Zero macaque deaths due to road accidents in Valparai in last one year
Owing to the efforts of a five-membered team from Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) and Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF), no Lion-tailed Macaques have died in road accidents in Puthuthottam near Valparai in the past year. "Tourists who visit Valparai stop their vehicles in Puthuthottam and feed the primates, due to which they have become addicted to human food. Usually, these primates occupy the tallest and shadowy rainforests canopies far away from human sight, but they roam on the ground in Puthuthottam, due to which warning signs have been placed in the area to alert the drivers," explains Deputy Director of ATR MG Ganesan. Apart from accidents, the lack of availability of Cullenia exarillata, one of their main foods, is another major threat for the macaques.
India’s largest floating solar power plant to help achieve 100 GW solar capacity target by 2022
The largest floating solar power plant project is now operational at Ramagundam in the Peddapalli district of Telangana. Spread across 500 acres of the Ramagundam reservoir, the 100-megawatt (MW) project was built for ₹423 crore through a contract with Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL). Apart from the minimum land requirement, floating solar power plants help to reduce the evaporation rate and thereby help water conservation. In recent years, floating solar power plants have become part of India’s plans to achieve a national target of 100 GW solar capacity by 2022. According to a 2020 study by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), reservoirs cover 18,000 square kilometres in India and can generate 280 GW through floating solar panels.
Four new coral species found in Andaman and Nicobar
In a first, scientists have recorded four species of azooxanthellate corals from Indian waters. They are a group of corals that do not contain zooxanthellae (unicellular, golden-brown algae) and are found in dark habitats like caverns. Named Truncatoflabellum crassum, T. incrustatum, T. aculeatum, and T. irregulare, they were recorded by researchers from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI). All four species were previously recorded from Japan to the Philippines and in Australian waters.
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Wildfire threatens Giant Sequoia trees of Yosemite
A growing fire in Yosemite National Park is threatening the Giant Sequoia trees of Mariposa Grove. "[The fire] has entered the grove, but the good news is because of prescribed burns and clearing out material on the ground, it's clear in the Mariposa Grove," said fire incident public information officer Robbie Johnson to CNN. Mariposa Grove is home to more than 500 Giant Sequoia trees, a redwood species that grows to more than 250 feet. The Washburn Fire, which began on July 7, has doubled in size since, burning near the lower portion of the grove. A total of 360 fire personnel are working to contain the fire from the ground and air.
World’s largest bacterium found in the Caribbean
On the rotting leaves in the mangroves of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean live a filament-like organism—the largest single-cell bacteria yet to be found. Discovered by biologist Olivier Gros, Thiomargarita magnifica, up to a centimetre in length, they are 50 times bigger than any other known bacteria. The next-largest is only around 750 micrometres long, another bacteria that belongs to the Thiomargarita family.