SOME USEFUL INFORMATION & ANIMAL CARE ARTICLES
Ethical Nature Observations / Photography / Awareness Programme
It made me sad that the disease of unethical bird watching / photography which emerged over the last 15 / 20 years has grown to such enormous scale, perhaps due to advancement in technology and easily available equipments – whether digital camera, powerful flashes, voice recorder or mobile phone. The market potential for such ‘rare’ items also increased due to mushrooming of glossy magazines, books, newspapers and even TV media. This is affecting our wildlife adversely and would further destroy our already endangered rare species of wildlife, particularly birds.
I have noted and written / talked about unethical nature observations / photography / collection over the last 25 years and there are simple ‘do’s and dont’s’ everyone needs to follow not only to enjoy Mother nature yourself but also to leave them undisturbed for the others to enjoy. Most of us are aware of such norms. However now we need to add more such guidelines / rules because of the advancement in technology and new methods.
Going in large groups in the wild regions, disturbing natural ecosystems with over-active movements (sometimes called ‘enthusiasm’!), loud noise, throwing litter (now plastic water bottles), getting drunk and out of control (including throwing empty bottles particularly in the streams), shouting and screaming with excitement when one sees something new, collecting rare plants / flowers / insects etc. are common flaws incurred by many ‘nature lovers’.
The next stage is more serious – climbing trees and inspecting nests, collecting nests and eggs, trying to go very close to wildlife to have a ‘better view’, encircling resting wildlife for tourists to get a closer look, getting down from the vehicle or elephant in the sanctuaries or in national parks (where one is not allowed to walk) to get a good picture of a rare butterfly or even to collect the same (this happens mostly by bribing forest guards / drivers / mahuts). This continues to the next stage of trading wildlife as collection items or mementos.
The next category is wildlife photographers – Nest photography with insensitivity by carrying out ‘gardening’ (removing leaves, weeds, grass etc. around the nest) to get a better or clear picture. In a process, the nests are left prone to predator’s attack and many times the birds are compelled to abandon them. The chicks are tortured or lured to open their beaks to get good poses etc. Powerful flashes are used to get ‘bright & beautiful’ pictures without considering that the creatures may get blind. Then finally to have the exclusivity of one’s rare picture, destroy the nest / animal so that no one else could get an opportunity. Many lure local tribal people take money to show nests or trap birds or attract them and animals using their traditional methods. Then this becomes another business for tribal who is cleverly termed as employment generation or poverty alleviation!
Relatively recent emergence is the use of tape recorders & players – This comes with some amount of graduation or advancement of one’s nature study endeavors. Many birds respond to the calls of their mates or colleagues. So this is used to track the birds, particularly rare, exclusive and crepuscular or nocturnal birds. The recorded calls are played in the wild and those rare birds are attracted or fooled to come near you so that you could have a ‘good’ look, take closer pictures and then laugh or enjoy how the foolishly bird was cheated. Many times cell phones are used to play this trick. This is being done in the remote forests (particularly Northeast region) not just by photographers but mainly by so called ‘wildlife tour organizers’. They guarantee you of showing rare bird or animal so that you join for such a tour by paying hefty amounts.
All this is happening because ‘Wildlife’ has become a big business and any business is likely to become exploitative. Unfortunately so called ‘nature lovers’ do not realize that they destroy the ‘part of nature’ which fetches them money or fame or name. It is more unfortunate that it is being rampantly done under the name of Nature Awareness or Study Programme
Many times good wild lifers tend towards these tricks due to ignorance, over enthusiasm, competition, jealously or one-up man ship. Even when they are cautioned they become defensive and continue in what they believe!
We must take strong action against this attitude and destructive behavior of a few individuals which brings a bad name to the most beautiful hobby and entire fraternity of nature lovers. I am sure the forest department will take appropriate action in this particular case, but the authentic nature groups should also take initiative to cure this disease.
It must be ensured that only serious wildlife researchers are allowed to collect data using right techniques for scientific purpose, and that too after obtaining requisite permissions from the forest department or authorities, no matter how difficult it may be.
