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India’s Tiger Population is Rising and This Photo Provides Brilliant Proof

The country’s tiger population has grown by about 33 percent since 2014.

Elias Marat

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India Tiger Population
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(TMU) — India’s population of wild tigers is quickly rising after the government put its efforts behind strong conservationist policies defending the country’s wildlife.

A new census from the Indian government shows that the country’s tiger population has grown by about 33 percent since 2014. At present, the country’s wild Bengal tiger population stands at 2,967—mainly due to a ban on hunting and strict implementation of protections.

The South Asian country can now be proud of its role as one of the largest and most stable habitats for tigers worldwide, according to the Status of Tigers in India – 2018 report by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).

Proof of the tigers’ healthy numbers are apparent in a photo by an Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer that has gone viral.

In the photo snapped by IFS official Siddharth Singh and shared by his colleague Parveen Kaswan, a tigress can be seen walking through a path in the northern Indian region of Terai alongside her five cubs.

Along with the image shared on Twitter, Kaswan wrote:

”This is a magical picture. Count the #cubs with #tigress. I know for a reason how few people will be elated after seeing this. Efforts are helping in making this species bounce back from the verge of extinction. PC Siddharth Singh. Magical Terai.”

https://twitter.com/ParveenKaswan/status/1214048610150600705

The Terai region of the Uttarakhand state’s Western Circle forests have registered the highest growth in tigers, with the large cat’s numbers growing from 79 in 2014 to at least 119 adults in 2018, reports India Times.

In response to the photo, a fellow forest manager wrote:

“Terai is one of the most ecological productive ecosystems of the globe. It bounces back very soon in case given due to protection and slightly intervened with habitat inputs. Results have been extremely encouraging in Katerniaghat, Pilibhit and Dudhwa as I could see.”

https://twitter.com/rameshpandeyifs/status/1214065545810595840

In 1973, the Bengal tiger was declared the national animal of India. That same year, the country’s government under then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi initiated Project Tiger, a tiger conservation program that sought to preserve the tiger’s natural habitats, fight back against threats to the creature, and protect the country’s biodiversity.

The government has also established Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) around big cat habitats as well as the world’s largest animal underpass, according to Nature. In 2019, the country invested 3.5 billion rupees ($49.4 million) toward conservation efforts.

However, some critics warn that tigers’ forest corridors continue to face a grave threat from continued infrastructure development in rural zones, posing a potentially fatal threat to the tiger population.

By Elias Marat | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

Animals

Idaho Senate Approves Bill to Kill 90 Percent of State’s Wolves in “Brutal War”

Elias Marat

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Idaho’s legislature is swiftly moving forward with a bill that critics say would sanction a “brutal war” on wolves whereby up to 90 percent of the current wolf population would be killed in a bid to protect the interests of the state’s ranchers.

On Wednesday, the Idaho senate passed the measure by a 26-7 vote. The bill will now move forward to the House chamber, reports Associated Press.

Since teetering at the brink of endangerment years ago, wolf populations were removed from the state endangered species list in 2011. Since then, they have thrived despite Idaho allowing hundreds to be killed by hunters, trappers and state measures to control their numbers. Over the past two years, the wolf population has held steady at about 1,500.

According to federal guidelines, wolf recovery numbers require about 150 wolves in the state.

Republican supporters of the bill said during senate debates that the wolf population has grown entirely out of control, endangering the numbers of deer and elk available to hunters and harming the state economy.

“We’re supposed to have 15 packs, 150 wolves. We’re up to 1,553, was the last count, 1,556, something like that. They’re destroying ranchers. They’re destroying wildlife. This is a needed bill,” said Republican state Sen. Mark Harris. 

However, critics have blasted the move as rash and potentially damaging to the state’s wildlife.

The Idaho Senate’s sudden move to pass this bill in the eleventh hour incentivizes the cruel deaths of more than 1,000 wolves across the state,” said Andrea Zaccardi, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. 

“This brutal war on wolves must be stopped, and we urge the House to deny this bill,” Zaccardi added.

Maggie Howell, the head of the Wolf Conservation Center, also described the move as the latest in a hostile and extreme campaign against wolves that fails to take into account the creatures’ value to the local ecology.

“Beyond the wanton cruelty and devastation the passage of this bill would bring to wolves, this legislation poses a threat to wolves nationwide,” she told the New York Times. “With the Trump administration’s decision to transfer wolf management authority from the federal government to the states, Idaho’s policies can influence expectations about wildlife management beyond its borders.”

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As Marine Life Flees the Equator, Global Mass Extinction is Imminent: Scientists

Elias Marat

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The waters surrounding the equator are one of the most biodiverse areas in the globe, with the tropical area rich in marine life including rare sea turtles, whale sharks, manta rays, and other creatures.

However, rampant rises in temperate have led to a mass exodus of marine species from the sensitive region – with grave implications for life on earth.

While ecologists have long seen the thriving biodiversity of equatorial species holding constant in the past few centuries, a new study by Australian researchers published in The Conversation has found that warming global temperatures are now hitting the equator hard, potentially leading to an unprecedented mass extinction event.

The researchers from the Universities of Auckland, Queensland, and the Sunshine Coast found that as waters surrounding the equator continue to heat up, the ecosystem is being disrupted and forcing species to flee toward the cooler water of the South and North Pole.

The massive changes in marine ecosystems that this entails will have a grave impact not only on ocean life – essentially becoming invasive species in their new homes –  but also on the human livelihoods that depend on it.

“When the same thing happened 252 million years ago, 90 percent of all marine species died,” the researchers wrote.

To see where marine life is headed, the researchers tracked the distribution of about 49,000 different species to see what their trajectory was. The global distribution of ocean life typically resembles a bell curve, with far fewer species near the poles and more near the equator.

However, the vast alteration of the curve is already in motion as creatures flee to the poles, according to a study they published in the journal PNAS.

These changes augur major disruptions to global ecosystem as marine life scrambles in a chaotic fight for food, space, and resources – with a mass die-off and extinction of creatures likely resulting.

The research underscores the dire need for human societies to control rampant climate change before the biodiversity and ecological health of the planet is pushed past the point of no return.

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Animals

Rare Creature Photographed Alive In The Wild For The First Time Ever

Elias Marat

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Advances in the methods used by researchers to watch wildlife have allowed for the photographing of a rare creature whose image had never been captured in the wild before.

Researchers in the West African nation of Togo were able to spot the rare Walter’s duiker, a rare species of petite African antelope, for the first time in the wild thanks to camera traps equipped with motion sensors.

In addition to the Walter’s duiker, the camera traps were also able to discover rare species of aardvarks and a mongoose, reports Gizmodo.

At a time when the extinction of entire species is becoming more common worldwide, such devices should help conservationists not only preserve creatures sought by bushmeat hunters but also spot rare animals whose presence is elusive for human observers. In the past, biologists were forced to rely on the same hunters for information.

“Camera traps are a game changer when it comes to biodiversity survey fieldwork,” said University of Oxford wildlife biologist Neil D’Cruze.

“I’ve spent weeks roughing it in tropical forests seemingly devoid of any large mammal species,” D’Cruze continued. “Yet when you fire up the laptop and stick in the memory card from camera traps that have been sitting there patiently during the entire trip—and see species that were there with you the entire time —it’s like being given a glimpse into a parallel world.”

The Walter’s duiker was discovered in 2010 when specimens of bushmeat were compared to other duiker specimens. The new images of the creature are the first to have been seen.

Rare species like Walter’s duiker are often not listed as “endangered” by groups like the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to a lack of data.

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