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Showing posts from 2010

Setting the momentum for Wildlife Conservation

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The International Year of Biodiversity (IYB) has nearly come to an end. Like every year, many ambitious, successful projects were implemented this year – from community based conservation of backyards and watersheds, to national projects pertaining conservation of forest corridors, to international programs such as the Tiger Summit and the expeditions to discover new species of plants and animals. Other recent findings such as the discovery of microbial communities deep beneath the sea floor and bacteria that can substitute phosphorous with arsenic, made sure the IYB had a successful ending. But the end of this fruitful year is in fact a kick-start to the conservation efforts whose results will be seen in years down yonder.

Although many conservation projects were undertaken this year, it didn’t really turn out quite well. On 26th January 2010, Boa Sr, the only survivor of Bo tribe from the Great Andamanese Islands passed away. A tribe is now extinct – a culture lost forever. The Deepw…

Diptera of Mumbai

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Update (November 27, 2017): A detailed paper (with more pictures) has now been published. See it here.
“With buzzing wings she hung aloft, Then near and nearer drew, Thinking only of her brilliant eyes, And green and purple hue-” - Mary Howitt 1821 Introduction

There are over 1000 species of plants, 251 birds, 40 species of mammals, and it is estimated that there are approximately 5000 species of insects in Sanjay Gandhi National Park, and I estimate there to be more species of insects in Mumbai and the surrounding areas. Among insects, the diversity of butterflies is very well documented in Mumbai, and is the only insect in Class Insecta that is studied so well. Then there are arachnids that are well documented, yet not comprehensively put together into one pictured guide. In all these innumerable Orders we explore, what we don’t see is other creatures living not only in forests but in the city itself. Some insects are so common that we tend to overlook them. One such not-so-beautifu…

La Coccinelle

A 3D animation that looks into the daily life of bugs in a humorous, human perspective. It is a fine work of art by Thomas Szabo. Do check out his gallery!

Decoys, Shotguns and Conservation

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I wandered far into the woods, into the lakes and over the snow, and waited patiently for an approaching deer, or a turkey, or, if I am on the lake, a duck, in anticipation of shooting one. But I found myself sitting on a bus on the way to the railway station. I was wondering what exactly I was going to do in the following 24 hours. It took me 6 hours to reach London, where it would have taken about 2. Nonetheless, I was too excited about the following day to be bothered by hours of waiting for buses and trains. I met a friend and we headed Turkey Point.

We started much before sunrise on the next day, as I piled layers of clothes to be able to withstand freezing cold and blistering winds blowing off Lake Erie. We joined two more friends, and then headed towards Long Point. Our trucks were full of decoys, anchors, guns and shells and two joyous canines. We loaded the stuff onto the boat and cruised towards the bay. It was foggy, damp and cold, and as our boat picked up speed I realized…