tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:/xml/India1 India news from mongabay.com 2015-06-30T21:02:54Z tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15051 2015-06-29T18:42:00Z 2015-06-30T21:02:54Z Big reserve expansion gives tigers a boost in India <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/1029-thumb-morgan-tiger.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A hundred years ago, there were thirteen times as many tigers in the world as there are today, ranging from Turkey across the Eurasian continent to the eastern coast of Russia. The 13 countries that contain the world’s last tigers today - a mere, 2,500 mature individuals - are challenged with increasing protected tiger habitat to prevent crowding and inbreeding, while facing extreme funding and space constraints. One state in India, however, has found a cost-effective way to give tigers more room. Morgan Erickson-Davis 12.243857 75.764144 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/15022 2015-06-23T18:34:00Z 2015-06-26T17:10:31Z Social-media firestorm defends popular man-eating tiger in India, raising conservation questions <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-imgs.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0624_AJoshi_Ustad_Ustad1_Thumbnail.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On May 8, 56-year-old forest guard Rampal Saini was attacked and killed by a tiger named Ustad with a bite to the neck. Ustad was hugely popular with tourists and had gained a massive online following. But Saini was Ustad's fourth victim in a span of five years, and his death unleashed a heated debate — especially online — about whether the ensuing decision to banish him to captivity was the right one. Rebecca Kessler 26.017578 76.502612 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14977 2015-06-16T19:24:00Z 2015-06-16T19:29:57Z What do China, Kenya and India have in common? Wildlife trafficking When it comes to trafficking rhino, elephant, and tiger parts the biggest players are China, Kenya, India, Vietnam, South Africa and Thailand, according to a new paper in PNAS. Examining news media reports aggregated by HealthMap: Wildlife Trade, researchers were able to pinpoint the most important countries for exporting, moving and importing illegal wildlife parts worldwide. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14965 2015-06-15T22:11:00Z 2015-06-15T22:14:02Z Asiatic lion population rises by 27% in five years A new survey last month put the number of wild Asiatic lions (Panthera leo persica) at 523 individuals, a rise of 27% from the previous survey in 2010. Once roaming across much of Central and Western Asia, Asiatic lions today are found in only one place: Gir Forest National Park and surrounding environs in western India. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14765 2015-05-08T03:09:00Z 2015-05-08T03:25:07Z Indian fabric giant adopts forest policy <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/sabah_26440_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>One of the world's largest fabric makers for the fashion industry today announced a policy to exclude fiber produced at the expense of endangered forests, reports Canopy, an environmental group that helped broker the commitment. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14719 2015-04-30T23:51:00Z 2015-05-01T00:59:36Z Tapping into evolutionary responses to guard crops against elephants <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/namibia/150/namibia_0969.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The search for effective measures to reduce human-elephant conflict is a top priority for wildlife managers and a significant challenge. Ongoing conflict incidents exacerbate anti-wildlife sentiments among rural populations, as conflict events can lead to the deaths of both people and elephants. The continued expansion of development and agriculture into traditional wildlife grazing lands pushes elephants into more frequent contact with people and crop fields. Rhett Butler 11.668104 76.631985 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14672 2015-04-22T15:37:00Z 2015-04-23T14:43:41Z Of leopards and lemons: Superstition aids wildlife researchers in India <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0422_b_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Many Westerners see science and superstition as lying at extreme ends of the logic spectrum. However, those familiar with India know that these two seeming strangers can walk hand-in-hand: Information technology companies are inaugurated with the breaking of the ceremonial coconut and pumpkin. Tiffany Roufs 14.099344 75.224076 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14548 2015-03-27T20:03:00Z 2015-03-30T21:01:54Z Low crop prices means time is ripe for new forest protection programs <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://travel.mongabay.com/china/150/china_02-8474.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Today, conservation compliance is a U.S. policy between governments and farmers that reward farmers with federal subsidies for good conservation practices on designated vulnerable lands. But economist Clayton Ogg believes it could now be used to save forests in countries like Brazil, China, India, and Indonesia. "The main drivers for deforestation in recent years are high crop prices. However, as crop prices fall to more normal levels, farmers depend very heavily on government subsidies, and the subsidies become the major driver for deforestation," Ogg told mongabay.com. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14503 2015-03-17T17:15:00Z 2015-03-17T17:29:34Z Can voluntary sustainability standards survive in emerging markets? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1223-thumb-aceh_0853.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Last month, Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) published a new edition of its The World in 2050 report. Confirming the findings of previous studies, the report describes a shift in economic power from the global north to the south. PwC projects that the US' and EU's share of world GDP will face a steady decline from around 33 percent in 2014 to about 25 percent by 2050. At the same time, emerging markets like China, India, Brazil, Russia, Indonesia, Mexico, and Turkey (the so-called E7 countries) are gaining in importance as both producers and consumers in the global economy. Brittany Stewart tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14413 2015-02-23T15:42:00Z 2015-02-25T21:53:28Z Are small-scale hydro projects always greener? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/15/0222.thumb.Impact-of-Kadmane-small-hydel-project-on-the-wet-evergreen-forests-of-Western-Ghats--South-India-Photo-Niren-Jain.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Rising energy demand and global efforts to mitigate climate change have made renewable energy projects increasingly attractive. One widely known and well-developed source of renewable energy is hydroelectricity. However, past environmental campaigns against large dams have resulted in policy changes in some parts of the world, leading to an increasing number of small hydropower projects. Jeremy Hance 13.825588 74.900236 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14283 2015-01-20T18:33:00Z 2015-01-22T20:51:48Z India's tiger population up by more than 500 animals in four years The tiger is in major trouble. In 1900, the global population was over 100,000 animals; today, it is on the precipice of extinction, hovering around just 3,000. In response, tiger range countries have pledged to double to the population by 2022. But there has been little evidence of success until now: India has announced that its tiger population has jumped a remarkable 29 percent in the last four years. Jeremy Hance 18.643618 78.028492 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14048 2014-11-19T22:15:00Z 2014-12-08T17:36:36Z Conflict-fueled deforestation, poaching in Assam continue despite truce <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1119-thumb-samba.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Northeastern India boasts nearly 44 percent of the country’s dense forests, and contains one of the most biodiverse areas in the world. However, the region lost approximately 548,440 hectares of tree cover—more than 3 percent—from 2001 through 2012. Sonitpur, Assam, has been particularly hard hit as people flooded into the area and cleared forest. Morgan Erickson-Davis 27.009059 92.886862 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14045 2014-11-19T16:37:00Z 2014-11-24T18:07:47Z Endangered environmentalists: investigating government crackdowns on green groups <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1118-crackdown-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Mongabay.org offers journalists opportunity to report on government muzzling of environmental activists. As climate change, pollution, and habitat destruction worsen across the globe, environmental groups are responding by ratcheting up the pressure on governments and corporations to act. Many governments have responded by increasing restrictions on environmental NGOs, including revoking charity status, increasing sentences for protestors, and passing legislation restricting NGO activity. