Saturday, October 29, 2011

Canopy Tower (Panama)

Male Mantled Howler Monkey

Baby Mantled Howler Monkey

Mom and Baby Howlers

Tree Frog

A Close Up

Collared Aracari

Side View

Rufescent Tiger-Heron

Broad-Winged Hawk (Migrating to South America)

Mr. Panamá

Friday, October 28, 2011

Calgary Zoo participates in third black-footed ferret release (CANADA)

For the third year in a row, on October 18th, Calgary Zoo staff along with participants from Parks Canada, Toronto Zoo, Husky Energy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment and over 75 local-area students helped to release fifteen black-footed ferrets into Grasslands National Park. The ferrets began their journey nearly 20 hours earlier at the Ferret Conservation Centre in Colorado and were driven throughout the night by U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo staff. As the sun was setting over the prairies, the captive bred ferrets were transported by release teams to eight different prairie dog colonies within and around the Park.

This summer Calgary Zoo staff with the Husky Energy Endangered Species Program also joined in the annual monitoring of black-footed ferrets by spending a week in Grasslands National Park looking for captive released adults and their kits. High powered spotlights are used to locate ferrets during the night and are identified by their emerald green eye shine. The ferrets are then trapped, implanted with microchips, vaccinated and given an overall health check up. Over the two weeks of spotlighting, Recovery Partners and volunteer ferret trackers confirmed at least 12 ferrets and celebrated the discovery of three new wild born litters, each on separate colonies. Another reason to celebrate is that 2011 marks the 30th Anniversary of the re-discovery of black-footed ferrets in North America.

Since 2006, the Calgary Zoo has been working in partnership with Parks Canada to monitor ferrets throughout the year as well as to study the population dynamics of prairie dogs, the primary food source for ferrets. This information is used not only to manage the sustainability of the prairie dog population, but also to help guide ferret recovery by identifying preferred ferret release sites and determining the appropriate number of ferrets to release each year.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Recent Wildlife In my Neighbourhood (Panama)

My Backyard Wildlife

A Two-toed sloth's claws. They have three claws on their hind

A Two-toed sloth face to face what a sight!

Taking a sloth nap.

A  big slug in my backyard the size of my pinky. 

Face to face with the slug!

A Fer de lance in my backyard.

One of the most poisonous snakes in Panama.

Mr. Panamá

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

United Nations report identifies innovative solutions for resolving bushmeat crisis

Montreal, 25 October 2011 – A new United Nations report says resolving the crisis in the harvesting of bushmeat is possible if governments combine new management models, including community-based management, game-ranching and hunting tourism, with new mechanisms for monitoring and law enforcement.

The report, Livelihood Alternatives for the Unsustainable Use of Bushmeat (CBD Technical Series No. 60) prepared for the Bushmeat Liaison Group of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), with assistance from TRAFFIC and financial support from the European Union, comes at a time when the overexploitation of wild mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians is increasingly threatening food securityand livelihoods in many tropical and subtropical countries and is a major cause of biodiversity loss. The report can be found online at:

International and domestic commercial, and often illegal, trade in the meat and other parts of wild animals (“bushmeat”) is growing significantly and is replacing legitimate subsistence hunting. Together with population growth, poverty in rural areas and increased urban consumption, the absence of livelihood alternatives to bushmeat hunting and trade is a major factor contributing to unsustainable levels of bushmeat harvesting.

Key recommendations of the report include:
· Implement community wildlife management and other improved wildlife-management approaches, such as game-ranching and hunting tourism;
· Increase raising of “mini-livestock'”(wild animals such as cane rats raised in small farms);
· Support sustainable harvesting of non-timber forest products, for example, through bee-keeping.

The report also recognizes the need to clarify and define land-tenure and access rights, improve monitoring of bushmeat harvesting and trade, and enhance bushmeat-related law enforcement. The findings are the results of discussions by 55 experts representing 43 Governments and United Nations agencies, international and national organizations, and indigenous and local-community organizations, who met in Nairobi from 7 to 10 June 2011.

Participants in the meeting recognized that classic approaches and international efforts are not reversing this growing trend of unsustainable bushmeat harvesting, and adopted a set of recommendations to the international community and to concerned national Governments and stakeholders.

Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, said: “I trust that this publication will encourage concrete action to halt the overharvesting of bushmeat and the loss of biodiversity, and thus maintain essential ecosystem services and improve the quality of life for the rural poor in tropical and subtropical countries.”

Monday, October 24, 2011


Here are the new dates for those who missed our other sessions- please distribute with all interested. We are looking for youth mentors who completed modules to help run some of the upcoming sessions. E-mail me if you know someone interested.
MODULE 1- TREE OF LIFE- Saturday, December 3, 2011/ 10:00- 12:00 (ASLA School 641 Sladen)
MODULE 2- HUMAN NEED FOR BIODIVERSITY- Saturday, January 7, 2012/ 10:00- 12:00 (ASLA School 641 Sladen)
MODULE 3- POLITICAL ACTION- Saturday, November 12, 2011/ 10:00- 12:00 (ASLA School 641 Sladen)
Mike Leveille


Image of Jaya from the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust

As the holidays approach consider checking out animal adoptions at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust.  See

Djibouti becomes sixty-fifth signatory of the Nagoya Protocol on genetic resources

Montreal, 21 October 2011
Djibouti, on 19 October 2011, became the latest country to sign the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), bringing the number of signatories to sixty-five. The Protocol will enter into force 90 days after deposit of the fiftieth instrument of ratification.
Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, said: “Djibouti’s signature of the Nagoya Protocol is another clear sign of the growing international commitment to this unique legal instrument. I urge all signatories to expedite the ratification process so as to allow the Nagoya Protocol to enter into force in 2012, as a contribution to the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity, the Rio+20 meeting and the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, which will coincide with the twentieth anniversary of the adoption of the Convention.”
The entry into force of the Nagoya Protocol will provide greater legal certainty and transparency for both providers and users of genetic resources, creating a framework that promotes the use of genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge while strengthening the opportunities for fair and equitable sharing of benefits from their use. Hence, the Protocol will create new incentives to conserve biodiversity, sustainably use its components, and further enhance the contribution of biodiversity to sustainable development and human well-being.

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) is providing financial support for the early entry into force and effective implementation of the Nagoya Protocol through a medium-sized project of US$ 1 million, under which a series of awareness-raising and capacity-building activities are being executed by the Convention Secretariat. In addition, the Nagoya Protocol Implementation Fund was established by GEF with an initial financial contribution of US$ 12.5 million from Japan. 


Tibet has six million ha of wetlands, about 10% of China's total. Tibet’s wetland system includes 2.5 million ha lakes, 3.2 million ha swamps and 264,000 ha of rivers. These wetlands are home to rare species like the Tibetan antelope and black-necked cranes. A new law on Tibetan wetland conservation became effective last March, which prohibits exploitation of all wetland resources, discharges of waste and collection of birds' eggs.

October 18


Borneo fruit bats were once found in Nambor reserve forest in Golaghat district, Assam. But due to deforestation, the forests dwindled away and the bats shifted to Padumoni-Bongaon area within a 10 km distance from Golaghat town.

October 19


A female rhino from Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary (38.81 km2) in Assam, was poached. In June 2011, the first rhino in five years was killed in Pobitora and a schoolteacher from a neighboring village was arrested. For the current case, a tracker dog of Belgian Malinois breed has been deployed.

October 18


There are 11 rhinos in Manas, which were translocated from Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary and Kaziranga. A rhino that strayed out of Manas on October 8, raised suspicion that the rhino bones recovered at the Bhuyapara area might have belonged to that animal. Even though there is no official confirmation yet, park sources say ground evidence suggest the missing rhino might have been killed by poachers.
October 15, 18
Telegraph, Times of India


Six local persons were caught from Langtang National Park, central Nepal, for killing a female red panda. All the apprehended are the locals from the nearby area. In another report, two persons have been sentenced 10 years of imprisonment for poaching musk deer, who were caught two years back in Annapurna conservation area.  Also, a team of Chitwan National Park arrested five persons for poaching a rhino. Also, two persons were held with cash worth NPR. 400,000 and INR 300,000 for rhino horn transaction in Triveni,  Nawalparasi district.