We need to inculcate simple ethics in upcoming nature lovers by making them experience and enjoy the natural ecosystem. Calls, pugmarks, scratch marks, smells etc. are the evidences of the existence of wildlife in the ecosystem and one should enjoy the excitement of being a ‘nature detective’. This would give you satisfaction; provide you more enthusiasm even though you may not have ‘seen’ a single creature. Seeing is of course fun and that eventually comes when you become ‘wild’, go on again and again without disturbing the natural environment and become a part of ecosystem. Such love for nature would contribute to wildlife study and nature conservation.
We should enjoy nature by following simple ethics of doing what is good for wildlife.
Prof. Ulhas Rane
HOW GREEN IS YOUR HOUSE?
- Use LED lights at home
- Prevention is better then cure: Make sure your rainwater harvesting pit does not get chocked due to slit.
- Water plants with used water collected from your wash basins and kitchen sink.
- Treat Toilet water with bacteria and use it to water plants.
- Also collect the water used to wash rice and vegetables and use it to water plants.
- Do not imagine that soapy water, collected after a bath, can’t be used. It can also be used for plants as it is rich in potassium.
- If you live in small apartment, use surface space sparingly for plants. Rather, use walls and other vertical space to grow plants.
- Spray neem paste to drive away mosquitoes rather than use pesticides with chemical compounds.
- Make it a point – not to waste food.
- For your plants, do not buy flower pots. Only use containers of different hues, including bamboo shoots, which make a very good vertical plant holder.
- Segregate the waste, collect wet garbage and dry garbage separately.
- Mix your wet garbage with soil of your plants & trees. You will not need to add fertilizers if you do this.
- Make your own soil. Use dry leaves, cow urine and waste along with wet garbage to create compost pit. In about three month’s it’ll turn into soil.
- Try to avoid creating cooked waste. Never throw away cooked food, use leftovers creatively.
- If you are composting, do not add artificial chemicals to your plants.
- Grow organic food, especially local vegetables that suited to climate. In Bangalore people grow fruit and vegetables like puisaag, coriander, passion fruit, pumpkin & spinach.
- Do not built on entire plot – leave plenty of garden space around your home.
- Don’t over-consume. Sometimes people buy things in bulk because it’s cheap – even if they don’t need it. Don’t do any surplus buying.
- Manage home with natural ventilation whenever the weather or your state of mind allows this.
- Reduce air-conditioning to the minimum.
- Get Air-conditioners with good temperature controls. Set them as high as possible (28 degree Celsius) to save power.
- Use ceiling fans in combination with the air-conditioners.
- Reduce or eliminate high water elements in your diet: Coffee, refined sugar, red meats, white meat. This is healthy for you too!
- Install a flush cock and reduce the quantities of flushed water.
(Courtacy: HT Brunch Weekly Magazine – September 11, 2011.)
ECO-FRIENDLY GANESHA FESTIVAL
On the eve of the GANESHA FESTIVAL as a responsible & environment friendly citizen following things are requested to be followed by all of you:-
1. Please avoid using POP Idol & chemical colors for Idol. Use natural colors.
2. Avoid using thermacol, plastic or any other non-biodegradable material for decoration.
3. Please avoid using plastic or similar non-biodegradable material in flower garlands.
4. Collect all flower offerings (Nirmalya) separately and don’t immerse them in sea/lake.
5. Such flower offerings can be given to any of the following addresses to be convert into high quality vermi- compost.
6. You can collect vermi-compost after two month FREE OF COST and use it for your garden. Flowers of such plants are the best offerings to lord Ganesha.
7. God loves the flowers offered to him and the earth goddess loves flower offerings.
SMALL ANIMAL CARE – DO’S & DON’T’S:
There are many small steps you can take to help the helpless creatures. Surprisingly, more than doing good to the animals, they will do good to your conscience.
Dogs and cats are in the habit of sleeping under vehicles and get badly hurt or even killed in the process. Before you drive your vehicle, look under it to ensure that there is no animal there. Alternately, every time you start your vehicle, wait for a minute or two before putting it in the gear. This will give time to the animal to run away. Keeping the engine idle for a few minutes also results in its proper lubrication and extends the life of your vehicle.
