Sunday, 30 October 2016

Help Save Minke Whales From Mass Slaughter

It is distressing to know in 2016 that Minke Whales are being slaughtered on an unprecedented scale by Whaling Fleets of Far East Asian Nations.

The Meat of Minke Whales which are an "Endangered Species" are available for sale in Supermarkets of certain Far East Asian Nations.

Isn't this all terrible ??

In 2014/2015, 333 Minke Whales were slaughtered, out of which 200 Minke Whales were "Pregnant Females". So Imagine, the terrible loss to the World of Marine Wildlife.

How can Man be so Inhuman and Barbaric to God's Creatures that live in Deep Oceans all across the World ??

Essentially Speaking, there are 2 Species of Minke Whales that live in this World of Ours.

There is the Magnificent Antarctic Minke Whale that lives in the Southern Ocean and there is the Northern Minke Whale which is equally beautiful that lives in Oceans in many parts of the World.

Antarctic Minke Whales feed on Krill exclusively in the Antarctic Southern Ocean but Northern Minke Whales eat mostly fish.

Like all Whales, the Minke Whales must surface to breathe oxygen from the air through two blowholes.

I hope some International Group of Whale Lovers or an NGO takes cognizance of this article of mine and does something asap to stop Whaling Fleets in their tracks before it is too late for Minke Whales -- who are truly "Mermaids of the Southern Ocean".

Credits and References :

Hindustan Times Mumbai,
October 29, 2016
"Whale Watch"


Sunday, 16 October 2016

Goral - A Wild Mountain Goat

Goral live in small groups, rest undercover in the noon heat and when alarmed, run for a short distance before standing still to sound the alarm.

The Goral is a stocky goat like animal 65 -70 cm at the shoulder and 20 - 25 Kilos in Weight.

Both Sexes have Horns and a conspicuous white throat patch. The Male's Horns are thicker at the base, and when viewed from the front more divergent than those of females.

The Goral has been placed by Wildlife Biologists in a group popularly known as "Goat Antelopes".

These Goat Antelopes seem to have an Asian Origin. There are fossil deposits of relatives of the Goral which have been found in China.

Goral has a wide distribution from the Indus-- Kohistan Region in the Western Himalayas across the Eastern Himalayas To Myanmar, Thailand, and in a few scattered areas in South Korea, North Korea, Eastern Russia, and adjoining regions of China.

Within the Himalayan Region of the Indian Sub-Continent there are 3 Species; The Himalayan Goral, with 2 Sub-Species -- the Grey Goral in the Western Himalayas and the Brown Goral in the Eastern Himalayas.

In India, Goral are found in the Himalayas and in the Shivalik Region of Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, West Bengal, and Arunachal Pradesh.

They prefer varying altitudes from 200 metres in Uttarakhand to 4,000 metres in the Garhwal Himalayas.

There could be 100,000 Goral at least in the Indian Himalayas. The Goral usually feed on fallen leaves, flowers, and fruits.

Finally, this must be said that large and agile tigers occasionally prey on the nimble footed Goral.

Credits and References :

Goral -- A Mountain Goat
By Dr. A.J.T. Johnsingh
Pages 23-26
Hornbill Magazine
Silver Jubilee
October - December 2001


Friday, 14 October 2016

Wildlife of Hemis National Park

Hemis National Park is named after the famous Hemis Buddhist Monastery in Ladakh.

It was established by the Government of Jammu and Kashmir in 1981. It is presently the only National Park in Ladakh.

Encompassing an area of 4,000 square kilometres this National Park harbours a unique group of high altitude fauna.

The North - Western Part of the Park is the only place on earth where 4 beautiful mountain sheep and goats namely -- Tibetan Argali, Ladakh Urial, Asiatic Ibex, and Wild Blue Sheep occur.

This National Park is the ultimate haven for the highly endangered Snow Leopard -- The Flagship Species of the Himalayas.

Snow Leopard Mothers with Cubs in tow can be seen most often in various parts of Hemis National Park before the Breeding Season begins.

The Vistas and Cliffs of Hemis National Park are "Unique Homes" for the critically endangered Snow Leopards.

The Ladakh Urial, the favourite natural prey of Snow Leopards are endemic to this region and are distributed along 2 major rivers namely -- The Indus and the Shyok.

The Ladakh Urial, suffered a lot from poaching by hunters in the last century largely due to its existence along the Leh -- Srinagar Highway that runs along the Indus for about 100 Kilometres.

Finally, This has to be said that awareness is the key to conservation of Wild Mammals of Ladakh.

Credits and References :

Wildlife at Hemis
By Tsewang Namgail
Pages 4-5
Hornbill Magazine, Mumbai
April - June 2006


Thursday, 13 October 2016

Wild Siberian Tigers

The Tiger is at Home in a great variety of environments across a wide range of latitudes.

Studies of the Tiger, living on the very edge of its range in the Russian Far East indicate that there is no hard and fast rule about tiger behaviour and indeed shows us how capable it is of adapting to a host of different environmental conditions.

Amur Tigers or Siberian Tigers as they are otherwise known seem to be at home in the snowy forests of Russia.

The orange background with black stripes gives them excellent camouflage in masterly fashion in oak forests and temperate forest thickets all over the Russian Far East.

A Thick Winter Coat provides them with adequate protection against winter temperatures that can drop to - 40 Celsius.

As with all Big Cat Predators, the population density of Amur Tigers is ultimately limited by the availability of their natural prey.

As elsewhere, across their range Wild Amur Tigers prey on medium sized and large hoofed animals like Deer and Moose.

Amur Tigers make kills in their territory which require higher energy requirements associated with cold temperatures.

In the Russian Far East, Amur Tigresses generally occupy exclusive home ranges and males attempt to secure exclusive access to Females by retaining territories that overlap with those of one or more females but exclude other males.

Despite the low densities of Prey in their Home Ranges, Amur Tigers have a fairly high reproductive rate.

Finally, it is my hope that Tigers in the Russian Far East will exist for many decades to come.

Credits and References :

Living on the Edge
By Dale Miquelle
Pages 88-89
From Tiger -- The Ultimate Guide
By Valmik Thapar
Oxford University Press
United States of America