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:

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.
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 or at

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:
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

Nest making Frogs in India

Natural History:
Elephant Behaviour during attack:

Langur Mating:

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:

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

Barking Deer by Subramanya CK

Common Kingfisher by Atul Dhamankar

even a grass of blade is valuable… by Jitendra Katre

Egyptian Vulture by Mrudul Godbole

Albino Whiteeared Bulbul by Atul Dhamankar

Spotted Owlet by Vikram Gupchup

Indian Roller by Himadri Mondal

Black Kite by AB Apana

Purple Heron by Vaisnavi Rajan

Kanha National Park morning by Kiran Ghadge

Aliyar by Rajan Kanagasabai

Scorpion fly by Sagar Patil

Equipment Discussions:
And to all those gear heads, here is an interesting discussion on ideal camera. Do add your inputs and have fun:

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:

Sabyasachi Patra

(Circulated in September 2009)

Sabyasachi Patra
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