Never leave behind your pet in the car with the window panes rolled up. It can suffocate your pet within minutes.
Do not tie strings to the necks of stray animals and do not allow children to do it. It can harm the animals in many ways.
If you see a stray dog with a rope around its neck, try to win its confidence and remove or cut the rope. If you can’t, call an animal welfare organization.
Many dogs end up with deep, festering cuts on their throat, because some children (or even grown-ups) tied a plastic rope round their neck and forgot to remove it. If you have a plastic rope or a tape to throw away, cut into small pieces, so that nobody can wrap it around a dog’s neck.
1ST AGE MILK FOR ORPHANED ANIMAL
Royal Canine came with new product called ‘1st Age Milk’ for puppies from birth up to weaning. The pack contains Milk powder pouches, Feeding bottle, measurement spoon, nipples. It’s a complete lactation milk for puppies from birth for orphaned puppies and/or complementary to maternal milk.
It simple to use – Mix the milk powder with warm and preferably soft, still boiled water & serve.
A few Homeopathic tips for useful treatments on animals
For cataracts in dogs:
Give Cineraria water based eye drops (no Alcohol) daily and CAlc fluor 30 C 4 pills a day for 2weeks or more and Silica 200C 4 pills once weekly for 2 months.
For Maggot Wounds:
A fine paste of Sitaphal leaves with a little water is best for maggot wounds.
For Skin Infection (Scabies):
Sulphur 30C 4 pills, one day, Sulphur 1M same dose next day and Sulphur 10 M the next followed by Psorinum 1 M 4 pills daily for 3 days .very effective, plus of course external application of Himax or Topicure etc is necessary too.
For Ear Discharge:
Ear trouble with yellow discharge or blood maybe, MErc Cor 200C4 pills 3 times daily plus dropping a few drops of Hydrogen peroxide in ear daily and cleaning. If discharge is not yet thick but thin and has just started then MErc Sol 200C will be ok.
There is a homeopathic dose against Distemper available at Roy and Co. Homeopaths on Princes Street near Metro, Mumbai. It is Called Distemperium 30C potency is good and 3 doses for 3 days will protect dog. If dog gets some kind of fever or cold, you can also give a few doses as it will help allay the symptoms a lot.
Accident Pain Relief:
Arnica 200C 1M and Hypericum 1M are always good for pain from injury and accident and Aconite 30C for shock. Hypericum is anti tetanus and cures it also and is for spinal injuries and nerve ending injuries.
Contributed by, Rosalie Malik
Gowardhan Charitable Trust, Roha
DO NOT ADOPT / BUY BIRD AS PET
Birds are not domesticated animals. Domestic animals are animals that have been bred for hundreds of years to live in the care of humans and are distinct from their wild ancestors. Birds commonly kept as pets are no different than their wild relatives – they are the native species of other countries.
Chlamydiosis (psittacosis) and avian tuberculosis can be transmitted through the air from birds to humans. These diseases can cause significant illness, especially for people with compromised immune systems. Birds also continually shed “feather dust” – particles of feathers, which may aggravate asthma in some people. Many homes with pet birds have HEPA-type air filters in rooms with birds to control allergies from bird dander.
Parrots, including lovebirds, parakeets, and cockatiels, are noisy and messy, and can be destructive. Vocalizing (squawking, chirping, talking) is an important part of any parrot’s social communication.. Birds eat continually throughout the day, dropping and discarding bits of food everywhere. Birds are instinctively programmed to chew and shred wood, whether it is a perch, toy, picture frame, or furniture. Birds will also chew electrical cords, paper, and curtains.
All parrots have long life spans. Depending on species, they may live 20 to 50 years or more. Caring for a bird is often a life-long responsibility.
Parrots are extremely social animals, and have been compared to human toddlers in the needs of their emotional and social lives but, unlike children, they never grow up.
Birds are active and inquisitive and must be provided with ample room to move about and play. An indoor or sheltered outdoor aviary or a flight safe room (windows covered, no cats/dogs, no ceiling fans, etc.) that will allow the bird(s) to fly is good for exercise. Birds with clipped wings can get exercise by climbing, swinging, and flapping, if provided with ample space, toys, and climbing structures.
