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National

Kangaroos in the forests of West Bengal! Three rescued, one dead

Yes, you read that right. Imagine the shock when forest officials in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district ran into two kangaroos while patrolling the forests near Gajoldoba, a popular tourist destination. A third kangaroo was rescued on the same day from Farabari, around 40km away. Locals came across a kangaroo carcass the following day, on April 2. As per media reports, traffickers probably smuggled these mammals found only in Australia and New Guinea and abandoned them in the forest. A state government probe is on to find out more. According to wildlife experts, there are increasing incidents of exotic animals being smuggled into India.

Read more: Bad News: There Are Kangaroos in West Bengal Forests | The Wire Science

Eastern Grey Kangaroo photographed in Australia
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Eastern Grey Kangaroo, photographed in Australia. Photograph courtesy of maxpixel.net, under CC0 Public Domain

Tamil Nadu elephant population to cross the 3,500-mark

A population prediction model has projected the number of elephants in Tamil Nadu at 3,592 in 2022. As per the last synchronised survey, the Tamil Nadu elephant population had seen a steep decrease from 4,015 in 2012 to 2,761 in 2017. K. Baranidharan of the Department of Forest Products and Wildlife at the Forest College and Research Institute (FCRI), Mettupalayam, presented the model before the recently appointed four-member committee to study elephant deaths in the state in the past year. Baranidharan also projected an increase in the death of elephants in the current year and onwards.

Read more: Elephant population, deaths projected to increase in Tamil Nadu | The Hindu

Dolphin populations see a significant jump in Odisha

As per the annual dolphin census report, the population of dolphins (Irrawaddy, Bottlenose, Humpback, Striped and Spinner) in Odisha has increased from 544 in 2021 to 726 in 2022. Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary and nearby areas in Bhitarkanika saw the population of dolphins skyrocket to 540 from 342 last year, while the Chilika Wildlife Division saw a dip from 188 in 2021 to 167 in 2022. DFO Bhitarkanika National Park JD Pati attributed the rise in population in Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary to the annual seven-month-long fishing ban in the marine sanctuary between November and May.

Read more: Dolphin count surges in Gahirmatha, dips in Chilika | The New Indian Express

Irrawaddy Dolphin in Chilika Lake in Odisha
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Irrawaddy Dolphin in Chilika Lake, Odisha. Photograph by Mike Prince, via Flickr under the CC BY-SA 2.0 license

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International

Third and final IPCC report shows how policies lag behind science, technology and even economics

As per the new landmark report, we already have solutions as the world moves toward levels of global warming that will have irreversible impacts, but it is political will and the status-quo interests in fossil fuels that stand in the way. The final instalment of the sixth UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report clearly states how renewable energy sources like wind and solar are now becoming cheaper by the day. While the focus on solutions lends the report an optimistic tone, it also serves as a stark reminder of how policies lag behind science and technology. UN Secretary General António Guterres called the report "a litany of broken promises."

Read more: UN climate change report shows renewables are economically viable replacements for fossil fuel | CNN

Solar Power Roof Power Generation
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"The report clearly states how renewable energy sources like wind and solar are now becoming cheaper by the day." Photograph courtesy of maxpixel.net, under CC0 Public Domain

IVF could save the Koala from extinction

Scientists from the University of Newcastle say Koala “biobanking” using IVF technology can help the endangered species reproduce. Published in the journal Animals, the research paper found that biobanking would allow the storage of live koala genes by freezing sex cells such as sperm. The strategy would not only be five to 12 times cheaper than current captive koala breeding methods, but it would also not compromise their genetic diversity. Freezing Koala sperm could be the key to saving them from extinction by 2050.

Read more: Koala IVF could help save species from extinction | New South Wales | The Guardian

Wild Koala from Queensland in Australia
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An estimated 64,000 koalas were killed in the 2019-20 black summer bushfires in New South Wales. Photograph courtesy of maxpixel.net, under CC0 Public Domain

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