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14040 2014-11-18T19:26:00Z 2014-12-08T17:36:18Z Disappearing oasis: northeastern India losing forests as people move in <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1118-thumb-rhino-assam-lip-kee.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Northeastern India is part of the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot, one of the megadiverse areas of the world. The region boasts more than 60 percent forest cover, compared to the 15 percent for India as a whole. However, not all is pristine when one visits areas designated as forest on the map. Morgan Erickson-Davis 26.444599 90.739560 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14037 2014-11-18T17:21:00Z 2014-11-18T17:27:33Z Rediscovered in 2010, rare Indian frog surprises by breeding in bamboo <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1118-frog-bamboo-150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For a long time, this rare white spotted bush frog lived a secretive life: the Critically Endangered Chalazodes bubble-nest frog (<i>Raorchestes chalazodes</i>) was last seen in 1874 and presumed to be extinct. That is until 2010 when a year-long expedition to try and locate ‘lost’ amphibians in India found the elusive frog in the wet evergreen forests of the Western Ghats, after more than 130 years. Brittany Stewart 12.972399 77.595234 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14021 2014-11-14T21:18:00Z 2015-02-06T15:12:07Z Man plants forest, becomes film star <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1114-thumb-indian-elephant.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Jadav “Molai” Payeng is a 51-year-old man who lives in India’s north-eastern state of Assam in the village of Aruna Chapori. A member of Assam’s indigenous Mising tribe, Payeng is better known as the “Forest Man" for spending the last 35 years planting a forest bigger than New York City's Central Park. Morgan Erickson-Davis 26.847090 94.162522 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/14018 2014-11-13T20:49:00Z 2015-02-06T15:12:18Z One man plants forest larger than Central Park <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1113-thumb-Kaziranga_Rhinoceros_unicornis.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Jadav “Molai” Payeng resides in northeast Assam’s Jorhat district in the village of Aruna Chapori. Here, for the past 35 years, he has worked to plant trees on a sandbar island in the river near his home—and in the process, single-handedly established a forest larger than New York City’s Central Park. Morgan Erickson-Davis 26.848009 94.164410 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13981 2014-11-05T19:43:00Z 2014-11-05T21:20:57Z Perched on the precipice: India's vultures threatened by E.U. sale of killer drug <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1105-thumb-Vultures1Longbilled1WhitebackedNikitaPrakashBNHS.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Poisoned by cattle carcasses treated with Diclofenac, India’s vultures died by the millions in the 1990s. A captive breeding program is helping to save the once-ubiquitous birds, but the very drug that drove India’s vultures to the precipice of extinction has been given a green light in Italy and Spain. Morgan Erickson-Davis 12.777961 77.255844 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13955 2014-10-29T18:19:00Z 2015-04-20T15:39:41Z Tigers vs. diamonds: India’s protected areas rampantly downgraded to make room for people, industry <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1029-5-thumb-tiger-capture.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In India’s central state of Madhya Pradesh lie 500 square kilometers (200 square miles) of protected land demarcated as the Panna Tiger Reserve. Recently, however, its protection status has been questioned, and global-scale analyses show Panna is far from alone among India’s many threatened Protected Areas. Morgan Erickson-Davis 24.589963 79.941666 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13941 2014-10-23T20:23:00Z 2014-10-23T21:35:02Z Beef, palm oil, soy, and wood products from 8 countries responsible for 1/3 of forest destruction Four commodities produced in just eight countries are responsible for a third of the world's forest loss, according to a new report. Those familiar with the long-standing effort to stop deforestation won't be surprised by the commodities named: beef, palm oil, soy, and wood products (including timber and paper). Nor will they be very surprised by most of the countries: Brazil, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Jeremy Hance 5.505705 101.755097 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13912 2014-10-15T16:28:00Z 2014-10-15T16:36:11Z Scientists find temperate bat in the hot tropics of the Western Ghats (photos) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1002-bats150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Western Ghats is one of the world’s eight richest biodiversity hotspots. A UNESCO World Heritage site, and also known as the Great Escarpment of India, the Ghats run parallel to India’s west coast. This great ecosystem is home to over 139 mammal species, nearly 50 of which are bats. And now scientists can add a new bat to this list: one that until now had only been documented from temperate regions. Tiffany Roufs 12.937706 75.579230 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13908 2014-10-14T20:28:00Z 2014-11-06T17:54:44Z India plans huge palm oil expansion, puts forests at risk <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/1014-mizoram-6-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The world's largest importer of palm oil, India is seeking to slake its thirst domestically. The Ministry of Agriculture estimates that India has the potential to cultivate oil palm in 1.03 million hectares of land--nearly the size of the U.S. state of Connecticut--and produce four to five million metric tons of palm oil per year. Morgan Erickson-Davis 23.194185 93.040281 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13847 2014-09-30T13:26:00Z 2014-10-01T14:36:36Z Armed conflict decimates tigers, rhinos, and swamp deer in Indian park The human cost of war is horrendous. However, while most attention is focused on the suffering caused to people&#8212;and rightly so&#8212;an understudied element is the impact on wildlife conservation. This is worrying given that many of the world’s conflict zones are situated in biodiversity hotspots. Jeremy Hance 26.717212 90.830000 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13771 2014-09-11T16:35:00Z 2015-04-20T15:40:25Z Meet the newest enemy to India's wildlife <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0911.leopard.road.Image-1-.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A boom in infrastructure and population has forced India's wildlife to eke out a creative existence in an increasingly human-modified environment. Big cats such as the leopard are often spotted within large cities, on railway tracks, and sadly, on India's burgeoning and sprawling road network. Jeremy Hance 11.945419 76.221074 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13695 2014-08-21T05:03:00Z 2014-08-21T13:12:34Z Selective logging hurts rainforest frogs <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0821Raorchestes-bobingeri_Bob-Inger's-Bush-Frog_Seshadri150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Selective logging in India's Western Ghats forests continues to affect frogs decades after harvesting ended, finds a new study published in <i>Biotropica</i>. The research assessed frog communities in logged and unlogged forests in Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve and found that unlogged forests had twice the density of frogs as areas logged in the 1970s. Rhett Butler 8.688112 77.309221 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13621 2014-08-04T16:53:00Z 2014-11-06T17:44:10Z Where have all the big animals gone? Indian park devoid of many species, further threatened by forest loss <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0804-bengal-nam-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Namdapha National Park is part of the Indo-Myanmar biodiversity hotspot. However, locating many species in the park is becoming increasingly difficult, the region has lost thousands of hectares of forest in the past decade, and studies project the situation may simply worsen in the coming years. Morgan Erickson-Davis 27.502373 96.445155 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13583 2014-07-24T16:34:00Z 2014-07-29T19:41:27Z Next big idea in forest conservation: Reconnecting faith and forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0724.Sacred-forest-grove-in-Kodagu-South-India.