Wildlife & Biodiversity

Global Eco Watch: Major ecological happenings of the week (July 1 – July 7)

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

By DTE Staff
Published: Sunday 07 July 2019
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons Photo: Wikimedia Commons

New paper argues that plants are not conscious

A group of plant biologists have argued in a recent paper that plants are definitively not conscious.

In the paper published in the journal Trends in Plant Science on July 3, the scientists write that “There is no evidence that plants require, and thus have evolved, energy-expensive mental faculties, such as consciousness, feelings, and intentionality, to survive or to reproduce.”

The scientists’ words are a direct rebuke to researchers who study the discipline called plant neurobiology. Plant neurobiologists have argued that plants have the ability to learn, respond to their environment, and have a form of consciousness.

"What we've seen is that plants and animals evolved very different life strategies. The brain is a very expensive organ, and there's absolutely no advantage to the plant to have a highly developed nervous system,” plant biologist Lincoln Taiz from the University of California Santa Cruz and one of the co-authors of the report was quoted as saying in a media report.

4 arrested in Tamil Nadu tiger reserve for collecting herbal plants illegally

Four men have been fined Rs 15,000 each for illegally entering the Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelvelli district and collecting a herbal plant, according to a media report.

According to the report, the four men entered the Ambur forest in the Ambasamudram division of the tiger reserve a few days ago and were found collecting the ‘Urinji’ plant.

The four men have been identified as S Ponnaiah, A Balasingh Anburaj, P Selvam and M Govindan.

The Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve is located in the Southern Western Ghats and is the second-largest protected area in Tamil Nadu after the Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary in Erode.

Gir resort owner held for illegal lion shows

The owner of a resort near the Gir Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat’s Junagadh district has been held by forest department officials and his resort sealed after it was found that he was organising illegal lion shows.

According to a media report, Mahendrasinh Solanki had been organising lion shows and uploading the clips on social media platforms including WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram. He had also created a website of his own where he offered lion shows for Rs 999 and also offered to walk tourists side-by-side with lions.

A case has now been registered against Solanki and his resort sealed. The location of the resort is Bhalchhel village of Sasan Gir in the Mendrada taluka of Junagadh district.

Elephant run over by speeding train in Bengal

An adult male elephant was run over and killed while another was injured by a speeding train on the night of June 30 in the Jalpaiguri district of North Bengal.The Dhubri-Jalpaiguri intercity express ran over the elephants at 8.30 pm on June 30 night.

The area where the accident happened is between Reti and Moraghat forests. The dead elephant’s carcass has been sent for post-mortem while the injured elephant is being treated, said a media report.

The carcass has been sent for post-mortem examination and the injured elephant is being treated. The train driver said he noticed the elephants only when the train was very close. He applied the emergency brakes but it was too late.

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