Current Affairs - 2019

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Royal Bengal Tigers may not survive Climate Change: UN Report

According to a recent UN report, Climate change and rising sea levels may eventually wipe out ‘The Sundarbans’, which is one of world’s last and largest tiger strongholds. The studies of report rely on climate change scenarios developed by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for its simulation models.

Key Findings of Report

  • As per UN findings if greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions continued at current rate, the atmosphere would warm as much as 1.5C (above preindustrial levels) by 2040. This climate change would lead to rising sea level and existential threat to the Sundarbans.
  • In 2010, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF, a Non-governmental organization) estimated that sea level rise of 11 inches could reduce number of tigers in Sundarbans by 96% within a few decades.
  • By 2070, there will be not be any suitable habitats of tiger remaining in Bangladesh Sundarbans.
  • 70% of Sundarbans is just a few feet above sea level, thus faces grave threat due to climate changes. It is one of the prime habitats of Bengal tigers, who are among 500,000 land species whose survival is in question because of threats to their natural habitats due to climate change.
  • Once the Sundarbans are flooded it may lead to increased confrontations (conflict) between humans and tigers, as the latter would stray outside their habitat in search of new land.
  • Conservation efforts and fight against habitat loss in Sunderbans needs to begin immediately, as it could take about 20 years for these efforts to even start showing any results, but if action isn’t taken soon there won’t be any forest or tigers to save in 50 years.

About Sundarbans

  • They are 10,000 square kilometres of marshy mangroves ecosystem shared between Bangladesh and India.
  • They hosts world’s largest mangrove forest and a rich ecosystem that supports hundreds of animal species, including Bengal tiger.
  • They are only mangrove forests in world where Bengal tigers are found.

About Bengal tiger (Panthera Tigris Tigris)

  • It is national animal of India and Bangladesh.
  • It found predominantly in India with some populations in Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, China and Myanmar.
  • Initiatives by India: As Bengal tiger species is the most numerous of all tiger subspecies (about 2,500 left in wild) Indian government undertakes various initiave to in a bid to conserve species. The Project Tiger launched in 1973 was India’s first-ever tiger conservation programme.
  • IUCN Red List Status is endangered.
  • Since early 1900s, hunting, poaching, habitat loss, and illegal trade of animal parts (to meet growing demand in Asia) have decreased global population of tigers from around 100,000 to fewer than 4,000 and puy the species at risk.

Month: Categories: Environment & BiodiversityUPSC

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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.

Month: Categories: Environment & Biodiversity

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