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>'In Africa, you can come across Kaya forests of coastal Kenya, customary forests in Uganda, sacred forest groves in Benin, dragon forests in The Gambia or church forests in Ethiopia...You can also come across similar forest patches in South and Southeast Asia including numerous sacred groves in India well-known for their role in conservation of biological diversity,' Dr. Shonil Bhagwat told mongabay.com. Jeremy Hance 12.362197 75.693899 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13542 2014-07-15T18:18:00Z 2014-11-06T17:39:54Z On track to 'go beyond the critical point': Sri Lanka still losing forests at rapid clip <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0715-pf-langur-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>During the latter half of Sri Lanka's civl war, between 1990 and 2005, Sri Lanka suffered one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world, losing about 35 percent of its old growth forest and almost 18 percent of its total forest cover. The conflict ended in 2009, and while deforestation has slowed somewhat, Sri Lanka is still losing forest cover at a fast pace. Morgan Erickson-Davis 7.553656 80.579493 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13503 2014-07-08T15:45:00Z 2014-11-06T17:38:59Z An end to India's 'Wild West'? Meghalaya bans coal mining... for now <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0708-meg3-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Meghalaya, a state in India’s northeast, has thick forests above ground and valuable minerals below. Uncontrolled mining in the area has cleared forests, degraded rivers, and led to many accidents and deaths as few health and safety standards exist for mine workers. A ban effected earlier this year halted all mining in the state, but is set to be reconsidered at a hearing scheduled for August. Morgan Erickson-Davis 25.698215 91.443553 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13458 2014-06-26T20:07:00Z 2014-06-30T15:55:16Z Next big idea in forest conservation? Playing games to understand what drives deforestation <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0626.garcia.innovations.IMGP0355.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Dr. Claude Garcia plays games, but you won’t find him betting his shirt at the casino. As leader of the Forest Management and Development Research Group at ETH Zürich, Garcia and his team use participatory modeling and role-playing games, merged with more traditional disciplinary sciences such as ecology, economics, and sociology to understand and manage complex landscape change in the tropics. Jeremy Hance 11.830113 75.908619 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13367 2014-06-10T16:55:00Z 2014-06-10T18:11:35Z Despite poaching, Indian rhino population jumps by 27 percent in eight years The world's stronghold for Indian rhinos&#8212;the state of Assam&#8212;has seen its population leap by 27 percent since 2006, despite a worsening epidemic of poaching that has also seen 156 rhinos killed during the same period. According to a new white paper, the population of Indian rhinos in Assam hit 2,544 this year. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13241 2014-05-16T20:26:00Z 2014-05-16T20:40:40Z Dancing frogs: scientists discover 14 new species in India (PHOTOS, VIDEO) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0516-Micrixalusthumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists have discovered 14 new species of frogs in the mountainous tropical forests of India’s Western Ghats, all of which are described in a recent study published in the <i>Ceylon Journal of Science</i>. The new species are all from a single genus, and are collectively referred to as “dancing frogs” due to the unusual courtship behavior of the males. Morgan Erickson-Davis 13.478753 75.132736 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13223 2014-05-13T19:20:00Z 2014-11-25T23:27:20Z 'Simmering conflict': the delicate balancing act of protecting India's wilderness <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0513-leafhopper-thumb.jpeg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Western Ghats of southern India, one of the world’s top biodiversity hotspots, is a 1600-kilometer (1000-mile) mountain chain that runs parallel to the western coast of the Indian subcontinent. It traverses six states and is home to as many as 250 million people. In an interview with mongabay.com, M.D. Madhusudan of the Nature Conservation Foundation discusses the importance and challenges of establishing protected areas in India. Morgan Erickson-Davis 13.307752 75.066818 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13214 2014-05-13T13:21:00Z 2014-05-13T13:33:06Z Scientists release odd-looking, Critically Endangered crocodiles back into the wild (PHOTOS) <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0513.gahrial.release.4.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Among the largest and most endangered crocodilians in the world, the gharial is on the verge of extinction today. This harmless fish-eating crocodile has fewer than 200 adult breeding individuals in the wild, their numbers having plummeted rapidly over the past few decades. But among this gloom and doom, conservationists have been working tirelessly to reinstate the wild populations. Jeremy Hance 26.463621 84.602580 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13207 2014-05-12T14:17:00Z 2014-12-30T22:46:32Z India, not China, has the world's worst urban air pollution Breathing in urban India is hard: of the world's top twenty cities with the worst air, 13 of them are found in India, according to a new analysis by the World Health Organization (WHO). Despite the attention recently given to Chinese cities for atrocious air pollution, many of India's cities are actually worse when comparing annual averages of fine airborne particulates. Jeremy Hance 28.617115 77.205427 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13198 2014-05-08T16:57:00Z 2014-05-08T17:02:25Z Elephants in the midst: warning system prevents human-elephant conflicts in India, saves lives <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0508-ele-thumb.JPG" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Indian elephants once freely roamed the rich mid-elevation evergreen forests of the Valparai plateau in the Western Ghats, one of the world’s mega biodiversity regions, but they can’t move the way they used to. Ever-increasing commercial plantations and settlements have become obstacles to the daily and seasonal movements of elephants, creating more chances for often-deadly encounters between humans and elephants. Morgan Erickson-Davis 11.289838 77.176193 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13163 2014-05-01T18:36:00Z 2014-11-25T23:28:25Z A sketch of the yeti: saving the Himalayan brown bear <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0501-bear-ears-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Overall, the brown bear is one of the most widespread and numerous bear species in the world. However, a subspecies called the Himalayan brown bear is not so fortunate. It occupies higher reaches of the Himalayas in remote, mountainous areas of Pakistan, Nepal, Tibet and India. Its populations are small and isolated, and it is extremely rare in many parts of its range. Morgan Erickson-Davis 34.970485 75.471831 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13151 2014-04-29T20:50:00Z 2014-05-06T04:05:29Z Dangerous work: how one man empowered communities and stopped a coal mine <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0427-agrawalspeaking-thumb.png" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For many years, Ramesh Agrawal has worked to spread awareness of the environmental repercussions of India's coal industry to local residents, empowering them with information and speaking out on their behalf. In 2012, his tireless efforts shut down development of a major coal mine, which would have been the largest in the state of Chhattisgarh. Morgan Erickson-Davis 21.854783 83.372482 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/13124 2014-04-23T21:43:00Z 2014-11-25T22:19:27Z Chelonians for dinner: hunting threatens at-risk turtles and tortoises in India <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0423-turtle-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The extinction risk faced by mammals is often in the limelight. But it may be surprising to learn that next only to primates, chelonians—or turtles and tortoises—are the world’s most imperiled vertebrate group. New research indicates that two such species are being threatened by hunting in the Western Ghats of India. Morgan Erickson-Davis 10.308107 76.931335 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12992 2014-03-27T15:49:00Z 2014-03-30T18:54:23Z Kala: the face of tigers in peril <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0327.kala.Image-4.