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Genetically Modified Crops: Techniques used to improve agriculture

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Genetically modified crops (GM crops) are referred to as the economic plants or crop plants in which, the DNA has been modified via genetic engineering techniques. In most of the cases, the primary objective is to induce a unique trait into the plant that does not occur naturally in the species. Some of the unique traits in food crops include resistance to specific diseases, pests, environmental conditions, resistance to chemical treatments, or improving the nutrient profile of the crop.

Let’s know about some of the common crop modification techniques.

Cross Breeding

This is a technique in which two sexually compatible crop plants are cross-pollinated to produce a hybrid. Some of the examples include plumcot (plum + apricot), tangelos (tangerine + grapefruit), the limequat (lime + kumquat) and most famously the rabbage (cabbage + radish).

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Mutagenesis

Mutations are nothing but the genetic modifications which can switch, add, or delete the nucleotides such as A, T, G and C bases. However, these genetic modifications are sometimes induced by the plant breeders via radiations and chemicals which may lead to new and/or enhanced traits. This technique was introduced by Hermann Muller, Charlotte Auerbach and J. M. Robson in the early 20th century.

One of the examples of such induced mutation is the red grapefruit in which the deep red color is the result of mutagenesis via radiation.

Image result for Muted red grapefruit

Protoplast Fusion

In this technique, the hard cell walls or the protoplasts of two plant cells were removed and a chemical called polyethylene is added, which allows the two cells to stick together. Then, basic chemicals are added to help the cells to combine and exchange their genetic information.

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This creates a hybridized plant cell, which sounds similar to a cross-breeding technique, however, it is done in a lab.

Polyploidy

Human beings are referred to as diploid animals i.e. they have two sets of homologous chromosomes. Similarly, polyploidy has more than one, and the induction of polyploidy is used for controlling the reproduction.

Image result for Polyploidy

Polyploidy can be introduced by soaking seeds in colchcine, which can either make sterile crosses fertile, such as the Triticale, a hybrid of wheat and rye, or sterilizes crops, such as watermelon, to make seedless strains.

Genome Editing

This process includes cutting, replacing or inserting genes within the seed cells using nucleases, the enzymes which have the ability to loosen, remove and add nucleotides, commonly referred to as “molecular scissors”.

Image result for Genome Editing

These nucleases are artificially engineered so that these can be accurately placed in desired genes, or traits, into the genome of the crop. One of the examples is the herbicide-tolerant canola created using genomic editing techniques to help farmers control weeds.

Transgenesis

This is a technique in which genes from one crop are induced into another crop. As the genetic code is readable by all living beings, the genes introduced will code for the same proteins as it did before. There are several methods to induce these new genes.

Image result for Transgenesis in crop plantsOne of those methods is using agrobacterium to carry genes into the genome, while another method is using electricity to induce the same.

All of these techniques have similarities as well as differences. These genetic modifications are introduced to combine useful genetic traits in order to improve agriculture. However, these techniques sometimes affect the regulations for health and environmental safety.

Organic agriculture: A holistic approach to farming

Organic farming: The future of Indian Agriculture

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Sonali Patnaik is majorly into secondary research and report writing. She is an avid reader and reads a variety of novels, a music lover and a movie buff. She also loves to travel and fond of cooking experiments. She expresses her views on various topics and does so through her well-researched articles.



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Fauna

Organisms illuminate with Bioluminescence phenomena!

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Bioluminescence is a natural phenomenon of producing light by living organisms. This light is majorly produced by the oxidization of the molecule luciferin, a reaction catalyzed by the enzyme luciferase. Some organisms generate their own glow while others act as a vector for some bacteria that emit light for them. The organisms emit light to serve several purposes, which include repelling predators, attracting preys or potential mates.

Here are some examples of bioluminescent organisms.

Jelly Fish

Over half of jellyfish species produce some type of bioluminescence, majorly as a restraint to the predators.

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For example, a jellyfish called Aequorea victoria produces a green glow around the perimeter of its bell by emitting its preliminary blue light through a chemical compound called green fluorescent protein (GFP).

Squid

Most of the species of squid produce bioluminescence for various purposes.

