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Frog Poaching has become rampant in Monsoon to meet tourists’ demand in Goa

The food markets in Panaji and Margao are oblivious to the fact that poaching of frogs is illegal under the Wildlife Protection Act

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  • Frog meat is considered a common delicacy in Goa
  • Wide scale poaching continues even though frogs are protected under Wildlife Conservation Act
  • Poachers use ‘Mountain Chicken’ as code word for frogs while smuggling

People in Goa claim they have been feeding on frog meat since old ages as tradition to their culture. Frog meat is also common among the tourists who frequent Goa, especially the Russians and Spaniards. With a spurring demand for frogs which is only heightened during the months of monsoon, environment officials are citing growing concern regarding food chains.

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frog meat
Tourists in Goa, Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Ajay Saxena, Goa’s Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, calls this practice unnatural. “People in Goa claim that eating frog meat is a tradition. I don’t understand what kind of tradition is there when you are disturbing an food chain,” he said in his speech in Panaji on the occasion of World Environment Day, June 5.

Poaching of frogs is illegal under the Wildlife Protection Act. But even with legal protection being provided for the frogs, it is of little help since poachers have become adept at what they do. Bringing in frog meat from the district of Uttar Kannada, these poachers are posing a dangerous threat to the stability of ecosystems. Frog meat is often referred to as ‘Mountain Chicken’ or ‘Jumping Chicken’, which serve as code words for its cross border smuggling.

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The food markets in Panaji and Margao, however, seem to be oblivious to this fact. This is because poachers often bypass the markets and serve directly hotels and restaurants, and are paid by the size of the frogs.

Poaching, smuggling and trade of wildlife accounts to over $290 billion all over the world, only next to drug smuggling.

Meanwhile, environmentalists have another concern. With numbers of frogs drastically reducing, snakes and pythons, which are their main predators, may soon start penetrating into human settlements in search of food.

-Written by Saurabh Bodas. Saurabh is an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: saurabhbodas96

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3 COMMENTS

  1. This might disturb the ecosystem as well. Reduction in frog population might increase the number of snakes in the area. Moreover, it is illegal. The government would have to take strict actions for the implementation of this ban.

  2. Poaching of frogs is illegal. The continue declination of frogs disturbing the food chain and as a result it might effect the life of other wild animals like reptiles.
    SAVE THE FROGS!!

  3. Yes! this will affect the ecosystem. The ecosystem works on each other’s existence. Disturbing even the finest element could affect the environment. This should be stopped and looked after.

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Women of America Are Stepping Up As Nuclear Energy Advocates

Nuclear power is clean, safe and better for the environment than some alternative energy sources

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Nuclear Energy
Engineering manager Kristin Zaitz and her co-worker Heather Matteson, a reactor operator, started Mothers for Nuclear. VOA
  • The availability of cheap natural gas and greater energy efficiency has reduced demand for nuclear energy in recent years
  • Nuclear power is clean, safe and better for the environment than some alternative energy sources
  • Industry experts say that women who work in nuclear power can be powerful advocates for nuclear

San Francisco, August 26, 2017: Kristin Zaitz is confident that her nuclear power plant is safe.

Zaitz, an engineering manager, was at Diablo Canyon Power Plant during both her pregnancies and has scuba dived to inspect the plant, which hugs the California coast. Zaitz wears a pendant with a tiny bit of uranium inside, an item that tends to invite questions.

“We all have our perceptions of nuclear,” Zaitz said.

In a few years, Diablo Canyon will close, part of a trend nationwide. The availability of cheap natural gas and greater energy efficiency has reduced demand for nuclear energy in recent years. Add to that ongoing concerns about public safety, such as those raised by memories of disasters at nuclear power plants in Fukushima, Japan, Chernobyl in Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union) and Three Mile Island in the United States.

Nuclear is ‘cleaner’ than fossil fuels

Supporters of nuclear energy say that when a reactor-based generating station closes, not enough wind and solar power is available to make up the difference. They lament that energy companies tend to turn instead to fossil fuels — coal and natural gas — which produce environmentally harmful emissions.

Zaitz and her co-worker Heather Matteson, a reactor operator, started Mothers for Nuclear, their effort to get the word out that nuclear power is clean, safe and better for the environment than some alternative energy sources.

“I went into the plant very skeptical of nuclear and being scared of it,” said Matteson. “It took me six to seven years to really feel like this is something good for the environment. I don’t want people to take six to seven years to make that decision. We don’t have that long.”

