Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary star tortoises

Project of the Kerala Forest Department at the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS) to rehabilitate Indian star tortoises (Geochelone elegans) seized from smugglers has turned into a major success. This makes the CWS the only rehabilitation centre for star tortoises in the country.

Indian Star Tortoise

  • Indian star tortoise (Geochelone elegans) is a threatened species of tortoise found in dry areas and scrub forest in India and Sri Lanka.tortoise
  • The main reason for threaten is the exotic pet trade.
  • They range from India,  extending west to Sindh province (Pakistan), and Sri Lanka.
  • Indian star tortoises are considered auspicious for gaining wealth.
  • It is the reason why Indian star tortoises, which are protected under the Wildlife Act, are poached and smuggled.

Rehabilitation of tortoises

  • CWS is the only place in Kerala where star tortoises are known to occur in the wild.
  • Sanctuary is now a haven for at least 450 such tortoises seized from poachers in less than two years.

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS)

  • Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS) is located in the Idukki district of Kerala state.
  • It is one of twelve wildlife sanctuaries among the protected areas of Kerala.
  • The Chinnar and Pambar rivers are the major perennial water resources in the sanctuary.

Source : The Hindu

General Information


Science exhibition train

A Science Express Climate Action Special (SECAS) train will hold exhibitions at four stations under East Coast Railway (ECoR). It’s aim is to create awareness about climate change and similar issues.

Key Facts

  • The exhibition is at Bhadrak, Puri, Chhatrapur and Kottavalasa between 9 and 23 May.
  • 16-coach train is an initiative of the Centre’s department of science & technology in collaboration with the ministry of environment, forest & climate change, department of bio-technology and ministry of railways.train
  • Exhibition will convey a message about climate change and provide an opportunity to generate dialogue and discussion.
  • It will create awareness among various sections of society as to how climate change can be combated through mitigation and adaptation.
  • 8 coaches developed by MoEFCC, is exclusively devoted to information, case studies and material related to various aspect of climate change.

Source : Livemint

GS III : Environment Awareness – Climate Change


Swachh Survekshan Survey 2017

Centre released the list of cleanest cities of the country as a part of Swachh Survekshan Survey. Every year, cities and towns across India are awarded with the title of ‘Swachh Cities’ on the basis of their cleanliness and sanitation drive as a part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.

Key Facts

  • Union Urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu released the list which was finalised by the Quality Council of India.
  • Indore and Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh have emerged as the cleanest cities in the country
  • The dirtiest city is Gonda in Uttar Pradesh.

swach report

  • Survey, Swachh Survekshan-2017, was carried out by the Quality Council of India across 434 cities and includes the feedback of 18 lakh respondents.
  • The top 10 cleanest cities : Indore, Bhopal, Visakhapatnam, Surat, Mysuru, Tiruchi, Delhi’s New Delhi Municipal Council area, Navi Mumbai, Tirupati and Vadodara.
  • Gujarat has 12 cities among the top 50, followed by Madhya Pradesh – 11, Andhra Pradesh with eight,  Tamil Nadu and Telangana four each..

Criteria for survey

Criteria of the rankings are as follows : 45 per cent marks for open defecation free, solid waste management, education and capacity building, another 25 per cent marks for field inspection and 30 per cent for citizen feedback. At least 18 lakh citizens across the cities gave their feedback about the sanitation in their respective cities and towns.

Source : The Hindu

GS III : Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

New balsams add to Nilgiris biodiversity colours

Three new species of plants belonging to the Balsaminaceae family were identified in the Mukurthi National Park in the Nilgiris recently.

The three Balsams

  • Named : (1) Impatiens kawttyana (2) Impatiens taihmushkulni (3) Impatiens nilgirica
  • Found by Tarun Chhabra and Ramneek Singh a few years ago, were formally classified recently.
  • Impatiens kawttyana : Identifiable by its large, white flowers, glandular hairs followed by white hairs at the throat, and has been named after a Toda deity hill, ‘Kawtty’.
  • Impatiens taihmushkulni : Named after the Toda deity hill Taihmushkuln.
  • Impatiens nilgirica : Variant nawttyana differs slightly from a previously identified species, with the newly found variety having longer scape  and petioles with white flowers among other small variations. This variety was named based on on Todas members of the Balsaminaceae family Nawtty.
  • Sacred deity hills of the Todas are located inside the park and they have played a tremendous role in protecting the area.
  • Three new species were found in isolated pockets of the Mukurthi National Park and Porthimund reserve forests, and while I.taihmushkulni has been tentatively classified by researchers to be endangered.
  • There was not enough data on the other two species.
  • The new species throw light on the continued importance and diversity of the Nilgiris.

The Nilgiri


  • An International Biosphere Reserve in the Western Ghats and Nilgiri Hills ranges of South India.
  • Reserve spreads over in the states of Tamil Nadu,  Karnataka and Kerala.
  • The Western Ghats, Nilgiri Sub-Cluster conjoining the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, is a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO in 2012.
  • It includes the Mudumalai, Mukurthi, Sathyamangalam, Nagarhole, Wayanad, and Bandipur national parks.
  • Major Tribal groups : Todas, Kotas, Irullas, Kurumbas, Paniyas, Adiyans, Edanadan Chettis, Cholanaickens, Allar,Malayan.
  • There are more than 135 endemic species of plants in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, of which the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu forms the core, with over 90 endemics.

Source : The Hindu, Wikipedia

GS III : Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

Achieving climate change goals

Report on climate change : In order to have a good chance of meeting the limits set by the Paris Agreement, it will be necessary to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions while preserving carbon sinks, with net emissions peaking in the next 10 years. These 10 years are crucial for achieving climate change goals.

Details of the Study

  • Published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).
  • They used a global model of the carbon system that accounts for carbon release and uptake through both natural and anthropogenic activities.
  • Study shows that the combined energy and land-use system should deliver zero net anthropogenic emissions well before 2040 in order to assure the attainability of a 1.5°C target by 2100.
  • Fossil fuel consumption would likely need to be reduced to less than 25% of the global energy supply by 2100, compared to 95% today.
  • At the same time, land use change, such as deforestation, must be decreased.
  • This would lead to a 42% decrease in cumulative emissions by the end of the century compared to a business as usual scenario.
  • In a “high-renewable” scenario wind, solar, and bioenergy increase by around 5% a year, net emissions could peak by 2022

Significance of study

  • Paris Agreement set a target of limiting average temperature increase to well below 2°C and pursue efforts to even further limit the average increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
  • The timing and details of these efforts were left to individual countries.
  • This study gives a broad accounting of the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, where it comes from and where it goes.
  • Considering emissions from fossil fuels not enough , but the agriculture, land use, food production, bioenergy, and carbon uptake by natural ecosystems.
  • Without substantial negative emissions technologies lead to a global average temperature rise of 2.5°C, missing the Paris Agreement target
  • Continued reliance on fossil fuels would cause carbon emissions, causing an estimated 3.5°C global temperature rise by 2100.

Source : Science Daily , Wikipedia

GS III : Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment