Five new dwarf gecko species discovered in Tamil Nadu
According to a new paper published in the international journal Vertebrate Zoology, five new dwarf gecko species have been discovered in Tamil Nadu, distributed in isolated massifs in the Shevaroyan landscape. The paper published by Akshay Khandekar, Ishan Agarwal and Tejas Thackeray is part of an ongoing project, Geckos of Peninsular India, by the Thackeray Wildlife Foundation. "We are thrilled to introduce the rainbow geckos of peninsular India. They are endemic to their respective type localities and qualify as Critically Endangered under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)," Tejas Thackeray told mid-day. The first species to be named is Cnemaspis salimalii sp. nov. (Salim Ali’s Dwarf Gecko), after the eminent ornithologist Dr Salim Ali, said Akshay Khandekar.
IUCN Red List adds 29 threatened species from India
The latest edition of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species unveiled during the COP15 biodiversity conference has added 239 new species from India, of which 29 are threatened. The Andaman Smoothhound Shark, Dactylorhiza hatagirea, White-cheeked Dancing Frog and Yellow Himalayan Fritillary are among the 29 species from India under threat. “We urgently need to address the linked climate and biodiversity crises, with profound changes to our economic systems, or we risk losing the crucial benefits the oceans provide us with,” said Bruno Oberle, IUCN Director General.
Namami Gange project receives UN ‘World Restoration Flagship’ recognition
An ambitious project aimed at improving the health of the Ganga has gained recognition from the UN as one among ten "ground-breaking" efforts from around the globe to restore the natural world. The government-led Namami Gange initiative has received an investment of around $4.25 billion so far and has seen the involvement of 230 different organisations. Declared a World Restoration Flagship programme, Namami Gange is eligible to receive UN-backed promotion, advice or funding.
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New law to put an end to private ownership of big cats in the US
The Big Cat Public Safety Act, voted by the House of Representatives in July, is expected to be swiftly signed by President Joe Biden. The bill requires that only certified zoos and universities hold lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars and other large cats. According to estimates from animal welfare groups, around 8000 tigers (double the numbers in the wild) are kept in small, dubious zoos and as pets in homes in the US. The new legislation is a “death knell for the cub petting industry”, said Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. The law will allow existing big cats to stay with their owners.
Global renewable capacity to grow two-fold in the next five year
Driven by energy security concerns over the Russia-Ukraine war, the global renewable power capacity growth is set to double over the next five years, reported the International Energy Agency (IEA). The annual IEA report on the outlook for renewables stated that capacity worldwide is set to grow by 2,400 gigawatts (GW) and touch 5,640 GW by 2027. "Renewables were already expanding quickly, but the global energy crisis has kicked them into an extraordinary new phase of even faster growth as countries seek to capitalise on their energy security benefits," said Fatih Birol, IEA executive director.