Foreign Policy Watch: India-Iran

India, Iran sign 10-year contract for Chabahar Port Operation

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Chabahar Port, Persian Gulf Mapping

Mains level: NA

Why in the news?

  • India and Iran signed a 10-year agreement for the operation of the Chabahar port, marking a significant milestone in their cooperation.

Back2Basics: Chabahar Port

  • The port is located in southeastern Iran in the Sistan-Baluchistan province, on the Gulf of Oman and at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz.
  • It is called the “Golden Gate” to Central Asian land-locked countries of Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
  • It serves as Iran’s only oceanic port and consists of two separate ports named Shahid Kalantari and Shahid Beheshti.
  • It is only about 170 km west of the Gwadar port if Pakistan.
    • The development of Chabahar port was initiated by India with a MoU in 2015 and executed in 2016 during PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Iran.

About the Agreement

The contract, signed between Indian Ports Global Ltd. (IPGL) and Port and Maritime Organisation (PMO) of Iran, involves substantial investment and development initiatives.

  • IPGL will invest approximately $120 million in equipping the Shahid-Behesti terminal, enhancing the port’s efficiency and capacity.
  • India has extended a credit window of $250 million for mutually identified projects aimed at improving Chabahar-related infrastructure, emphasizing its commitment to regional development.

Strategic Importance of Chabahar Port to India

  • Chabahar port will boost India’s access to Iran, the key gateway to the International North-South Transport Corridor that has sea, rail and road routes between India, Russia, Iran, Europe and Central Asia.
  • Chabahar port will be beneficial to India in countering Chinese presence in the Arabian Sea which China is trying to ensure by helping Pakistan develop the Gwadar port.
  • India can bypass Pakistan in transporting goods to Afghanistan.

Economic Significance

  • Chabahar Port is at an important point on the Arabian Sea, with easy access from India’s west coast.
  • Kandla port in Gujarat is the closest port at 550 nautical miles, while the distance between Chabahar and Mumbai is 786 nautical miles.
  • Since 2019, the port has handled more than 80,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of container traffic and more than 8 million tonnes of bulk and general cargo.
  • The port also offers an alternative route from the Strait of Hormuz for cargo traffic between Central Asian countries and Afghanistan.

PYQ:

[2017] What is the importance of developing Chabahar Port by India?

(a) India’s trade with African countries will enormously increase.

(b) India’s relations with oil-producing Arab countries will be strengthened.

(c) India will not depend on Pakistan to access Afghanistan and Central Asia.

(d) Pakistan will facilitate and protect the gas pipeline installation between Iraq and India.

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Tiger Conservation Efforts – Project Tiger, etc.

Tiger Translocation in Sahyadri-Konkan Wildlife Corridor  

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Sahyadri-Konkan Wildlife Corridor, Tadoba-Andhari TR

Mains level: NA

Why in the news?

Maharashtra’s plan to increase tigers count in Sahyadri-Konkan Wildlife Corridor by translocating tigers from Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) (Chandrapur, Maharashtra) underscores the critical role of wildlife corridors in conservation efforts.

About Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR)

  • Tadoba became one of India’s earliest national parks when it was declared in 1955, alongside Kanha National Park.
  • The name “Tadoba” is derived from the deity “Tadoba” or “Taru,” worshipped by local Gond Tribals, and “Andhari” refers to the Andhari River flowing through the reserve.
  • It was later expanded and officially merged with the Andhari Wildlife Sanctuary in 1993 to form the TATR.
  • TATR is regarded as one of the world’s most preferred destinations for tiger sightings and is a critical part of Project Tiger, aimed at conserving tigers in India.
  • The reserve has 115 tigers, including 88 within the forest and 27 in the areas immediately surrounding the reserve.

About Sahyadri-Konkan Wildlife Corridor  

  • The Sahyadri-Konkan corridor (Sahyadri-Radhanagari-Goa-Karnataka), plays a vital role in conserving wildlife, particularly tigers, in the northern Western Ghats region.
  • It spans throughout the states of Maharashtra, Goa, and Karnataka, specifically through the Western Ghats, one of the world’s eight biodiversity hotspots.
  • Protected Areas Connected:
  1. Sahyadri Tiger Reserve (includes Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary (WLS) and Chandoli National Park) and Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary (Maharashtra);
  2. Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary and Kali Tiger Reserve (includes Anshi National Park and Dandeli WLS) in (Karnataka);
  3. Mollem National Park, Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary (Goa).
  • Fauna: Tiger (Panthera tigris), Indian leopard (Panthera pardus), dhole (Cuon alpinus), and sloth bear (Melursus ursinus), etc.
  • The Western Ghats, including parts of the corridor, are designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012 due to their outstanding universal value in terms of biodiversity and endemic species.

PYQ:

[2020] Among the following Tiger Reserves, which one has the largest area under “Critical Tiger Habitat”?

(a) Corbett

(b) Ranthambore

(c) Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam

(d) Sunderbans

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Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Mapping: Garo Hills

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Garo Hills

Mains level: NA

Why in the news?

  • Geological Survey of India (GSI) explorers have made a breakthrough, uncovering ancient fossils in Tolegre, South Garo Hills of Meghalaya.
  • It is speculated that the fossils could be linked to the genera Rhodocetus or Amulocetus (now extinct), considered ancestors of modern whales.

About Garo Hills

  • The Garo Hills, located in Meghalaya, are part of the Garo-Khasi range, one of the hill ranges in the northeastern region of India.
  • They are situated in the western part of Meghalaya, bordering Bangladesh to the south and west.
  • The terrain of the Garo Hills is rugged and hilly, characterized by dense forests, steep slopes, and deep valleys.
  • The Nokrek is highest Peak, which stands at approximately 1,415 meters (4,642 feet) above sea level.
  • The climate in the Garo Hills is typically humid subtropical, with heavy rainfall during the monsoon season, which usually lasts from June to September.
  • Numerous rivers and streams, including the Brahmaputra, Someshwari, and Jinjiram rivers crisscross this region.
  • The region is also known for its picturesque waterfalls, such as the Pelga Falls, located near Tura, the largest town in the Garo Hills.
  • The Nokrek National Park, located within, is recognized as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and is home to various endangered species, including the Asian elephant and the red panda.
  • The Garo Hills are inhabited predominantly by the Garo tribe, one of the major ethnic groups in Meghalaya.