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In 1864, Walter Campbell was an officer in the British Army, stationed in India when he penned these words in his journal: "Never attack a tiger on foot&#8212;if you can help it. There are cases in which you must do so. Then face him like a Briton, and kill him if you can; for if you fail to kill him, he will certainly kill you." In a stroke of good fortune for the tiger, perceptions in India have changed drastically since Campbell's time. Tiger hunting is now banned and conservationists are usually able to rescue the big cats if they become stranded while navigating increasingly human-occupied areas. But is this enough to save the tiger? Jeremy Hance 21.168602 79.645198 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12982 2014-03-25T19:43:00Z 2014-03-25T20:42:19Z Europe approves vet drug that killed off almost all of Asia's vultures <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0325.cinereous_vulture-01.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When Europeans first arrived in North America, they exterminated three to five billion passenger pigeons (<i>Ectopistes migratorius</i>) in the short span of a century through a combination of habitat destruction and hunting. In 1914, the last living passenger pigeon perished at the Cincinnati Zoo. Despite the staggering scale of this extinction event, three species of vulture from Southeastern Asia retain the dubious distinction of having had the most rapid population crash of any avian fauna. They might not have begun with numbers as large as the passenger pigeon, but within the space of a single decade, their populations were reduced by 96 to 99 percent. Jeremy Hance 25.365863 78.632792 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12970 2014-03-21T15:09:00Z 2014-03-23T15:51:30Z The power of connections: India to establish Asia's largest protected forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0321-karnataka1-morgan-thumb.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>India has stepped up forest conservation efforts in recent years, with a major project underway to establish a large swath of uninterrupted habitat through the designation of additional protected areas and expanding those already under protection. If realized, these areas would converge to become Asia’s largest unbroken forest, encompassing approximately 15,000 square kilometers (5,790 square miles) over three states. Morgan Erickson-Davis 13.509241 75.091853 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12953 2014-03-19T22:00:00Z 2014-03-20T13:54:23Z Indian food giant to source deforestation-free palm oil Orkla, a Nordic conglomerate that owns MTR Foods, one of India's major food companies, has established a zero deforestation policy for the palm oil it sources, reports Greenpeace. Rhett Butler 59.918678 10.684759 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12884 2014-03-06T15:26:00Z 2014-03-06T15:47:26Z Can the millions in urban India live among greenery? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay.com/images/nancy/thumbnails/P1010088.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Large swathes of wilderness alternating with pockets of urbanization may be a reality in some countries, but in India boundaries are soft. Where a city ends and where a village begins in its outskirts is somewhat fuzzy. Rapidly developing megacities like Bangalore and Pune, localities like Gurgaon outside New Delhi, have been subsuming surrounding villages into their ever-expanding boundaries for the last couple of decades. Tiffany Roufs 12.970726 77.595234 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12823 2014-02-25T15:55:00Z 2014-02-25T16:01:40Z Will tigers march ahead? Scientists find surprising connections between isolated populations in Central India <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/14/0212tiger150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In May 2011, a young male Bengal tiger (<i>Panthera tigris tigris</i>) made its way to a village in the state of Karnataka in India. The tiger had been quite a hiker. To reach the village, it had walked more than 280 kilometers (174 miles) from Bandipur Tiger Reserve, a protected area famous for these elusive big cats. Tiffany Roufs 11.66846 76.63191 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12781 2014-02-17T15:00:00Z 2014-02-17T15:07:37Z Tracking one of the world's last Great Indian Bustards to save the species <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0217.Great-Indian-Bustard.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Bilal Habib is closely tracking the flight of a bird. Six times a day he gets its location, within a few hundred feet, through a GPS monitoring device attached to its body. One of the last members of its species, this Great Indian Bustard is part of the latest effort to save its kind from joining the ranks of other extinct birds like the dodo and the passenger pigeon. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12700 2014-01-29T14:40:00Z 2014-02-19T15:28:02Z Predator appreciation: how saving lions, tigers, and polar bears could rescue ourselves <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0129.Christo_scan_46.150..jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the new book, In Predatory Light: Lions and Tigers and Polar Bears, authors Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, Sy Montgomery, and John Houston, and photographers Cyril Christo and Marie Wilkinson share with us an impassioned and detailed appeal to appreciate three of the world's biggest predators: lions, tigers, and polar bears. Through lengthy discussions, combining themes from scientific conservation to local community folklore, In Predatory Light takes us step by step deeper into the wild world of these awe-inspiring carnivores and their varied plight as they facedown extinction. Jeremy Hance 78.80198 15.948486 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12694 2014-01-28T13:43:00Z 2014-01-29T13:37:35Z Feral crèches: parenting in wild India <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/14/0128.Picture11_SBear.600.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Wildlife Conservation Society-India has been camera trapping wild animals for over 20 years in the Western Ghats. The results reveal the most intimate, fascinating and sometimes comical insights into animal behavior and ecology. These mammals generally become secretive and protective during parenting, and therefore we seldom get to see little ones in the wild. But discretely placed camera traps have not only caught glimpses of these adorable wild babies, but also produced wonderful family albums! Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12575 2013-12-26T17:31:00Z 2014-12-26T20:35:25Z Curious bears take 'selfies' with camera traps <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1218bear159.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>'Selfies' are all the rage this year, and even bears have jumped on the trend. Especially the shaggy-coated, termite-loving sloth bears (<i>Melursus ursinus</i>), who seem particularly fascinated by the cameras that scientists have put up in forests to secretly capture their stealthy moves. Tiffany Roufs 15.326572 75.670166 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12522 2013-12-16T21:17:00Z 2015-02-12T00:00:05Z A bird's eye view of hornbills in northeast India <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1216.4HBs_Shreya.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Hornbills are as peculiar, as they are magnificent. Their calls especially, can sound rather strange to the uninitiated - some grunt, some growl, and some cackle maniacally. These queer birds, with their large brightly-colored curved beaks, and a distinctive cavity-nesting habit, are also totem animals for many tribes in India. Jeremy Hance 27.454389 96.540694 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12484 2013-12-05T13:19:00Z 2013-12-05T13:40:41Z Humans are not apex predators, but meat-eating on the rise worldwide <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1205.maps.meateating.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A new paper in <i>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</i> has measured the "trophic level" of human beings for the first time. Falling between 1 and 5.5, trophic levels refer to where species fit on the food chain. Apex predators like tigers and sharks are given a 5.5 on trophic scale since they survive almost entirely on consuming meat, while plants and phytoplankton, which make their own food, are at the bottom of the scale. Humans, according to the new paper, currently fall in the middle: 2.21. However, rising meat-eating in countries like China, India, and Brazil is pushing our trophic level higher with massive environmental impacts. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12477 2013-12-03T20:49:00Z 2013-12-03T20:55:48Z Where have all the dugongs gone? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1117seacow150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Legend has it that lonely sailors mistook them for beautiful, mythical mermaids. But as it turns out, the muse behind these beguiling sea nymphs was instead the dugong – a rather ungainly, gentle and mini-bus sized marine mammal, cousin to the manatees and part of the sea cow family. However, while they may have once fuelled stories for fairytales and Disney movies, their far-from-glamorous life is currently under serious threat in many parts of the world. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12435 2013-11-22T17:27:00Z 2013-11-25T15:20:50Z Satellites reveal browning mountain forests <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/manu_1078.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In a dramatic response to global warming, tropical forests in the high elevation areas of five continents have been "browning" since the 1990s. They have been steadily losing foliage, and showing less photosynthetic activity. Scientists analyzed the forest cover by using satellites to measure sunlight bouncing off the surface of the earth, then determining the different surface types via reflection patterns. Tiffany Roufs tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12418 2013-11-20T17:24:00Z 2013-11-21T14:58:11Z The swan song of India's dancing bears <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1115bear150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>India’s last dancing bear has retired. As the stars of their cruel little roadshows, sloth bears danced to the piercing sounds of the damru for hundreds of years. Orphaned by poachers and trained by the Qalandars, a nomadic Muslim community, these bears trudged through towns and villages to earn their masters a meager livelihood. Tiffany Roufs 12.971104 77.594833 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12374 2013-11-13T18:14:00Z 2013-11-13T18:50:16Z Richest countries spent $74 billion on fossil fuel subsidies in 2011, eclipsing climate finance by seven times In 2011, the top 11 richest carbon emitters spent an estimated $74 billion on fossil fuel subsidies, or seven times the amount spent on fast-track climate financing to developing nations, according to a recent report by the Overseas Development Institute. Worldwide, nations spent over half a trillion dollars on fossil fuel subsidies in 2011 according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12363 2013-11-12T16:42:00Z 2013-11-12T18:09:26Z Newly discovered beetles construct private homes out of leaf holes and feces <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1101beetleindia150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Scientists have discovered two new species of leaf beetles in southern India that display a novel way of using leaf holes and their fecal pellets to build shelters – a nesting behavior previously not known among leaf beetles. Discovered in the forests of the Western Ghats in the states of Karnataka and Kerala, the scientists have named these pin-head sized leaf beetles <i>Orthaltica syzygium</i> and <i>Orthaltica terminalia</i>, after the plants they feed on: <i>Syzygium</i> species (e.g., the Java plum) and <i>Terminalia</i> species (e.g., the flowering murdah). Tiffany Roufs 11.016689 76.177368 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12345 2013-11-11T15:59:00Z 2015-02-11T23:56:41Z Bangladesh plans massive coal plant in world's biggest mangrove forest <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1110.Sundarbans_MM7666_150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>On October 22nd Bangladeshi and Indian officials were supposed to hold a ceremony laying the foundation stone for the Rampal power plant, a massive new coal-fired plant that will sit on the edge of the Sundarbans, the world's largest mangrove forest. However, the governments suddenly cancelled the ceremony, instead announcing that the project had already been inaugurated in early October by the countries' heads of state via a less-ornate Skype call. While the governments say the change was made because of busy schedules, activists contend the sudden scuttling of the ceremony was more likely due to rising pressure against the coal plant, including a five-day march in September that attracted thousands. Jeremy Hance 22.648235 89.651756 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12293 2013-10-31T15:23:00Z 2013-10-31T15:46:23Z 'Remarkable year': could 2012 mark the beginning of a carbon emissions slowdown? Global carbon dioxide emissions hit another new record of 34.5 billion tons last year, according to a new report by the Netherlands Environment Assessment Agency and the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, but there may be a silver lining. Dubbing 2012 a "remarkable year," the report found that the rate of carbon emission's rise slowed considerably even as economic growth continued upward. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12282 2013-10-30T15:40:00Z 2014-08-21T21:59:24Z The mystery of the disappearing elephant tusk <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1021elephants150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Give it a few thousand years, and tusks could completely disappear from the Asian elephant (<i>Elephas maximus</i>). The beautifully smooth, elongated ivory incisors neatly bordering a long trunk are iconic in the public mind. The reigning hypothesis is that tusks evolved to help male elephants fight one another, as demonstrated when males compete over females in estrus. However, a recent study published in the journal <i>Animal Behaviour</i> has shown that tusks may not be key factors in tussles, at least as far as elephants are concerned. Tiffany Roufs 26.577493 93.17114 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12255 2013-10-25T16:50:00Z 2013-10-29T17:54:07Z Photo essay: notes from India's Kabini River <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1025india150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Nilgiris, also known as the "Blue mountains," in southern India are an extraordinary mountain range that form one of the most diverse biospheres in the country, the Nilgiri Biosphere. And the Nagarhole National Park, declared a tiger reserve in 1999 is part of this biosphere. The Kabini River flows through the National park and is the lifeline to a wide variety of flora and fauna. This river transforms Nagarhole into a water world of wonder. Tiffany Roufs 11.947975 76.253128 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12216 2013-10-20T18:59:00Z 2013-10-21T17:55:21Z Yeti may be undescribed bear species <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1020.800px-Polar_Bear_-_Alaska.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The purported Yeti, an ape-like creature that walks upright and roams the remote Himalayas, may in fact be an ancient polar bear species, according to new DNA research by Bryan Sykes with Oxford University. Sykes subjected two hairs from what locals say belonged to the elusive Yeti only to discover that the genetics matched a polar bear jawbone found in Svalbard, Norway dating from around 120,000 (though as recent as 40,000 years ago). Jeremy Hance 27.965295 90.323181 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12153 2013-10-01T15:58:00Z 2013-10-07T18:50:34Z Wildlife in Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve suffers from lack of a transition zone <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/1001.399px-Nilgiri_Tahr_Adult.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve in southern India acts as a conduit between the biodiversity-rich Western Ghats, a mountain range parallel to the western coast of India and its eastern counterpart, the Eastern Ghats. Established in 1986 by Government of India, the 5,520 square kilometer reserve was recognized by UNESCO in 2000. However a new study in mongabay.com's open-access journal Tropical Conservation Science finds that the lack of a transition zone in the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve has undercut the aims of this crucial protected area. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12113 2013-09-23T17:34:00Z 2013-10-07T18:53:31Z Featured video: music video honoring wildlife of Karnataka, India <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/1007leopard150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Located in the southwestern corner of India, the state of Karnataka is celebrated for its stunning biodiversity. In order to honor the natural beauty of the region, wildlife photographer and filmmaker Amoghavarsha and Bangalore based musician Ricky Kej have teamed up to create a music video highlighting Karnataka's unique species and wild places. Tiffany Roufs 16.36231 75.20874 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12078 2013-09-16T14:01:00Z 2015-02-11T23:39:17Z Photo essay: India's Western Ghats is a haven for endemic amphibians <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0915.Picture-8_Raorchestes-glandulosus_ShashankDalvi_KrithiKaranth_CWS.