Environment Forum

Indian canal changes course for rare bird

    In a country of more than one billion people, protecting critically endangered species isn’t always a top priority when it comes to making a living and growing enough food.

    In the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, though, a court has halted construction of a major water canal to save one of the world’s rarest birds.

    Only about 50 Jerdon’s coursers (Rhinoptilus bitorquatus) are believed to be left in the wild and are found in scrub-jungle habitat in the Sri Lankamalleswara Wildlife Sanctuary, which the Andhra Pradesh government created to protect the remaining birds.jerdons-courser-2.jpg

     The Teluga Ganga Canal, being built to bring water to Chennai, India’s fourth-largest city, will now be diverted around the sanctuary, rather than running straight through as originally planned. The Supreme Court halted construction because of the threat to the birds and local authorities will compensate local villagers for the loss of extra land.

   Dr Panchapakesan Jeganathan, a scientist at the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), said: “This bird is more threatened than the tiger and very few people have ever seen it.

Green Global Voices: Web 2.0 Environmental Activism

Kenyan blogger Juliana Rotich is the editor of Green Global Voices, which monitors citizen media in the developing world, and will be a regular contributor to these pages. ReutersThomson is not responsible for the content — the views are the author’s alone. We welcome her first blog:

Environmental bloggers and activists around the world are increasingly using web 2.0 tools to bring attention to issues ranging from deforestation, conservation and global warming. These are some of the innovative projects I have linked to recently as environment editor on Global Voices Online.

Blogs and video

The global network of Wildlife Direct blogs are a strong example of how to use multimedia in defense of endangered species. Their chairman, Richard Leakey, a conservationist, frequently records video clips from across Africa on his blog