Your Environment This Week: Ancient underground fish, saving J&K’s wetlands, mica mining

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

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Migratory openbill storks find safe haven in Andhra village

Telukunchi village in Andhra Pradesh welcomes Asian openbill storks every monsoon. The birds are lured by the vast wetlands in the Srikakulam district of the state along the Bay of Bengal.

A Telukunchi resident showing the birds nesting on trees outside his residence. Photo by Special Arrangement.

A brand new family of bony fishes from south India

The Gollum snakehead is genetically distinct from other snakehead fish worldwide, and CT-scans reveal so many unique features that it warrants its own family, ‘Aenigmachannidae.’

Gollum snakehead

A citizen’s movement to protect wetlands emerges in Jammu and Kashmir

Around 25 teams of citizens across Jammu & Kashmir have spurred into action over the past few months, cleaning water bodies in their neighbourhoods – from Dal lake, freshwater springs at Verinag, Chatlam wetlands and even Kausar Nag at an altitude of 13,0000 feet above sea level.

Tariq A. Patloo, Jannat and Nadeem Qadri from Kashmir are trying to protect the state’s wetlands and inspire others to join the movement. Illustration by Ghazal Qadri for Mongabay.

Illegal mica mining in Jharkhand causes death and diseases

Local activists and human right workers believe that villagers merely collect mica flakes for their livelihood whereas private contractors have been illegally mining it on a large scale in forests.

A woman and her children collect mica from an abandoned mine in Tisri block of Koderma district in Jharkhand. Photo by Vinay Murmu.

Beekeeping empowers women, brings in honey and lush kitchen gardens

From Maharashtra to Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, a network of more than 900 women are working as beekeepers, to improve rural incomes and create sustainability.

Under The Mango Tree (UTMT) has created a network of women beekeepers in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. Photo by Monica Pelliccia.

Coloured cotton from India on the cusp of commercial release in 2021

The promise of release of naturally-coloured cotton from India could help reduce the environmental pollution caused by dyes.

Coloured cotton in Gopuri Ashram in Wardha. Photo by Meena Menon.

Bodh fish, the ‘shark of Bastar,’ threatened by a proposed hydropower project

The proposed Bodhghat Pariyojana, a hydropower project aimed at irrigating farmlands in the entire Bastar division of Chhattisgarh, may affect the Bodh fish habitat.

Jagat Ram Dewangan holding the Bodh fish. Photo from Jagat Ram Dewangan.

[Book Review] An ode to the young voices echoing the earth’s call for help

‘United We Are Unstoppable’ is a collection of first-person accounts of sixty young climate leaders from across the world.

‘United We Are Unstoppable’ book cover

Why the draft Seed Bill 2019 is bad for Indian farmers (commentary)

The draft Seed Bill 2019 is in conflict with earlier legislations in India, as it may not allow any producer to sell seeds without certification and registration.

Paddy harvesting at Tasrak. Photo by Guffu.

Align state-centre interests to push India’s clean energy revolution

The central government and states need to deal with the contentious issue of jobs supported directly or indirectly by coal and consider creating ‘just transition’ mechanisms.

Solar power is going to be the main pillar of India’s renewable sector. Photo by Jitendra Parihar/Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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