October 15, 17, 21
Kantipur, Kathmandu post


Women groups in Sankuwasabha District have built schools, roads, temples, started a micro hydro project and helped to build outhouses in every households of their village. In another report, all of the 57 community forests in the Jhapa District, east Nepal, have invested in various infrastructure projects. Women now make decisions and user committees invest in construction of school buildings, irrigation dams and biogas installation. Some community forests even provide salary to school teachers.
October 16, 18
Himalayan Times, Kantipur


Nepal’s minister for forest and soil conservation, allegedly directed the Rupandehi District Forest Office, central Nepal not to prosecute the sandalwood smugglers. On September 9, police had seized 561 kg of red sandalwood concealed in a pick-up truck and three Indian nationals were arrested.
October 14, 17
Nagarik, Kathmandu Post

Friday, October 21, 2011


Here are some recent images from the Macoun Marsh.

White-throated sparrow

Young biologists having lunch.

A baby Tree frog

Looking for springtail species

Recent rains have kept the marsh area very wet.

White-breasted Nuthatch

The rains bring out the Blue-spotted salamanders.

Wangari Maathai

Wangari Maathai founded the Green Belt movement in Kenya in 1977, which has planted more than 10 million trees to prevent soil erosion and provide firewood for cooking fires. A 1989 United Nations report noted that only 9 trees were being replanted in Africa for every 100 that were cut down, causing serious problems with deforestation. Some of problems included soil runoff, water pollution, difficulty finding firewood, human health, and lack of animal nutrition.

Wangari Maathai was the first African woman to win a Nobel Prize. She died on September 25, 2011 at 71 years of age.  Drawing by Mike Leveille

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The World Bird Sanctuary

This past weekend, I had the privilege of being able to visit The World Bird Sanctuary, located about half an hour from downtown St. Louis, Missouri. The sanctuary held their open house on Saturday and Sunday, and it included behind-the-scenes tours! It was lots of fun and I got to see many types of birds. There was everything from Bald Eagles and Barn Owls to Pelicans and Parrots. There was also reptiles and mammals. With birds from around the world, The World Bird Sanctuary was a breath-taking experience I won't forget in a hurry. In fact, I've decided to apply to volunteer there. If I am successful, I will write about it on here. For more information on The World Bird Sanctuary, please visit

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

City of Edmonton a model of local government support for the CBD

Montreal, 18 October 2011 – In recognition of the need to complement Parties’ uptake of decision X/22 and the associated Plan of Action on Subnational Governments, Cities and Other Local Authorities for Biodiversity (2011-2020), the City of Edmonton, Canada, has formally aligned its own city-wide planning with the decision. This kind of contributive effort by local government is being supported nationwide in Canada by the national ministry for the environment, Environment Canada, in partnership with the local government network, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability.

Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), said: “Edmonton should be commended for incorporating the tenets of the CBD into the strategic actions of one of its overarching long-term city plans.” The plan, The Way We Green, was approved by City Council on 20 July 2011 and sets out goals and objectives over the next 30 years to make Edmonton a more environmentally sustainable and resilient city. “Integration of biodiversity into overarching long-term planning processes is essential to ensure that biodiversity is considered in day-to-day implementation across all sectors of local government,” said Mr. Djoghlaf. Mr. Djoghlaf commended Environment Canada’s support for cities, as demonstrated by their role in organizing the recent “Livable Cities Forum” in Montreal in August 2011, in partnership with ICLEI.

Such events highlight efforts made by local governments; and allow for the exchange of local government experiences, and interaction between different spheres of government and other relevant players. “Cities’ implementation of the objectives of the CBD automatically contributes to their respective Parties’ commitment to fulfilment of these objectives. It is therefore appropriate that decision X/22 calls for facilitated communication between all spheres of government, and for those spheres to work together in developing their respective biodiversity strategies and action plans,” said Mr. Djoghlaf.

Edmonton was one of the pioneers of the ICLEI Local Action for Biodiversity (LAB) project and, through this initiative, has become increasingly involved in the coordinated international movement of local authorities to contribute to the implementation of the Convention. The city was also one of the first to test the Cities Biodiversity Index – the world’s first set of ecological indicators designed for cities. Initial results of the testing of the Index will feed into another important initiative of the Convention Secretariat, the first edition of a Cities and Biodiversity Outlook publication.

