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World on track to lose two-thirds of wild animals by 2020, major report warns

A victim of poachers in Kenya: elephants are among the species most impacted by humans, the WWF report found. Photograph: imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock

Living Planet Index shows vertebrate populations are set to decline by 67% on 1970 levels unless urgent action is taken to reduce humanity’s impact The number of wild animals living on Earth is set to fall by two-thirds by 2020, according to a new report, part of a mass extinction that is destroying the natural world upon which humanity depends. The analysis, the most comprehensive to date, indicates that animal populations plummeted by 58% between 1970 and 2012, with losses on track to reach 67% by 2020.

The studbook of timber elephants of Myanmar with special reference to survivorship analysis - Khyne U Mar

The purpose of the demographic analyses in this study was to calculate the basic life tables to determine the effects of the long-term captivity of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), which are utilized extensively as draught animals, on survival, fecundity and viability. The studbook data were collected from the elephant log books and the annual reports of the Extraction Department, Myanma Timber Enterprise of the Union of Myanmar. We had access to a near-total of the records (n (9600) of elephants captured or born after the year 1875, including 3 070 calving records. It was documented that 32.5 percent of calves born in captivity failed to reach the age of five years. Life table analysis revealed that most mortality occurred before the age of five. Survivorship analysis of adults and sub-adults (more than five years) showed that wild caught elephants and female elephants had significantly higher survival rates (P <0.001) than captive born and male elephants, respectively. A similar analysis was conducted for calves (under five years) and comparisons were made between dam origins and sex. It was revealed that calves born from wild caught (WC) dams had higher survival rates than those born from captive born (CB) dams (P <0.001), while survivorship and sex showed no correlation.

Kumki elephants to be deployed to capture rogue

Kumki arrives to capture rogue elephant

Kumki (tamed) elephants are being roped in by authorities to capture a rogue elephant, which has been creating havoc in Madukkarai area on the city outskirts for the last one year. Coimbatore District Collector Archana Patnaik today convened a meeting to discuss the strategy to capture and translocate the rogue elephant.

Could we set aside half the Earth for nature?

A bald uakari monkey (Cacajao calvus) in the flooded forest of the Amazon in Brazil. The IUCN Red List categorizes this species as vulnerable. Photograph: Alamy

As of today, the only place in the universe where we are certain life exists is on our little home, the third planet from the sun. But also as of today, species on Earth are winking out at rates likely not seen since the demise of the dinosaurs. If we don’t change our ways, we will witness a mass extinction event that will not only leave our world a far more boring and lonely place, but will undercut the very survival of our species. So, what do we do? E.O. Wilson, one of the world’s most respected biologists, has proposed a radical, wild and challenging idea to our species: set aside half of the planet as nature preserves.

Nepal model mulled against poachers

A drone

The Assam government will act on a proposal to follow Nepal's success story in preventing rhino poaching. Forest minister Pramila Rani Brahma today responded to a proposal of BJP legislator Padma Hazarika on sending a team of officials and experts from Assam to Nepal to know how the neighbouring country has achieved zero poaching success. Nepal has a rhino population of 645 and there has been no rhino poaching cases in 2014 and 2015.

Poverty endangers the Hilsa in Bangladesh

A fisherman’s wife on the doorstep on poverty in Bangladesh [image by Zobaidur Rahman

Selim Miah went to the Meghna river to catch fish with his father when he was nine years old. Now, 41 years later, he is still fighting to make ends meet.

“We are struggling to find food to survive; not just for a few days or nights, we struggle day after day. Being a fisherman is a curse!” Selim Miah told thethirdpole.net.

Guns, tractors threaten wildlife more than climate: study

Demand for meat and body parts has driven the gorilla to near extinction. By Ivan Lieman (AFP/File)

The main driver of wildlife extinction is not climate change but humanity's rapacious harvesting of species for food and trophies, along with our ever-expanding agricultural footprint, said researchers pleading for a rest of conservation priorities.

49 rhinos dead in Assam

Asssam National Park - 49 Rhinos dead due to floods,poaching

Guwahati, Aug 11 () Forty-nine rhinos have died since May in Assam and horns of only 19 were recovered by the Forest Department, the Assembly was informed today.

Replying to a written query by BPF MLA Majendra Narzary, state Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma said 49 rhinos have lost their lives since the new BJP-led government took charge in May this year.

Out of this, poachers killed five rhinos in Kaziranga National Park and one in Orang National Park in little over two months, she said.

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