The thin, green line | HT Tech

The thin, green line

The wildlife annihilation rate is alarming, whether it is intentional or not, writes Bharati Chaturvedi.

By: EARTH WATCH | BHARATI CHATURVEDI
| Updated on: Jul 04 2005, 04:17 IST

The wildlife annihilation rate is alarming, whether it is intentional or not. Birdlife International, for example, tells us that over 20 per cent of the world's birds are in danger of extinction, given the increase in degradation of eco-systems, urbanisation and encroachment of land for human activities.

Given this scenario, it's heartening to hear of the small steps being taken. In Rajasthan, communities are preserving the Sarus crane with kids no longer stealing eggs. But in the US, a popular household store is selling crisp, white corals and other marine accessories.

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It is possible to argue that what the store is doing is legal. It likely is. But there is a thin line between being legal and doing the right thing. If this isn't a wildlife crime, at least it's a wildlife slip-up.

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If you think this is trivial, it isn't if you recall what writer-researcher Ruth Padel suggested: that wildlife crime is the third biggest crime after drugs and arms dealing. It is worth nearly 700,000 crore annually. If we add the slip-ups, can you imagine the staggering loss?

Eco-footprint of dump sites

It's common sense that garbage dumps are health hazards. A study from Chennai by a team of Japanese and Indian scientists using the breast muscle of the crow reveals that dioxin-like congeners in the soil at dump sites were transferred directly to the crows through ingestion of garbage. These chemicals are bio-accumulative.

(If you feel for Planet Earth, write to earthwatch1@yahoo.co.in )

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First Published Date: 04 Jul, 04:17 IST
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