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Tag: Environment

Picture of The Day: Cliff Climibing Polar Bear

This is an award winning picture by photographer Jenny E. Ross where a polar bear can be seen carefully climbing the cliff above the ocean to feed on seabird eggs. Typically polar bears feed on sea seals but due to climate change and subsequent melting and receding of the polar ice it has been unable to find it’s natural food. This is a desperate attempt by the bear for it’s survival. The picture won the world press photo award in Nature category.

Image credit: | Jenny E. Ross

Leave a Comment February 18, 2012

Meet World’s Smallest Chamaleon (Brookesia et al.)

In a  recent discovery, researchers from Germany and USA have found world’s smallest and cutest species of  chameleon. These species also rank among world’s smallest reptile. These chameleons belong to group Brookesia minima and are found mostly in northern Madagascar region.  Four newly discovered species have been named Brookesia micra, Brookesia tristis, Brookesia conifdens, Brookesia desperata. The maximum length of newly discovered species ranges between 22-48 mm. Brookesia micra, shown above, is the smallest of the group (maximum size 30 mm). These miniscule leaf chameleons have all the features and properties as you can find in any regular size chameleon- can rotate their eyes  independent of each other, can camouflage when in danger or looking for food, can grab things using their tail and have projectile tongue to capture their prey. As mentioned earlier, the habitat region of these species is very small. All of them are found in a very small region of Madagascar and if this habitat is destroyed, we will lose this species forever. Lead researcher, Glaw, named the species keeping this issue in mind. For eg. the word tristis in Latin means sad, sorrowful which reflects the sad situation of massive deforestation of this region even after the region have been declared a nature preserve. Name desperata also reflects the sad situation of deforestation of the area where Brookesia desperata is found. These names might be world’s most sad names ever given but it also reflects the sad state of affairs of species preservation all around the world. Luckily,  Brookesia confidens is found in the area where limestone formations have made the area very hard to access by the humans and therefore there is a hope that this species might be protected just due to natural protection.

Reference article and Image Source: Rivaling the World’s Smallest Reptiles: Discovery of Miniaturized and Microendemic New Species of Leaf Chameleons (Brookesia) from Northern Madagascar| Glaw et al. |PLoS ONE |February 2012 | Volume 7 | Issue 2 | e31314

1 Comment February 18, 2012

Picture of The Day: Baby Elephant in Orange Raincoat

In the picture you can see baby elephant Shukuru wearing a custom made raincoat in order to protect him from cold and rain. Baby Shukuru is a victim of incessant poaching and human-wildlife conflict occurring in the jungles of Kenya. Elephants who used to walk free in the jungles are now endangered. Like many other baby elephants in these jungles, Shukuru is an orphan and is being taken care at David Sheldrick Wildlife trust in Nairobi where he is being fed, protected and rehabilitated. Once they are no longer milk-dependent they are moved from this elephant nursery to other centers. Slowly they are moved to their natural habitat, but this can take few years (8-10) before they are ready to move in the wild. Baby elephants are dependent on their mother’s milk for about 2-4 years and that causes serious problems in raising young orphan elephants. You can read more about Shukura and many other baby elephants in NatGeo article. These beautiful pictures have been taken by Michael Nichols and if you are interested in some good Nature pictures, you might consider getting his App for your iPad.


Image Credit: Michale Nichols | National Geographic

Leave a Comment September 6, 2011

Green Nobel Prize Winners For 2011

Every year on April 22nd we celebrate the Earth Day and on the same day Goldman Environmental prizes are awarded to grass root environmental activists in order to recognize their efforts as well as to highlight the importance of protecting our environment, endangered ecosystems, species, and to promote sustainability and influence environmental policies. These awards are also called as Green Nobel prizes. On the occasion of World Environment day, let’s take a look at this year’s award winners and their stories (video playlist showcasing the work of all the winners is embedded at the end of the post).

Raoul du Toit coordinated conservation initiatives that have helped to develop and maintain the largest remaining black rhino populations in Zimbabwe. “Conserving rhinos saves much more than the rhino themselves – they are flagships for biodiversity and for national development based upon sustainable wildlife management in Africa.”

Dmitry Lisitsyn fought to protect Sakhalin Island’s critical endangered ecosystems while also demanding safety measures from one of the world’s largest petroleum development projects. “The last wild, untouched salmon rivers, which we are trying to save on our island, are the embodiment of beauty, power and freedom of wild nature. I’m convinced – if we would lose them, all our planet would be poorer, because we will never be able to get them back”

In response to Germany’s expanded reliance on nuclear energy, Ursula Sladek created her country’s first cooperatively-owned renewable power company. “A renewable energy supply helps reduce nuclear dangers as well as climate change and therefore is central for the future of mankind.”