 

PYQ:

[2013] Consider the following pairs:

1. Nokrek Bio-Sphere Reserve : Garo Hills

2. Logtak (Loktak) Lake : Barail Range

3. Namdapha National Park: Daphla Hills

Which of the above pairs is/are correctly matched?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1, 2 and 3

(d) None

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Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

Why the Thar Desert on the borders of India and Pakistan is getting greener?

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Thar Desert, Desert National Park;

Mains level: NA

Why in the News?

Rajasthan’s barren Thar Desert may turn green, says a recent study in the journal Earth’s Future.

Thar Desert

  • The Thar Desert is the 18th largest subtropical desert globally and is one of the most densely populated deserts.
  • Approximately 40% of the human population in Rajasthan resides in the Thar Desert.
  • It extends from the Sutlej River and is bounded by the Rann of Kutch, the Aravalli Mountains, and the Indus River.
  • About 85% of the Thar Desert is located in India, with the remainder in Pakistan.
  • In India, it spans across Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, and Punjab as well.
  • Civilizations are believed to have thrived in the Thar region around 50,000 years ago across the extinct Saraswati River.
  • The Desert National Park (home to the endangered Great Indian Bustard, desert fox, desert cat, blackbuck, and Indian gazelle) is situated in the Thar Desert in the northwest Indian state of Rajasthan.

Why is the Thar desert getting greener?

  • Climate Change Effects:
      • Alteration of Weather Patterns: Climate change is causing shifts in rainfall distribution in the thar desert area.
      • Potential for Vegetation Growth: The increased precipitation could provide favorable conditions for vegetation growth, contributing to the greening of the desert.
  • Indian Monsoon Dynamics:
      • Westward Extension of Indian Monsoon: The Indian monsoon, known for bringing heavy rainfall to eastern India, is now extending further westward into regions like the Thar Desert.
      • Impact on Moisture and Rainfall: This change in monsoon dynamics could lead to increased moisture and rainfall in the desert region, facilitating the growth of vegetation.
  • Expansion of Indian Ocean Warm Pool (IOWP):
      • Influence on Monsoon Patterns: The Indian Ocean Warm Pool (IOWP) influences monsoon patterns and rainfall distribution over the Indian subcontinent.
      • Westward Expansion due to Climate Change: Climate change is causing the IOWP to expand westward, potentially resulting in increased rainfall over semi-arid regions like the Thar Desert and promoting greening.
  • Water Management Practices:
      • Contribution to Greening: Effective water management practices, such as rainwater harvesting and irrigation techniques like johad, kuis, and kunds, may be playing a role in the greening of the Thar Desert.
      • Utilization of Water Resources: By harnessing and efficiently utilizing available water resources, local communities and authorities can support vegetation growth and ecosystem restoration efforts in the desert.
  • Introduction of Irrigation  
    • Commercial Cropping: Irrigation was introduced during British colonial rule in the 19th and 20th centuries to convert arid and semi-arid ecosystems into cropland.
    • Restrictions on Grazing: The right to graze animals was restricted to landowners who cultivated crops, leading to the transformation of nomadic pastoralists into sedentary agro-pastoralists.

PYQ:

[2018] Which of the following leaf modifications occur(s) in the desert areas to inhibit water loss?

  1. Hard and waxy leaves
  2. Tiny leaves
  3. Thorns instead of leaves

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 2 and 3 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

[2020] The process of desertification does not have climate boundaries. Justify with examples.

[2013] Major hot deserts in northern hemisphere are located between 20-30 degree north and on the western side of the continents. Why?

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Wetland Conservation

In the news: Pulicat Wetland

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Pulicat Wetland and its topography; Eco-sensitive Zones (ESZs)

Mains level: NA

Why in the news?

  • Settlement of claims for local communities within Pulicat Wetland and Birds Sanctuary boundary raises concerns.
  • State government plans to denotify a significant portion of the sanctuary and Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ) for industrial park development.

About Pulicat Wetland and Birds Sanctuary

  • Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary is the second-largest bird sanctuary in India.
  • It cuts across Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh and Thiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu.
  • The sanctuary is situated along the coast of the Bay of Bengal covering an area of 759 square kilometers.
  • The sanctuary is bordered by the Arani River at its southern tip, the Kalangi River from the Northwest, and the Swarnamukhi River at the northern end.
  • Pulicat Lake runs parallel to the Bay of Bengal and has a sand bar, making it a lagoon of its own kind.
  • Sriharikota, renowned as India’s rocket launch pad and home to the Satish Dhawan Space Centre, separates the lake from the Bay of Bengal.
  • The sanctuary includes 16 island villages and 30 villages adjoining the lake, whose inhabitants depend on the lake for their livelihood.
  • Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary hosts a large number of migratory birds during winter, including gulls, terns, plovers, shanks, curlews, and storks.
  • It is a habitat for a variety of bird species such as flamingos, pelicans, storks, herons, and ducks.

What are the Eco-sensitive Zones (ESZs)?

  •  Eco-Sensitive Zones (ESZs) or Ecologically Fragile Areas (EFAs) are areas notified by the MoEFCC around Protected Areas, National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries.
  • The purpose of declaring ESZs is to create some kind of “shock absorbers” to the protected areas by regulating and managing the activities around such areas.
  • They also act as a transition zone from areas of high protection to areas involving lesser protection.

 How are they demarcated?