Matteson, too, wears the uranium necklace as a conversation starter. “Nuclear is fun,” she said. Is there any radiation emitted by the pendant? “There’s slightly more than from a banana,” she conceded.

Also Read: Indian nuclear industry growing fast, says former Atomic Energy Commission chief

Women seen as powerful advocates

Industry experts say that women who work in nuclear power can be powerful advocates for nuclear. They can help change attitudes of other women who tend to be more skeptical than men about nuclear energy’s benefits.

At the recent U.S. Women in Nuclear conference in San Francisco, women working in the industry talked about how more should be done to make nuclear power’s case to the public, and how they may be the best suited to do it.

“As mothers, I think we also have an important role to play in letting the public know that we support nuclear for the future, for our children,” said Matteson. “And we don’t know other mothers supporting nuclear power in a vocal way. We thought there was a gap to fill.”

Young women say they look at careers in this industry because they are socially minded.

‘Do something good for the world’

“I went into this wanting to do something good for the world,” Lenka Kollar, business strategy director at NuScale, a firm in Oregon that designs and markets small modular reactors. “Wanting to bring power to people. There are still more than a billion people in the world who don’t have electricity.”

Critics of nuclear energy say it doesn’t matter who is promoting it.

“Using mothers’ voices to argue for a technology that is fundamentally dangerous and that has been demonstrated by disasters like Fukushima to be not safe for the communities that surround the power plants or even cities that are hundreds of miles away is disingenuous,” said Kendra Klein, a staff scientist with Friends of the Earth, an environmental group.

While the future of nuclear power in the United States may be uncertain, the women here say they have a positive story to tell. (VOA)

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Street View Car Map by Google Locates Methane Gas Leaks

Colorado State University biologist Joe Von Fisher helped enable a street view of Methane leaks in the city with the help of Google maps

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Colorado State University
Gas Leak. Wikimedia

August 04, 2017: Finding underground methane gas leaks is now as easy as finding a McDonalds, thanks to a combination of Google Street View cars, mobile methane detectors, some major computing power and a lot of ingenuity.

When a city’s underground gas lines leak, they waste fuel and release invisible plumes of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. To find and measure leaks, Colorado State University biologist Joe von Fischer decided to create “methane maps,” to make it easier for utilities to identify the biggest leaks, and repair them.

“That’s where you get the greatest bang for the buck,” he pointed out, “the greatest pollution reductions per repair.”

Knowing that Google Maps start with Google Street View cars recording everything they drive by, along with their GPS locations, von Fischer’s team thought they would just add methane detectors to a Street View car. It turned out, it was not that simple.

“Squirrelly objects”

The world’s best methane detectors are accurate in an area the size of a teacup, but methane leaks can be wider than a street. Also, no one had ever measured the size of a methane leak from a moving car.

“If you’ve ever seen a plume of smoke, it’s sort of a lumpy, irregular object,” von Fischer said. “Methane plumes as they come out of the ground are the same, they’re lumpy squirrelly objects.”

The team had to develop a way to capture data about those plumes, one that would be accurate in the real world. They set up a test site in an abandoned airfield near campus and brought in what looked like a large scuba tank filled with methane and some air hoses. Then they released carefully measured methane through the hose as von Fischer drove a specially equipped SUV past it, again and again.

They compared readings from the methane detectors in the SUV to readings from the tank.

“We spend a lot of time driving through the plumes to sort of calibrate the way that those cars see methane plumes that form as methane’s being emitted from the ground,” von Fischer explained.

With that understanding, the methane detectors hit the road.

Also Read: This fiber material can sense odorless fuel leaks


Turning data into maps

But the results created pages of data, “more than 30 million points,” said CSU computer scientist Johnson Kathkikiaran. He knew that all those data points alone would never help people find the biggest leaks on any map. So he and his advisor, Sanmi Peracara, turned the data into pictures using tools from Google.

Their visual summaries made it easy for utility experts to analyze the methane maps, but von Fischer wanted anyone to be able to identify the worst leaks. His teammates at the Environmental Defense Fund met that challenge by incorporating the data into their online maps. Yellow dots indicate a small methane leak. Orange is a medium-sized one. Red means a big leak – as much pollution as one car driving 14,000 kilometers in a single day.

Von Fischer says that if a city focuses on these biggest leaks, repairing just 8 percent of them can reduce methane pollution by a third.

