London: The Annamite Striped Rabbit, a rare species found in the forests of Laos and Vietnam, was recently spotted by researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA).
The rabbit was first documented by rabbit expert Diana Bell and colleagues from the UEA in the journal, Nature in 1999. It has rarely been seen since.
Researcher Sarah Woodfin, who is studying for a Masters in Applied Ecology and Conservation at UEA, set out on a three-month expedition to track the recently-discovered rabbit and study its habitat.
“It is genetically very distinct from other rabbit species. Sadly there is a possibility that this species could be at risk of extinction due to deforestation and hunting,” she said.
“I didn’t expect that I would ever see one up close. I certainly never expected that I would have the opportunity to hold one of these magnificent animals. I was utterly delighted,” she said of the encounter.
“My team and I encountered the rabbit completely by chance on the first night of my trip. It was found hopping along a stream bank eating vegetation. One of my team members managed to catch it and brought it back to camp, where we were all able to have a good look at it,” she added.
“The rabbit was very handsome, with dark stripes against a pale gold background and a red rump. We were able to take some measurements and photographs before we released it back into the forest,” Woodfin said.
Images of the rabbit had previously been caught by motion sensitive ‘camera traps’.
“It is extremely important that we understand as much as possible about this species so that we can evaluate its conservation status and implement appropriate conservation measures,” Woodfin said. (IANS)
How many times has it happened that you longed for an exotic foreign trip, but gave up on the idea because of upsetting figures in your bank balance? Indian currency seems weak when compared to international currencies. Hence, planning a trip to New York or California is not easy; everybody knows these are expensive places and you will have to think twice before your NYC dreams come true.
But what if we tell you there are countries in the world that you can visit and gather equally thrilling and exotic experiences, at much lesser price?
Yes, there are countries that can be on your travel bucket list, where money will be the last thing you will worry about! These places are not only unique and undoubtedly beautiful, they are relatively cheap and our Indian currency will prove a stronger, higher currency when compared to their own currencies!
So, what are you waiting for? We bring you our top 5 picks for affordable travel destinations and you should get packing!
Sri Lanka is the first in our affordable travel destinations list!
Despite being extremely small in size, Sri Lanka is a heavenly abode that makes it to the post of top five biodiversity hotspots in the world!
Dive in with the blue whales or watch spinner dolphins play against the setting sun! Go on a wildlife safari and spend days playing with elephants in the water.
Sri Lanka is a haven for back-packers, packed with Dutch architecture from the times of Sri Lanka colonialists, and exotic scenic locales, it is closer to home and yet, everything that any far-off international destination could possibly offer!
1 INR (Indian Rupee) = 1.70 JPY (Japanese Yen)*
Cute buildings, cute people, cute food, and cute everything else! Second on our list of affordable travel destinations is Japan.
Food is an integral part of Japan, and something that the Japanese wholly embrace as a prime part of life.
Japan’s history is intrinsically linked to the Buddhist, Shinto, and Taoist faiths- the reason why a visit to Japan will be no less than a serene and tranquil experience.
Japan is categorically blessed with natural beauty with the country boasting of extremely rare and fascinating flora and fauna – experience the magnificence of Mt. Fuji in summer and spring, and visit the streets completely covered with cherry blossoms in March and April- Japan will present you with sights that will simply take your breath away!
Iceland convincingly makes it to the third spot on our affordable travel destinations list. Iceland is situated just below the Arctic Circle, which means the country has 24-hour daylight from mid-May to late July. Isn’t that already stimulating?
And who hasn’t heard of Iceland’s famous northern lights? The county is undoubtedly one of the world’s best places to witness the magic of the northern lights or aurora borealis. The best time to witness the magic of these celestial marvels from September to mid-April.
Iceland’s rich water supply is undoubtedly its most valuable natural resource. Why are we telling you about this? Iceland has natural pools that can be found all around the country, calmly seated in natural environment.
Fun fact : People of Iceland do not have surnames. They follow the traditional Nordic naming system in which a person’s name includes their father’s first name.
From its cosmopolitan cities to the charming countryside, Hungary will provide you with innumerable reasons to make a stop here. Nonetheless, it is going to be a decision you will not regret. From mouth-watering food to traditional folk culture, Hungary offers something for everybody, which is what brings the country on the fourth spot in our affordable travel destinations list.