  • The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 does NOT mention the word “Eco-Sensitive Zones”.
  • However, Section 3(2)(v) of the Act, says that Central Government can restrict areas in which any industries, operations or processes or class of industries, operations or processes shall be carried out or shall not, subject to certain safeguards.
  • Besides Rule 5(1) of the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986 states that central government can prohibit or restrict the location of industries and carrying on certain operations or processes on the basis of certain considerations.
  • The same criteria have been used by the government to declare No Development Zones (NDZs).

Defining its boundaries

  • An ESZ could go up to 10 kilometres around a protected area as provided in the Wildlife Conservation Strategy, 2002.
  • Moreover, in the case where sensitive corridors, connectivity and ecologically important patches, crucial for landscape linkage, are beyond 10 km width, these should be included in the ESZs.
  • Further, even in the context of a particular Protected Area, the distribution of an area of ESZ and the extent of regulation may not be uniform all around and it could be of variable width and extent.

 

PYQ:

 [2017] Consider the following statements:

1. In India, the Himalayas are spread over five States only.

2. Western Ghats are spread over five States only.

3. Pulicat Lake is spread over two States only.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1 and 3 only

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Global Geological And Climatic Events

Mount Ruang in Indonesia Erupts

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Mount Ruang, Pacific Ring of Fire, Sangihe Islands arc, Tectonic Plates mentioned

Mains level: NA

Why in the news?

Indonesia witnessed a series of eruptions from Mount Ruang, a stratovolcano located in North Sulawesi Province.

About Mount Ruang 

  • Ruang is situated in the Sangihe Islands arc, North Sulawesi, Indonesia.
  • It comprises an island that is 4 by 5 kilometers wide, with a summit containing a partial lava dome reaching an altitude of 725 meters (2,379 ft).
  • From its summit, peaks such as Klabat, Siau, and Ternate can be observed in the south, north, and east, respectively.
  • The volcano’s first recorded eruption was in 1808.

Why so many volcanic eruptions in Indonesia this year?

  • Indonesia, an archipelago of 270 million people, has 120 active volcanoes.
  • It is prone to volcanic activity because it sits along the “Ring of Fire,” a horseshoe-shaped series of seismic fault lines around the Pacific Ocean.

What is the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’?

  • The Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’ or Pacific Rim, or the Circum-Pacific Belt, is an area along the Pacific Ocean that is characterized by active volcanoes and frequent earthquakes.
  • Volcanic arcs and oceanic trenches partly encircling the Pacific Basin form the so-called Ring of Fire.
  • It is home to about 75 per cent of the world’s volcanoes – more than 450 volcanoes.
  • Also, about 90 per cent of the world’s earthquakes occur here.

Its spread

  • Its length is over 40,000 kilometres and traces from New Zealand clockwise in an almost circular arc covering Tonga, Kermadec Islands, Indonesia.
  • It is moving up to the Philippines, Japan, and stretching eastward to the Aleutian Islands, then southward along the western coast of North America and South America.

Seismic activity of the region

  • The area is along several tectonic plates including the:
  1. Pacific plate,
  2. Philippine Plate,
  3. Juan de Fuca plate,
  4. Cocos plate,
  5. Nazca plate, and
  6. North American plate.
  • The movement of these plates or tectonic activity makes the area witness abundant earthquakes and tsunamis every year.
  • Along much of the Ring, tectonic plates move towards each other creating subduction zones.

PYQ:

[2018] Consider the following statements:

  1. The Barren Island volcano is an active volcano located in the Indian Territory.
  2. Barren Island lies about 140 km east of Great Nicobar.
  3. The last time the Barren Island volcano erupted was in 1991 and it has remained inactive since then.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3

(c) 3 only

(d) 1 and 3

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Tiger Conservation Efforts – Project Tiger, etc.

Mapping: Mudumalai Tiger Reserve

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Dhole, Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve

Mains level: NA

Why in the news?

  • A pack of wild dogs, or Dholes, in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) have suffered severe exfoliating skin infection which is an alarming fungal and bacterial infection.

About Mudumalai Tiger Reserve

  • Mudumalai Tiger Reserve is situated in Tamil Nadu’s Nilgiris District, at the intersection of Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. 
  • It forms part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, India’s first biosphere reserve, alongside Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (Kerala), Bandipur National Park (Karnataka), Mukurthi National Park, and Silent Valley.
  • The name “Mudumalai” signifies “the ancient hill range,” dating back 65 million years to the formation of the Western Ghats.
  • Flora: The reserve boasts tall grasses, including Elephant Grass, and diverse flora such as giant bamboo, Teak, and Rosewood.
  • Fauna: It is home to flagship species like the Tiger and Asian Elephant, as well as the Indian Gaur, Spotted Deer, Malabar Giant Squirrel, and Jungle Cat, among others.
    • With over 260 bird species, Mudumalai hosts 8% of India’s avian species, including rare birds like the Malabar grey hornbill and Malabar pied hornbill.

 

Asiatic Wild Dog (Dhole)

Details
Name Dhole (Cuon alpinus)
Native Range Central, South, East, and Southeast Asia
Distribution in India Most of India south of the Ganges, Central Indian Highlands, Western and Eastern Ghats, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, West Bengal, Terai region of Indo-Gangetic Plain
Other Names Asian wild dog, Asiatic wild dog, Indian wild dog, whistling dog, red dog, mountain wolf
Conservation Status
  1. IUCN Red List: Endangered
  2. CITES: Appendix II
  3. Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule 1
Social Structure Lives in big, loosely organized groups with several breeding females
Factors Contributing to Decline Habitat loss, loss of prey, competition with other species, persecution due to livestock predation, disease transfer from domestic dogs
Significance Besides the tiger, it is the only large carnivore in India that is under IUCN’s ‘endangered’ category.

 

PYQ:

[2019] Which of the following are in Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve?

(a) Neyyar, Peppara and Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuaries; and Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve

(b) Mudumalai, Sathyamangalam and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuaries; and Silent Valley National Park

(c) Kaundinya, Gundla Brahmeswaram and Papikonda Wildlife Sanctuaries; and Mukurthi National Park

(d) Kawal and Sri Venkateswara Wildlife Sanctuaries; and Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve

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Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR)

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve

Mains level: NA

Why in the news?

