[Conservation] Preventing Elephant-Train collissions, Dehorning Rhinos to protect’em from Poaching

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  1. Elephant Killer trains
  2. Dehorning Rhinos to ‘Protect’ them

Elephant Killer trains

Topic in news because W.Bengal Government cameup with a “Tughlakhi” idea- sterilization to control elephant population, to reduce train accidents!  Thankfully, Supreme Court has stopped them.
Suggest reforms:

  1. Put danger signs near Elephant areas- so Locopilot proceeds carefully.
  2. Order locopilots to drive at 25 kmph speed through such areas. Install GPS and speed tracking instruments.
  3. Konkan Railway developed sensor to detect debris on tracks. Similar devices can be installed to track elephant presence on tracks.
  4. Iron fences at blind curves.
  5. Cutdown tall grass near tracks- to improve locopilot’s vision and judgment, especially during night.
  6. After climbing up, the elephant hesitates in climbing down the track, even if the train is approaching- due to the steep slope, it cannot make judgment. Therefore, tracks in such areas, should not have steep slopes.
  7. Almost all accidents occurred between 6PM to 6AM. Forest guards must petrol accordingly and alert locopilots, if elephant herds spotted near tracks. But this is only done at Buxa forest.
  8. Stop passengers from disposing food garbage from train windows in forest areas.
  9. Rail-road expansion is inevitable, but should be done scientifically to ensure minimum habitat fragmentation.
  10. In Assam and West Bengal, paddy fields near railway tracks attract the elephants for ‘raiding’ the crops and water. These elephants are “used” to human tactics such as crackers, drum beating, fire, lights etc. So, even with train sound, they behave carefree.
  11. Long term reform requires preventing agrarian encroachment in jungle areas, stopping habitat destruction, providing sufficient food and water in wildlife sanctuaries so elephants don’t venture out.
Sterilize them, No elephants =No deaths, says W.Bengal Government!

Sterilize them, No elephants =No deaths, says W.Bengal Government!

Dehorning the rhinos to protect them!

Q. Is “Dehorning” a viable solution to stop Rhino poaching? Justify your stand. [10 marks | 200 words]
Rhino-horns are used in traditional Chinese medicine and decorative trophies. This illegal trade is so lucrative, poachers have begun using AK-47. While Rhinos are indeed being killed for their horns, and theoretically, dehorning ought to save them. But dehorning is not the lasting solution, because:

  • Rhinos need horns for foraging food, digging waterholes, breaking branches; females need them to protect their calves from predators, males need them to fight other males claiming territorial domination for mating. Therefore, Dehorning will increase their vulnerability from both humans and wild predators.
  • If a dehorned Rhino is hiding in a thick bush, or roaming in dark night, the poacher may kill it anyways.
  • Poachers often have to spend weeks to track a rhino’s footsteps before the actual hunt. So, African poachers deliberately kill de-horned rhinos, to avoid tracking these “useless” targets in future.
  • Rhino Horn is not a “bone” but keratin- like human fingernails and hairs, and can grow back. In Africa, Poacher even hunt such de-horned rhinos to extract those few grams of partially re-grown horns.

Instead of separating Rhinos from their horns, they should be protected with firm hands.

  • Use local people for Rhino protection and intel.inputs about poachers.
  • Equip forest guards with GPS, sensors, night vision cameras and sophisticated weapons.
  • Satellite tagging and drones for surveillance.
  • Stricter punishments and speedy trials.

(~230 words)
Side notes:

  • As per IUCN: Indian rhinos = Vulnerable. (not critically endangered)
  • Assam the first state of India to have shoot@sight orders against poachers.
  • Some activists even demand that NH37 (now NH-715) should be closed for five hours every day- during peak animal movement. (Anti arguments: will hurt Hurt tourism industry and create hardship for people in Assam, Nagaland and Manipur)
  • Rhino horn is not same “material” as Elephant tusk. Rhino horn is made of keratin, just like human hairs and nails.
  • Namibia was the first country in world to initiate de-horning of Rhinos. Many other African nations followed the same suit.
  • Rhinos have three toes in each foot. (hence they’re not same as pigs, camels etc-who have two toes).
  • on that three toes logic, Rhinos closest relatives= zebra, horses and tapirs.
English vocabulary
A group of ___ is called __
Rhino crash
crows murder
Fish School
Bats Colony
bees swarm
Lions pride
hyenas clan
wolves pack
Pratik Nayak's Full course on Art & Culture @Unacademy Plus