“That becomes a win-win type scenario,” he said, “because we’re not asking polluters to fix everything, but we’re looking for a reduction in overall emissions, and I think we can achieve that in a more cost effective way.”

After analyzing a methane map for the state of New Jersey, for example, the utility PSE&G has prioritized fixing its leakiest pipes there first, to speed the reduction of their overall pollution.

“To me that was a real victory, to be able to help the utility find which parts were leakiest, and to make a cost effective reduction in their overall emissions,” von Fischer said.

Von Fischer envisions, even more, innovation ahead for mapping many kinds of pollution… to clean the air and save energy. (VOA)

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If You are Planning to Visit India, Here is a List of Things You can Do!

Here is a glimpse of things to do in India - The nation of vibrancy

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Tourists at Taj Mahal in Delhi, Pixabay

July 23, 2017:

India is a country of vibrant race, religion, colors, and heritage. The secularist nature of the country distinguishes different it from other nations. It is also denoted as a nation of ‘unity in diversity’. Visitors traveling across the globe want to travel India for its austerity and simplicity. It is aesthetic country and there is a lot to do when you visit this beautiful country.

Undermentioned is a glimpse of the vast country and a very minimal part of it.

Here is a checklist of the things you can explore while traveling to India. It’s uniqueness always compels sojourners to visit the beautiful country.

Diwali: Festivals of Light

Diwali
Diwali Festival, Wikimedia

Festivals in India are worth a watch. The traditions are so bizarre and unique that you tend to enjoy being a part of such an affair. It becomes a memorable experience for the voyagers. The entire region flickers with lights and lamps which seem as if the stars have descended to the earth. Festivals in India have its own charm and grace.

Relic importance of Delhi

India
Red Fort in Delhi. Pixabay

Delhi is a perfect spot for people wanting to see Indian history of colonial government or British era. Although India is very developed, it is the glimpse of slum areas where you get to see the hard hitting reality. The famous ‘Paranthe Wali Gali’ is the heart of old Delhi in the middle of Chandni Chowk. They serve a variety of stuffed parantha made with wheat dough and lightly fried on both sides. One of the fascinating things is that some of the places there have been around for 100 years or more.

Akshardham Temple

India
Swaminarayan Akshardham. Wikimedia

At its first sight, you will be spellbound by the impressive structure located on the outskirts of Yamuna River. The dome like structure and unworldly architecture of the temple blow away the onlooker. When the sun descends, temple lit up in its magical sense. Amidst of this exquisite creation, you will find yourself a minuscule.

Grandeur Himalaya Peaks

India
Himalayan range. Pixabay

Plan a trip to mountain valley and land up to Spiti Valley, the truest quintessence of the great Himalaya. If you want to get the mesmerizing sight of Himalayas, you must travel to Spiti Valley. It begins from Shimla and ends in Manali. Here you will be encountered with snow covered mountains surrounding you all the time. During the journey, you will also visit the old tribal group and to witness their cultures and traditions is a treat.

Goa: The Blue Land

India
Vacation in Goa. Pixabay

Enroute to Goa to have the Indian beach experience. To name a few you can visit Palolem beach of Goa, this area has everything starting with whitish clean sand, dark blue water, palm trees and the sun constantly shining. You get to see everything on the canvas like the independent traveler, couples, vacationers, sea food, beverages and the laid back atmosphere that all together makes it a perfect destination for the travelers.

Kashmir: Paradise on Earth

India
Dal Lake in Kashmir. Pixabay

Kashmir is also known as paradise on earth. You can’t miss the chance to glare the beauty of Kashmir when you are in India. The state is blessed with invincible beauty and people who visit here are amazed to see the beautiful creation of God. There is a lot to see in Kashmir, to name a few important places in Kashmir, start with Srinagar, and one of the famous attraction here is Dal Lake. Gulmarg is a place to visit during winters as the entire countryside is covered in a fresh sheet of snow.

India
Ladakh. Pixabay

Leh and Ladakh are another major attraction of Kashmir which is as magnificent as ever. One thing appealing about this place is the climate which is extremely pleasant which gives relief to the mind and nature gives relief to the eye.

Your journey should always teach you, it should always be of high relevance to you because that’s where you are spending your precious time and India is a country which has a lot of disguised beauty and bizarre traditional values. You can only become empathetic to other culture if you will try to fit into their shoes, and there is much more to this beautiful country which meets the eye of the traveler.

– by a Staff writer of Newsgram


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