The Forest Department and a temple authority at Ahobilam have imposed certain restrictions on visitors arriving at a shrine in Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR).

About Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve

Details
Origin of Name Named after Nagarjuna Sagar Dam and Srisailam Dam.
Location Situated in the Nallamala hill range, part of the Eastern Ghats in Andhra Pradesh.
Area Largest tiger reserve area in India, covering a total area of 3727 sq km.
Wildlife Sanctuaries Constituted by the Rajiv Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and the Gundla Brahmeswaram Wildlife Sanctuary.
Vegetation Features tropical, dry, moist, deciduous vegetation with diverse flora and fauna.
Topography Consists of plateaus, ridges, gorges, and deep valleys.
River Krishna Traverses through the reserve for approximately 270 kilometers.
Additional Information
  • Attained tiger reserve status in 1983.
  • Home to Bengal tigers, Indian leopards, and more.
  • Habitat contains several endemic species of plants.
  • Tropical dry deciduous forests with bamboo and grass undergrowth.

 

PYQ:

2020:

Among the following Tiger Reserves, which one has the largest area under “Critical Tiger Habitat”?

(a) Corbett

(b) Ranthambore

(c) Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam

(d) Sunderbans

 

2015:

Consider the following pairs :

Place of Pilgrimage: Location

1.    Srisailam : Nallamala Hills

2.    Omkareshwar : Satmala Hills

3.    Pushkar : Mahadeo Hills

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

 

Practice MCQ:

It is the largest tiger reserve in India, covering a total area of 3727 sq km. It is constituted by the Rajiv Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and the Gundla Brahmeswaram Wildlife Sanctuary and features tropical, dry, moist, deciduous vegetation with diverse flora and fauna.

Which protected area is implied by the above description?

(a) Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve

(b) Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve

(c) Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve

(d) Biligiriranga Swamy Temple Tiger Reserve

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Foreign Policy Watch: India-Sri Lanka

Katchatheevu Island Conundrum

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Katchatheevu Island

Mains level: NA

Why in the news?

Prime Minister recently claimed that the then PM Indira Gandhi had given away the island of Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka for no reason.

About Katchatheevu Island

  • Katchatheevu is a small, uninhabited island measuring merely 285 acres, lying between India and Sri Lanka.
  • It is situated in the Palk Strait.
  • It was originally owned by the king of Ramnad (present-day Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu).
  • The island is used by fishermen to dry their nets.
  • Despite its modest size, the island holds significant religious significance, housing Anthony’s church, a centuries-old Catholic shrine revered by devotees from both nations.
  • Beyond its religious connotations, Katchatheevu is a vital ecosystem, supporting diverse flora and fauna endemic to the region’s maritime environment.

A Quick Recap of its History

  • During the British rule, it was administered jointly by India and Sri Lanka.
  • In the early 20th century, Sri Lanka claimed territorial ownership over the islet.
  • India ceded the island to Sri Lanka, through a joint agreement in 1974; India further gave up its fishing rights in the region in 1976.

Present Issue

  • In 1974 and 1976 treaties were signed between the two countries to demarcate the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL).
  • However, the agreement could not stop the fishermen from fishing in these waters, as fishermen know no boundary.

Culmination of the Political Dispute

  • Unresolved Issue: While Indian fishermen retained certain access rights to the island, the agreements failed to address key concerns regarding fishing rights, leading to simmering discontent among fishing communities.
  • Sri Lankan Atrocities: The civil war in Sri Lanka overshadowed the Katchatheevu issue, with Indian fishermen facing arrests and allegations of mistreatment by the Sri Lankan navy.
  • Renewed Demands: Instances of fishermen’s rights violations reignited calls for the retrieval of Katchatheevu by Tamil Nadu politicians, who highlighted the plight of affected fishing communities.
  • Present Backlash: The agreement sparked widespread protests and political backlash in Tamil Nadu, with regional parties and activists condemning the perceived abandonment of Indian sovereignty over Katchatheevu.

PYQ:

Consider the following statements:

1.    The value of Indo-Sri Lanka trade has consistently increased in the last decade.

2.    “Textile and textile articles” constitute an important item of trade between India and Bangladesh.

3.    In the last five years, Nepal has been the largest trading partner of India in South Asia.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (2020)

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 2 only

(d) 3 only

 

Practice MCQ:

With reference to the Katchatheevu Island recently seen in news, consider the following statements:

1.    During the British rule, it was administered by India.

2.    India ceded the island to Sri Lanka, through a joint agreement in 1974 but holds fishing rights in the region.

Which of the given statements is/are correct?

(a) Only 1

(b) Only 2

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

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Wildlife Conservation Efforts

South East Africa Montane Archipelago (SEAMA) Ecoregion

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: SEAMA Ecoregion

Mains level: NA

Why in the news?

A recent study has revealed about undocumented biodiversity in the newly recognized South East Africa Montane Archipelago (SEAMA) Ecoregion.

What is SEAMA Ecoregion?

  • The SEAMA is a recently recognized ecoregion located in Southern Africa.
  • It spans across northern Mozambique and incorporating Mount Mulanje in Malawi.
  • SEAMA is distinguished by its mountainous terrain, encompassing diverse habitats such as montane forests, grasslands, and rock faces.
  • Despite its relatively recent recognition, SEAMA has been identified as a hub of biodiversity, hosting numerous species of plants, vertebrates, and invertebrates.

Recent Findings on SEAMA Ecoregion

  • Species Documentation: The researchers identified 127 plants, 45 vertebrates, and 45 invertebrate species, including two endemic genera of plants and reptiles.
  • Endemic Reptiles: SEAMA is home to 22 strictly endemic reptile species, most of which are threatened by habitat loss due to deforestation.
  • Global Significance: The remarkable diversity of SEAMA has prompted proposals to designate it as a new ecoregion of global biological importance.

