Your Environment This Week: Bats not the enemy, plant quarantines and fake ‘jackal horns’

This week’s environment and conservation news stories rolled into one.

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Bats not the enemy in the fight against COVID-19

The known bat virus that is close to SARS-CoV-2 cannot bind to human lungs directly and hence cannot cause COVID-19 directly.

Bats are natural pest controllers and help in seed dispersal and pollination that help mangroves and forests grow. Photo by Richard Evea/Flickr.

Using lessons from disaster management, Odisha takes on COVID-19

Odisha’s two-pronged approach involves ‘physical infrastructure’ created to assist people and ‘intellectual infrastructure’ referring to institutional setups evolved to tackle disasters.

Covid-19 and food security: Lessons for Indian Agriculture

In this commentary, eminent agricultural scientist M.S. Swaminathan draws on his early research to highlight a few lessons for the future of food and agriculture in the context of COVID-19.

[Interview] Lockdown throws up challenges for quarantine of plant samples for research

Scientists discuss the challenges in plant quarantine for research samples under the lockdown, the gaps in plant biosecurity in India and implications for a post-COVID world.

India’s power consumption falls by 19 percent during COVID-19 lockdown

The CPCB has reported that 78% of cities (where air quality is recorded) recorded “good and satisfactory” air quality during the lockdown.

Low-cost, paper-based device being developed for coronavirus detection

The device, costing less than US$1.25, is folded and unfolded to filter the genetic material of the virus and gives a result in about 30 minutes.

A tale of non-existent jackal horns and their online sales

India’s golden jackals are poached predominantly for their meat while ‘jackal horns’ are used in astrology and black magic practices.

A new species of wood snake in the Western Ghats

The Anamalai wood snake, Xylophis mosaicus has been described from the Anamalai Hills. The species is distinct from the previously known Perroteti’s wood snake.

The effects of El Niño Southern Oscillation on global fisheries

While the bulk of the net change is on Pacific fisheries, there are impacts on some fish populations in the Atlantic Ocean as well as on tuna fisheries in the Indian Ocean.

[Commentary] Degrowth and COVID-19: Are we drawing a simplistic connection?

Researcher Soumyajit Bhar writes that while many are hailing degrowth, no change has happened at the systemic level to ensure the sustainability of such a shift.

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