Image result for squid with bioluminescence

Some of the deep-sea squid spurt glowing mucus to confuse their predators, while others, such as the tiny bobtail squid, use its small cavities underneath of its body, which serves as a shelter to bioluminescent bacteria.

Anglerfish

Deep-sea anglerfishes attract their prey with glowing baubles hanging from rods in front of their mouths.

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Its preys get attracted to the fleshy lanterns and are inhaled by the monstrous fish when they approach towards it.

Lanternfish

Lanternfishes are tiny mesopelagic fishes of the family Myctophidae. One of the two families in the order Myctophiformes, the Myctophidae are represented by 246 species in 33 genera and are found in oceans worldwide.

Image result for Lantern Fish of Myctophidae that emits light in ocean

The species is appropriately named after their evident use of bioluminescence. The species has a unique pattern of light-producing photophores, used for signaling and mating. The photophores comprised of lens-shaped, transparent scales covering the tissue that emits light; these lenses help in focussing and amplifying the light.

Firefly

The firefly, which belongs to the Lampyridae family are insects in the beetle order Coleoptera with over 2,000 species.

Image result for Firefly

These are soft-bodied beetles that are also called as lightning bugs for their conspicuous usage of bioluminescence during twilight to attract their mates or prey.

Fungi

More than 70 species of fungus are known to bioluminescence. These fungi continuously emit greenish light at a wavelength of 520–530 nm, which occurs only in living cells.

Image result for Fungi emitting light

There is no correlation between the fungal bioluminescence and their cell structure has not been found yet.

Surprising Fauna Facts!!!

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Animals that people Love to wear!!!

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It sounds crazy but few people love to wear apparels made from animal skin or fur. Many people unknowingly stock their wardrobe with luxurious vanity, jackets, belts and even shoes made of animal skin. Each year, the worldwide leather industry slaughters about a billion animals for tanning their skins. These animals undergo all horrific methods of factory farming which includes incarceration, deprivation, and castration, stamping, and tail-docking. Animals are also slaughtered for their fur, silk, leather, wool, feathers and many more.

Here, we have listed ten poor animals that are very commonly killed for making garments.

Silk Worms

It is a widely known fact the silk clothes we wear are made from silkworms but have anyone ever given a thought that how the silk is obtained from the worms? The silkworm is a caterpillar or the larva of an insect Bombyx mori, commonly known as Silkmoth.

Silkworms

Sericulture involves boiling the cocoon worms alive in order to get the skein or the silk threads. Approximately 3000 silkworms are killed to produce a pound of silk only.

Seals

Seal hunting for commercial purposes in Canada is one of the cruelest and largest butcheries of marine animals on the Earth. Baby seals are often clubbed to death in order that their pelt may be used for human clothing.

Seals

Over a decade, approximately two million seals were killed; thousands of baby seals clubbed or shot for their fur every year. Expert vets studied and confirmed that this is the most brutal slaughters of its kind. Most of the seals are skinned alive. About 95% of the seals slaughtered are pups that are the babies of seals who are just a few weeks old and haven’t even eaten their first solid meal or taken their first swim yet.

Rabbits

Rabbits or bunnies are raised in captivity and sheared by brutal methods to get a kind of wool called angora.

Rabbits

Female rabbit yields more wool than male rabbits, therefore, in larger farms male rabbits are killed at birth. In some places, the workers tear the fur out of their delicate skin as frequently as every three months.

Foxes

On many fur farms, foxes are kept in small and filthy wire cages before being killed for their fur.

Foxes

These are caught in traps crushing their legs to bleed and until they die or hunters arrive. Further, the fur farmers use cheapest methods such as electrocution, suffocation, gas, and poison to kill these animals brutally.

Sheep

In Australia, the global leader in merino wool export, Sheep are subjected to a cruel mutilation method in which workers in the farm carve flesh and skin from the backsides of the animals, most of the time without giving them any anesthesia or painkillers.

Sheep

The method is called as mulesing.

Lambs

In some farms, lambs are killed while in the womb of a mother sheep, even before being born.

Lambs

This method is practiced to obtain karakul, a much softer and smoother variety of fur.

