Wildlife & Biodiversity

Global Eco Watch: Major ecological happenings of the week (July 15 – July 21)

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

By DTE Staff
Last Updated: Sunday 21 July 2019
Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images Photo: Getty Images

Man accused of killing peacocks lynched in Madhya Pradesh

A Dalit man who was accused of killing peacocks, was thrashed and beaten to death by a mob in a Madhya Pradesh village on July 19, according to a media report.

At 9 pm, people in Lasudiya Atri village in Neemuch district, saw four men running through agricultural fields. They chased and caught one man — Hiralal Banchada — and found four dead peacocks in his possession. He was thrashed and left lying critically injured in the fields.

Someone informed the Dial 100 emergency service of the state police about the incident. A police team went to the spot and took the injured man to hospital, where he died.

Ten men, nine of whom have already been arrested, have been booked for murder and rioting, and also under relevant provisions of the SC/ST Atrocities Prevention Act.

A separate case has been registered for killing peacocks against the victim, his son Rahul, and two others, who are absconding, under the Wildlife Protection Act.

The hunting and killing of the peacock, India's national bird, is prohibited by law. According to the Indian Forest Act of 1972, those found guilty under this law can be jailed for up to seven years.

Demolish concrete structures built around trees: Calcutta High Court

The Calcutta High Court on July 19 ordered that all concrete structures built around trees by the city roads should be demolished so that the roots could access soil, water and air.

The court also ordered the commissioner of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation to furnish an action-taken report by August and asked the corporation to take the help of police in case they faced threats, according to a media report.

The court also admonished corporate firms that had sponsored the concretisation and stuck their logos to the structures once they were built.

The High Court’s order comes on the heels of a similar order passed by the National Green Tribunal about the concretisation of trees in Delhi in mid-June.

Most of India’s deforestation takes place in the North East

India’s greenest region, the North East has been continuously losing its forests since 2001, which has only intensified in the last five years, a new study has reported.

According to the Global Forest Watch, a repository of forest data worldwide, the net loss of tree cover between 2000 and 2018 in India is 16,744 sq km, a media report notes.

Out of this, 12,523 sq km or 74.7 per cent, is from the north-eastern states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and others. 

Moreover, 6,867.57 sq km of tree cover got eroded in the period between 2013 and 2018.

Assam lost trees over an area of 2388.46 sq km tree cover between 2001 and 2018, while Mizoram lost trees over 1392 sq km between 2013 and 2018ml

Cigarette butts reduce plant growth, says study

A new study has found that the presence of cigarette butts in the soil affects the germination success and shoot length (length of the stem), according to a media report.

The researchers from Anglia Ruskin University in the United Kingdom, found that the germination success and shoot length of clover was reduced by 27 per cent and 28 per cent, respectively, while root biomass (root weight) reduced by 57 per cent because of the presence of cigarette butts in the soil.

The study, published in the journal Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, also estimated that around 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are littered every year, making them the most pervasive form of plastic pollution on the planet.

The filter in most cigarette butts is made of cellulose acetate fibre, a type of a bioplastic. It takes years to degrade.

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