WWF-India Current Affairs - 2020
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India will collaborate with Bhutan, Nepal, Indonesia and Malaysia to increase the population of three species of Asian Rhinos namely Greater one-horned rhinoceros, Javan rhino, and Sumatran rhino.
India, Bhutan, Nepal, Indonesia and Malaysia have signed the New Delhi Declaration on Asian Rhinos 2019 declaration for the conservation and protection of the species at the Second Asian Rhino Range Countries Meet organised by the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry in collaboration with IUCN Asian Rhino Specialist Group, WWF- India and Aaranyak.
Fact Box: IUCN Status
Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros: Vulnerable
Javan Rhinoceros: Critically Endangered
Sumatran Rhinoceros: Critically Endangered
New Delhi Declaration on Asian Rhinos 2019
The 12 point strategic actions outlined under the declaration are:
- To collaborate for strengthening protection regimes, strategic information gathering, and real-time sharing of actionable information on rhino crime and its horn trade to secure the rhino population within and between range countries.
- To initiate research on various habitat parameters including invasive species threatening the suitable habitats of Asian rhinos and take appropriate steps to optimally manage the habitats.
- To explore possibilities of expanding rhino ranges within the country or between rhino range countries for optimal population management.
- To strengthen transboundary collaboration among India, Nepal, and Bhutan for the greater one-horned rhino conservation and protection.
- To identify connectivity and corridors across international boundaries and keep them functional, safe and secure for free movement of Asian rhinos and other wildlife.
- To increase the engagement of the local communities as stewards to secure the future of rhinos in range countries.
- To initiate proactive monitoring on potential adverse impacts of climate change on rhino health and their habitats in range countries.
- To undertake studies on Rhino health issues & potential diseases and take necessary steps for management intervention.
- To regularly organize exposure visits for managers and frontline staffs of the rhino range countries and to document the best practices for wider dissemination.
- To collaborate and strengthen wildlife forensics for the purpose of investigation.
- To accelerate natural and conservation breeding of critically endangered Sumatran rhino including best use of all available individuals and technologies.
- To call to the attention of all countries that possible opening of international trade of rhino horn and other derivatives will have a severe detrimental impact on rhino populations in Asian rhino range countries.
On the occasion, Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change re-affirmed India’s commitment towards rhino conservation in India and added that national strategy will further pave the path for long term conservation of the Greater One-Horned Rhinos in India.
Tags: Aaranyak. • Asian Rhino Range Countries Meet • Bhutan • Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros • India
Punjab government along World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-India are conducting first organised census of Indus Dolphins, one of the world’s rarest mammals found only in India and Pakistan. The organised census aims at conservation of the species.
The first organised census will be conducted over period of five days in 185 km stretch between Talwara and Harike Barrage in Beas River in Punjab were riverine fresh water Indus Dolphins are confined. It will be conducted two joint teams of Department of Forests and Wildlife Preservation, Punjab and WWF-India. Its main objective is to establish accurate population of dolphins in order to plan conservation of species.
Indus Dolphin is subspecies of freshwater river dolphin (which also includes Ganges River dolphin) found in Indus river (and its Beas and Sutlej tributaries) flowing through India and Pakistan. It is national mammal of Pakistan. It is a key indicator species of river’s health. Its presence is considered as river is healthy. Indus dolphin like Ganges River dolphin is functionally blind and relies on echolocation to navigate, communicate and hunt prey in muddy river water.
Only 1,816 Indus dolphins are reported to exist presently in lower parts of Indus River. They are patchily distributed in five small, sub-populations that are separated by irrigation barrages across course of Indus river and its tributaries. Their numbers have declined dramatically after construction of irrigation system. It listed by the IUCN as endangered on its Red List of Threatened Species. Indus Dolphin was also found in Sutlej decades back, but river pollution has caused its extinction in river.