Biologist Prigi Arisandi initiated a local movement to stop industrial pollution from flowing into a river that provides water to three million people. “Protecting our water quality is important work to do, but it is more important to guarantee that water resources will be available for the next generations, because we do not want to be called a greedy water robber generation by our grandchildren”

North America
Now leading the battle for environmental justice on the Texas Gulf Coast, Hilton Kelley fights for communities living in the shadow of polluting industries. “I speak up for the disadvantaged because it is my duty, it is the duty of all mankind to help those in need, those who have no voice, no way of helping themselves. Having compassion for others in adverse situations is the very thread that creates a civilized and just nation, a just society.”

South & Central America
Living under the constant threat of assassination, Francisco Pineda led a citizens’ movement that stopped a gold mine from destroying El Salvador’s dwindling water resources. “My work is as an environmentalist; this is the principle for my life. When I began to understand the impact of the mining exploration, I couldn’t stay quiet.”

Image credit:

Leave a Comment June 6, 2011

Weekend Video: A Love Story… In Milk Cartons

On the occasion of World Environment Day (June 5th), this edition of “weekend video” showcases a beautiful and thought-provoking love story, but here the characters are a bit unusual- two milk cartons. In 2 min and 11 sec, the animators deliver a beautiful story with strong message of recycling and reducing garbage. The movie has a sad ending but if you want to see a happy ending you can take certain steps – first by informing yourself and then by taking appropriate steps of reducing waste and your carbon footprint . The movie was commissioned by Friends of Earth, UK and beautifully conceptualized and created by folks at

Leave a Comment June 5, 2011

Photograph Or Painting? You Decide!

Well, you decide whether the above image is a photograph or painting. First guess will say that it’s a beautiful painting, but the fact is that it’s a photograph of landscape in Namibia. This magnificent picture was taken by Frans Lanting for a National Geographic magazine article about Namibia and it’s environmental protection laws. Beautiful landscape combined with perfect lighting resulted in this amazing picture. Here is what Frans has to say about the photograph:

“Here’s a short summary about the making of the photo. It was made at dawn when the warm light of the morning sun was illuminating a huge red sand dune dotted with white grasses while the white floor of the clay pan was still in shade. It looks blue because it reflects the color of the sky above. Because of the contrast between the shady foreground and the sunlit background I used a two-stop graduated filter which reduced the contrast. The perfect moment came when the sun reached all the way down to the bottom of the sand dune just before it reached the desert floor. I used a long telephoto lens and stopped it all the way down to compress the perspective” [By the way, the white dots in the picture are grasses on the sand dunes.You can read more about this photograph here].

Image credit: Frans Lanting | National Geographic

Leave a Comment June 3, 2011

What Are You Planning To Do On March 26th, 8:30 PM?

It’s Earth Hour on March 26th, 8:30 PM, your local time. Individuals and businesses all over the globe switch off their non-essential lights and electrical appliances for one hour and organize events in order to raise awareness about taking positive action to address the issue of climate change. The event which was started in 2007 in Sydney has now spread all over the globe. This year’s theme is to go beyond an hour, take an extra step than just switching off the lights for an hour, to do something more than what you regularly do. So how are you planning to go beyond an hour? I am planning to eat more of locally grown produce, reduce my use of air conditioning, and maybe volunteer in local schools and organize events about 3Rs- Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

Leave a Comment March 22, 2011

Video Footage Of The Uncontacted Tribe In Brazil

In my previous post, I posted the picture of an uncontacted tribe in Brazil. Now it’s time for some video footage. The aerial shots were taken by Brazilian Government agency, FUNAI, and the video was shown on BBC channel this week. As mentioned in my earlier post, these tribes are uncontacted implying that they don’t have any direct contact with the mainstream society, but it’s not like they were unknown to rest of the world. In fact, Brazilian govt has been monitoring these tribes for past 20 years in order to protect them and oversee their health. During regular aerial monitoring trips, the aircraft is usually flown about 1.2 kms high and no attempt is made to directly contact the tribes so that to avoid any transmittance of any kind of disease or affect their culture and environment.

“They always get scared when they see an aircraft, but this tribe is used to seeing commercial flights—Boeings and local jets—flying over the region,” said the newly retired Meirelles, who for 40 years worked for FUNAI, Brazil’s indigenous-rights agency.

“I prefer to get them scared once a year—and make sure they are healthy, growing in number, and protected from loggers and miners—rather than leave them without any supervision.” [ National Geographic]

The purpose of this video is to show the world and government agencies that such tribes exist and need to be protected. You can visit Survival International website to know more about what you can do to spread the message and protect these tribes.

1 Comment February 4, 2011

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