Your Environment This Week: Yak milk products, Ginger prawn fishing, Forests as carbon sinks

Brokpa villagers take their yaks out for grazing. Photo by Barasha Das

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

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India adds five more wetlands to its list of Ramsar sites

Experts say the announcement of new Ramsar sites must be followed through with effective action to conserve and protect the wetlands. 

Himalayan treelines might be climbing higher in response to climate change

Alterations in treeline elevation may disrupt the delicate balance of the hydrological cycle, affecting water availability downstream.

Brokpas bank on yak milk products to sustain traditional livelihood

The Brokpas are transhumance pastoral nomads, practising seasonal migration to high-altitude grazing grounds.

Changing landscape spurs decline in ginger prawn fishing

The region is the largest nursery ground of the ginger prawn species endemic to the Gulf of Kutch and almost 50,000 fishers on foot earn an income from fishing it juvenile. After the fishing season is when salt production from sub-soil brine takes place.

The brackish water ecology of the Little Rann of Kutch, is made up of a mix of seawater, river run-off and rainwater, which makes it an ideal nursery ground for ginger prawns.

However, this hydrological regime where ginger prawn thrives is broken by the expansion of marine salt works and reduced freshwater runoff from rivers.


[Explainer] What can lichens tell us about atmospheric pollution?

Lichens are bioindicators and biomonitors providing invaluable clues about the quality and quantity of pollution in the environment.

Dual role as air pollutant and warming agent makes black carbon a neglected player in policy

Black carbon has an estimated lifespan of a few weeks but a warming impact of up to 1,500 times stronger than CO2 per unit of mass.

Newly identified shorebird species in Sri Lanka named after Hanuman

The Kentish plover is a widespread shorebird and a constant winter visitor to Sri Lanka and India.

Hanuman plover is a ground nesting bird, and both eggs and chicks are well camouflaged by their surroundings.

While Banni readies for cheetah, native pastoralists demand land rights

The pastoralists fear loss of ancestral land and grazing ground and demand land rights to secure their future.


Ability of forests as carbon sinks in question amid global warming

A new study by IIT Bombay finds that carbon uptake by forests is more volatile in a warming world than previously thought.

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