Wildlife Conservation Current Affairs

NBWL adds 4 species in Recovery Programme for Critically Endangered Species

The standing committee of National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) has recently added four species- Northern River Terrapin, Clouded Leopard, Arabian Sea Humpback Whale and Red Panda into Centre’s Recovery Programme for Critically Endangered Species. They were added on the recommendation by Wildlife Division of Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC).

Key Facts

Norther River Terrapin: It is species of riverine turtle found in rivers that flow in Eastern India. It is hunted for its meat and carapace. It is native of Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Clouded Leopard: It is found in Himalayan foothills. It is threatened due to habitat loss, poaching for its skin and is also as a live pet trade. The IUCN in its Red List assessment of 2016 has categorized Clouded Leopard as ‘Vulnerable’ and indicating declining trend in its population.

Arabian Sea Humpback Whale: It is a species found in all of major oceans. This species migrates from the Oman coast through the Arabian sea, along the Indian coasts till the Sri Lankan coast. Ship strikes, unforgiving fishing gear and siesmic exploarations pose grave threat to it.

Red Panda: It is closely associated with montane forests with dense bamboo-thicket. It is found Sikkim, West Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh. It is poached for its meat, and for use in medicines, and as a pet. The IUCN has categorized Red Panda as ‘Endangered’. As per its Red List assessment of 2015, population of this species is decreasing.

Recovery Programme for Critically Endangered Species

The progamme is one of the three components of centrally funded scheme, Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats (IDWH). It was started in 2008-09. IDWH is meant for providing support to protected areas (national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, conservation reserves and community reserves except tiger reserves), protection of wildlife outside protected areas and recovery programmes for saving critically endangered species and habitats.

So far, 17 species were identified under this recovery programme. These are Snow Leopard, Bustard (including Floricans), Dolphin, Nilgiri Tahr, Hangul, Marine Turtles, Edible Nest Swiftlet, Dugongs, Asian Wild Buffalo, Nicobar Megapode, Manipur Brow-antlered Deer, Vultures, Malabar Civet, Indian Rhinoceros, Asiatic Lion, Swamp Deer and Jerdon’s Courser.

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Flamingo festival held at Pulicat lake in Andhra Pradesh

The three-day annual Flamingo Festival was held at Pulicat lake and Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary in Sullurpet mandal. Flamingo Festival is held every year to promote tourism in Pulicat and Nellapattu.

Key Facts

Flamingo Festival is being organised for the past 12 years. Migratory birds from Siberia have visit this place during winter season for breeding. Somewhere between 9,000 to 12,000 migratory birds arrive at Pulicat region for breeding this season.

Usually around 80 different avian species migrate to Pulicat for breeding. They hunt in shallow waters of lake and breed there. Once the breeding season concludes, they fly away to their native land with their offspring in tow.

Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary

Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary is one of the biggest habitats for some hundreds of pelicans and other birds. It is located about 20 km north of the Pulicat Lake on the Andhra Pradesh-Tamil Nadu border. This sanctuary spread in an area about 459 hectares and plays important role in nesting of various birds especially migratory birds. Every year during winter season from October to March, different species of migratory birds, roosting migrants and some rare and endangered species from various parts of the world visit the habitat.

Pulicat lake

Pulicat Lake is the second largest brackish water lake or lagoon in India after Chilika Lake. It is located on border of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu with over 96% of it in Andhra Pradesh and 4% in Tamil Nadu situated on Coromandal Coast in South India. The lake encompasses Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary. The barrier island of Sriharikota separates the lake from the Bay of Bengal and is home to Satish Dhawan Space Centre. Arani and Kalangi are two rivers which feed the lagoon. The Buckingham Canal, a navigation channel, is part of the lagoon on its western side.

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