Conservation Challenges

  • Late Discovery: Despite being located in a region considered the birthplace of modern humans, the mountains of northern Mozambique remained largely unstudied until recent decades due to historical conflicts.
  • Deforestation Threats: SEAMA faces severe deforestation threats, with up to 18% of its primary humid forest cover lost since 2000.
  • Causes of Deforestation: Slash and burn shifting agricultural practices, along with charcoal production, are the primary drivers of deforestation in the region.

PYQ:

2013: Which one of the following pairs a correctly matched?

Geographical feature and region

(a) Abyssinian Plateau – Arabia

(b) Atlas Mountains – Northwest Africa

(c) Guiana Highlands – Southwest Africa

(d) Okavango Basin – Patagonia

 

Practice MCQ:

The SEAMA Ecoregion often seen in news is located in-

(a) Latin America

(b) Europe

(c) Africa

(d) Asia

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Indian Ocean Power Competition

Places in news: Afanasy Nikitin Seamount

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: International Seabed Authority (ISBA), AN Seamount

Mains level: NA

Why in the news?

  • India has applied to the International Seabed Authority (ISBA) for exploration rights in the Afanasy Nikitin (AN) Seamount in the Indian Ocean outside its jurisdiction.
  • India’s application is motivated by reports of Chinese vessels conducting reconnaissance in the same region, raising concerns about strategic interests and resource competition.

About International Seabed Authority (ISBA)

 

  • The ISBA is an intergovernmental organization established under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
  • It was established in 1994 and headquartered in Kingston, Jamaica.
  • ISA is tasked with regulating mineral-related activities in the international seabed area beyond national jurisdiction, which includes polymetallic nodules, polymetallic sulphides, and cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts.
  • The Authority issues exploration and exploitation contracts to countries and private entities for deep-sea mining activities, subject to certain regulations and environmental safeguards.
  • ISA comprises various organs, including the Assembly, the Council, the Legal and Technical Commission, and the Secretariat, each with specific functions related to deep-sea mining regulation.
  • According to Article 156(2) of the UNCLOS, all UNCLOS parties are members of ISBA.
  • As of 2023 has 169 members, including 168 member states and the European Union.
  • India became a member of the UNCLOS in 1994.

 

About AN Seamount

  • The AN Seamount, located about 3,000 km from India’s coast, is a substantial structural feature in the Central Indian Ocean Basin.
  • A seamount is a large submarine landform that rises from the ocean floor without reaching the surface, and thus is not an island.
  • It is 400 km-long and 150 km-wide. From an oceanic depth of about 4,800 metres it rises to about 1,200 metres.
  • It was discovered during a marine research expedition, named after the Russian explorer Afanasy Nikitin.
  • It is renowned for its polymetallic nodules containing cobalt, nickel, manganese, and copper

Continental Shelf Claims and Implications

  • Sri Lanka has applied for continental shelf claims up to 500 nautical miles beyond its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), citing a special provision.
  • India, noting Chinese presence, has staked a claim for exploration rights to prevent future consequences.
  • India has also applied for permission to explore another region, spanning 3,00,000 square km, called the Carlsberg Ridge in the Central Indian Ocean to investigate for polymetallic sulphides, which are reportedly rich in copper, zinc, gold and silver.

PYQ:

2021: Consider the following statements:​

  1. The Global Ocean Commission grants licences for seabed exploration and mining in international waters.​
  2. India has received licences for seabed mineral exploration in international waters.​
  3. ‘Rare earth minerals’ are present on seafloor in international waters.​

Which of the statements given above are correct?​

a)    1 and 2 only ​

b)    2 and 3 only​

c)    1 and 3 only ​

d)    1, 2 and 3​

 

Practice MCQ:

Consider the following statements about the International Seabed Authority (ISBA):

  1. ISBA is an intergovernmental organization established under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
  2. All UN members are naturally parties to the ISBA.

Which of the given statements is/are correct?

a)    Only 1

b)    Only 2

c)    Both 1 and 2

d)    Neither 1 nor 2

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Tourism Sector

Geo-Heritage Sites in India

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Geo-Heritage Sites in India

Mains level: NA

Why in the news

  • Pandavula Gutta, an ancient geological marvel predating the Himalayan hills, has been officially designated as Telangana’s sole Geo-heritage site.
  • Also the 165 million-year-old meteor Ramgarh Crater in Rajasthan was declared geo-heritage site.

[A] Pandavula Gutta

  • Pandavula Gutta is located in Jayashankar Bhupalpally District in Telangana.
  • It is known for its rock art and geological heritage.
  • The site features Paleolithic cave paintings depicting wildlife and symbols.
  • Discovered in 1990, it showcases habitation from the mesolithic to medieval times.
  • Recognized as the sole Geo-heritage site in Telangana, older than the Himalayan hills.

 

[B] Ramgarh Crater

  • The Ramgarh Crater, also known as Ramgarh structure, Ramgarh Dome, and Ramgarh astrobleme, is a meteor impact crater located near the town of Ramgarh in Baran district of Rajasthan.
  • It is established as an asteroid impact crater in India, excavated within sandstone, shale, and limestone horizons of the Lower Bhander Group of the Vindhyan Region.
  • It was formed by a meteorite impact, with a diameter of 3.2 kilometers and an elevation of over 200 meters above the surrounding terrain.
  • It is declared Conservation Reserve, namely Ramgarh Conservation Reserve, under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and a notified wetland under Wetland (Conservation & Management) Rules, 2017.

 

What are Geo-Heritage Sites?

