Sabyasachi Patra

IndiaWilds Newsletter Vol.1 Issue IX

IndiaWilds Newsletter Vol.1 Issue IX

Two faces of God’s Own Country (Kerala):

Kerala is promoted as God’s Own Country. In this newsletter I would delve on two pieces of news from Kerala.

Green Bench:
The Kerala High Court has set up a Green Bench. It is the 10th high court to have a green bench. This is inline with the Supreme Court of India’s green bench and would definitely help. A dedicated bench will help in speeding up in the disposal of the cases. And more importantly, it will help in sensitising the judges about the issues affecting our wildlife and wilderness areas thereby helping in protection of our environment and forests. It is certainly good news.

And now a piece of shocking news.

Culling Cormorants:
In a recently introduced scheme under the Integrated District Development Plan for Kollam culling of little cormorants (Phalacrocorax niger) has been proposed. If they succeed 70% of the population would be killed. The so called justification behind this obnoxious scheme is that these birds are voracious fish eaters and are supposedly depleting the fish wealth in inland waterbodies.

This plan entails culling down the estimated population of 1,00,000 by 70%. Traditional fishermen would be trained to use air gun to shoot down these birds and an incentive of five rupees per bird is going to be awarded. Apart from the fisheries department and other Government bodies the forest department is also involved.

When are we going to understand from our past follies? In the past we had branded our tigers, dholes, snow leopards etc as vermin and their killings were rewarded. As a result, the Asiatic Cheetah is extinct from India. Tiger is on the brink and so are a few other species. In Kailash Sankhala’s words “Management was an adhoc, conscience-salving ritual or, at best, based on erroneous empirical observations to the advantage of hunters.” It is unfortunate that we haven’t learnt from history. We have yet to understand the complex ecological relationship between the various species. We feel we can selectively exterminate one species.

It is ofcourse a fact that an offshoot of this muddle headed idea will result in killing of other birds as well. However, who cares? For further details please click on the following link:
http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1877

Please write emails, letters or faxes to the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Kerala pointing out that this is against the law and request him to kindly intervene.
Email: chiefminister@keralacm.gov.in
Postal Address:
Chief Minister of Kerala,
Room No.141, Third Floor, North Block, Govt. Secretariat, Thiruvananthapuram
Tel: 0471-2333812, Fax: +91 – 471-2333489

You may also bring this to the notice of the Hon’ble Minister for Environment and Forests Shri Jairam Ramesh at mosef@nic.in or at jairam54@gmail.com

Please remember that your voice matters. This newsletter reaches to 500 plus members of IndiaWilds and about 1000 non members. It would have a great impact if each one of you raises your voice.

IndiaWilds Forums:
Conservation:
The links to some of the other interesting discussions and news items in the conservation section are given below. You are invited to participate in the discussions:

The vanishing wetlands of India by Ranbir Mahapatra discusses the importance of wetlands
http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1780

Nest making Frogs in India
http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1825

Natural History:
Elephant Behaviour during attack:
http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1862

Langur Mating:
http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1815

Wilderness Updates:
We often tend to ignore the smaller sanctuaries and protected areas. An interesting update about Kalatop Khajjiar Sanctuary by Mayank Kohli. We should document such places and help in conserving the place. For further details please click on the link below:
http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1808

Wildlife Photography:
I am sharing a few links to some of the fine images shared by our members:

Barking Deer by Subramanya CK
http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1709

Common Kingfisher by Atul Dhamankar
http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1776

even a grass of blade is valuable… by Jitendra Katre
http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1753

Egyptian Vulture by Mrudul Godbole
http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1740

Albino Whiteeared Bulbul by Atul Dhamankar
http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1741

Spotted Owlet by Vikram Gupchup
http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1700

Indian Roller by Himadri Mondal
http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1686

Black Kite by AB Apana
http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1641

Purple Heron by Vaisnavi Rajan
http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1678

Kanha National Park morning by Kiran Ghadge
http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1695

Aliyar by Rajan Kanagasabai
http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1720

Scorpion fly by Sagar Patil
http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1816

Equipment Discussions:
And to all those gear heads, here is an interesting discussion on ideal camera. Do add your inputs and have fun:
http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1794

Look forward to your inputs and your support in preserving the last tracts of wilderness and wildlife left in this beautiful country. For other interesting articles and photographs please check:
http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/

Regards,
Sabyasachi Patra
www.indiawilds.com

(Circulated in September 2009)

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Sabyasachi Patra

Sabyasachi is an award winning Cinematographer and shoots for international broadcasters, feature films and corporates to make a living. He is a passionate wildlife filmmaker and photographer and has won awards and accolades for his documentary 'A Call in the Rainforest'. He has been striving to make his films and photographs full of life and emotion and write articles to educate and evangelise the need for conserving the last tracts of vanishing wilderness and wildlife in our country. He hopes that his wildlife films, photographs and writings force people to pause, look, ponder and ultimately take action.
Sabyasachi Patra
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