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River Invesion

 

Western Ghats, a biodiversity hotspot harbours a rich freshwater fish diversity, which currently totals 290 species. With around 189 species, the endemic freshwater fish fauna of this region is remarkable. The IUCN Red List assessment of freshwater fishes of the Western Ghats indicates that the native and endemic fish fauna are far more threatened than the non-endemics. Around 97 freshwater fish species of the Western Ghats were found to be Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable. Invasive alien fish species are one of the emerging potential threats to the natives of the Western Ghats.

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Clean Siachen

 

Siachen is the highest battlefield in the world, it has snow clad lofty mountains, extreme climatic and sub-arctic conditions, and is totally devoid of vegetation or plantation. Ladakh is a high altitude desert and poses immense challenges for irrigation and afforestation. The region is also characterized by minimal precipitation and low oxygen levels. In such adversity, the Siachen Brigade has undertaken the onerous task of protecting the rocky brown and snow white terra firma of Siachen.

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Ornamental Fishery in Lakshadweep: Good or Bad Choice?

 

Fishes of Lakshadweep islands, especially those of ornamental value, are very abundant. Of the 601 species of marine fish of 126 families reported from these islands, at least 300 species belonging to over 40 families are ornamental fishes. There is, however, no information on the relative abundance or areas of abundance of different species of ornamental fishes from different islands. Thus promoting ornamental fishery in Lakshadweep is a dangerous proposition.

 

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Giant Clams

 

Giant Clams belong to a group of animals commonly called bivalves (i.e. animals with two hinged valves). These are commonly seen in tropical reefs in shallow waters. They can grow over a meter and are the largest living mollsucs. Giant Clams have developed the ability to cultivate plant in their body tissue (usually called Zooxanthellae, a unicellular algae), demonstrating an unusual phenomenon of endosymbiosis.

 

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Climate Change and Coral Reefs

 

During the last decade, climate change has emerged as a critical factor responsible for increased stress on coral reefs, resulting in bleaching of corals in many parts of the world. Elevated sea surface temperatures can cause corals to lose their symbiotic algae, which are essential for the nutrition and colour of corals. Studies indicate that most corals are likely to recover from bleaching if temperature anomalies persist for less than a month, but stress from sustained high temperatures may cause irreversible physiological damage.

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