Wildlife & Biodiversity

Global Eco Watch: Major ecological happenings of the week (January 20 – 26, 2020)

Down To Earth brings you the top happenings in the world of global ecology

By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Sunday 26 January 2020

‘Polar bears will become extinct if trophy hunting is not stopped’

Polar bears will become extinct unless and until hunting them for trophies is not stopped, a conservationist has warned, according to a media report.

Ole Jørgen Liodden, who is a photographer author and has recently penned a book called ‘Polar Bears and Humans’, has said that while popular images about polar bears usually focus on them being victims of climate change, the reality is that more individuals have died due to unsustainable hunting in the last few decades than climate change.

Hunting of polar bears is being driven due to a demand for their pelts in China. Hunters often target the healthiest adult males, leaving behind weaker individuals to pass on their genes.

More than 50,000 polar bears have been killed since 1960, which is twice the number of the species left in the world.

146 Irrawaddy dolphins sighted in Chilika lake

The annual census by the Odisha forest department counted 146 Irrawaddy dolphins in the Chilika lake, according to a media report. The dolphins were also found to have colonised newer areas in the lake due to removal of prawn gherries that had encroached parts of the lake.

The Chilika lake is the largest brackish water lagoon in India and the second-largest in the world. In 2019, only 113 dolphins were sighted in the lagoonwhereas 162 had been sighted in 2018. Motor boats used by tourists and fishermen were banned from using the lake while the census was being conducted.

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