  • Geo-Heritage Sites in India are geological features of significant importance, either culturally or inherently, that provide insights into the Earth’s evolution or serve educational purposes.
  • These sites are recognized and protected by the Geological Survey of India (GSI) and the respective State governments.
  • India presently has 34 National Geological Heritage Monument Sites.
  • Examples:
    1. Mawmluh Cave in Meghalaya
    2. Majuli Island in Assam
    3. Chabimura in Tripura
  • Purpose:
    1. Promote geotourism
    2. Preserve unique geological formations
    3. Enhance geological literacy among the public

 

Tap this link to read more about all Geo-Heritage Parks in India:

https://vikaspedia.in/education/childrens-corner/geological-heritage-sites-of-india


PYQ:

Q.Which one of the following statements is correct?​ (2021)

  1. Ajanta Caves lie in the gorge of Waghora River.​
  2. Sanchi Stupa lies in the gorge of Chambal River.​
  3. Pandu-Lena Cave Shrines lie in the gorge of Narmada River.​
  4. Amaravati Stupa lies in the gorge of Godavari River.​

Practice MCQ:

Which of the given statements about the Ramgarh Structure is NOT correct?

  1. It is an asteroid impact crater.
  2. It is located in the Deccan Plateau.
  3. It is a notified wetland under Wetland (Conservation & Management) Rules, 2017.
  4. It is under Conservation Reserve under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

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Global Geological And Climatic Events

In news: Popocatepetl Volcano

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Popocatepetl Volcano

Mains level: NA

In the news

  • Popocatepetl, Mexico’s most dangerous active volcano has erupted 13 times in the past day, hurling columns of ash and smoke into the sky.

About Popocatepetl Volcano

  • Popocatepetl — which means “Smoking Mountain” in the Aztec Nahuatl language — is located in central Mexico roughly 72 km southeast of Mexico City.
  • Popocatepetl is situated in the eastern half of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, in Central Mexico.
  • It lies on the border between the states of Puebla and Morelos.
  • The summit of Popocatepetl stands at an elevation of about 5,426 meters above sea level, making it the second-highest peak in Mexico after Citlaltepetl (Pico de Orizaba).

Geological Details

  • Popocatepetl is a stratovolcano (composite volcano) characterized by its steep, conical shape built up by successive layers of volcanic ash, lava flows, and pyroclastic materials.
  • It is one of Mexico’s most active volcanoes, with documented eruptions dating back to the 14th century.
  • In the modern era, significant eruptions have occurred in 1947, 1994, 2000, 2005, and ongoing activity since 2013.
  • The volcano’s eruptions are primarily andesitic to dacitic in composition, characterized by the eruption of viscous lava flows and explosive eruptions producing ash clouds, pyroclastic flows, and lahars (mudflows).

Try this PYQ from CSE Mains 2021

Q. Mention the global occurrence of volcanic eruptions in 2021 and their impact on regional environment.

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Indian Ocean Power Competition

PM inaugurates Naval Base and Airstrip in Agalega Island, Mauritius

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Agalega Island

Mains level: Read the attached story

Agalega Island

In the news

  • PM Modi in collaboration with his Mauritian counterpart Pravind Jugnauth, inaugurated a series of projects on Mauritius’ Agalega Island.

Agalega Island: A Strategic Location

  • Agaléga are two outer islands of Mauritius located in the Indian Ocean, about 1,000 kilometers north of Mauritius island.
  • The islands have a total area of 2,600 ha (6,400 acres).
  • Notable settlements include Vingt Cinq on the North Island and Sainte Rita on the South Island, serving as primary hubs for residents and economic activities.

Significance of New Airstrip and the Base

  • India’s Strategic Presence: The inauguration of a new airstrip and jetty underscores India’s commitment to strengthening its influence in the southwestern Indian Ocean, aligning with its broader strategic objectives.
  • Economic Impetus: Agalega Island’s strategic location facilitates trade and connectivity in the Indian Ocean region, enhancing economic opportunities for Mauritius and neighboring countries.
  • Trade Security: With a significant portion of India’s trade traversing the Indian Ocean, the development of infrastructure on Agalega Island contributes to safeguarding trade routes and ensuring maritime security.

Benefits for Mauritius

  • Developmental support: Historically a slave plantation, North Agalega Island reflects the legacy of colonial exploitation, with its main town, Vingt Cinq, evoking the brutality of slavery.
  • Strategic boost: India’s development initiatives aim to ameliorate conditions for the island’s inhabitants, alongside bolstering Mauritian Defence Force operations.

India’s Strategic Imperative

  • Counterbalancing Chinese Influence: India’s developmental endeavors on Agalega Island serve as a proactive measure to counter China’s expanding ‘String of Pearls’ strategy, safeguarding its regional interests and sovereignty.
  • Enhanced Security Infrastructure: By upgrading security infrastructure, including facilities for surveillance and monitoring, Mauritius strengthens its security apparatus, contributing to overall regional stability and resilience.
  • Regional Cooperation: The projects on Agalega Island are aligned with India’s Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) policy initiative, aimed at fostering regional development and security cooperation among Indian Ocean Rim countries.

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Panchayati Raj Institutions: Issues and Challenges

In news: Mayor’s Election

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Mayor in ULBs, Powers and functions

Mains level: NA

mayor
PC: Hindustan Times

Introduction

  • The Supreme Court has nullified the outcome of the mayoral election held on January 30 in Chandigarh.

Who is a Mayor?

  • In India, the mayor is the head of an urban local body, which is responsible for providing essential services and infrastructure to the residents of a city or town.
  • The mayor is usually elected by the members of the Municipal Corporation or Council.
  • He/She serves as the ceremonial head of the local government.

History of Mayor’s elections in India

  • Municipal corporation mechanisms in India was introduced during British Rule with formation of municipal corporation in Madras (Chennai) in 1688, later followed by municipal corporations in Bombay (Mumbai) and Calcutta (Kolkata) by 1762.
  • However the process of introduction for an elected President in the municipalities was made in Lord Mayo’s Resolution of 1870.
  • Since then the current form and structure of municipal bodies followed is similar to Lord Ripon’s Resolution adopted in 1882 on local self-governance.
  • The 74th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1992 was introduced providing for the transfer of 18 different powers to urban local bodies, including the election of a mayor and to recognise them which included Municipal Corporations, Nagar Panchayats, and Municipal Councils.