Chiru

Chiru, which considered being an endangered species of Tibetan antelope, is found in the high Himalayas. These animals are directly hunted and killed for its fur, as they cannot be domesticated.

Chiru

There is a thriving black market of Shahtoosh wool obtained from these wild Tibetian antelope, even though there is stringent law against it.

Minks

Mink jackets and coats have been considered as a status symbol for a long time. Because of its high costs, people believe that it’s a luxury to wear mink and only a few people can afford this. This led the little animals to die in thousands or more.

Minks

In order to get the costly fur material, these little creatures go through brutal handling by the farmworkers who grab the petrified, screaming minks by their tails, crowd them into a small suffocating container, and pump it full of gas to suffocate them till they die.

Beavers

Beaver is an exceptionally gentle, social animal that mate for life and create a strong bond with its offspring.

Beavers

Beavers are caught for its fur by using the body-gripping traps, which causes severe pain to these sensitive creatures until they die.

Dogs & Cats

Most of the fur products are sourced from dogs and cat and the fact is kept hidden from most consumers who buy such products.

Dogs and Cats

Actually millions of dogs and cats in China are hanged, beaten, bled to death or strangled with wire nooses to obtain a good quality fur, which often mislabeled and sold in in many countries across the world.

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Fauna

The Other Side of White Tigers

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The popular white tigers have been mesmerizing humans for centuries. White tigers are the Bengal tigers and not an albino nor a separate subspecies, as many people assume. When two Bengal tigers with recessive gene controlling coat color are bred together, the white tiger is born.

The unique look is the result of recessive genetic mutation of both the parents that halts the production of red and yellow pigments, which means the fur grows white instead of the natural deep-orange color.

Facts about white tigers

A White Tiger

  1. White tigers are the Bengal tigers born with white furs. They are neither a separate subspecies of Royal White Tigers or Snow Tigers nor the albinos.
  2. The white fur of such Bengal tigers is a very rare genetic mutation which occurs in nature, possibly in as few as 1 in 10,000 wild tiger births.
  3. The natural behavior of tigers prevents the necessary inbreeding methods to produce white cubs. Since the unique recessive color variant occurs very rarely, breeders often go for intentional inbreeding of brother to sister, cousin to cousin, and so on.
  4. Sometimes, white Bengal tigers are crossed with Siberian tigers to get a larger breed which as a result causes even more genetic problems.
  5. This kind of captive inbreeding of white tigers causes high neonatal mortality rates, exceeding over 80%.
  6. Most of the tigers needed to inbreed several times to get the one perfect white cub, which the exhibitors can market to the public. Here we need to think about those cubs that aren’t “perfect”. What happens to them?
  7. In order to get a perfect white cub, the average number of cubs born is 1 in 30. So, 29 tigers out of 30 born either with typical deformity, or considered as the wrong color and euthanized, or die soon after birth due to genetic flaws.
  8. White cubs were once being sold for about $50,000 each. Now the price has dropped drastically as the breeders have produced many of them.
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Be the person your dog thinks you are!!!

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When we bring a puppy or dog into the family it is quite essential to know a few things about how to take care of dogs. Proper nutrition, as well as physical and emotional care, is the most important things for pets.

Here are a few things we need to know.

Arrange a secure and hygienic shelter. 

Secure and hygienic shelter

Providing a free living space with good hygiene is the basic need of any pet. It not only adds quality to its life but also helps in healthy growth.

Always provide fresh water to drink.

Always provide fresh water to drink

It is important to maintain optimum hydration levels for health and energy. So, always provide your dog with enough water to drink.

A quality diet is a must, however, avoid obesity.

A quality diet is a must

Overweight is the door to almost all kind of diseases.  Hence, consult a veterinarian and provide the right food to your dog to fulfill the nutritional needs of the pet. Since the quality and quantity of food depends on the size, age, level of activity and breed, it is always necessary to consult a veterinarian.

Visit veterinarian with your pet on a regular basis. 

Visit veterinarian with your pet

It is not just food; a veterinarian also provides information regarding vaccination, deworming and external parasite control. Maintain a vaccination record of your dog and contact veterinarian if you find your dog is ill, injured, or something unusual.

Provide them plenty of opportunities to exercise. 