The first edition of the Cities and Biodiversity Outlook will be presented at Rio+20 and submitted to the World Cities’ Summit in Singapore, in June 2012, and officially launched at the second City Biodiversity Summit parallel to the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties in Hyderabad, India, in October 2012. The first edition of the Outlook will include in-depth analyses and undergo a careful peer-review process. A Cities and Biodiversity Outlook for India is also being considered by ICLEI.

In addition, a Mediterranean Regional Workshop for Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans:

Coordinating Local and National Action in the Mediterranean Basin, is scheduled to take place in Montpellier, France, from 17 to 19 January 2012.

Read more about Edmonton’s work at:


While most people might be happy to hear that bat populations are dropping, this problem is much more serious than it first appears. Bat populations across eastern North America are at risk of extinction -- possibly within just 16 years, of the White-nose syndrome (WNS). This deadly and mysterious disease has no known cure ( It does not affect humans). It is killing bats at an alarming rate in the eastern U.S. and Canada. In some cases 99% of populations are disappearing. According to Dr. Brian Hickey, bat specialist from the Cornwall-based St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences, no one from the Ottawa region is studying bat populations. He says that he would be able to set up and train our ASLA students to be researchers in this subject at the Macoun Marsh. 

The funds for this project were obtained from a special grant to support student outreach programs. It comes from the Ministry of Research and Innovation from the Ontario Government with a partnership from the University of Ottawa. Thank you to Diane Lagace, from the University of Ottawa, who made the ultrasound detector acquisition possible.

As primary predators of insects, bats reduce crop and forest damage, limiting the need for pesticides. Also pollinators, bats play a critical role in our ecosystem. That system could get dangerously out of balance if WNS isn’t controlled.

An April 2011 report in Science Magazine estimated bats’ natural pesticide value to the agricultural industry at $22.9 billion per year. That doesn’t reflect the ecological value of reducing chemical pesticide use.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Nearly 30% of the world's cotton supply comes from India and Pakistan, much of that from the Indus River Valley, western Himalaya. The Indus River, which begins in Indian-controlled Kashmir and flows through Pakistan on its way to the sea, is Pakistan's primary freshwater sourceon which 90% of its agriculture dependsand a critical outlet of hydropower generation for both countries. The Indus is dependent on glacial melting for as much as half of its flow. So its fate is uniquely tied to the health of the Himalayas. But dwindling river flows will be harder to share as the populations in both countries grow and the per-capita water supply plummets.

October 11


After 135 days of man-made feeding, a captive hatched white bellied heron, categorized as a critically endangered, took its first flight at Bumitsawa of Punakha.  The chick was born on May 7, 2011, at the hatchery weighing around 54.9 gm.  It weighed 5.6 kg at the time of the release with a 35 gm platform terminal transmitter (PTT) that monitors its whereabouts through satellite.

October 8


Rhino poachers in Assam, especially in Kaziranga National Park  will be up against a breed of dog that is said to have helped bring Osama bin Laden down. Two Malinoises, Belgian shepherd dogs, imported from Slovakia will add teeth to anti-poaching efforts at the Kaziranga National Park, and are now being acclimatized in Guwahati. A Malinois is said to have been part of the US Navy Seals team that raided Osama’s Abbottabad house in Pakistan and killed him.

October 13

Solar-powered webcam in Everest

The world´s highest webcam has been installed near the base camp of the Mt. Everest. The solar-powered camera, set at 5,675 m in Kala Patthar facing Everest, will withstand temperatures as low as -300C. The aim behind such is to learn more about climate change and global warming using the images in conjunction with meteorological data gathered from Everest.
October 9

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Students from St- Laurent Academy, Henry Larson Public, Devonshire Public, Notre Dame High, and St-Patricks High took part in our second Module today. The students partaked in various activities that connected seemingly unrelated everyday products to their biological sources. They also had a biodiversity picnic!

Biodiversity is used in medical research and in our food industry. It is directly connected to the purification of the air and water, decomposition of wastes, recycling of nutrients, the pollination of crops, and the regulation of our climate. Many cultural services are to be considered here. Our global economy cannot function without biodiversity.

Friday, October 14, 2011

World Association of Zoos and Aquariums mobilized for the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity

Montreal, 14 October 2011 – At its annual conference, and in a unanimous resolution, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) formally endorsed the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity (UNDB) and decided to develop a framework to guide the participation of zoos and aquariums in the achievement of the Global Strategic Plan for Biodiversity.

