Wildlife & Biodiversity

2022 too short, too far: DTE’s top wildlife stories of the year

Down To Earth recaps the primary environment, health and developmental news from 2022

By DTE Staff
Published: Sunday 01 January 2023

The world of wildlife continued to buzz in 2022. From the arrival of cheetahs in India from Africa to honey bees displaying human-like abilities to frog species long thought to be extinct being found alive, wildlife made news through 2022. Here are some of Down To Earth’s best stories on events concerning wildlife in India and abroad:

Ecologists at Michigan State University and collaborators in Ecuador found 32 species of an amphibian genus — Atelopus or harlequin frogs — still surviving in the wild

Read more: Back from the dead! ‘Extinct’ frog species make a comeback

A total of 3,377 tigers were confiscated from January 2000 through June 2022 in 2,205 poaching incidents across 50 countries and territories globally.

Read more: Most number of tigers seized from poachers in India in 2 decades: Report

Until now odd and even categorisation, also called parity classification, had never been shown in non-human animals. But in a new study, published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, scientists showed honeybees could learn to do this.

Read more: Honeybees join humans as the only known animals that can tell the difference between odd and even numbers

There are 20 quadrillion or 20,000 trillion ants in the world, which weigh more than all wild birds and mammals combined, stated a new study.

Read more: How many ants live on earth? At least 20,000,000,000,000,000

Prime Minister Narendra Modi released African cheetahs into their enclosure at the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh’s Sheopur district September 17, 2022, his 72nd birthday.

Read more: Back after 70 years: Narendra Modi releases African cheetahs into Kuno enclosure on his 72nd birthday

Sea cucumbers were the most frequently trafficked marine species in India between 2015 and 2021, a new analysis by the Wildlife Conservation Society-India (WCS-India) showed.

Read more: Sea cucumbers most frequently trafficked marine species in India between 2015 and 2021: Analysis

Crocodile experts warned that the Bhitakanika National Park had reached a saturation point as far as its saltwater crocodiles were concerned, which could prove to be a big headache if not addressed soon.

Read more: Has Odisha’s Bhitarkanika reached a saturation point for its estuarine crocodiles? Experts say yes

Wildlife activists and animal experts criticised the amendment made to Section 43 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act that permits elephants, a Schedule I animal, to be used for ‘religious or any other purpose’.  

Read more: Wildlife Protection Amendment Bill: Why ‘religious or any other purpose’ clause has enraged animal activists

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