Provide your dog with plenty of exercises

For a healthy life, even your dog needs proper exercise regime. Once again, as per the age, size and breed, check what amount of exercise your dog needs to maintain a healthy life.

Interact with your dog and develop a bond. 

Interact with your dog and develop a bond

It is necessary to communicate and interact with your dog. Provide them quality time and try to understand their particular needs. This will also help in developing a relationship and prevent undesirable behavioral patterns.

Train your dog.  

Train your dog

Training your dog to follow simple commands is very helpful.  It is believed that the dog interpreting it’s master’s commands and following the basic instructions lives a safe and healthy life.

Practice reproductive control.

Practice reproductive control

If you plan to breed your dog or are opposed to spaying and neutering, then take proper measures to prevent mismatings.  Consult with a veterinarian regarding the problem.  

Dental care is essential. 

Dental care is essential

Gum disease can have serious implications.  Such infection leads to premature tooth loss and infection in other major organs including the heart valves. Be careful about such things and take appropriate measures to avoid dental infections.

Grooming and nail trimming on regular basis.

Grooming and nail trimming

Regular brushing help to keep the coat knot-free and it also reduces shedding as well. Overgrown nails are also too common and it creates difficulty for them to walk.  Therefore, always keep your dog’s nails trimmed.

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Fauna

Surprising Fauna Facts!!!

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The more we know about animals, the more we understand that they’re really amazing. Although animals are a lot like us, they also do have quite a few amazing attributes and skills from whom we should learn.

Let’s know more about these surprising facts about animals.

  1. The heart of a shrimp is positioned in its head.

Shrimp

  1. A snail can sleep for three years.

Snail

  1. Slugs have four noses.

Slug

  1. Elephants are the only animal that can’t jump.

Elephants

  1. A rhinoceros’ horn is made of hair.

Rhinoceros

  1. It is possible to hypnotize a frog by placing it on its back and gently stroking its stomach.

Frog

  1. It takes a sloth two weeks to digest its food.

Sloth

  1. Nearly three percent of the ice in Antarctic glaciers is penguin urine.

Penguins

  1. A cow gives nearly 200,000 glasses of milk in a lifetime.

Cows

  1. Bats always turn left when leaving a cave.

Bats

  1. Giraffes have no vocal cords.

Giraffes

  1. Kangaroos can’t fart.

Kangaroos

  1. An ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain.

Ostrich

  1. Around 50% of orangutans have fractured bones, due to falling out of trees on a regular basis.

An Orangutan

  1. Frogs cannot vomit. If one absolutely has to, then it will vomit its entire stomach.

Frog

  1. Sea otters hold hands when they sleep to keep from drifting apart.

Sea Otters

  1. Squirrels plant thousands of new trees each year by merely forgetting where they put their acorns.

Squirrel

18. Turtles can breathe through their butts.

Turtle

  1. Gentoo penguins propose to their lifemates with a pebble.

Penguins

  1. Rats laugh when tickled.

Rat

  1. Pigs’ orgasms last for 30 minutes.

Pigs

  1. Oysters can change gender depending on which is best for mating.

Oysters

  1. Dogs’ nose prints are as unique as human fingerprints and can be used to identify them.

Dog

  1. Turritopsis Nutricula Immortal jellyfish is the only species known to live forever.

Turritopsis Nutricula Immortal Jellyfish

  1. Butterflies taste with their feet.

Butterfly

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Fauna

Three leopards found dead in Uttarakhand jungles

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India achieved a landmark and is now the biggest hub for Tiger conservation. We observed the International Tigers day just a few days ago with the growth in the tiger population by 741 numbers. India is the home for 2967 tigers. Madhya Pradesh has maximum numbers of tigers followed by Karnataka and Uttarakhand.

In Uttarakhand, shockingly three leopards were found dead due to poisoning. This was confirmed after autopsy.

According to sources, just a day before three leopards was found dead in different locations in Pauri Garhwal and Haridwar district’s Lal Dhang area. All three carnivores were found dead in three different jungle divisions.

The dead bodies of these wild leopards had been sent for postmortem at the Zoo rescue centre and on the basis of the autopsy report, it was revealed that all of them had died of poisoning.