All birds need a varied diet, not just seeds or pellets, but grains, beans, fruits and vegetables too.
Light exposure and sleep are very important to birds. Birds need at least 4 hours exposure to UVA and UVB rays from sunlight or full-spectrum lighting to provide them with vitamin D, which promotes vitamin A absorption, critical for upper respiratory health. Birds must have a minimum of 10 hours of sleep each night.
Birds are very sensitive to air quality. Unlike humans, a bird replaces nearly all the air in its lungs with each breath. Because no residual air is left in the lungs during the ventilation cycle of birds, they transfer more oxygen and more pollutants during each breath. Birds should never be exposed to tobacco smoke, chemical fumes (hairspray, cleaners, etc.), or Teflon coated materials. Exposure to some toxic inhalants can cause immediate death; chronic exposure to other toxic can lead to premature death.
Birds need veterinary care from a veterinarian that specializes in birds. Proper vet care for birds can be expensive.
So do not buy from anyone or gift birds to anyone.
R.A.K.S.H.A. , Jaipur
Snake Rescues & Wildlife Protection Act
Snake Rescues & Wildlife Protection Act, do you know?
Many of us rescue snakes and release them in the wild on a regular basis as snake rescue seems to be the most common operation most of us do across the country. All good work as we care about them.
But we should not forget that the Wildlife Protection Act- 1972 does not permit us to keep snakes without a prior permission from the Chief Wildlife Warden of the State and any rescue – restraining, safe custody & any type of handling can land us in trouble.
Consider getting some written permission from the forest department for the rescue and handling of snakes so that you also don’t create some headlines and end up reading the wildlife Protection act to find out why you are in trouble for doing some good work.
All said and done, but keep rescue snakes and other wildlife and at the same time ensuring that you are safe!!
Who’s Duty is it to catch Wild Snake?
First of all, there is no need to catch a wild snake (!). If it is its own habitat and not in danger from human beings, then let it be there only and it is perfectly happy there in the wild.
A snake rescue is inevitable when a snake is in a place where some one can kill it. Usually there will be rescue call which will reach you some how! (If you are known in the area for rescuing any animals, it is very likely to happen!!).
Now you have a rescue call and if it is me,I will go and attend the rescue call.
IF there is need to rescue the wildlife in distress, do it first and then we can discuss the legal issues. I know it is perfectly illegal to handle a snake without a valid permission from the chief wildlife Warden of the state but, I hope all the forest officials will understand that you pitched in to rescue the animal and they will not book for violating the law.
But before doing the rescue please check the following:
# Are you trained to rescue a snake without causing harm to you and the snake?
# Can you identify the snake properly ( very important )
# Do you have some basic equipment to handle the snake ( snake stick, snake bag or a container)
# Do you know what to do after the rescue ( where to release the snake?/ Whom to hand over the snake )
[ I don’t think it will be good idea to carry the snake back home and show your parents !]
If you find yourself capable & equipped, then go ahead and rescue the snake and then release it ASAP in a suitable habitat after informing the authorities. In the beginning, you may find this a bit difficult to deal with all the official paper work, but on the long run they will give you some permission and things can be done over the phone.
I never came across with forest officers who handle a cobra / Russell’s viper or a King cobra so far. It is very unlikely to have a trained forest department staffs who can handle a snake every where and the department need support doing this and it is our DUTY to do that if we know how to do it.
Pls read it and follow it.
#THOU SHALT NOT CATCH A SNAKE BY THE NECK
#THOU SHALT NOT SHOW OFF
#THOU SHALT RELEASE THE ‘RESCUED’ SNAKE AS SOON AS AND AS CLOSE AS POSSIBLE TO PLACE OF CAPTURE
#THOU SHALT CONVINCE PEOPLE TO ALLOW NON-VENOMOUS SNAKES TO STICK AROUND (INFORMING THEM THAT THE NICHE WILL POSSIBLY BE FILLED BY A VENOMOUS ONE!)
Article Contributed by,