The Heyvan Times brings you a weekly dose of news on animal affairs from across India, curated specially for animal buffs like us. Here are the top three of this week.
- Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary records increase in migratory bird species
Thanks to the exceptional efforts taken up by the Chandigarh Wildlife Wing, the Sukhna Wildlife Sanctuary has recorded 32 migratory bird species this year. According to a report published in The Times of India, the migratory birds were attracted to shallow water bodies created by the Wildlife Wing inside the sanctuary. Some of the species include Common Sandpiper, White-throated Kingfisher, Wagtails, Lesser Whistling Duck, Grey Heron, Spot Billed Duck, Comb Duck and White breasted Water Hen.
The migratory birds reach Chandigarh every year from Siberia, Central Asia, Afghanistan, China and upper Himalayas. The birds stay put from mid-November till March or April end.
According to officials, the water bodies were created to provide a stable and disturbance free habitat to these annual visitors. So far, the birds had been feeding in Sukhna lake. However, the lake has been facing water level fluctuation and this made conservationists apprehensive about the birds bypassing the site as they prefer shallow waters to feed in. Officials have added that since the shallow water bodies have been created, there has been an increase in the number of migratory birds in the city.
2. Maharashtra forest department mulls over leopard castration
In its bid to ease man-animal conflict in Junnar, Pune, the Maharashtra forest department is considering castrating leopards around the area. To begin with, the state government is all set to commission a first of its kind study by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII). According to a report published in DNA, under the study, the leopards will be radio collared and camera traps will set up to study their dispersal. Expected to be launched in a fortnight, this will be the first such project in Maharashtra and cover areas in Junnar forest division like Junnar, Rajgurunagar and Shirur. In these areas, human-leopard conflict is endemic due to population pressures and change in cropping patterns.
The study will ascertain the leopard population and their migration to and from the landscape. According to the forest department officials, rescued leopards from conflicts could be castrated before release. The Rs 3 crore project, spread over four years, was commissioned to study this.
3. Action sought against Priyanka Gandhi for petting a snake
Gauri Mulekhi, a Delhi-based lawyer-activist has sought action against Priyanka Gandhi Vadra after a video surfaced on social media showing Priyanks touching and petting a snake during a Congress rally in Uttar Pradesh. A video showed the Congress leader sitting with snake charmers in Uttar Pradesh’s Raebareli, touching a snake and putting the reptile in its box.
According to a report published in India.Com, in a letter written to chief wildlife warden of Uttar Pradesh, Gauri has sought immediate action against the Congress general secretary in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh alleging that the snakes were illegally procured and she “aided the act of hunting by encouraging and instigating people to touch the snakes.”
“Such acts of casual hunting for petty profits and its abetment such as this have led to a sharp decline in the snake population in India. The present case deserves nothing but the highest priority so that such blatant hunting and poaching is brought to book.
“Please consider this notice under section 55 of the Wildlife Act to take suitable steps to file a complaint against Priyanka Gandhi and her unknown accomplices under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972,” Gauri has written in the letter.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons