Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cheetah Effecticient Hunting Skills

The Asiatic cheetah roamed a vast area from North Africa, across the Middle East, Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan to the Indian sub-continent for many thousands of years. The vast open bush land was ideal for their style of hunting. They stalked their prey and when near decent, they made a lightning, quick dash to down their victim.

In three steps, a cheetah could go from 0-80 kmph and in a few seconds, to its maximum of 110 kmph. Fantastic, magnificent, awesome fellow!

Unfortunately, it was his good looks and his effective hunting skills that destroyed him. During the last 600 years or so, cheetahs were cornered by Mughal rulers to be held as pets or for coursing. That means they were used to track down black bucks and chinkara for the kings to shoot down. People say that Akbar the Great had 9000 cheetahs in captivity! The British officials in India and rajahs and maharajahs hunted them as prizes or for their skin. The hunting continued unchecked, till it was too late. Before anyone realised it, there wasn't a single cheetah left in the country.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Elephant Trumpeting their cause & Recommendations

With increasing human population, more and more forest land is being taken over. Habitat loss added to degradation of forests has led to man-elephant conflict. This is a problem faced in Asia and Africa, where humans and elephants are killing each other and also the end of food sources This is because forests have been fragmented and degraded, have become plantations, which has stopped feeding the elephants and migratory patterns. It is time for conservation measures to be put in place to assure the safety of the gentle giant.

Some Recommendations

No change to existing elephant


Involve local community in protection

Constitute local management

committees in all elephant reserve

Initiate long-term scientific studies on

elephant ecology and census methods

Check the ivory trade

Improve care and management of

captive elephants

Establish high engagement zone mitigation

task forces

‘Grain for grain' compensation of crops

lost due to conflict

Create awareness about the importance

and the value of elephants

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tatarstan skylark Bird Climate Change

Birds are detail well-suited to move as conditions vary. Somewhere mysterious in their DNA is a memory of changes in the past and how to deal with those changes. Four articles have appeared lately reminding us that birds are fully able of responding to change in climate.

Europeans have been observing bird demeanor for centuries, and in the Volga-Kama region of the Tatarstan Republic of Russia, observations go back to 1811 AD. The Tatarstan skylarks migrate south for the winter and their return is a conventional harbinger of spring in Northern, Central, and Eastern Europe.

A team of scientists from Tatarstan Republic and the United Kingdom analyzed the long record of return dates of the skylark and discovered that they have been arriving earlier and earlier over the past three decades (11 days earlier since the late 1970s). Askeyev et al. showed that the veer in bird behavior happened when the March air temperatures in the region have increased by 3.7ÂșC. The climate changes, the birds react. C’est la vie. We note that the birds don’t seem to be victims of changes in temperature – they’ve suitably adapted their behavior to fit ever-changing conditions.