Attendees to the 66th annual conference, hosted by the Prague Zoo, discussed the role of zoos and aquariums in achieving the conservation and awareness-raising targets of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020, adopted by 193 Governments in October 2010 at the Nagoya biodiversity summit in Japan.

The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums represents over 300 institutions worldwide, which receive close to 700 million visitors a year. It is also a member of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity.
Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary to the Convention on Biological Diversity, said: “The engagement of WAZA members is crucial for achieving the first Aichi biodiversity targets and engaging the people of the world, and in particular the youth and children, in our common battle to safe life on Earth. Indeed, WAZA’s engagement is crucial in our common endeavour, the 2050 biodiversity vision of living life in harmony with nature.”

Jörg Junhold, WAZA President, stated: “I trust WAZA is most aware of its role and responsibility to support Convention on Biological Diversity in the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity, which is a major challenge for both organizations. I am very confident that our community of member zoos and

aquariums will make significant contributions to the Decade in the fields of raising awareness of their visitors and effective conservation measures for threatened species.”

Gerald Dick, WAZA Executive Director, said: “The 66th Annual Conference of WAZA proved to become a landmark for the organisation in terms of international cooperation for the conservation of species.  Global cooperative programmes for the management of threatened species were accepted as well as the development of a supporting global project for the Decade on Biodiversity – WAZA members adopted a resolution of endorsement of this United Nations initiative, it may be remembered as the Prague resolution in the years to come.”

WAZA will elaborate their overall strategy for the decade in advance of their next annual conference. The next marketing conference for the association will look specifically at raising awareness.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust is delighted that seven of its Bali Starlings, which were bred at the park in Jersey, have now returned to their native island of Bali.

The seven former Durrell residents will be joining 13 other birds bred in captivity in Europe to become part of a Bali breeding programme led by the Begawan Foundation. The returned birds will help increase the genetic diversity in the foundation’s breeding stock, and will settle at their breeding centre in Sibang following an initial quarantine period at Bali Bird Park.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Youth Mentorship- Module 2: Our Human Need for Biodiversity (2 hours) Oct.15- 10:00 am to noon at ALSA - OTTAWA, CANADA

Biodiversity is used in medical research and in our food industry. It is directly connected to the purification of the air and water, decomposition of wastes, recycling of nutrients, the pollination of crops, and the regulation of our climate. Many cultural services are to be considered here. Our global economy cannot function without biodiversity.

The students will partake in various activities that connect seemingly unrelated everyday products to their biological sources. They will also try some unusual foods! IF YOU INTERESTING IN COMING OUT, PLEASE LET ME KNOW ASAP. Mr. L.

United Nations University launches Master of Science programme in Environmental Governance with specialization in Biodiversity

Montreal, 11 October 2011

– A Master of Science (MSc) programme in Environmental Governance which includes a specialization in Biodiversity was launched in Tokyo by the Institute of Applied Studies of the United Nations University (UNU-IAS).
The inauguration ceremony, held in Tokyo on 10 October 2011 with the participation of more than 200 participants, included senior officials of the Government of Japan and ambassadors accredited to Tokyo.

The new programme approaches biodiversity from a multi-disciplinary perspective and draws on UNUIAS's long-standing reputation for excellence in policy-oriented research for sustainable development.

At the launch, Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary to the Convention on Biological Diversity, delivered a key note presentation titled “The Aichi Nagoya: the embryo of the new biodiversity governance system.”

The ceremony was preceded by the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the CBD Executive Secretary and Professor Govindan Parayil, Vice-Rector of the UNU and Director of the UNUIAS, with the presence of Professor Konrad Osterwalder, UNU Rector. The objective of the MOU is for UNU-IAS to support implementation of the Convention and for the Convention Secretariat to collaborate in the management of the new Master of Science programme. The agreement aims also to promote exchange of staff and provide internships to post-graduate students in the Secretariat.

“The loss of biological diversity is a critical issue we face today, and UNU-IAS recognizes its mandate, as an academic institution and UN think-tank with strengths in biodiversity and sustainable development, to play a key role in this global challenge. We also hope that our master's degree programme will contribute to the implementation of the CBD at different levels, from the global to the local,” said Professor Parayil.