Hungary’s countryside is filled with naturally magnificent sights- from natural landscapes in the Hortobagy National Park, to extravagant caves of Lillafured, your Hungarian vacation will be both peaceful and beautiful!
Hungary will be the best option if you’re looking for an affordable vacation – with affordable food, drink, and many of the country’s attractions being totally free to visit such as the Chain Bridge)
The last on the list of affordable travel destinations is Vietnam. With its fascinating history, succulent food, gorgeous beaches, old towns, islands and waters, Vietnam should definitely be on everybody’s bucket list.
Street food is a trademark of Vietnam and you will find countless food stalls on street sides throughout your trip that you can gorge on! Vietnam will also not disappoint mountaineers, or adventure seekers- you can either rent a motorbike and drive to the scenic mountains in the north or along the length of the country from north to south – but beware, this thrilling ride is not for the faint-hearted.
Don’t forget to share with us if you do plan a trip to any of these places!
India has surpassed Pakistan, Myanmar, Vietnam and, Thailand concerning bribery rate with 69 percent, the highest on the list
Vietnam stood second on the list after India at 65 per cent bribery rate
India also holds account for the highest bribery rates in public schools and healthcare sector, with 58% per cent 59 per cent bribery rate respectively
Sep 03, 2017: Indian government is struggling hard to defeat the evils of corruption, but there is still a long way ahead to fulfill the objective of corruption free India. According to a survey released by the Transparency International (TI) in March 2017, an anti-corruption global civil society organization reveals that India stands as the most corrupt country in Asia with 69 % bribery rate. In the survey, approximately 22,000 individuals spanning across 16 Asian countries participated over a period of 18 months starting in July 2015.
As reported by ANI which further cited Forbes’ article “Asia’s Five Most Corrupt Countries”, the issue of corruption is pervasive across Asia. The TI report says that India has surpassed Pakistan, Myanmar, Vietnam and, Thailand concerning bribery rate with 69 percent, the highest on the list.
It was mentioned that more than half the respondents have had to pay a bribe in five of the six public services namely- hospitals, schools, police, utility services and, ID documents.
The article by Forbes also hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for persistent efforts to eradicate corruption from India.
“However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fight against corruption has made a mark: 53 per cent of the people think he is going it fairly or very well. And it has led to people feeling empowered, as 63 per cent believe ordinary citizens can make a difference,” it stated.
Vietnam stood second on the list after India at 65 per cent bribery rate.
Pakistan stands fourth on the list with 40 per cent bribery rate. About three-fourths of respondents in Pakistan consider mostly the policemen to be corrupt. It said that seven in ten people had to cajole police officers or the courts for a bribe. When asked about the change in the situation, people sounded dejected when it comes to wiping out bribery from the nation. Only one third feel that ordinary citizens can make a difference.
Last year, India was placed 76th out of 168 countries surveyed by the Berlin-based corruption watchdog in its Corruption Perception Index, mentioned ANI.
India’s corruption perception has been the same consecutively for two years 2015 and 2014’s as 38/100, which shows no improvement in the scenario.
According to the March 2017 statistics, Pakistan most likely of all was the country to have higher bribes legal institutions. While in India, the police bribery rate was 54 per cent.
India also holds an account for the highest bribery rates in public schools and healthcare sector, with 58% per cent 59 per cent bribery rate respectively.
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Hanoi, April 18, 2017: Ground depression in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City is taking place at an alarming rate, a research report said on Tuesday.
Many areas in the eight districts of the city, were sinking by five to 10 mm a year, Xinhua news agency quoted research results announced by the Vietnamese Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology as reporting.
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After comparing statistics over 25 years, the city has so far sunken by some 0.4 metres, said Associate Professor Le Van Trung at the university.
If attention was not paid to the depression issue, the sinking areas would face drastic depression, and some areas might even be submerged in seawater, he warned.
Key reasons for the ground depression in Ho Chi Minh City include over-exploitation of underground water, rapid urbanization and effervescent transport activities.
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In low-lying zones, depression plus sea level rise (by an average of three mm a year due to climate change) will expand the existing inundated areas and create new ones.
In coastal areas, the over-exploitation of underground water causes saltwater intrusion which negatively affects growth of plants and trees in particular and sustainable agricultural development in general.
Parts of the Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam were also sinking, according to the Environment Ministry. (IANS)