According to a news report, the forest department of Pauri Garhwal and Haridwar district have said that prima facie it seems to be a conspiracy of killing these leopards.

The entire forest and wildlife department is in a state of shock as never before back to back deaths of three leopards happened in the past and that too within the radius of a mere one-kilometre.

After acknowledging this information, the forest and wildlife officials of Lansdowne, Haridwar and Rajaji National Park and Tiger reserve hurriedly reached the spot. However, they could not reach any definite conclusion as to how these three deaths occurred in a sequence and that too due to poisoning.

All three leopards were in the age group of 4 to 8 years. As per sources, the forest and wildlife officials stationed at Zoo under Haridwar forest division received the news about the dead body of a leopard in the Haridwar districts Lal Dhang area on Thursday evening.

The range officer of the Zoo of Haridwar forest division Mukesh Kumar immediately rushed to the site to locate the dead leopard but due to pitch darkness could not find the body.

The forest division’s team again started the search the next day on Friday. After an extensive search operation, the team could finally figure out the leopard’s dead decomposed body.  The body was emanating a foul smell and was found on the backside of the Kali Mata Temple in Lal Dhaang area.

Prima facie it was revealed that the leopard died due to poisoning. Sensing something fishy and risky to the other wildlife behind the poisoning conspiracy, the forest department’s team minutely checked the jungle area.

The forest team was shocked to find another body of the leopard some distance away at the Rawasan Range of Rajaji Tiger Reserve Park. The forest officials of the concerned division took the dead body under their charge.

While the search was on, the team found one more dead leopard near the bank of Rawasan river in the Lal Dhaang range of Lansdowne forest division.

After being informed about these three back to back recovery of three dead bodies of these carnivorous animals in the Pauri and Haridwar district areas the DFO Akash Verma hurriedly reached the spots where all the three dead bodies were found. All the three dead leopards were found within a radius of one kilometre. Therefore the centre of investigation has been fixed at Lal Dhang forest range near Rawasan river.

The investigation in the matter has been expedited by the forest division in league with the police department of Haridwar.

It’s indeed a matter of immense worry that three endangered species of Uttarakhand leopards have been killed due to poisoning.

However, there had been a spike in the incidents of maneater leopard attacks in various parts of Uttarakhand with the majority of these carnivorous animals becoming man-eaters killing the local inhabitants every third day. In another shocking incident yesterday evening a maneater leopard attacked a woman in a jungle at Almora where the victim had gone to cut grass along with her friends. When the panicked girl created a noise the maneater threw the girl into a rivulet injuring her grievously on the head and other parts of her body. She was admitted to a local hospital.

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Fauna

Amazing Sundarban Forest!!!

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The Sundarbans is a mangrove forest spans across the borders of India and Bangladesh. It is a delta formed by the confluence of Brahmaputra, Ganges and Meghna Rivers in the Bay of Bengal. The forest is extends from the Hooghly River in India’s state of West Bengal to the Baleswar River in Bangladesh. The Sundarbans are comprised of wide variety of flora and fauna which attracts millions of tourist from all over the world.

Apart from its incredible beauty and wildness there are also other amazing facts.

It is the largest Mangrove forest in the world. The tremendous growth of mangrove is due to the coastal water around the Sundarbans. 40% of the mangrove forest comes under India, while rest of the forest comes under Bangladesh. It is also considered to be the UNESCO World heritage site.

Sundarbans (India) is ten times bigger than the city of Venice. Encompassing 4000 sq. km, the Sundarbans Forest in India has 102 islands, out of which 54 are inhabited and rest of the area is covered with the forest.

The dense mangrove forests are home to the royal Bengal tigers. It is believed that Sundarban has the largest number of royal Bengal tigers in the world.

The name Sundarban has been given after a mangrove tree that is named as Sundari which in Hindi means beautiful. That is why Sundarban is considered to be as a very beautiful place.

As declared by the Fishery Board of India, Sundarban is the largest Biosphere Reserve in India because of its brackish water fish production and marine fisheries.

There is a village called widow village in Sundarban, which is home to India’s resilient Tiger Widows.

Sundarban is also famous for its night safaris due to the Phytoplanktons, the small micro-organisms that reflect light in the dark new moon.

So, these are a few facts that we have tried to present you; however, there are many more other amazing facts about Sundarban.

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Fauna

180 countries to watch PM Narendra Modi in Discovery channel’s globally popular show Man Vs Wild on 12th August

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PM Modi being handed over the hand made weapon for safety by Bear Grylls in the jungles of Jim Corbett Wild life sanctuary in Uttarakhand on the day of shooting of the episode for Discovery Channel Man Vs Wild
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The prime minister Narendra Modi has been featured in an interesting globally famous programme of Discovery channel Man Vs Wild with its adventurous presenter Bear Grylls to be telecast on Discovery on 12th August.

This unique programme would be telecast on the television channels of 180 countries of the world to be viewed by billions of viewers.

Prime minister Narendra Modi would be the first prime minister of independent India to be featured in this unique TV show of discovery channel. However, United State president Barak Obama and few other international dignitaries had featured in this programme of discovery channel in the past.

The globally popular presenter also known for taking high risks in various adventures of his episodes of Man Vs Wild programme has tweeted: People across 180 countries will get to see the unknown side of the PM @narendramodi as he ventures into Indian wilderness to create awareness about animal conservation & environmental change.

Catch Man Vs Wild with PM Modi@ DiscoveryIN on August 12 @9 pm. # PMModiDiscovery. On World Tigers Day today, prime minister Narendra Modi announced that there are 2967 tigers in India, about 741 more than the previous census.

It’s indeed a healthy sign towards the conservation and promotion of the endangered species in India.

Prime minister Narendra Modi’s special interest and dedication in the conservation of animals especially tigers is being lauded by the animal lovers of the country and the globe.

The Man Vs Wild episode with Bear Grylls was shot for the whole day at Jim Corbet Park on the ill-fated day of ghastly Pulwama tragedy and from where he was in regular touch with the tragic developments.

The entire shooting was materialised in the dense jungles and river of Jim Corbet Wildlife Park with prime minister Narendra Modi wearing a cap and military jacket. He is seen walking in dense jungles with Grylls interacting on wildlife etc.

Titled as “Epic adventure of a lifetime” this special episode of Discovery’s Man Vs Wild encompasses prime minister Narendra Modi’s fearlessness and his habit to confront adventurous situations with ease, especially when he travels over the river tides on a temporary hand made canopy boat with Bear Grylls.

While making him sit on the temporary boat and offering jacket Bear Grylls says to Modi not to worry as you are a very important person for your nation and it’s my full responsibility to ensure your safety.

According to the news reports the world would see prime minister Narendra Modi doing brave acts inside the dense jungles of Uttarakhand’s Jim Corbet Park.

In the entire episode, the PM is walking freely with ease along with the show presenter Bear Grylls.

This programme has been specially designed to promote prime minister Narendra Modi’s special interest and commitment to save and conserve tigers.

However, the Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala, as usual,  has criticized prime minister for being busy in shooting on the day when tragic Pulwama massacre was happening in Kashmir.

As expected of him, he asked: Is prime minister Narendra Modi Shahrukh Khan or Salman Khan that he was busy in shooting as a Bollywood actor in the day of Pulwama tragedy, the accusations strongly opposed by the BJP leadership.

180 countries to watch PM Narendra Modi in Discovery channel’s globally popular show Man Vs Wild on 12th August.

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Fauna

Killing of elephants in elephant corridors in train accidents concerns wild life conservationists

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The number of wild elephants in Uttarakhand is decreasing day by day and the basic reason behind this lessoning of elephant numbers is their killing in the official elephant corridors by train accidents.

The forest department of Uttarakhand is once again under question after the rampant incidents of brutal human killings by maneaters and killings of elephants going side by side in official elephant corridors with no role of the department in avoiding these dreaded incidents. Just a day ago an elephant has been killed in a train accident in the elephant corridor in the Tanda Forest area about sixty kilometres away from Nainital .

Just about two months ago a male elephant has been killed in an accident in the same train corridor sending shock waves amongst the animal loving fraternity of the state. It may be recalled that the Tanda Forest area is directly connected with the Ram Nagar Corbett . The elephant’ groups (JHUND) prevalent in Jim Corbett area usually use the Tanda forest corridor and pass near by Bindukhaata jungle Areas to reach Gaulapaar areas in Kumaon Uttarakhand.