Professor Osterwalder said: “As an academic institution within the United Nations system, UN University needs to contribute directly to the work of our sister institutions in the United Nations. UNU-IAS and SCBD have been partners on many projects and initiatives, and the MOU they signed today will cement their strong partnership, which now includes this master's programme.”

The first field-visit of the newly enrolled students will take place in Montreal in July 2012. The Secretariat will provide support to the new programme through its Consortium of Universities as well as its Consortium of Scientific Institutions.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Montreal, 11 October 2011 –The Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Ahmed Djoghlaf, paid a working visit to India from 5 to 8 October 2011 to discuss preparations for the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention and its sixth meeting serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, to be held at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre in the State of Andhra Pradesh, India, from 1 to 19 October 2012. 

Mr. Djoghlaf met with India’s Minister of State for Environment and Forests, Ms. Jayanthi Natarajan, on the margins of the Ministerial Dialogue on Green Economy and Inclusive Growth, hosted by India and the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, in New Delhi on 3 October 2011. Mr. Djoghlaf and Ms. Natarajan discussed preparations for the high-level segment of the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties, which will be hosted by India from 17 to 19 October 2012. 

Mr. Djoghlaf also held discussions with Mr. T. Chatterjee, Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests; Mr. M. F. Farooqui, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests; and, Mr. Hem Pande, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests and focal point for the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Meetings with senior officials included discussions on the events being organized by the Convention Secretariat in conjunction with the meeting, including the business forum, which will include high-level meetings between business leaders and government officials, and the Hyderabad Cities and Biodiversity Summit, which will feature governors and mayors from around the world and is tentatively scheduled for 16-17 October 2012.

On the occasion of the visit of the Executive Secretary, which comes exactly one year before the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties, Ms Jayanthi Natarajan, Minister of Environment and Forests of India, stated that India stands prepared to welcome the international community to India for the meeting.

Reiterating India's commitment to the implementation of the three objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity, she stated that the slogan of the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties, “Prakruti Rakshati Rakshita” (“Nature Protects if She is Protected”), appropriately reflects the reverence for biodiversity deep-rooted in Indian culture. She further highlighted that conservation of biodiversity is a national imperative for the country since livelihoods of millions of our people is dependent on it. Referring to the five issues identified by India for the high-level segment of the eleventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties, the Minister emphasized India's commitment as a megadiverse country to assume an important role in dealing with biodiversity agenda at the global level.

Mr. Djoghlaf also visited the Hyderabad International Convention Centre and had a series of meetings with local authorities from the State of Andra Pradesh, as well as municipal leaders. He met with the Chief Secretary, as well as Mr. M. Samuel, Special Chief Secretary to the Government in charge of the environment. The Hyderabad Cities and Biodiversity Summit to was discussed at a meeting with Mr. M. T. Krishna Babu, Commissioner, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, as well as with Ms. Banda Karthika Chandra Reddy, the Mayor of Hyderabad.

Following his visit, Mr. Djoghlaf stated that: “India is ready to host the world biodiversity summit and to lead by example in promoting the biodiversity agenda at both the international and national levels.”

Monday, October 10, 2011


A 27-year-old man has been seriously injured when he was attacked by an elephant in Dorona, southern Bhutan. In another report, wild elephants attacked the Zangdopelri Lhakhang damaging large prayer wheels, Drasha (hostel) and store rooms in Sarpangtar, southern Bhutan. 

October 6, 8
Bhutan Broadcasting Service

From black coal to green power- China

Coal accounts for about 70% of China's energy which is 30%s higher than the world average. China has a plan to include coal equivalent of hydropower (280 million tons), nuclear power (90 million tons) and wind, solar and biogas (100 million tons). In this regard, Tibet has become one of the leading regions in China to use solar energy as its capacity has reached 9 MW or 13% of the total solar capacity in China, benefitting some 700,000 Tibetans.

October 5, September 23
Xinhua news


In Himachal Pradesh of western Himalaya, farmers have abandoned cultivation on 18,500 ha due to the monkey menace. The ever-increasing troops of rhesus monkeys, wild pigs, nilgais and stray cattle have damaged over 92,000 ha of farmland, destroying crops worth INR 15 billion in the state every year.

