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ENVIRONMENT - January 2020

Jan 2020

Jan 31, 2020

Rare Glass Frogs Reappear in Bolivia

  • A rare species of frog native to the eastern slopes of the Bolivian Andes was spotted in the South American country for the first time in 18 years.
  • The Bolivian Cochran frog is notable for its transparent belly, leading to its nickname, the "glass frog".
  • The rediscovery of this species fills with a ray of hope for the future of the glass frogs - one of the most charismatic amphibians in the world.
  • The team came across the frogs earlier this month during a mission to rescue reptiles and amphibians threatened by a hydroelectric project in the Carrasco National Park to the east of Cochabamba, the fourth largest city in Bolivia.

Jan 30, 2020

More Wetlands in India Declared as Ramsar Sites

  • Ramsar declared 10 more wetlands from India as sites of international importance. While Maharashtra got its first Ramsar site —Nandur Madhameshwar, Punjab which already had three added three more Keshopur-Miani, Beas Conservation Reserve, Nangal, according to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, calling it a major recognition towards Government of India's effort towards conservation, restoration and rejuvenation of its wetlands.
  • With this, the number of Ramsar sites in India is now 37 and the surface area covered by these sites is now 1,067,939 hectares. Uttar Pradesh with one Ramsar site has added six more—Nawabganj, Parvati Agra, Saman, Samaspur, Sandi and SarsaiNawar.

Jan 29, 2020

Endangered Cheetahs can Return to Indian Forests

  • India's top court said cheetahs can be reintroduced in the country, 70 years after they were wiped out.
  • Responding to a plea by the government, the Supreme Court said African cheetahs could be introduced to the wild in a "carefully chosen location".
  • Cheetahs are an endangered species, according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites).
  • Only 7,100 cheetahs are left in the wild, almost all of them in Africa.
  • The Asiatic cheetah, which once roamed parts of India, is now only found in Iran, where there are thought to be about 50 left.

Jan 28, 2020

Poonch Project to Explore Indus Valley Links

  • The limits of the Indus Valley civilisation could stretch to Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir, if a new excavation project of the Centre yields such findings. The Union ministry of culture approved an excavation project of the Archaeological Survey of India to explore archaeological possibilities in the region.
  • The Poonch excavation, and another in Masol in Chandigarh's Mohali district, are two projects which were given additional permission for excavation and exploration for the 2019-20 field season by the ASI's apex advisory body, the Central Advisory Board of Archaeology (CABA). A list of nine projects was permitted in the first list released in October 2019.

Sainsbury's Pledges £1bn to Cut Emissions to Zero

  • Sainsbury's promised to reduce its net carbon emissions to zero over the next 20 years.
  • The second largest supermarket chain in the UK will spend £1bn to reach the target.
  • It pledged to reduce emissions from areas like refrigeration and transport.
  • But, while the 2040 target puts Sainsbury's ahead of rivals, critics noted that it does not extend to the supermarket's supply network, which accounts for most of its emissions.
  • Currently, Sainsbury's produces one million tonnes of carbon each year, although, the supermarket said that figure had fallen by a third in the last 15 years.

Jan 27, 2020

Search for Relatives of Galapagos Tortoise

  • A scientific expedition to the Galapagos Islands will spend ten days searching for relatives of two tortoise species believed to be extinct, including those of the archipelago's Lonesome George.
  • George, the last known member of the Pinta tortoise species, died in 2012 at over 100 years of age after refusing to mate in captivity with females from related subspecies.
  • Park rangers and scientists from the Galapagos National Parks (PNG) and Galapagos Conservancy will tour the Wolf Volcano on Isabela Island in hopes of locating and removing a group of giant tortoises with partial lineage to the extinct Pinta and Floreana species.

Nearly 50 Dead in Brazil Storms

  • At least 46 people have died in Brazil and more than 25,000 have been displaced due to widespread flooding following storms and heavy rains that have swept across the south east of the country. Most of the casualties were in the state of Minas Gerais, including the capital Belo Horizonte, which had its heaviest rainfall over a 24-hour period on 24-01-2020 since records began 110 years ago.
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