Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
|Shishir Prashant / New Delhi/ Dehra Dun June 19, 2009, 0:56 IST|
The Western Ghats, known for its evergreen tropical forests and rich biodiversity, is all set to become a world heritage site.
“By 2010, we are confident of getting world heritage site status for the Western Ghats,” said VB Mathur, dean of the Wildlife Institute of India, which has prepared a nomination dossier of 39 natural sites from states like Karnataka, Kerala, and Maharashtra under a single cluster of the Western Ghats.
India has already submitted the dossier to Unesco, which is the nodal agency for declaring heritage sites. A team of Unesco would travel to India next year to give its seal of approval in this regard.
The sites from Karnataka include Agumbe Reserve Forest, Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary, Someshwara Reserved Forest, Kudremukh National Park, Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, Talacauvery Wildlife Sanctuary, Padinalknad Reserve Forest, Kerti Reserve Forest and Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, all major tourist attractions.
According to the guidelines of the World Heritage Convention, of which India is a signatory, each country has to prepare a tentative list of sites that it proposes to nominate as world heritage sites, Mathur said.
Surveys by WII officials with the help of a Bangalore-based agency Atree were conducted to find sites in the 150,000 sq km Western Ghats.
The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests had assigned the responsibility of preparing nomination dossiers for Western Ghats to WII. “We submitted our nomination dossier to HRD Ministry which in turn submitted to UNESCO,” said Mathur.
There are six natural heritage sites in India which include Valley of Flowers and Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, Kaziranga National Park, Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, Sunderban and Keoladeo National Park.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
May 21, 2009
History was made Wednesday in Lawrence, and it was all due to some winged visitors making their way through town.
“What we’re going to try to do is something that’s never been done before, and that’s put radio tags on monarch butterflies, try to get them to fly. Hopefully, we’ll be able to follow them in the airplane and see where they go,” said Chip Taylor, director of Monarch Watch at Kansas University.
Photo by Nick Krug Lawrence Journal-World
Lawrence is a regular stop for the butterflies on their northward migration from Mexico.
National Geographic was in town to film the radio tagging for a new series, “Great Migration.”
Princeton University professor and biologist Martin Wikelski has used radio transmitters to track the journeys of other species, but never before has the migration of the monarch been investigated using this technology.
Wikelski, Taylor and the National Geographic crew were at the Lawrence Municipal Airport with their six-legged subjects. First, they fed the butterflies to make sure they had energy to carry the transmitters that would be attached to their bodies. The transmitters weigh about half as much as a butterfly does, which Taylor described as “startling” to the butterfly.
After releasing a newly accessorized butterfly, Taylor and Wikelski went up in a two-passenger plane for about 45 minutes to follow its signal.
“It moved a little bit to the north-northeast, which is what we expected,” said an excited Taylor post-flight.
They will be releasing more butterflies today in, hopefully, less windy conditions.
“This is the first step, and after we get through (Thursday), we’ll talk about where to take this then,” Taylor said.