The elephant being the animal covering long distances inside forests sometimes come on railway lines and get cut/ killed in accidents of speeding trains and this is what has been taking place for the last several months. These elephants also cross jungles to eat the crops in agricultural fields.

The female elephant who was killed by train accident near Central Medicine Plants Institution near Haldwani was also intending to go to agricultural fields to eat crops but got cut in a speeding train accident.

What is highly shocking about this whole episode is that just in a years’ time about five elephants have been killed through train accidents. The forest department has no solution to these increasing incidents of train accidents killing elephants in prescribed elephant corridors and not a single erring train driver has been punished till date as well.

Meanwhile, the incidents of attacks of man eater leopards are still on the rise in various parts of Uttarakhand. Just yesterday in Pirumadaar, near Ram Nagar, Uttarakhand a mentally retarded man was brutalLy attacked by a leopard near the MAAJAAR OF A MUSLIM SAINT namely Nathapir who was later on addmitted to the local hospital with grievous injuries.

Just three days ago a 65 year old man was brutally killed by a man eater in Chowbattakhal area of Pauri Garhwal, killing him on the spot near a roadside bus shed with half of his dead body literally torned and mutilated profusely bleeding. The incidents of man eater attacks are rapidly increasing in Uttarakhand and the incessant killing of elephants in train accidents in elephant corridors is also a matter of immense concern for the wild life conservationists and the forest department of Uttarakhand.

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Fauna

WILD LEOPARD AND BEAR ATTACKS HAVE CREATED HAVOC IN UTTARAKHAND.

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The Himalayan state of Uttarakhand is under the incessant invasion of dangerous wild life and the government of the day and its forest department is conspicous by their absense in not doing anything concrete to counter the wild life’s terrorising menace. The situation has assumed so risky proportions that human life is today completely at mercy of the wild cats and the bears. Number of incidents of gruesome killings at the behest of the maneater leopards, tigers and wild bears have come to notice for the last two years with the number of casualties increasing day by day but of no avail on the part of the state government to set right the situation. A most tragic incident of wild bear attack was reported in a village in Yamkeshwar block where a local inhabitant of Umdaa village, 59 year old CHANDRA PRAKASH was badly injured as he litrally fought with the bear and suffered deadly injuries. The grievously injured is in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh fighting for survival. The injured had gone to the nearby jungle to collect fodder for cows and buffaloes when he was attacked by the wild bear. It is usually said that the bear who remain in the high mountain altitudes come down during the winter season due to the excessive snow covers that creates green food shortages. In addition to this the increasing activities of construction and the so called development has disturbed the wild life particularly the leopards and bears who come near the human settlements i.e. the forests adjoining the villages. When the men and women enter jungles for green grass or animal fodder these wild animals become fearful and attack them in self defence as well as lack of food stuff. While in 2017 about 140 leopards were declared as man eaters there had also been 17 bear attacks in the Chamoli district’s Bhatwari village range grievously injuring several women and children who’d gone in the local jungle for pet animal fodder. In Almora, Rudraprayag and Pauri districts too these incidents of wild life attacks resulting in several casualties have created an alarming situation with the Uttarakhand Forest Department having no clue, whatsoever, to safeguard the precious lives of the states’ inhabitants. Uttarakhand is already suffering from mass scale migration with thousands of villages having become ghost villages. The monkeys, wild pigs had already destroyed the agricultural produce of the villagers and the increasing man eater leopard and bear attacks have also made the life of the villagers tremendously dangerous and unpredictable. In the last week two shocking incidents of leopard attacks were reported from Uttarakhand’s Almora district in which two precious lives of a 6th class student and a twenty five year old were claimed by the maneater tigers. While the dearth of animal preys is cited as one of the prime reason for wild cats coming nearer, towards human settlements to fulfil their hunger , another reason may be due the villages becoming vacant these wild animals find themselves convenient to come closer towards them ( the villages with little population) and kill human beings when confronted with.
SUNIL NEGI

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