Biodiversity II – or How to be LESS Inversive!

April 5, 2007 at 5:48 pm | Posted in biodiversity, bioinversity, biosphere, Cycas revoluta, deforestation, ecosystem, endangered species, environment, forest, marine life, observation, teach your children, teach your parents | Leave a comment
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The variety of life is absolutely essential for the survival of life on planet earth. Ecosystems are made up of an incredible range of habitats and habitats are a major driving force for biodiversity.

Mankind’s effect on habitats is to radically modify them to suit perceived, short-term needs. See a forest – start cutting and burning because what you want more of is space to build and to grow the few plants that provide humans with food. Now, of course it is the worldwide timber mafia that is destroying forests to make a very quick buck.

The 6 rules for saving our planet are simple:

1. Leave nature alone.
2. Don’t pollute.
3. Be least wasteful.
4. Analyse the longterm impact before taking any action.
5. Organise to save nature.
6. Participate in conservancy efforts locally.

Every species occupies its own little niche in an ecosystem. The ecosystem is sustained by the creatures that successfully fill up their respective niches. This interlinking means that the loss of species will result in the death of an ecosystem.

Changes in ecosystems threaten all life for eventually all niches, including man’s are tied to the environment of our planet.

Think about it. Learn to love the diversity of nature that keeps us all alive.

Act, or don’t – appropriately


Seashore Mangrove Forests

June 20, 2006 at 5:01 am | Posted in birds, black mangrove, boatmen, corral harvesting, corral reef, dynamite, ecotourism, ecotourist, heron, mangrove, marine life, pichavaram, pichavarram, red mangrove | Leave a comment

Recently took a small group of ecotourists to the mangrove forest at Pichavarram on the East Coast of India. This is my first visit after the Tsunami. I had taken a group there in early December of 2005 and we had planned on being back there for that Christmas – guess one could call that a close one!
Anyhow, this mangrove forest, though not large, is an absolute gem. Some years ago an overambitious idiot researcher had tunnelled out a whole bunch of canals through the forest, probably destroying a good 15% of the original mangrove.

Still the mangrove is reclaiming it’s territory and it was heartening to see that the Tsunami also had not wiped it out.

There are around fifty boatmen who make a livelihood carting ecotourists around the mangrove. Each of them is amazing. They have no ‘formal education’ but know each species of plant, the birds and all the marine life by heart. I have been amazed to hear them give the scientific names, uses, medicinal properties…of these creatures that are unique to the mangrove.

We float through dark tunnels of mangrove, silent except for the gentle swish of the paddle, dappled sunlight speckles the water. The red and black mangroves form dense jungles and the narrowly arched boating tunnels are lined with veritable sculptures of cobwebs. The lone heron contemplates the rich marine life visible only to her eye…

There is a lovely beach on the other side of the mangrove. It was disheartening to see that a large commercial prawn fishery had been quietly set up on one of the nearby islands and even sadder to see the chunks of blasted coral that litter the beach – a sure indication that the corral reefs are being blasted with dynamite for commercial purposes.

Still, I am heartened to see that this present generation of our youth are more conscious of the value of nature and the need to preserve and protect our fast vanishing wilderness. I believe that they are our only hope, for my generation has miserably failed…

Our world is losing 7% to 10% of its mangroves each year. Let us all pray that today’s young people will do better!

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