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65 Comments on “[Conservation] Preventing Elephant-Train collissions, Dehorning Rhinos to protect’em from Poaching”

  1. I think we should just read them as a novel….dont try to byheart unnecessary things unless it is in newspapers….just see the envi syllabus in notification….follow that with some current affairs on environment…try to use google wiki……..have you read these lines in notification ” an normal educated with some basic awareness person can easily crack the mains exam……

  2. great sir, thanks a lot

  3. That’s a good article. I am a big nature lover so whenever you post any article related to it I find it amusing. Sometime a mere fact entertain and educate a lot.

  4. very useful article
    provides suitable knowledge

  5. Sir, why is the ozone hole is formed largely near poles?

    1. due to formation of Polar stratospheric cloud (PSC) + Polar Vortex. these both conditions are found at poles only

    2. Polar areas –> less sunlight –> no conversion of oxygen to 0zone in presence f sunlight so depleted ozone due to chlorofluro carbon is not easily replenished.

    3. Due to polar vortex which isolates the air masses over the poles from the rest of the atmosphere during winter and early spring. We already know that ozone depletion is a chemical process. Isolation due to polar vortex allows chemical reactions in the enclosed air mass to be enhanced due to the lack of mixing with other, lower latitude, air masses. The effect of the pollutants we have added to the atmosphere are thus enhanced in these isolated regions of the atmosphere. The Antarctic vortex is more effective at isolating this region of the atmosphere than the Arctic vortex and so the ozone hole over the Antarctic is much more of a concern.

  6. post on Ozone layer i liked

  7. Sir, its nice endeavour on your part regarding upsc aspirant. I have been following your blog regularly for last 3-4 years.

    I just want to ask regarding Impact of globalisation issue (through topic writing competition) which was posted by you in your blog last year. While preparing for mains i referred that material. But now i am not able to locate the same. Kindly help me out and send me the link of the same.

    Hoping for your response.

    Once again thank you for your wonderful attempt for us.


  9. brothers… please tell that in an essay do we make headingwise or continue writing with para breaks.

    1. No headings,only in paragraphs!

  10. sir kindly provide article for “IT JUNIOR ER. ” for railway . if possible or please guide us…

  11. R-22 gas was also in news…share info on that also

    1. Chlorodifluoromethane or difluoromonochloromethane is a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC). This colorless gas is better known as HCFC-22, or R-22. It is commonly used as a propellant and refrigerant. These applications are being phased out in developed countries due to the compound’s ozone depletion potential (ODP) and high global warming potential (GWP), although global use of R-22 continues to increase because of high demand in developing countries.[1] R-22 is a versatile intermediate in industrial organofluorine chemistry, e.g. as a precursor to tetrafluoroethylene. R-22 cylinders are colored light green.

    2. R-22 is often used as an alternative to the highly ozone-depleting CFC-11 and CFC-12, because of its relatively low ozone depletion potential of 0.055,[4] among the lowest for chlorine-containing haloalkanes. However, even this lower ozone depletion potential is no longer considered acceptable.

      As an additional environmental concern, R-22 is a powerful greenhouse gas with a global warming potential that is 1810 (which indicates 1810 times as powerful as carbon dioxide). Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are often substituted for R-22 because of their lower Ozone Depleting Potential, but these refrigerants also have high global warming potential. R-410A, for example, is often substituted, but has a Global Warming Potential of 1725. Another substitute is R404A with a Global Warming Potential of 3900. Other substitute refrigerants are available with low Global Warming Potential. Ammonia (R717), for example, has a Global Warming Potential of <1 and is a popular substitute on fishing vessels. Propane (R-290), is another example, and has a Global Warming Potential of 3, although it is rarely used in refrigeration systems because of its flammability and potential for explosion.

      1. Worldwide production of R-22 in 2008 was about 800 Gg per year, up from about 450 Gg per year in 1998, with most production in developing countries.[1] R-22 use is increasing in developing countries, largely for air conditioning applications. Air conditioning sales are growing 20% annually in India and China.