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Western Ghats are a globally recognized repository of biological diversity for our planet. We know very little about most species found here, particularly the ecologically sensitive and spectacularly beautiful 179 amphibians. Astonishingly, 87% of all Western Ghats frogs are endemic and found nowhere else on the planet. Our collaborative research project with Drs Paul Robbins and Ashwini Chhatre examining biodiversity in production landscapes of Ghats unearthed some spectacular amphibians in 2013. Jeremy Hance 14.615478 74.70108 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12076 2013-09-13T15:15:00Z 2013-09-13T15:21:57Z India moves rapidly to protect Amur falcons from mass-hunting <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0913amurfalcons150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In October last year, an astounding mass hunting came to light&#8212;an estimated 120,000–140,000 Amur falcons were being hunted and killed in Nagaland, India, every year. A small bird of prey, the Amur falcon (Falco amurensis) records one of the longest migrations among all birds&#8212;a staggering 22,000 km annually. Their journey starts in China and Siberia where they breed and spend their summers. Tiffany Roufs 26.189948 94.569397 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/12022 2013-09-05T15:05:00Z 2013-09-05T15:28:04Z Amendments to Indian legislation could pose a threat to wildlife research <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0905india150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the upcoming session of the Indian Parliament, MPs will debate whether researchers and poachers should be treated in the same manner for a breach of law. A new bill proposes to impose substantial penalties, including imprisonment, when researchers with permission to enter a forest area default in any way. At the same time, a poacher or a person in possession banned wildlife product is let off with a fine. Tiffany Roufs 28.648415 77.224045 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11988 2013-08-29T20:04:00Z 2013-08-29T21:46:15Z Are sea turtles responsible for lower fish catches in India? <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/maui/150/maui_0840.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Fishing communities on Agatti Island in Lakshwadeep, India, blame their reduced fish catch on green turtles; according to them, green turtles chomp their way through the seagrass beds lining the shallow reef waters that are essential for fish to breed. This leads some in the community to clandestinely kill sea turtles and destroy their nests. Tiffany Roufs 10.87646 72.190933 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11954 2013-08-23T13:29:00Z 2013-08-23T16:25:17Z Overpopulation and grazing imperils nomadic lifestyle and wildlife in Ladakh <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0822-nomads150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>In the unforgivingly cold, arid and harsh high-altitude regions of Central Asia, nomadic herders have survived for several centuries. Guided by a keen understanding of the environment they live in, they move constantly with their livestock, following trails of fresh pastures and ‘settling down’ only briefly. Surrendering their destiny to the whims of nature, these free spirited wanderers seem unshakeable. Tiffany Roufs 34.016242 78.02124 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11923 2013-08-15T20:12:00Z 2013-08-15T20:22:08Z Sahyadris – Mountains of the Monsoon <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0815appreview150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Stunning images, snippets of video and a compelling narrative come together in a “showcase” app for the iPad. The Sahyadris app is an immersive experience, which taps the full potential of the iPad as a story telling medium. It acts as a “showcase” for the Western Ghats, a mountain range found parallel to the western coast of southern India. Tiffany Roufs 15.114553 74.699706 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11922 2013-08-15T19:43:00Z 2013-08-15T19:47:05Z New Android app helps you identify frogs in the Western Ghats <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0815frog150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Amphibians hop onto your Android phone in an app that focuses on ease of use. There are many among us who have gone out for a walk in the night, during the rains, and heard frogs chorusing. Or looked upon a small amphibian perched perilously by the wayside, and wondered what it is called. Tiffany Roufs 15.199386 74.787597 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11918 2013-08-15T15:28:00Z 2013-08-18T15:39:19Z Scientists map human-wildlife conflict in India <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0815karanth150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Designating protected areas in a country with 1.27 billion people comes with its own consequences: around each protected area in India lies a zone where wildlife strays out, and people stray in. Inevitably, there is contact, and more often than not, conflict. Human wildlife conflict has been under the lens for a long time. How humans respond to conflict situations varies. Tiffany Roufs 15.284185 74.831542 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11896 2013-08-08T14:53:00Z 2013-08-09T02:03:04Z First of its kind rescue and release for sloth bear in India <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0808slothbear150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>For a young wild sloth bear who found himself amidst a panic-stricken village in India, rescue was fortunately, and surprisingly, close at hand. In a one-of-a-kind heartwarming story, a team from <a href=http://www.wildlifesos.org/>Wildlife SOS</a> (WSOS) India – a conservation and welfare NGO – successfully rescued, treated and subsequently released the sloth bear back into the wild, but this time with a radio collar fitted around its neck. Tiffany Roufs 27.100393 78.599939 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11889 2013-08-06T20:35:00Z 2015-02-11T23:15:02Z Scientists discover new flying mammal in bushmeat market <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0806.newspecies.busmeat.IMG_4558.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The bushmeat markets of Lao PDR (Laos) are filled with racks of wild game harvested both legally and illegally from the surrounding landscapes. While these meat markets certainly provide local protein to patrons, for wildlife biologists they offer something more. These bizarre zoological exhibits are a rich source of information about wildlife populations and wildlife consumption in remote areas. Jeremy Hance 18.359739 104.325256 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11870 2013-08-02T20:33:00Z 2013-08-02T20:39:27Z Jumbo problems for the Indian railways <table align="left"><tr><td><img src=" http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0802elephanttrain150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Running late that morning, the Kanchankanya Express train zipped past Gulma and entered the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary in northern West Bengal, India. Till a few minutes ago, impatience was writ large on every face. Now with the fog having finally lifted and the green forest cover glistening under the sun, things were finally looking up. But before my co-passengers could sigh with relief, the train came to a screeching halt, right in the middle of the forest. I looked out the door of my compartment. Tiffany Roufs 26.901635 88.512765 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11837 2013-07-25T19:11:00Z 2013-07-25T19:16:55Z Rare and threatened freshwater fish plundered for aquarium trade in India <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0725fish150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Thirty percent of the fish exported from India in the past seven years were from dozens of threatened species including the endangered red-lined torpedo barb (<i>Puntius denisonii</i>) and the miss kerala look alike (<i>Puntius chalakkudiensis</i>) amongst others, according to a recently published paper in Biological Conservation. By documenting the extent and impact of the trade in rare and threatened freshwater fish species in India, scientists have uncovered the local scale of the aquarium pet trade. Tiffany Roufs 15.114553 74.787597 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11834 2013-07-25T14:23:00Z 2013-07-25T14:33:28Z Booming cashmere trade eating up habitat for snow leopards, saiga, and wild yak <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0725.saiga.Berger_055a.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Snow leopards, wild yaks and other iconic wildlife on the world's highest mountains and great steppes are becoming "fashion victims" of the surging global trade in cashmere, new research has revealed. Scientists found wildlife being driven to the margins of survival by the "striking but unintended consequences" of huge increases in the numbers of the goats producing the luxurious lightweight wool. Jeremy Hance 42.55308 88.315428 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11772 2013-07-15T20:13:00Z 2013-07-16T17:04:34Z How tigers are faring in their final frontier <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0715Tiger150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>“Gone are the tiger-filled days when Corbett, as a small boy wandering the jungles of Nepal in the 1880s, peeped over a plum bush that heaved as a tiger walked out on the far side.” Adele Conover, in the Smithsonian magazine. Even as recently as the 1930s, 40,000 tigers roamed the forests of India. By the 1970s, tiger number had plummeted to less than 2,000. Historically, the tiger ranged from the Caspian Sea to the Russian Far North to the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra. Now, they occupy just 7% of this historical range, with India home to over half of the tigers remaining in the wild. And what a world they inhabit. Tiffany Roufs 12.996529 77.600327 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11693 2013-06-30T21:54:00Z 2015-02-11T23:10:18Z Saving the Raja of India's grasslands: new efforts to conserve the Critically Endangered Great Indian Bustard <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0630.gib.photo.