Rise in crocodile nestings in Odisha elates ecologists

first_imgThe steady increase in sightings of salt water crocodile nests in the swampy creeks of the Bhitarkanika National Park on the Odisha coast for three consecutive seasons has elated ecologists, who have hailed this achievement as the outcome of long-term conservation efforts.The wildlife wing of the State Forest Department has come across 80 crocodile nests in their wild habitats in 2017 in Bhitarkanika, compared with 75 in 2016 and 70 in 2015.“We have spotted 80 nests in the wild. But the number of crocodile nests could be more as we could not trace all of them due to inaccessibility. Of the 80 nests, 70 are in the Kanika range. For the first time, we discovered three crocodile nests in the Gahirmatha range,” Bimal Prasanna Acharya, divisional forest officer of the Rajnagar Forest Division told The Hindu on Tuesday.Bhitarkanika is said to house 70% of India’s estuarine or salt water crocodiles, conservation of which was started over four decades ago in 1975.Back then, when the Government of India and the United Nations Development Programme focussed on saving crocodiles in Bhitarkanika, there were hardly three or four nests sighted in the area and the population of salt water crocodiles was estimated to be 95, including 34 adults. Now, the numbers have grown to 1,682.Long-term effortSince 1977, salt water crocodile eggs have been collected and young crocodiles have been released in the creeks and the estuaries of Bhitarkanika. A decade ago, this practice was discontinued, allowing crocodiles to grow in their natural habitats.“More than 3,000 crocodiles have so far been released into the waters of the Bhitarkanika. We have been able to reverse the trend of a declining crocodile population and make the area a safer habitat for the reptile,” said Sudhakar Kar, a former scientist with the Odisha Forest Department and an expert on crocodiles with the International Union for Conservation of Nature.The Bhitarkanika National Park is a place where the rivers Brahmani, Baitarni, Dhamra and Pathsala meet the Bay of Bengal. The mangrove wetland and a large number muddy creeks provide perfect conditions for estuarine crocodiles to nest. Moreover, the nesting sites of crocodiles are located at places where tidal waves cannot wash away the eggs.“Unlike other crocodiles, estuarine crocodiles lay eggs by creating a mound made of leaves of a particular mangrove species, which are plentifully available in Bhitarkanika. Other crocodile species dig the soil for laying eggs,” said Dr. Kar.Crocodiles start laying eggs by mid-May, with an incubation period of 75 days. The female crocodile guards the nest devotedly for three months. During this period, she tends to attack anything that approaches the nest. Hatchlings come out in the month of August. An average of 25-30 eggs are found in a nest and 30% of hatchlings may finally survive.Dr. Kar said there are large habitats for salt water crocodiles in the Sundarbans in West Bengal, and in the large mangrove wetlands of the Andaman Islands, but they cannot match the density and population of crocodiles in the wild habitats of Bhitarkanika.The national park is also home to the only white-coloured captive crocodile named Gori. Many albino crocodile species can be found in the Bhitarkanika’s waters. The park also houses the world’s largest salt water crocodile, measuring about 23 feet — this was recorded in 2006 in the Guinness World Records.Dr. Kar said, “Salt water crocodiles devour predatory fishes. Hence, more fish thrive with the presence of crocodiles in the water.” He added, “The existence of salt water crocodiles depends on dense wet mangrove forests and the steady discharge of fresh water into the sea. Odisha has the distinction of having all three Indian species of crocodiles. ”last_img read more

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‘Impact of mining closure not as bad as in 2012’

first_imgGoa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar reiterated on Wednesday that the State’s economy will not be impacted much from the February 7 Supreme Court order to cancel mining leases. The views of all stakeholders are being heard before deciding on the future course of action. Addressing a press conference after meeting a cross-section of legislators and listening to their views on the emerging mining situation and it’s impact on the cancellation of 88 iron ore extraction leases, Mr. Parrikar said a final decision over resumption of mining and mode of leasing will be taken in 15 to 20 days. “Without going into the merits of the judgement, one has to accept it because Goa is facing economic problems. Now all stakeholders, including the judiciary will have to take into consideration the economic trajectory. It is not possible for government to suddenly disrupt it,” Mr. Parrikar said. However, he said the economic impact would not be as bad as in 2012, when iron ore exports were at their peak. “Direct revenue last year (from mining sector) will not exceed ₹300 crore, indirect (revenue) may account for another ₹50 to ₹100 crore. So, ₹300 crore in a total net budgetary size of ₹10,000 crore makes for 3% to 4 %,” he said.last_img read more

