Vienna Zoo Breeds Endangered Batagur Turtle

The Schoenbrunn Zoo in Vienna said on Tuesday it has successfully bred one of the most endangered species of turtle, the Batagur baska, for the first time in captivity.Two baby Batagur turtles were hatched in the zoo’s reptile house at the beginning of May, the zoo said in a statement.

The Batagur baska — which is listed as “critically endangered” by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature — is a river terrapin that can grow to up to 60 centimetres (24 inches).At home in the rivers of Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, India and Bangaldesh, its meat and eggs were long considered a delicacy.
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Pigeon Held In India On Suspicion Of Spying For Pakistan

Indian police are holding a pigeon under armed guard after it was caught on an alleged spy mission for neighboring Pakistan, media reported Friday.The white-colored bird was found by a local resident in India’s Punjab state, which borders Pakistan, and taken to a police station 25 miles from the city of Amritsar.The pigeon had a ring around its foot and a Pakistani phone number and address stamped on its body in red ink.

Police officer Ramdas Jagjit Singh Chahal told the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency that they suspected the pigeon landed on Indian soil from Pakistan with a message, although no trace of a note was found.Officials directed that no one should be allowed to visit the pigeon, which police said was possibly on a “special mission of spying.”The bird was medically examined and kept in an air-conditioned room under police guard.
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India Needs More Parks And Corridors For Long-Term Survival Of Its Animals

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In a new study, an international team of scientists has determined that the long-term survival of many large species in the midst of rapid economic growth in India will require improving existing protected areas and establishing new protected areas and corridors.The study, carried out by researchers at the Wildlife Conservation Society, Duke University, and other groups, found that country’s protected area system and human cultural tolerance for some species are key to conserving the subcontinent’s tigers, elephants, and other large mammals.

The researchers created models to estimate extinction probability for 25 large mammal species, determining current species distributions along with more than 30,000 historical records from natural history, taxidermy and museum records dating back 200 years.The models were used to gauge how factors such as protected areas, forest cover, elevation, and human demographics, and cultural attitudes impact extinction predictions.The results of the analysis found that all 25 species would experience some level of local extinction due to a variety of factors such as habitat loss and human population growth and development.
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India May Have Lost Siberian Cranes For Ever

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For the tenth consecutive year, the majestic Siberian Cranes – among the most endangered birds in the world – have skipped India this winter, say experts.They apprehend that the Siberian Cranes are unlikely to ever come to the Bharatpur region of Rajasthan again as they have apparently changed their centuries-old migratory route from Siberia to India.

“These birds have not been sighted in the famous Keoladeo National Park of Bharatpur or any other place in northern India. It is clear that their route has undergone a change owing to a variety of reasons,” Dilawar Mohammed, ornithologist with the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), said.The last time a pair of Siberian Cranes (Grus leucogeranus) was spotted in this park was way back in 2001.

“After that it has been a disappointment for bird lovers, ornithologists and tourists who used to go there for a glimpse of these royal birds,” Mohammed said.He explained that the Siberian Cranes’ route to India was through Afghanistan. The adult birds stand as tall as 91 inches and can weigh over 10 kg.Dodging the bombings by US fighter jets which tried to root out the erstwhile Taliban regime in October 2001 and after the 9/11 strikes in the US, the Siberian Cranes managed to reach India for the last time.
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India's 38th Tiger Reserve Opens

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India’s 38th tiger reserve and Kerala’s second was Friday declared open by environment and forests minister Jairam Ramesh. It would be known as the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve.There has been a sharp decline in the number of tigers in India, with only 1,411 of them left, according to official estimates.

The tiger reserve was known as the Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary when it was set up in 1973 in a 285-sq-km protected area in Chittur area of Palakkad.Another 358 sq km of forests were added, and the tiger reserve now has an area of 643 sq km.
It has a rich diversity of animal life. It also has a variety of trees, including teak, neem, sandalwood and rosewood.Kerala’s first tiger reserve — Periyar Tiger Reserve — is situated in Thekkadi in Idukki district.

(source)

India's 38th Tiger Reserve Opens

capt.photo_1264186491233-1-0

India’s 38th tiger reserve and Kerala’s second was Friday declared open by environment and forests minister Jairam Ramesh. It would be known as the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve.There has been a sharp decline in the number of tigers in India, with only 1,411 of them left, according to official estimates.

The tiger reserve was known as the Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary when it was set up in 1973 in a 285-sq-km protected area in Chittur area of Palakkad.Another 358 sq km of forests were added, and the tiger reserve now has an area of 643 sq km.
It has a rich diversity of animal life. It also has a variety of trees, including teak, neem, sandalwood and rosewood.Kerala’s first tiger reserve — Periyar Tiger Reserve — is situated in Thekkadi in Idukki district.

(source)

Now, A Fashion Week To Support The Cause Of Tiger

A fashion week in Kolkata has come to the rescue of the dwindling population of tigers in theWith a theme of eco-fashion, the five-day ‘Kolkata Fashion and Lifestyle Week’ (KFLW), beginning February 24, is in support of the ‘Save our Tigers’ campaign launched by WWF India.”This is a fashion week with a cause. We will try and create awareness to save the wildlife, especially the tigers. With fewer tigers left in India, now it is high time we became aware of this issue and do our bit to protect the animals,” Yudhajit Dutta, organiser of the fashion extravaganza, told reporters today.

Since the United Nations has declared 2010 as the ‘International Year of Bio-diversity’, KFLW has decided to take this a step further by aiming to present eco-friendly fashion, he said.The fashion event will try to promote stylised clothing that uses environmentally sensitive fabrics and responsible production techniques.Though the designers have not been asked to present their collection on this issue, one of the ramp shows of KFLW could be on this theme.

“We plan to donate a certain portion of the proceeds to the ‘Save the Tiger’ campaign too,” Dutta said.


(source)

Crocodiles 'Taught To Recognise Their Names'

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The reptiles, Paleo and Suchus, have been taught to listen for their names being called, it was claimed.Keepers at the centre in Ellesmere Port, Merseyside, they are even learning when to open their mouths for food. They said the type of training had worked with mammals before but hardly ever with reptiles.”They are very intelligent and started responding to their names in just a few days,” said Tom Cornwall, the aquarium’s manager.

In a bid to train them, the crocodiles, which are called Cuvier’s dwarf caiman, are given food as a prize if they react in the right way.The training takes its idea from a similar scheme run at the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust in India.Once fully trained, the aquarium’s zoological team will set up “enrichment activities” for the pair.
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Crocodiles 'Taught To Recognise Their Names'

croc_1564731c

The reptiles, Paleo and Suchus, have been taught to listen for their names being called, it was claimed.Keepers at the centre in Ellesmere Port, Merseyside, they are even learning when to open their mouths for food. They said the type of training had worked with mammals before but hardly ever with reptiles.”They are very intelligent and started responding to their names in just a few days,” said Tom Cornwall, the aquarium’s manager.

In a bid to train them, the crocodiles, which are called Cuvier’s dwarf caiman, are given food as a prize if they react in the right way.The training takes its idea from a similar scheme run at the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust in India.Once fully trained, the aquarium’s zoological team will set up “enrichment activities” for the pair.
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Animals Can Rain From The Sky

Singapourfish

Raining animals is a relatively common meteorological phenomenon, with occurrences reported from many countries throughout history. The animals most likely to drop from the sky in a rainfall are fish and frogs, with birds coming third. Sometimes the animals survive the fall, especially fish, suggesting a small time gap between the extraction and the actual drop.

Several witnesses of raining frogs describe the animals as startled, though healthy, and exhibiting relatively normal behavior shortly after the event. In some incidents, however, the animals are frozen to death or even completely enclosed in blocks of ice. These occurrences may be evidence for the transport of the victims to high altitudes, where the temperature is below zero, and they show how powerful meteorological forces can be. Most recent occurrences include the rain of frogs and toads in Serbia (2005) and London (1998), and rains of fish in India (2006) and Wales (2004).
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