        R-22 is prepared from chloroform:

        HCCl3 + 2 HF → HCF2Cl + 2 HCl
        An important application of R-22 is as a precursor to tetrafluoroethylene. This conversion involves pyrolysis to give difluorocarbene, which dimerizes:[3]

        2 CHClF2 → C2F4 + 2 HCl
        The compound also yields difluorocarbene upon treatment with strong base and is used in the laboratory as a source of this reactive intermediate.

        The pyrolysis of R-22 in the presence of chlorofluoromethane gives hexafluorobenzene.

  12. Thank u sir..

  13. Thanks dear.

  14. Is here anything relevant for CSE mains? Coz i don’t think so.

  15. dear sir,
    any idea about prelims result date

        1. Cut off is 207 for general

  16. Respected Sir , Please provide Answer key of spipa entrance exam held on 28/09/2014 if possible

  17. Ssc cgl 2014 admit cards? they have been uploaded?

  18. sir, please tell us abt delhi police recruitment and their nature of job…etc. if we got selected, can we prepare for other exams or not….

  19. mrunal bhai aap jinda he ya nahi mains ke liye koyi updates nahi he.kindly come back

  20. Can anyone provide materials and sources to prepare for compulsory language papers…anything a booklist or some notes …felt that they are too important to ignore..??

  21. this article has some topics important for mains, some for prelims and some for interview.
    if you can’t see its utility then check previous papers to see variety of question. for example agro. hybrid variety related questions have been asked in earlier mains.

    is Mrunal supposed to spoonfeed you everything ki ye topic iss angle se important hai?
    thodi majoori khud bhi karo bhai.

    1. Yes dear Mehul…
      ..some stupid people thinks Mrunal as their Warden who will do all good in favour of them,,,they will sit idle nd won’t anguish themselves to read the whole article…
      ..Finally only starts their keypads for writing sum foolish comments about UPSC result prediction(nd becomes a great Jyotish here),some asking abt foolish questions as what i hv to do i hv SSC nd IBPS on same day,same time,dis day,dis time blah blah blah…
      ..These type of ridiculous comments dimaag kharab kar dete hain…Mrunal bhai ka kya haal hota hoga,bhagwan jaane..!..

  22. sir ur notes are woderful. but pls add little explanation in the notes.it is difficult for freshers to understand from synoptic notes.

  23. what is “third world countries”? also please tell me first world and second world

  24. 2015 CSE/IFoS Pre is on 23rd August. UPSC calendar for 2015 is out.

  25. I think UPSC will declare the prelims result before Mains Exam. What you think awesome guys…

    1. It’s shear common sense , upsc declares prelims result before mains only ! Question is when ?? Coz now even m not able to study wd full force ! Once result is out I can continue my momentum ! Anybody who ca tel result date is welcome !!!

      1. Ok that is common sense..bt it is atleast joke for the day

  26. most probably result should come in this week itself… but the upsc helpdesk told that it will be around mid october !!! lets hope for early end to the climax …..so that the real match begins !!! GUD LUCK ..

  27. Forest guards must petrol accordingly and alert locopilots.
    Yea right! Petrol is very essential!!

  28. Kya hcs mains me kisi ka geography optional h..

  29. @kartik UPSC is very generous this year as they are answering phones and I have called them in the morning and guess what, the result will be declared in 4th week of Oct. Here I am providing the contact number on which I had called.011- 23385271, 23098543, 23381125.

    Please call yourself because you people will not believe me.

    1. @ Vinay
      Dude I just called upsc all three no. But no response. Secondly why result so late ?? Wat sadistic pleasure upsc get in declaring result so late ?? It’s really wastage of tym as I can’t plan for other things just due to this stupid result affair. Jaldi se ya to aar Latin ya paar , but dis dilemma n confusion sucks dude !! Upsc has really become so fossilised now. I even heard today that the syllabus for mains might change from next year. So much haphazard in upsc activities since last year !! Upsc get a life !!

      1. @kartik
        result on 10 oct

  30. @vinay … i called and asked a week after prelims …..dey said u can expect d results @ last week of sept….i think dey r also nt sure wen results will be out……

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