Gujarat slips on wetlands recognition Pakistan gets honored on environmental front


Pakistan has scored over Gujarat on the environment front. Even though Pakistan has just 10% compared to Kutch’s about 12,000 sq kilometers area that attracts migratory birds, the neighboring country already has an international recognition for the same.

Pakistan part of the desert had got the tag of Ramsar site, way back in 2002. Gujarat, on the other hand, is yet to send a recommendation for the 90% of the Rann. An official in the forest department said the Kutch area easily qualifies for Ramsar recognition. He said that the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971) is an intergovernmental treaty that embodies the commitments of its member countries to maintain the ecological character of their wetlands of international importance and to plan sustainable use.

However, the state forest department has not even recommended Kutch to be notified as Ramsar site. The official said that Ramsar tag would ensure international recognition to the area, Also the site gets a commitment from the government to preserve the ecological balance.

In addition, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and groups of citizens at all levels of the communities, including at international stage, also undertake actions aimed at raising public awareness of wetland values and benefits in general, and the Ramsar Convention in particular. While attaching Ramsar recognition to Runn of Notch in Pakistan in the year 2002, it was announced that this area was integral with .the large Rann of Kutch across the frontier with India. The Runn of Kutch in Pakistan has locally and globally threatened species; including the Great Indian Bustard, Hauberk Bustard, Sarus Crane, and Hyena and also population of greater and lesser flamingos- The site does not have more than one lakh birds visiting the area.

On the contrary, over 10 lakh migratory birds flock the Indian parts of the Rann like Khadir and flamingo city, This sanctuary, which is the largest in the state, encompasses a true saline desert where thousands of Flamingoes nest and breed in the world-famous ‘Flamingo City.’

Pelicans, black-necked storks, cormorant, Indian cormorant, Brahmini Duck, Pintail, Spotbill, Shoveller, Pochard, Sandpiper, Gulls, Terns, Tints and plovers also throng the area.

An ornithologist Bharat Jethwa says, “This is an extremely important area as it also a breeding site. The site if it gets Ramsar recognition, it would be protected by international laws and global attention would be drawn on every measure taken for the conservation.”

He said that the officials should immediately take it up and recommend this site for a Ramsar label.

Additional principal’s chief conservator of forest H S Singh said, “Gujarat always has maintained that there should be less penetration to outsiders.”

“If a site gets Ramsar recognition there would much foreign interference in terms of researchers and hence Gujarat, and for the matter Centre too, was not keen on Ramsar recognition’ Singh added.

He stated that countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh eye such tags because they get international funds for conservation, •which is not the case with the Indian sites.

 Courtesy:- Times Of India

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Former MP joins drive to save flamingos


Former BJP Member of Parliament from Kutch Pushpadan Gadhvi has come forward to save the winged visitors from Siberia from the jaws of death. Over 400 flamingos had died after colliding with high tension cables in the Khadir region in Kutch. Gadhvi is a trustee of a trust working to create awareness on saving birds, animals and even Gauchar land. Gadhvi who visited Khadir region said, “We need to take care of our winged visitors from dying in such large numbers.” The birds had died after they collided with the high tension transmission cables of Gujarat Energy Transmission Company (GETCO). GETCO had begun taking corrective measures after The Times of India reported on the death of scores of these birds along a recently electrified cable line. Gadhvi said after the completion of the Kutch Rann Utsav, which begins on December 9, he will invite expert bird watchers from the area and even the experts from the Bombay Natural History Society to deliberate on the issue of the death of birds after collision with high tension cables. “If the experts give an opinion that laying the cables underground was the best option, I would take the BJP party office bearers into confidence and talk to the minister of state for energy Saurabh Patel on laying cables underground.” He said the forest department team has taken some measures like having cellophane papers and reflectors installed along the high tension wires, which is proving to be effective. Also the department has installed light along the poles. He said that an awareness campaign will be organized to ensure that the birds were not poached or killed. Officials in the forest department said, “With the water receding, the birds are moving away from cables.”

 

Courtesy:- Times Of India.

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Fencing trap Kills Leopard in Rajula Taluka, Amreli, Gujarat, India


A farmer in Hadmatiya village of Rajula taluka in Amreli was arrested on charges of poaching on Wednesday after a leopard died in his field after being trapped in the fencing surrounding the field. Ramesh Coli was booked under Sections of Wildlife Protection of Act (1972) and sent to judicial custody. According to forest officials, a male leopard was trapped in a device placed on the boundary of the farms’ fencing erected to keep wild animals away from the crops. Officials said that a person who has taken the land on lease for cultivation from the farm owner had laid the fencing around the farms and also placed trap devices with clutch wires to trap the animals that destroy crops. The leopard tried to jump from that place and was clutched to death. Forest officials registered a complaint of poaching against the accused and on Wednesday sent to jail for the crime. “The device which was used by accused is one kind of trap in which the animal once stuck can’t escape and dies”, a senior Forest Officer said. Wildlife activists have expressed concern over the accidental death of wild animal’s as well electric fencing and other type of devices used by farmers to protect their crops. Recently, Right to Information (RTI) Act application filed by a Porbandar-based RTI activist Bhanu Odedara revealed that during the last five years, 171 wild animals died due to various kinds of accidents in Junagadh wildlife division area. Odedra obtained the details about natural deaths, accidental deaths and poaching of Asiatic lions, leopards, hyena, blackbucks and blue bulls. The RTI revealed that 14 wild animals were poached and 449 did natural deaths. Of the total 171 accidental deaths, 53 are leopard’s and3aions. Rests of the animals are blue bulls, blackbucks and hyena.

Courtesy:- Times Of India.

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Large flocks make Kutch birdwatchers’ delight


The Khadir area in Kutch this season has seen a large number of migratory avifauna owing to good rains this season.

“Usually, there are 30,000 to 40,000 birds gathering at Khadir, but this time because of the good rams in the region, there was water and hence the migratory birds have come in large numbers. Availability of food and protective environment has also added to the increase,” said the officer. Chief Conservator of Forest D.K. Sharma said, “Lakhs of birds have arrived in Greater Rann of Kutch wetland this year Ornithologists and amateur bird watchers are excited about the flamingos and many other rare birds in Khadir. More than two lakh flamingos, 10,000 pelicans, 7,000 gulls, 5,000 black winged stilt, and reef herons, painted and white storks as well as Casper and river terns – all were spotted in Khadir area,” he said. Sharma said “We feel the number of birds that have arrived in Kutch this year would break all records of past years.” He said that the forest department is taking all safety measures and keeping a regular vigil by tracking the movements of the birds.

 

Courtesy:- Times of India.

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