October 5


An elephant was mowed down by a Guwahati-bound train in Gulma, North Bengal.  The elephant was crossing the rail tracks that pass through the Mahananda wildlife sanctuary.  In another report, a 32 year-old woman was trampled to death by a tusker in Nurpur village nearby Buxa Tiger Reserve, north Bengal.

October 3, 4


Researchers using appropriate resource conserving technology (RCT) which can reduce cost of crop establishment conserve natural resources and increase productivity, suggest that wheat is generally sown late in more than half of the eastern Gangetic plains. The authors said that this method can help increase agricultural production in 15 million ha of underutilized land in the Indo-Gangetic plains where productivity has decreased due to natural resource degradation. If the technologies are precisely applied, they can result in more than $ 3,000 million of additional income every year to these poverty prone areas.

September 30


Bhaktapur police in the Kathmandu Valley recovered sandalwood from a vehicle that was impounded a month ago by them, following the request from the media persons. Likewise, police on September 22 found sandalwood from an ambulance in Dhulikhel, near to Bhaktapur. The smugglers had built a trunk in the ambulance to hide sandalwood, exactly beneath where the patient would rest.

October 1

Friday, October 7, 2011


At 11:30 am today, Dana Meise, a gentleman who is walking across Canada on the Trans Canada Trail, was at the Macoun Marsh to present his wonderful experiences. He is literally walking from sea, to sea, to sea. One of our partner schools in our Biodiversity Alliance (Devonshire Public School) joined us for the experience.

Dana presented in the Outdoor Classroom as white-throated sparrows flew around us. We were then bused by Environment Canada to Jacques Cartier Park for a presentation by Government representatives and the Biosphere Museum from Montreal. 

Nature cooperated with the entire event!

Here is the Bio-kit booklet full of activities.


Students from St-Laurent Academy are engaged in a biodiversity count at the Macoun Marsh in the center of Ottawa. 

Here a Virginia rail comes out of hiding.

Our research crew!

Looking at water samples

Caddisfly larvae in their weedy houses

We have discovered a population of pink grasshoppers.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Assam elephants use Bangladesh border for the run

A person near Bokakhat forest in Golaghat district and another in  Bubrighat Tea Estate in Karimganj district were killed in elephant attacks. In addition, two persons were injured. Elephants from Patharia range come to feed on rice but when chased they flee to Sylhet, Bangladesh through unfenced border area and again come back later.

September 29


Three rhino poachers were gunned down in a five-hour-long gun battle and two are still searched with the help of five elephants and about 20 armed forest guards in Kaziranga National Park.

September 25


In Himachal Pradesh, population of rhesus monkeys at 319,000 and grey langurs at 55,000 may require scientific culling to save crops but Nature Watch India, an NGO, maintains that there is no justification for taking such extreme measures, without any credible data and proper assessment of the ground realities. Farmers estimate that they loss nearly INR 20 billion.

September 25


Bats in thousands every night and wild parrots and monkeys during day have created havoc in the apple belt of Mandi-Kullu-Shimla, western Himalaya. The farmers trap bats using live transmission lines that run across orchards. Forestry and wildlife agencies have no idea about the migratory routes of the bats as they journey from the plains in search of food like fruits.

September 24

Red panda skin, Leopard Meat (Nepal)

The Forest Office in Kathmandu has apprehended six individuals with two red panda skin. They were caught while trying to sell the skins. In another report, 15 villagers of Phopli in Pyuthan District, west Nepal, have been arrested for eating a dead leopard with a belief that the meat could cure gout, a form of arthritis diseases.

September 28, 29

Nepal’s population has reached 26 million

The Central Bureau of Statistics reported that Nepal’s population has reached 26,620,809 with annual growth rate of 1.4 %.  The national population census of 2001 had shown that Nepal’s population was 23,751,423, with the annual growth rate of 2.25 %. Similarly, national average household size has also decreased from 5.44 in 2001 to 4.70 in 2011. Terai constitutes 50.15 percent of the population of Nepal while hill constitutes 43.1 % and mountain 6.75 %. The absent population of Nepal was found to be 1.92 million against 0.762 million in 2001.

September 27
Kathmandu post, Republica