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Great Indian Bustard, one of India's iconic birds, once ranged across most of the Indian subcontinent. Due to a variety of factors, however, the Great Indian Bustard is also now India's rarest bird and faces imminent extinction. The following is an interview with Ramki Sreenivasan, co-founder of Conservation India, a group that recently petitioned the Rajasthan Chief Minister to kick start "Project Bustard." Jeremy Hance 27.352253 76.505127 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11652 2013-06-26T17:05:00Z 2013-06-26T17:25:49Z The rise of India: the complex biological history of a subcontinent <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0626india150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>If you try and draw family trees for animals and plants in India, you will discover something that will take your breath away. Relatives do not occur in the same area; in extreme cases, they can be in other continents. And atop the tallest mountains in the Himalayas, you will find marine fossils. Tiffany Roufs 22.593726 79.086912 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11633 2013-06-24T13:14:00Z 2013-06-24T13:35:22Z Over 16,000 wild mammals and birds sold in Nagaland market, India, annually <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0624wildlifetrade150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A comprehensive survey of the wildlife sold in the markets of Tuensang has resulted in a stunning record of the wildlife trade in the state of Nagaland in northeast India, as reported in a new study published in mongabay.com's open-access journal Tropical Conservation Science. Once a week, researchers with the Sálim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History and the Near Chang Baptist group entered the Tuensang market and carried out intensive surveys and interviews of vendors selling wild birds or mammals. Jeremy Hance 26.238305 94.8137 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11632 2013-06-24T12:22:00Z 2013-06-24T13:31:36Z Local people provide wildlife and forest data in park plagued by conflict <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0624tiger150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>There are often many obstacles for scientists when gauging wildlife decline and forest loss, and one of the most difficult is civil conflict, like the situation in the Similipal Tiger Reserve in India. But a new study in mongabay.com's open access journal Tropical Conservation Science (TCS) finds that local communities may be used to gauge forest loss and wildlife decline for baseline data when conflicts or other obstacle prevent long-term research and monitoring. Jeremy Hance 21.631899 86.379089 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11606 2013-06-13T18:31:00Z 2015-02-11T23:07:47Z Fertility in Africa could push world population over 11 billion The global population could grow by another 4 billion people by the end of the century if fertility rates in Africa don't decline, according to a new report by the United Nations. Currently around 1.1 billion people live on the continent, but that number could skyrocket to 4.2 billion (a 380 percent increase) by 2100, causing global population to hit 11 billion. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11547 2013-06-04T20:39:00Z 2015-02-11T23:06:08Z Loris champion: conserving the world's most surprising primate family <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0603.Capture-and-collaring-low-145.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Before Anna Nekaris began championing the cause of the world's lorises, little was known about this cryptic family of large-eyed, nocturnal, insect-eating, venomous primates. Nekaris, with Oxford Brookes University and founder of the Little Fireface project, has been instrumental in documenting rarely-seen loris behavior, establishing conservation programs, and identifying new species of these hugely-imperiled Asian primates. Jeremy Hance tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11505 2013-05-30T15:18:00Z 2013-06-04T05:20:26Z Connecting kids through elephants: innovative zoo program links children in the UK and India <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0530.20100720_BabyE_first-day-out-with-girls25.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>You may think children in urban, northern UK have little in common with those in rural Assam, India, but educational connections are possible you just have to know where to look. In this case, an innovative education initiative at Chester Zoo has employed its five ton stars&#8212;the Asian elephants&#8212;to teach British children about life in faraway India. Jeremy Hance 53.226533 -2.88887 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11472 2013-05-23T02:42:00Z 2013-09-25T12:03:15Z India’s hornbill conservator is awarded the ‘Green Oscar’ <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/052213indiahornbills150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The Whitley Awards is a prestigious international prize awarded annually to individuals working in nature conservation at a grassroots level. They were first awarded in 1994 and over the past two decades, the Whitley fund for nature has given almost £10 million to conservation and recognised 160 conservation leaders in more than 70 countries. Tiffany Roufs 28.362402 94.755249 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11468 2013-05-22T19:54:00Z 2013-05-24T17:18:51Z The Lions of India <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/052213indialion150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>It is not a well-known fact that India plays home to a population of lions as usually lions are associated with the African savannah and not the scrub forests of the subcontinent. The Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica) is a sub-species which can only be found in a single location in the wild - the Gir forest in Gujarat, India. Although genetically distinct from the African lion, the difference is not large. Tiffany Roufs 22.461802 71.178589 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11386 2013-05-07T16:36:00Z 2015-03-27T03:50:52Z Health effects of toxic waste sites in developing countries could rival malaria, air pollution, new study shows <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay/peru/150/peru_aerial_0166.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Exposure to dangerous chemicals from toxic waste sites may be creating a public health crisis in developing countries comparable to that caused by malaria or even air pollution, a new study suggests, highlighting the urgent need to clean up toxic waste. In a study published on Saturday in <i>Environmental Health Perspectives</i>, researchers calculated the number of 'healthy years of life lost' due to ill-health, disability or early death in individuals at risk of exposure to chemicals at 373 toxic waste sites in India, the Philippines and Indonesia. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11320 2013-04-30T02:21:00Z 2013-04-30T17:16:05Z The shady business of online wildlife trade <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/042613gecko150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The internet is certainly the cornerstone of modern technology and a boon for so much innovation. However, along with all its advantages, there are some serious drawbacks and one of the latest is online smuggling of wildlife. The Indian Express <a href=http://www.indianexpress.com/news/online-smuggling-has-wildlife-bureau-hiring-cyber-detectives/1105886//>recently reported</a> that India's wildlife police have discovered illegal websites selling live endangered animals, parts and rare plants. Tiffany Roufs 25.571963 91.898249 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11319 2013-04-30T01:59:00Z 2013-04-30T02:09:36Z Rivers or grave yards? The woes of the Indian gharial and Gangetic dolphin in the Yamuna River <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/042613Gavialis150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Rivers in India, especially the Ganga, Yamuna and Brahmaputra all carry a potent spiritual significance. Not only are these water way responsible for sustenance, they are also believed to be living goddesses blessing the land with their bounties. Immersing one’s ashes in the Ganga is said to free you from the karmic cycle of rebirth. Tiffany Roufs 28.943265 77.203274 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11280 2013-04-22T14:13:00Z 2015-02-09T22:49:19Z Two new frog genera discovered in India's Western Ghats, but restricted to threatened swamp-ecosystems <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0422.Tadpole.newfrogs.