Monday 9 April 2018

Siliguri India is not an industrial township but tops the list among Indian cities with most polluted air thought to be causing the death of birds


Around 50 black kites died in less than 24 hours in Siliguri, raising alarm among residents of this north Bengal city which also tops the list among Indian cities with most polluted air.
Viscera samples have been sent to Kolkata for tests.
West Bengal state tourism minister Goutam Deb visited a few places where the kites died.
Residents of the Children's Park area in ward 12 of Siliguri Municipal Corporation (SMC) first spotted the dead birds on Friday evening.
Till Saturday afternoon, 49 dead kites were found in College Para, Tikia Para, the district court campus and bungalows of the sub-divisional officer and judges posted in Siliguri.
Nick Doley a veterinary doctor associated with Bengal Safari Park, said, "Some sick birds have been taken to the park for treatment and a post-mortem examination was conducted on some dead birds." Animesh Bose, the programme coordinator at Himalayan Nature and Adventure Foundation (HNAF), said, "Death of so many black kites is really alarming.
This comes at a time when Siliguri's air quality is said to be at its worst."
Data recently collected from north Bengal by Central Pollution Control Board showed that Siliguri's air quality index (AQI) was 343.6 while the same stood at 258.6 in Delhi between February 8 and February 13.
The findings put Siliguri among one the most polluted urban centres in India.
Experts hold old diesel vehicles, including three-wheelers, responsible for the rising pollution since Siliguri is not an industrial township.
Incidentally, the Mahananda, which flows through the city, is also among the most polluted rivers in the state.
Alarmed by the pollution in the Mahananda, the National Green Tribunal last year took suo motu cognizance and issued a notice to the state pollution control board and SMC.
"The river is more polluted now," Bose claimed.
"Three years ago, many black kites died a similar death and we still don't know the exact reason," Bose said.
"The laboratory tests were never made public," he alleged.

Wildlife on the brink! Biodiversity is in crisis as a comprehensive global appraisal of the damage starts today but is it too little too late?

  • Planet has crossed the tipping point
  • By 2020 two thirds of all wild animals who once lived in the world will be dead.
  • The world's primates face an "extinction crisis" with 60% of species now threatened with extinction
  • Unprecedented death of millions of tons of marine life around the world’s oceans and waterways
In just three years’ time, the World will have lost two-thirds of all wild animals.
This amazing statistic from The Living Planet Index goes on: 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. Researchers from WWF and the Zoological Society of London compiled the report from scientific data and found that the destruction of wild habitats, hunting and pollution were to blame.

Starting Saturday, a comprehensive, global appraisal of the damage, and what can be done to reverse it, will be conducted in Colombia.
"The science is clear: biodiversity is in crisis globally," WWF director general Marco Lambertini told AFP ahead of a crucial meeting of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).
"We depend on biodiversity for the food we eat, the water we drink, the clean air we breathe, the stability of weather patterns, and yet our actions are pushing nature's ability to sustain us to the brink."

According to The Daily Mail, there are an estimated 8.7 million plant and animal species on our planet and about 86 percent of land species and 91 percent of sea species remain undiscovered.
Of the ones we do know, 1,204 mammals, 1,469 bird, 1,215 reptiles, 2,100 amphibia, and 2,386 fish species are considered threatened.
Also threatened are 1,414 insects, 2,187 molluscs, 732 crustacea, 237 coral, 12,505 plant, 33 mushrooms, and six brown algae species.
Earth is enduring the sixth mass species extinction which is plunging the planet into 'global crisis', scientists have warned.
Scientists warn humanity's voracious consumption and wanton destruction is to blame for the event, which is the first major extinction since the dinosaurs.

Two species of vertebrate, animals with a backbone, have gone extinct every year, on average, for the past century.
Currently, around 41 percent of amphibian species and more than a quarter of mammals are threatened with extinction.

Scientists and government envoys will gather as the 128-member IPBES to dot the I's and cross the T's on five monumental assessment reports designed to inform global policymaking into the future.
Compiled over the last three years, the reports will provide the most up-to-date picture of the health of the world's plants, animals and soil.
The diagnosis will be unveiled in two parts at the summit in Colombia's second-largest city, Medellin.
First, on March 23, the IPBES will simultaneously release separate assessments for the four regions into which it has divided the world -- the Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe and Central Asia.
A fifth report, due March 26, will focus on the global state of the soil, which is fast being degraded through pollution, forest-destruction, mining, and unsustainable farming methods that deplete its nutrients.