Elections and tenure

  • The method of electing mayor and their tenure varies for each city in India.
  • In Bengaluru (Karnataka) the election process is indirect with a tenure being for one year.
  • In Mumbai (Maharashtra) it follows indirect elections with tenure for 2.5 years and Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh) follows a directly elected mayor with a term for 5 years.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Governs the local civic body.
  • Fixed tenure varying in different towns.
  • First citizen of city.
  • Has two varied roles:
  1. Representation and upholding of the dignity of the city during ceremonial times and
  2. Presiding over discussions of the civic house with elected representatives in functional capacity.
  • The Mayor’s role is confined to the corporation hall of presiding authority at various meetings relating to corporation.
  • The Mayor’s role extends much beyond the local city and country as the presiding authority at corporation meetings during visits of a foreign dignitary to the city as he is invited by the state government to receive and represent the citizens to the guest of honour.
  • At government, civic and other social functions he is given prominence.

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Wetland Conservation

Five more Wetlands added to Ramsar List

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Ramsar Wetlands

Mains level: Read the attached story

wetland

Introduction

  • Five more Indian wetlands have been added to the global list of wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar Convention, taking the total number of such highly recognised waterlogged ecosystems in the country to 80.
  • India is now the fourth-largest nation on the Ramsar map, trailing only behind the UK (175), Mexico (144), and China (82).
  • Tamil Nadu continues to have the maximum number of Ramsar sites (16) followed by Uttar Pradesh (10).

List of newly designated Ramsar Sites:

[1] Ankasamudra Bird Conservation Reserve (Karnataka):

  • Spread over 98.76 hectares adjoining Ankasamudra village.
  • A biodiversity hotspot with over 210 plant species, 8 mammals, 25 reptiles, and 240 bird species.
  • Vital nesting and roosting ground for over 30,000 waterbirds, including the Painted Stork and Black-headed Ibis.

[2] Aghanashini Estuary (Karnataka):

  • Covers 4,801 hectares at the confluence of Aghanashini River with the Arabian Sea.
  • Offers flood and erosion risk mitigation, biodiversity conservation, and livelihood support.
  • Sustains 6,000-7,500 families through fishing, agriculture, and traditional fish farming.
  • Acts as a natural barrier against storms and cyclones.

[3] Magadi Kere Conservation Reserve (Karnataka):

  • A human-made wetland spanning nearly 50 hectares, originally designed for rainwater storage.
  • Home to 166 bird species, including 130 migratory birds.
  • Sanctuary for vulnerable and near-threatened species like the Common Pochard, River Tern, and Oriental Darter.
  • A crucial wintering ground for the Bar-headed Goose.

[4] Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary (Tamil Nadu):

  • Encompassing 453.72 hectares, it’s one of Tamil Nadu’s largest inland wetlands.
  • Facilitates groundwater recharge and supports agricultural activities.
  • Hosts around 198 bird species, including the Bar-headed Goose and Common Teal.

[5] Longwood Shola Reserve Forest (Tamil Nadu):

  • Named after “Solai,” meaning tropical rainforest in Tamil.
  • Integral to the Western Ghats’ unique biodiversity.
  • Provides sanctuary to globally endangered and vulnerable bird species like the Nilgiri Laughing Thrush, Nilgiri Blue Robin, and Nilgiri Wood-pigeon.
  • Home to 14 of the 26 endemic bird species of the Western Ghats.

Back2Basics: Ramsar Convention

Explanation
Purpose International treaty aimed at conserving and promoting the sustainable use of wetlands.
Establishment Established on February 2, 1971, in Ramsar, Iran.
Participating Countries 171 contracting parties (countries) as of September 2021.
India and Ramsar Convention The first Ramsar Site in India, the Chilika Lake in Odisha, was designated in 1981.

 

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Tourism Sector

How Lakshadweep’s Unique Cultural Landscape developed?

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Lakshadweep

Mains level: Tourism potential of Lakshadweep

Lakshadweep

Introduction

  • PM’s recent trip to Lakshadweep has brought the islands into the national conversation.

About Lakshadweep

Details
Location In the Arabian Sea, off the southwestern coast of India.
Geographical Formation Formed by coral activities and have a coral atoll structure.
Formation as UT Formed as a Union Territory of India in 1956.
Total Islands Comprises 36 islands, including atolls, coral reefs, and submerged banks.
Inhibition 10 of the 36 islands are inhabited.
Capital Kavaratti is the capital of the Union Territory.
Area Total area of 32 sq km.

Cultural Uniqueness of Lakshadweep

  • Diverse Influences: The islands exhibit a unique blend of cultural influences from Malayalis, Arabs, Tamils, and Kannadigas.
  • Distinct Islamic Practice: The form of Islam practiced here is distinct from the rest of India, reflecting the islands’ diverse ethnic and linguistic heritage.

Historical Roots: A Pre-Islamic Hindu Society

  • Early Settlers: Scholar Andrew W Forbes suggests that the first settlers were likely Malabari sailors, possibly castaways.
  • Hindu Influence: Evidence points to a pre-Islamic Hindu society, with remnants like buried idols and traditional songs hinting at past Hindu practices.

Conversion to Islam: A Gradual Transition

  • Arab Influence: Regular contact with Arab merchants and sailors led to the gradual conversion of islanders to Islam, distinct from the Islamic practices in mainland India.
  • Peaceful Introduction of Islam: Historian Mahmood Kooria notes that Islam’s introduction in the region, including Lakshadweep, was marked by minimal political conflict, primarily through commercial interactions.