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>The misty mountains of the Western Ghats seem to unravel new secrets the more you explore it. Researchers have discovered two new frog genera, possibly restricted to rare and threatened freshwater swamps in the southern Western Ghats of India. The discoveries, described in the open-access journal Zootaxa, prove once again the importance of the mountain range as a biodiversity hotspot. Jeremy Hance 9.714472 76.947327 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11228 2013-04-15T14:55:00Z 2013-04-16T21:35:42Z Breaking the mold: Divya Karnad takes on fisheries and science journalism in India <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0414.interview.india.DK_Field.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Fishing is not a woman's domain in most countries across the globe. In parts of India there are fishing communities who believe that having a woman onboard a fishing boat brings bad luck. Despite this, Divya Karnad, a scientist who studies marine life in India, has spent several years studying fisheries and their impact on species like sharks and sea turtles. Her work forms a part of global efforts to track declining marine species and encourage more sustainable fishing. Jeremy Hance 13.071423 77.580218 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11197 2013-04-09T15:52:00Z 2013-04-09T16:03:39Z Air pollution killed 7 million people in 2010 Seven million people died from air pollution in 2010, according to new data from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010, published in the medical journal Lancet. The research found that indoor air pollution killed 3.5 million people in 2010, outdoor air pollution 3.3 million, and ground level ozone pollution 200,000 people. Jeremy Hance 39.929748 116.344986 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11196 2013-04-09T15:37:00Z 2013-04-14T18:55:16Z Using drones to monitor wildlife in India <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/040913indiablogrhino150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Drones have been getting a bad rap lately and for good reason. However in the state of Assam, these commonly used weapons of warfare are being used to monitor the rhinoceros population. The Kaziranga National Park in Assam has deployed aerial drones to monitor poaching activity within the park’s boundaries to protect the endangered one-horned rhino population. Tiffany Roufs 26.600385 93.466694 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11180 2013-04-08T16:53:00Z 2013-04-10T13:43:47Z Looking beyond the hundred legs: finding new centipedes in India requires many tools <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0408.centipedeparts.india.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>A small, boneless creature, that lives underground, with a "hundred" legs, and a rather powerful sting; some of these creatures are drab, but some are so beautiful and brightly colored that they can startle. Centipedes. There is more to a centipede than its many legs, and its habit of darting out of dark places. One of the first lifeforms to turn up on land, some centipede fossils date back to about 450 million years ago. They have been evolving steadily since, with some estimates showing about 8,000 species today. Not even half of these species have been taxonomically described. Jeremy Hance 9.860628 76.505127 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11160 2013-04-03T17:17:00Z 2013-04-06T22:46:02Z Where the flamingos fly: Mumbai, apparently! <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0402indiablogflamingo150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>When you think of flamingos you think of the great flamingo migration, a sea of pink in Tanzania, or maybe even a funny cartoon with these dancing, lanky creatures but the last thing you would think of is Mumbai. Strangely, this modern chaotic city provides a temporary home to these lovely coral-colored birds. They visit the mudflats of Mumbai every year in the winter (January – May) and provide a treat to casual bird-watchers, ornithologists and regular citizens alike. The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) also organizes a flamingo watching festival during this period to encourage people to observe these birds. Tiffany Roufs 19.101053 72.962837 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11159 2013-04-03T17:11:00Z 2013-04-06T22:47:13Z Human-wildlife conflict on the rise in India <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0405eleback.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Recently, the news has been rife with reports of human-wildlife conflict over various parts of India. Most of these reports originate from forest areas surrounding the Western Ghats in the south and also the state of Maharashtra as well as the north-western areas of the country. While there are many reasons for human-wildife conflict, here it is mostly because of new developments encroaching on forest lands and animal territories. Alongside humans, elephants and leopards are the most common animals victims to this conflict in India. Tiffany Roufs 20.200346 75.714111 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11152 2013-04-02T18:40:00Z 2013-04-02T20:19:18Z Where do the birds fly? – Migrant Watch, a ‘citizen science’ data collection organization tells you <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0402indiablogcuckoo150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>India is a hot spot for migratory birds and there are many species that visit the country in various times of the year. Amateur bird-watchers have taken it upon themselves to track migratory birds and they act as informal census keepers. According to the Tehelka blog, vagaries in the pattern of bird migration were brought to attention by amateur bird-watchers. Tiffany Roufs 12.289688 76.558857 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11133 2013-03-28T18:24:00Z 2015-03-05T04:25:59Z Harnessing religious teachings about stewardship to protect the planet - an interview with Sikh activist Bandana Kaur <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://mongabay-images.s3.amazonaws.com/13/0328Bandana-Kaur150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>Many religious groups have taken on the role of environmental custodians, citing scriptures that urge living in harmony with plants and animals. Representatives of nine world religions pledged in 2009 to develop environmental programs. The Sikh religion’s contribution to that effort is called EcoSikh. With a global community 30 million strong, Sikhism is the world’s fifth largest religion. Sikhs trace their roots to Punjab. In the 1960s and 1970s, the Green Revolution — research and technology breakthroughs that dramatically increased agricultural yields worldwide — turned Punjab into “the breadbasket of India.” In the past 20 years, though, the intensive farming has eroded Punjab’s soil and water. Rhett Butler tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11054 2013-03-18T15:09:00Z 2013-03-18T15:34:21Z Scientists successfully reintroduce gaur in Indian park Gaur (<i>Bos gaurus gaurus</i>) is one of the large wild ungulates of Asian jungles. It is the tallest living ox, and one of the four heaviest land mammals (elephant, rhino and wild buffalo are the other three), weighing up to 940 kilograms (2,070 pounds) and standing between 1.6 and 1.9 meters (5.2 to 6.2 feet) at the shoulder. Gaur were once distributed throughout the forested tracts of India and South Nepal, east to Vietnam and south to Malaya. Today, however, they are confined to just over a hundred existing, and 27 proposed, Protected Areas in India. Jeremy Hance 23.722841 81.02317 tag:news.mongabay.com,2005:Article/11035 2013-03-13T19:06:00Z 2015-02-09T22:40:39Z Burning coal may be killing over 100,000 people in India every year <table align="left"><tr><td><img src="http://s3.amazonaws.com/mongabay-images/13/0313.coalhealthindia.70804_120952.150.jpg" align="left"/></td></tr></table>India's dependence on coal-fired power plants for energy may be leading directly to the deaths of 80,000 to 115,000 of its citizens every year, according to the first ever report on the health impacts of coal in the country. The report, commissioned by the Conservation Action Trust and Greenpeace-India, deals only with the direct health impact of coal and not climate change. But even ignoring the rising pain of global warming, the bleak report outlines that coal consumption in India is causing over 20 million asthma attacks, nearly a million emergency room visits, and killing some 10,000 children under five annually. Jeremy Hance 28.589345 77.205505