Today I received the newsletter from David Suzuki.
Here we are complaining about our government but in this week’s budget, the government of Canada has demonstrated its commitment to the environment and doing something to protect endangered species and the planet and I am very proud of this.
They decided to invest $1.3 billion over the next five years to protect nature, provide financial investments for new parks, protected areas and science to make sure all of this is done properly.
Here are some of the budget highlights provided in the newsletter:
- $1 billion over five years to make proposed changes to Canada’s environmental assessment laws.
- An additional $172.6 million over three years to improve access to clean and safe drinking water on First Nations’ reserves.
- $167.4 million over five years to better protect, preserve and recover endangered whale species in Canada.
- $20 million over five years to assess the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change measures and identify best practices.
- $22 million to renew the Sustainable Aquaculture Program for two years in support of an improved regulatory system. Renewal must include a focus on the environmental performance of Canada’s aquaculture sector.
- Significant investments in scientific research.
This is here. In other parts of the world, we see decreased biodiversity everywhere we look. In order to bring highlight to endangered bird species, the group Artists For Conservation, to which I belong to, has decided to get involved in its first international collaborative mural project. As I mentioned in a previous blog , the installation which will comprise the world’s 678 endangered species of birds, will be the artistic centerpiece of the 27th International Ornithological Congress to be held in Vancouver in August 2018. The original artwork will then go on an international tour to select cultural/scientific venues.
Here is one of the birds I signed up to do: the Banasura laughingthrush (Trochalopteron jerdoni) which is endemic to Southern India and is on the IUCN red list of threatened species since 2016.
Trochalopteron jerdoni is restricted to high elevations in the limited districts of Wayanad (Kerala) and Coorg (Karnataka). Although it can be found in several localities, the species is severely fragmented and has probably gone extinct at a few locations according to a 2012 research by Praveen J. and Nameer. “The largest sub-population is found at Vellarimala-Chembra and this likely numbers a little more than 250 mature individuals” (Praveen J. 2016). The population is estimated to be between 250 –2500 individuals divided in 2 to 5 sub-populations, but no recent assessment is available.
The main problem the species face is the large-scale conversion of forest into plantations, reservoirs, crops and human settlements. Commercial plantations of tea, Eucalyptus and Acacia have been increasing in area.
Since Banasura is thought to be a sedentary resident that inhabits dense undergrowth and moist, shady lower storey vegetation of evergreen and semi-evergreen forest, densely wooded ravines, hollows and forest edge, the fact that 47% of evergreen/semi-evergreen forest was lost in the Kerala portion of the Western Ghats between 1961 and 1988, while there were increases in plantation and deciduous forest is a major threat. The indiscriminate use of inorganic pesticides might also be affecting its survival.
To find out more about Banasura Laughingtrush click here
For more details on this mural project, click here
To find out more about the David Suzuki Foundation: Go to: https://davidsuzuki.org/
Ref: Praveen J. and Nameer, P.O. 2012. Strophocincla Laughingthrushes of South India: a case for allopatric speciation and impact on their conservation. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 109: 46-52.
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