Cultural Development: Insulation from Mainland Influences

  • Control by the Arakkal Kingdom: In the 16th century, the islands fell under the Arakkal kingdom of Kannur, Kerala’s only Muslim dynasty.
  • European Interactions: Despite conflicts with European powers, the islands maintained a degree of protection and isolation.
  • British Era: The British rule further insulated Lakshadweep, allowing its culture to evolve distinctly from mainland India.
  • Linguistic Diversity: The islands’ isolation is reflected in their linguistic diversity, with Malayalam, Jazari, and Mahl being the main languages.

Matrilineal Society: A Unique Aspect of Lakshadweep’s Islam

  • Matriliny in Islamic Society: Lakshadweep’s Islamic society is characterized by matriliny, tracing descent and property through the mother’s line.
  • Anthropological Perspectives: Anthropologist Leela Dube highlights the compatibility of matriliny with Islam in Lakshadweep, contrary to conventional Islamic practices.
  • Kerala’s Influence: Historian Manu Pillai links the matrilineal tradition to Kerala’s cultural patterns, where Nairs and Namboodiris practised matriliny.
  • Broader Indian Ocean Context: Kooria points out that matriliny is common among Muslims in the Indian Ocean region, suggesting a broader cultural context.

Religious and Sociological Interpretations

  • Islamic Justification for Matriliny: Islanders believe their matrilineal practice aligns with Islam, citing Prophet Muhammad’s life with his first wife, Khadija.
  • Sociological Viewpoint: Dr. N P Hafiz Mohamad emphasizes that the islanders see matriliny as integral to their Islamic practice.

Conclusion

  • Preservation of Unique Traditions: Lakshadweep’s relative isolation has helped preserve its unique cultural and religious practices.
  • Integration of Diverse Influences: The islands represent a remarkable integration of various cultural and religious influences, forming a distinct identity within the Indian subcontinent.
  • Significance in Broader Indian Ocean Culture: Lakshadweep’s cultural practices, particularly its matrilineal society, highlight the interconnectedness and diversity of cultures across the Indian Ocean region.

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The Crisis In The Middle East

In news: Mediterranean Sea

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Mediterranean Sea

Mains level: NA

Central Idea

  • Iranian Revolutionary Guards has warned that the Mediterranean Sea could be closed if the US and its allies continued to commit “crimes” in Gaza.

About Mediterranean Sea

Details
Location Between Europe, Africa, and Asia
Size Approximately 2.5 million square kilometers
Depth Average depth 1,500 meters ; Calypso Deep in the Ionian Sea, over 5,000 meters deep
Climate Predominantly Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters
Bordering Countries Europe: Spain, France, Monaco, Italy, Malta, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey

Asia: Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Israel

Africa: Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco

Major Water Bodies Connected Connected to the Atlantic Ocean by the Strait of Gibraltar; links to the Black Sea via the Dardanelles Strait
Islands and Archipelagos Includes several islands and archipelagos like Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Cyprus, and the Balearic Islands

 

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Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Fewer migratory birds in Sultanpur National Park this season

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Sultanpur National Park

Mains level: NA

Sultanpur National Park

Central Idea

  • The Sultanpur National Park has observed a 20-30% decrease in the number of migratory birds this season, as reported by forest department officials.
  • Estimates show a reduction in bird numbers, with current figures ranging between 8,000 to 10,000, compared to the expected 15,000.

About Sultanpur National Park

  • Sultanpur NP is located at Sultanpur village on Gurugram-Jhajjar highway, 15 km from Gurugram, Haryana and 50 km from Delhi.
  • It was a bird sanctuary, ideal for birding and bird lookers. Its area covers approximately 142.52 hectares.
  • Migratory birds start arriving in the park in September. Birds use the park as a resting place till the following March-April.
  • During summer and monsoon months the park is inhabited by many local bird species.
  • In April 1971, the Sultanpur Jheel inside the park (an area of 1.21 sq. km.) was accorded Sanctuary status under section 8 of the Punjab Wildlife Preservation Act of 1959.
  • The status of the park was upgraded to National Park in July 1991 under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

Significance of the NP

  • Spanning 1.42 sq km, it is recognized as a national park, wildlife sanctuary, and a Ramsar site since 2021.
  • It is one of the few NPs in the small state of Haryana.
  • Another NP in Haryana is Kalesar National Park.

Important Fauna at the Park

  • Mammals: Blackbuck, Nilgai, Hog deer, Sambar, Leopard etc.
  • Birds: Siberian Cranes, Greater Flamingo, Demoiselle Crane etc.

Annual Migratory Patterns

  • Typical Arrival: Migratory birds usually begin arriving in the first week of October.
  • Annual Visitation: By the end of January each year, around 22,000 birds visit Sultanpur Park. However, this year’s numbers are anticipated to be much lower.

Possible Reasons for Reduced Migration

  • Temperature Changes: Wildlife experts suggests that milder winters in regions like Siberia, Central Asia, and Europe might be influencing migration patterns.
  • Food Availability: If migratory birds continue to find sufficient food in their native regions, they may not feel compelled to migrate.
  • Local Climate Impact: The local temperature at Sultanpur Park has not dropped significantly to align with the birds’ migratory patterns.
  • Effect of Smog: Smog and air pollution could also be contributing factors to the altered migratory behavior.

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Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Places in news: Kambalakonda WLS

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Kambalakonda WLS

Mains level: Not Much

Kambalakonda

Central Idea

  • The Eastern Ghats Biodiversity Centre situated along the Kambalakonda Wildlife Sanctuary’s periphery, near PM Palem in Visakhapatnam, features a new Nature Interpretation Centre.

About Kambalakonda WLS

Details
Location Visakhapatnam district, Andhra Pradesh, India
Establishment Declared in 1970 under the Wildlife Protection Act of India
Area Approximately 71 square kilometers (27 square miles)
Ecosystem Dry evergreen forests and scrubland
Biodiversity Home to Indian leopards, deer species, wild boar, jackals, reptiles, birds, and medicinal plants
Flora Predominantly dry evergreen forests with moist deciduous patches
Tourism and Recreation Offers trekking, bird watching, and nature walks
Accessibility Easily accessible from the city of Visakhapatnam

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