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Conservation Win: Population Of Mountain Gorilla Goes Up

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Mountain Gorilla
A male silverback mountain gorilla from the family of mountain gorillas named Amahoro sits in the dense forest on the slopes of Mount Bisoke volcano in Volcanoes National Park, northern Rwanda. VOA

There are more gorillas in the mist — a rare conservation success story, scientists say.

After facing near-extinction, mountain gorillas are slowly rebounding. On Wednesday, the Switzerland-based International Union for Conservation of Nature updated mountain gorillas’ status from “critically endangered” to “endangered,” a more promising, if still precarious, designation. There are now just over 1,000 of the animals in the wild, up from an estimated population of 680 a decade ago.

“In the context of crashing populations of wildlife around the world, this is a remarkable conservation success,” said Tara Stoinski, president and chief scientist of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

The Atlanta-based nonprofit is named for the primate researcher whose work helped draw international attention to mountain gorillas and whose memoir became the basis for the 1988 Sigourney Weaver film “Gorillas in the Mist.”

Mountain Gorilla
Not…singing in the rain.
International Year of our Friends 2009

“This is a beacon of hope — and it’s happened in recently war-torn and still very poor countries,” said Stoinski, who is also a member of the IUCN’s primate specialist group, which recommended the status change.

Mountain gorillas live in lush and misty forests along a range of dormant volcanoes in east Africa. Their habitat falls inside national parks spanning parts of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Fossey, who died in 1985, had projected that the primates may be extinct by 2000. Instead, their populations have been slowly increasing thanks to sustained and well-funded international conservation efforts.

“We have made progress in terms of their protection, in terms of allowing an environment where mountain gorillas can continue to thrive and grow,” said Anna Behm Masozera, director of the International Gorilla Conservation Program, based in Kigali, Rwanda. “But it’s important to note that mountain gorillas’ numbers could still slip back very quickly. We still have just two fragile and small populations,” split between two national park areas.

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A male mountain gorilla from the Mukiza group is seen in the forest within the Bwindi National Park near the town of Kisoro, Uganda. VOA

Several factors have enabled mountain gorillas’ modest rebound, said Masozera.

The three governments have stepped up enforcement of national park boundaries — areas where hunting, logging and paved roads are illegal.

Tourism helps too: Visitors pay up to $1,500 an hour to watch gorillas, money that helps pay for park rangers.

“Primate ecotourism, done right, can be a really significant force for funding conservation,” said Russ Mittermeier, chief conservation officer at Global Wildlife Conservation. “It gives local governments and communities a tangible economic incentive to protect these habitats and species.”

There’s also health care. Gorilla Doctors, a nongovernmental group, has trained veterinary staff in each of the countries where the mountain gorillas live.

A male mountain gorilla from the Mukiza group is seen in the forest within the Bwindi National Park near the town of Kisoro, Uganda
How long do i have to hold this pose? Flickr

Hunting in the national parks is illegal, but nearby residents still set traps to catch other animals, such as antelopes. Those traps can also grab gorillas’ arms and legs.

When gorillas are found struggling with snares, the vets are called in to clean wounds. Kirsten Gilardi, U.S. director for the organization, called it “extreme conservation.”

Other experts said the emergency vet interventions play a significant role in maintaining mountain gorilla populations.

Also Read: India To Release 8 Endangered White-Backed Vultures in The Wild

“It’s a total conservation win, and there aren’t that many of them,” said Gilardi.

On Wednesday, the IUCN also announced that bans on commercial whaling in the North Pacific Ocean and elsewhere had allowed some whale populations to rebound. The fin whale’s status was updated from “endangered” to “vulnerable,” a less critical designation. (VOA)

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Indians Watch 54% Online Videos in Hindi: Youtube

54% of online videos watched in India are in Hindi language as suggested by YouTube

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54 per cent of online videos that Indians watch are in Hindi. Pixabay

According to entertainment news, about 54 per cent of online videos that Indians watch are in Hindi, while English is preferred by only 16 per cent of the viewing population, followed by Telugu, Kannada, Tamil and Bengali, Google-owned YouTube said in a report on Tuesday.

Telugu is preferred by seven per cent of viewing population, Kannada six per cent, Tamil five per cent and Bengali is preferred by three per cent, said the study titled “Understanding India’s online video viewer”.

The research revealed that Indian users watch online videos for an average of 67 minutes everyday.

More than 70 per cent of viewership comes from 15-34 year olds and 37 per cent of users come from rural geographies.

The total online video user population is expected to reach 500 million by the end of the year, said the report.

According to YouTube, entertainment emerged to be the favourite genre along with learning content which is consumed in 43 per cent of the video viewing occasions.

The study also highlighted the ‘Four Ps’ of motivation for watching — Pleasure, emPower, Purpose and People.

Explaining these further, pleasure accounts for 55 per cent and is all about enjoyment and de-stressing; empower is 20 per cent and fulfils the need to be confident and free; purpose accounts for 14 per cent and is about progress and staying updated; people is 11 per cent and reflects the need to connect and bond.

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In India, 79 per cent of video consumption happens at home, as suggested by YouTube. Pixabay

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YouTube also revealed that Indian watch online videos anytime, anywhere and online video is watched consistently throughout the day.

Though 79 per cent of video consumption happens at home, 21 per cent of consumption happens on the move.

The study, based on responses from 6,500 viewers in India, was conducted before the onset of the global pandemic. (IANS)

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Coronavirus Pandemic: A Punishment for Humans?

