A Manifesto from the Microbial World

A Manifesto from the Microbial World

At the outset, I want to thank the United Nations of Humans for giving us this opportunity to address all of humankind. I speak on behalf of the quintillion microbes of our planet.

I know that we are speaking to you in a time of great distress. Each of you present here has faced personal tragedies. We convey our deepest condolences...

Gibbon Saga: A Tale of Forceful Separation and Joyous Unification

Gibbon Saga: A Tale of Forceful Separation and Joyous Unification

In 1887, 18 years before they divided Bengal into two, the British laid down a railway line through the Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary, located on the south bank of the Brahmaputra river system in Jorhat district. While the railway line connected British tea plantations in Tinsukia with those in Jorhat and Dibrugarh, it divided the sanctuary into two unequal compartments—one roughly 150 hectares (370 acres), the rest roughly 1,950 hectares (4,820 acres)...

To Bee or Not to Bee
The Lost Species
Crocs on the Rocks!

Crocs on the Rocks!

Kendrapara is now a privileged district because it is the only one which hosts all three species of crocodilians found in India. Saltwater crocodiles have liked to hang around the area for some decades now. So, they are old news, nobody gets excited about them. Sort of a ghar ki murgi dal barabar situation. People get excited when new and unexpected things happen, when things happen that make us feel special.

Thus, news was made in 2016 when for the first time in the history...

The House of Sparrows

The House of Sparrows

Where happiness comes in small packages—the ever-delightful house sparrow.

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We often ignore our immediate periphery in our quest for finding excitement. Just think of the house sparrows! As a kid, out of sheer ignorance, I recall embarrassingly how I plundered their nests. But now, I compensate by feeding their chicks, watering them, and sheltering them in their cushy abodes.

In all this while, these humble birds never ever deserted their homes nor me. We often take them for...

The Importance of Being Fungi

The Importance of Being Fungi

When we think about biodiversity, we usually think only of animals, birds, insects and plants. We forget that fungi are also biodiversity. According to Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in the UK, fungi are ‘distinctive organisms that digest their food externally by secreting enzymes into the environment and absorbing organic matter... 

Ecotravel
From Earth to Mars via a Mobile App!

From Earth to Mars via a Mobile App!

A Freedom Pledge on greenery—a promise to protect the forests and biodiversity of our planet.

Ka-Kaw!

Ka-Kaw!

A first-hand experience narrating the extraordinary about the ordinary—crow.

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Do you remember your Mum pointing out a kauua to you as a kid? A crow is certainly among the first non-humans we notice as babies. In fact, children very quickly pick up their 'ka/kaw' in spite of its harshness, and repeat it like a sweet lullaby. This is how, crows become our best, flying companions—they fly wherever humans go! Moreover, they also display many of our traits...

 

Q&A Session with Dr Qamar Qureshi

Q&A Session with Dr Qamar Qureshi

Have you ever wondered what wild-lifers do? What inspires them to go to work in the jungle? How they protect themselves in the jungle? How they count tigers? Dr Qamar Qureshi of the Wildlife Institute of India answers questions about tigers and the work he does with them. 

Event: Biodiversity quiz winners
The Inglorious Bustards

The Inglorious Bustards

Active conservation efforts of the state government and the Bishnoi tribe together are yielding positive results in rescuing the famous Great Indian Bustards.

Where does electricity come from? Most of us have not seen the power stations where it is generated but we have all seen the wires that deliver electricity to our homes. Yes, those wires, hanging overhead on the streets, which seem to have been built for pigeons and crows to perch upon...

 

Lady Tarzan

Lady Tarzan

An inspiring story of an ordinary Adivasi woman, Jamuna Tudu, who used the superpowers of diligence and persistence to defeat the timber mafias in Jharkhand.

I am sure all of you have seen Tarzan cartoons. What if I told you that we have a real Tarzan in India and that too a lady! Jamuna Tudu of the Santhal tribe of Central India, began her journey towards becoming ‘Lady Tarzan’ in 2000. This was when she got married, barely at the age of 17, and moved from her childhood home in Odisha to her husband’s village in Jharkhand...

 

What is the History of Cheetah Re-Introduction in India?

The Cheetah is the fastest terrestrial animal on earth, capable of galloping at speeds of up to 100 km/h. The Cheetah, which was extinct in the 1950s in India, is about to make a comeback later this year. About 10 cheetahs, 5 of them females, will be brought to Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno-Palpur Wildlife Sanctuary in November 2021.

Tiger and Deer at the Waterhole
Girl and Butterflies in the Garden
The Globe-Trotting Chicken’s Ancestor

The Globe-Trotting Chicken’s Ancestor

Indians were probably the first to domesticate the red jungle fowl and realize its medicinal and nutritional worth. 

Goodbye Zoos!

Goodbye Zoos!

The lockdown has given us an opportunity to review our take on the prisons we built for our recreation.

The Trial

The Trial

Some trace the origin of COVID-19 virus to bats but these creatures of the night are more than virus carriers.

A Letter From the Jungle

A Letter From the Jungle

The forest, capable of meeting our basic needs of food, shelter and fuel, can act as a model of sustainable living for all of us.

Secret Diary of a Virus

Secret Diary of a Virus

Thanks to the trade and imperial ventures of humans, these disease-causing organisms could cross regional boundaries and spread infection.

Humans are really strange. They love giving awkward names to other living beings. For example, I am called a 'virus'. In Latin, it means poison or poisonous liquid. Well, humans do seem to enjoy giving names carrying negative connotations. My other name, 'pathogen', is not encouraging either. So, what is a pathogen? If you Google it, you will get the following explanation: 'Pathos' is the Greek word for disease and genes means 'born of'.