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AAP MLA Som Dutt convicted in assault case

first_imgA Delhi court has convicted AAP MLA Som Dutt for beating and assaulting a man during the 2015 Assembly election campaign. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal held Mr. Dutt, a legislator from the Sadar Bazar constituency here, guilty under Section 325 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt without provocation), 341 (wrongful restraint), 147 (rioting) and Section 149 (unlawful assembly) of the Indian Penal Code.“There is no doubt that on January 10, 2015, around 8 p.m., Som Dutt, along with his 50 supporters, went to flat no. 13 where the complainant was present. The complainant was beaten and assaulted by the accused and his associates due to which he suffered grievous injury,” the court said. Grievous injury The maximum punishment for causing grievous injury is seven years. The court will pronounce the quantum of sentence on July 4.The court, however, said the offence of wrongful restraint (Section 341 IPC) is not made out in this case as the complainant was not going anywhere and he was not restrained from proceeding in any direction. “Further, Section 147 of the IPC, which punishes the offence of rioting, is also not made out considering that the intention of the accused was only to beat the complainant and no further. “It is not clear how many persons, apart from the accused, had assaulted the complainant and what was their common object, if any,” the court said.An FIR was lodged against Mr. Dutt in 2015 at the Gulabi Bagh police station in North Delhi on the allegation that the MLA and around 50 of his supporters, while campaigning in the locality, had come to the house of complainant Sanjeev Rana.The prosecutor had alleged that when the complainant objected, the MLA allegedly hit him on his legs with a baseball bat and his supporters dragged him out on the road and started beating him, causing grievous injury.Mr. Dutt’s counsel had refuted the arguments, saying the MLA and his supporters were peacefully campaigning in the society and it was the complainant who started quarrelling with Mr. Dutt in an inebriated state, on which a cross FIR was also registered by the legislator.last_img read more

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Hanyu defends Olympic gold medal in men’s figure skating

first_imgOnyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics PLAY LIST 00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Jarencio, Globalport welcome long break before crucial battles ahead 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan reacts as his score is posted following his performance in the men’s free figure skating final in the Gangneung Ice Arena at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)GANGNEUNG, South Korea — Yuzuru Hanyu was introduced as the Olympic gold medalist, skated over to the podium and jumped high onto it. With a perfect landing, naturally.He also leaped into the figure skating history books Saturday, becoming the first man to repeat as Olympic champion since Dick Button in 1952.ADVERTISEMENT Adam Rippon doesn’t do quads, but his presentation and dramatic flair earn him points. The 28-year-old dropped from seventh to 10th, but these were successful games for him, and his arm pumps to bolster the audience’s cheers when he was done lent a comical touch.“They usually say that like, after the Olympic Games, somebody’s life changes forever,” Rippon said. “A lot of times it’s the gold medalist, but I have a feeling that my life has changed forever.” Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises View comments Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH “Just happy. I can’t say anymore, just happy,” Hanyu said through his ever-present smile. “I just did my best today. I don’t know if this is the best of my skating life, but I can say from my heart that I skated my best today.”He held off countryman Shoma Uno and Spain’s Javier Fernandez in the free skate.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutCoach Brian Orser met Hanyu as he left the ice after his strong but slightly flawed performance. Then Orser, a two-time Olympic silver medalist who also coaches Fernandez, rushed back to behind the sideboards to help encourage the Spaniard.Fernandez couldn’t match Hanyu. Read Next NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencerscenter_img As always, Hanyu skated to raucous support from the crowd , with thousands of Japanese flags filling the stands. He was terrific, though not perfect, particularly messing up a combination jump.As always, he left the ice to a swarm of cascading Winnie The Pooh dolls flooding the ice.Uno might have won the gold if not for his magnificent countryman. His energy throughout, particularly in the back end of his routine to “Turandot,” permeated the arena, and he pumped his arms wildly when he finished.Fernandez, skating to “Man of La Mancha,” was a worthy medalist, finishing just 1.66 points behind Uno.“It means a lot for my country,” Fernandez said. “We’ve never had a figure skating Olympic medal. We have such few Winter Olympic medals in any sports, so I hope it means a lot to everyone back home.”The 18-year-old Chen had succumbed to the pressure and massive expectations in the short program, a day earlier . On Saturday, he nailed virtually every element. He even did the sixth quad, a loop, getting full credit for the four rotations though he put his hands down on the ice on it.“I think after having such a disastrous short program and being so, so low in the ranking — lower than I usually ever am — it allowed me to completely forget the results and focus on enjoying myself out on the ice,” Chen said, “and getting rid of expectations helped a lot.”He led all three U.S. skaters into the top 10 as his 127.64 points for technical virtuosity put him in another stratosphere, and his 215.08 points for the free skate were a personal high.Chen’s 17-year-old teammate Vincent Zhou, put down five quads — as if to say, “Hey buddy, I can do this, too” — in another spectacular jumping show. Zhou also soared in the standings, winding up sixth.“It’s been such a wild ride over my short 17 years,” Zhou said. “I’ve been through so much, it would take me hours to say it all. But to skate like that, to have a successful performance means so much to me.” Hanyu later congratulated Fernandez and told him he wished both of them could have won.“I told him, ‘Yes, Yuzu, but only one can be champion. Only one can have the gold medal,’” Fernandez said.Uno moved from third Friday to second, loading a high-scoring quad and three triples into the final minute of his routine.“I knew which level of performance I performed,” he said through a translator. “I did what I intended to do.”American Nathan Chen surged from a fiasco of a short program, when he was 17th, by winning the free skate to wind up fifth. He did it with an historic routine featuring six quads.ADVERTISEMENT John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding MOST READ Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC AFP official booed out of forum Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 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