Humans have caused irreparable damage to earth over the span of millions of year

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mask Coronavirus
The world has seen many pandemics in the past before Coronavirus pandemic. Pixabay

By Muskan Bhatnagar

It’s been over 6 months since the Coronavirus outbreak and the world is still fighting against it. Coronavirus Worldometer suggests a total of 4,907,135 cases so far, including cases that resulted in deaths and the ones recovered. This is not the first time that the world is going through a pandemic and crisis. Humans saw the Spanish Flu back in 1918, the spread of HIV in 1981, and the most recent one in 2009, H1N1 Swine flu. These pandemics killed millions of people across the globe, just like COVID-19

Since the onset of the year 2020, the world has faced terrible situations. The year began with Australia still on wildfires, a US drone strike on Iran which could’ve escalated to another World War in January, February saw a global stock market crash, in March COVID-19 had spread globally forcing nations to shut down, the global death toll from COVID-19 exceeds 200,000 in April and the world economy is expected to shrink  3%, which is the worst contraction since the 1930s Great Depression. With the onset of May, the global death toll exceeds 300,000 and the world faces a global mental health crisis because of isolation, fear, and economic crisis.

It’s not even been 6 months into this year and the world has already the worst of times. But the question is- who is responsible for all this? The answer is crystal clear. It is us, the human race.

The modern form of humans has existed on earth from 200,000 years. With time, humans have conquered the planet, excelled in the fields of science and technology, made impossible things possible, and developed a world with possibly the most luxurious facilities.

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Humans have caused a lot of damage to the planet with activities like deforestation. Pixabay

In the process of development, humans have caused irreparable damage to Earth and the environment which includes ecosystems, biodiversity, natural resources, etc.

Overconsumption and over-exploitation of resources, overpopulation of humans, global warming, pollution, deforestation, etc have caused damages that are irreversible now. We have exploited the planet to an extent where it’s impossible to rectify the damage we have caused.

Speaking about my personal opinion, this year seems to be a punishment to the human species for all the harm we have caused to nature and the environment since the day of our existence. We have hurt the nature, animals, birds, plants, and even our fellow human beings, and this devastating situation right now, feels like we’re repaying for it.

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People have been hunting animals and destroying ecosystems since a long time. Pixabay

We have killed a countless number of animals and birds just to satisfy our hunger even when we can live without eating them, we have killed animals for the sake of wearing good clothes, we have killed animals just to pursue our hobby of hunting, we have cut down trees so that we can make paper and write ‘save trees’ on them, we have caused air pollution so that we don’t sweat, we have exploited natural resources like petroleum just for the sake of our laziness, we have destroyed forests for the purpose of making luxurious cities, we have damaged the water bodies because we can’t even throw garbage in a bin.

And we happen to be the ‘best creation of God’ and also the smartest species to ever exist on this planet.

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The earth seems to be healing itself while we are confined to our homes. Pixabay

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Is the development and smartness of any use if the planet is no more able to sustain us? It feels like nature took everything in its hands and decided to punish us from all possible aspects and started to heal itself by confining us to our houses.

Nature has bounced back as we are locked inside our homes. The world has seen a significant positive change in the environment with many countries experiencing a fall in carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide of as much as 40%. With the minimum use of cars on the road, it seems to be a piece of potential good news for the climate as oil happens to be the biggest source of carbon emissions. Not just this, but the flora and fauna have also received a big positive change.

The World and its people are suffering and facing the worst of times, but the planet earth seems to be relieved.

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“The Zoo: COVID-19 and Animals”: A Documentary

The documentary shows the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on animals

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tiger
Bronx Zoo announced that their four-year-old Malayan tiger Nadia had tested positive for coronavirus. Pixabay

A new documentary, “The Zoo: COVID-19 and Animals”, shows the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on animals.

When the Bronx Zoo announced their four-year-old Malayan tiger Nadia had tested positive for the dreaded virus, the world was shocked to learn that animals can be victims of this pandemic too. Many questions were raised.

Dave Salmoni, a big cat expert, has dived deep to answer these questions in the special documentary.

Salmoni spoke with a wide spectrum of experts, from the World Health Organization to wildlife biologists to veterinarians, to uncover how the virus affects animals and how pet owners can keep their pets and family safe.

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“The Zoo: COVID-19 And Animals” will premiere on May 17 on Animal Planet, Animal Planet HD and Discovery Plus app. Wikimedia Commons

“When news about Nadia the tiger came out, the questions immediately began: What about my pets? How do I keep my animals and family safe? We’re going to answer these questions and more through this documentary. We’re speaking to a wide range of experts from the World Health Organization, to wildlife biologists, to veterinarians,” said Salmoni.

Read More: 2020 Sees a Steep Drop Of 8% in Global IT Spending Due to COVID-19: Gartner

“We are at war with this disease and so we get down to the nitty gritty, and discuss practical questions about daily lives with our pets. We know animals do play a role in this pandemic, and when it comes to our pets, we have to take care of them like any other member of our family,” he added.

“The Zoo: COVID-19 And Animals” will premiere on May 17 on Animal Planet, Animal Planet HD and Discovery Plus app.

“We have been the forefront of busting myths around novel coronavirus with international documentaries. With this latest film, we take a hard look at how animals are being treated during such a crisis and the safety measures that can be taken to keep both, the people and their pets healthy,” said Sai Abishek, Director–Content, Factual & Lifestyle Entertainment – South Asia, Discovery. (IANS)

Conservation Win: Population Of Mountain Gorilla Goes Up
Indians Watch 54% Online Videos in Hindi: Youtube
Coronavirus Pandemic: A Punishment for Humans?
“The Zoo: COVID-19 and Animals”: A Documentary