New crab species found in Kerala
Researchers have discovered four new crab species namely Paguristes luculentus, Diogenes canaliculatus, Pagurus spinossior and Afropinnotheres ratnakara in Kerala. Discovery of these four new crab species (of them three are hermit crabs) from the Kerala coast highlights the diversity of the crustacean in the state.
1. Paguristes luculentus: It is a hermit crab species belonging to the family Diogenidae was collected off the coast of
Kollam. It represents the 9th of the genus known from Indian waters. The species name luculentus (meaning colourful) refers to its livid living colour.
2. Diogenes canaliculatus: It is a hermit crab species belonging to the family Diogenidae has light brown or tan colour. It has been named after the longitudinal furrows on the outer surface of its arm on left chelate leg. The family Diogenidae of crabs are left handed hermits as their left claw is larger.
3. Pagurus spinossior: It is hermit crab belonging to Paguridae family which are right handed crabs. It is tan in colour and was collected from Neendakara, Kollam. Its name spinossior refers to species strong armature on the clawed legs.
4. Afropinnotheres ratnakara: It is a new species of pinnotherid crab genus. The genus was reported for the first time from the Indian Ocean. It was found inside the Perna perna (brown mussel) at Kovalam. The species names ratnakara in Sanskrit means Indian Ocean.
Hermit Crabs : Hermit crabs are ubiquitous animals. They are often considered to be true crabs but they are
not. They live in abandoned gastropod (snail) shells in order to protect themselves. They lack an external shell and have soft abdomen compared to other crabs species which makes them vulnerable to predators
More Indian birds enter list of threatened species
The Red List of birds released by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for 2015 shows that a total of 180 bird species in India are now threatened, as against 173 last year. Only one species in the list has moved out of the Red List.
Details : Of the new additions, five have been uplisted from the Least Concerned to the Near Threatened category, a sign of increased threat. These include Northern Lapwing (a grassland bird) and four wetland birds, namely Red Knot, Curlew Sandpiper, Eurasian Oystercatcher and Bar-Tailed Godwit.
Two other wetland birds, Horned Grebe and Common Pochard have been uplisted from Least Concerned to Vulnerable. Steppe Eagle (a raptor from grasslands), which is a regular winter visitor to the Indian subcontinent, has been uplisted from Least Concerned to Endangered.
Destruction of grasslands, wetlands, forests and other habitats is considered the most common reason for this development. Apart from habitat loss, the other reason for decline of birds like Steppe Eagle, which mostly scavenges on animal carcasses, is the use of veterinary drug diclofenac used to treat livestock.
This drug causes renal failure in these birds. Three vulture species, namely White-backed, Slender-billed and Long-billed have also been severely affected by diclofenac.
IUCN : IUCN was founded in October 1948 as the International Union for the Protection of Nature (or IUPN) following an international conference in Fontainebleau, France. It was renamed as International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources in 1956 with the acronym IUCN. It is the world’s first global environmental organization.
Today it is the largest professional global conservation network. The Union’s HQ is located in Gland, near Geneva, in Switzerland. It demonstrates how biodiversity is fundamental to addressing some of the world’s greatest challenges such as climate change, sustainable development and food security.
Red list : The IUCN Red List is set upon precise criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of thousands of species and subspecies. These criteria are relevant to all species and all regions of the world.
The aim is to convey the urgency of conservation issues to the public and policy makers, as well as help the international community to try to reduce
species extinction. Species are classified by the IUCN Red List into nine groups, set through criteria such as rate of decline, population size, area of geographic distribution, and degree of population and distribution fragmentation.
Climate change threatens 55 million in India’s coastal areas
Climate change threatens nearly 55 million people in India’s coastal areas and could lock in enough sea level rise to submerge land currently home to more than half a billion people globally if the temperature spikes by 4 degrees Celsius — humanity’s current trajectory.
Homes of 55 million people in coastal areas of India are likely to be submerged in sea with a 4 degrees Celsius global increase in temperature, warned a new report published in Climate Central — a US-based non-profit research
and journalism organisation. It warned that a 4 degrees Celsius increase in temperature could submerge a whopping 145 million in China. The report, however, said that if the increase in global temperature is managed to 2 degrees the target set by the international community this man-made calamity could be considerably reduced. If the world temperature rises by 2 degrees Celsius, homes of 20 million people in India would be submerged in sea while the
figure is expected to be 64 million in China.
China has the most to gain from limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius. Carbon emissions causing 4 degrees
Celsius could lock in enough sea level rise to submerge land currently home to 470 to 760 million people, the report said. It also showed that aggressive carbon emissions cuts resulting in 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit warming equivalent to 2 degrees Celsius could bring the numbers down to 130 million.
According to the report, China – the world’s leading carbon emitter – also leads in coastal risk, with 145 million people living on land ultimately threatened by rising seas if emission levels are not reduced. Twelve other nations each have more than 10 million people living on land at risk, led by India, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Indonesia. The United States is most threatened outside of Asia, with roughly 25 million people on implicated land. Meeting
the 3.6F goal would cut exposure by more than half in the US, China, and India, the world’s top three carbon emitters, as well as in many other nations.
Asia Pacific region most disaster prone part of the world
The Asia Pacific region is the most disaster prone part of the world as it had suffered around 1,625 disasters in the decadethrough 2014. It was revealed in recently released 2015 United Nations Asia-Pacific Disaster Report. Disasters in Asia Pacific region accounted for 40 percent of the global total and claimed over half a million
of lives over the decade.
The region needs to spend more on adapting to climate change and preparing for more extreme weather and disaster risks. The disasters in past decade have affected around 1.4 billion people and caused over 523 billion dollars in economic damage. Around 772 million poor people from this region which tends to be worlds populous region are vulnerable to disasters.
The largest losses are linked to frequent floods and earthquakes in this region. Majority of disasters are cross-border in nature including floods, cyclones, droughts and earthquake. So, regional cooperation is crucial among nations in region. UN has urged the region’s governments to invest more in adapting and preparing for disasters may worsened by its rapid economic growth and mushrooming population.