* The two-day 26th 'Maharashtra Pakshimitra Sammelan' is being organized by Wildlife and Environment Conservation Society (WECS), Amravati, on January 12 and 13, 2013, informed Jayant Wadatkar, secretary of WECS.

* Nagaland government expressed concern that wildlife crimes are emerging as a major threat to natural resources of the State. Chief Wildlife Warden T Lotha said some reckless and mindless people under the shadow of landownership indulge into destruction of wildlife which poses a major hurdle to conservation efforts.

* NAGPUR: It is raining wildlife sanctuaries in forest and biodiversity-rich Vidarbha. With state government showing interest, Bhandara forest division has prepared a proposal for 92 sq km Koka wildlife sanctuary, just 20km from Bhandara.
In the last two years since November 2010, government has notified at least five wildlife sanctuaries - Mansinghdeo, New Bor, New Nagzira, Navegaon and Umred-Karhandla. Koka will be sixth. Koka is a dense forest and has rich wildlife including tigers and leopards besides wolves and herbivores like gaurs, chitals and sambars. The area also has some natural water bodies and supports dispersing populations from Nagzira and New Nagzira.

* CHANDIGARH: Visitors to the regulator-end of Sukhna Lake can now have a closer and better look at the rare birds in the area. A birdwatching facility was inaugurated there by the UT administration on Tuesday.

To spread awareness among residents, especially students, about migratory and resident birds of Sukhna Lake in particular and about wetland and its conservation, the department of forest and wildlife will provide the facility of a spotting scope, binoculars, illustrative boards with details of migratory birds, and field guides for bird identification.

The administration is also organizing bird-watching trips for school students from November 20 to December 6. As many as 50 school students will go for bird watching at the lake every day.

Around 100 students from eco-clubs of Carmel Convent School and Gurukul Global School participated in the programme on Tuesday. They enjoyed bird watching and later learned about the lifecycle of butterflies and their significance in our eco-system at Butterflies Garden, Sector 26.

* NAGPUR: The Delhi-based South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers & People (Sandrap) has urged the Union ministry of environment forests (MoEF) and its expert appraisal committee (EAC) on river valley and hydropower projects to take urgent steps to protect inland water fisheries and millions dependent on them.
In a statement issued on World Fisheries Day (November 21), Sandrap convenor Himanshu Thakkar said it is time for a reality check of our inland water fisheries in general and riverine fisheries in particular.

Over 20 groups and eminent individuals including scientists and members of National Board of Wildlife and National Tiger Conservation Authority have said that India stands second in terms of fisheries in the world with 9.3 million tonnes production. Of this, inland fisheries accounts for 60%, which is not only a livelihood provider, but a crucial source of food and nutritional security to millions of poor. The Indian inland waters are also home to 877 indigenous species of freshwater fishes and 113 species of brackishwater species.

Though our inland waters are biodiversity rich, this very environment is constantly under threat of depletion and degradation due to changed land and water use pattern. The major culprit as shown by increasing number of studies, reports, local experience are the over 5,100 large dams of India that hamper water cycle by drying up rivers, changing hydrology, increasing sedimentation, concentrating pollution etc.

"Fisherfolks are not even considered for rehabilitation or compensation when they get affected by dams, hydropower, diversion and other such projects and are left to fend for themselves," Thakkar said.