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Environment Current Affairs
Environment Current Affairs January 3rd Week 2019
Author : Admin
Category : Environment Current Affairs
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Environment Current Affairs January 3rd Week 2019

 1. Harvest season in India

The Harvest season is on and festivities have gripped the nation from the north to down south.
Various festivals being celebrated across the Nations:
Makar Sankranti: The festival of Makar Sankranti is being celebrated today when the Sun enters the Makar zodiac and the days begin to lengthen compared to nights.
Pongal: In South India and particularly in Tamil Nadu, it’s the festival of Pongal which is being celebrated over 4 days at harvest time.
Magha Bihu: In Assam and many parts of the North East, the festival of Magha Bihu is celebrated. It sees the first harvest of the season being offered to the gods along with prayers for peace and prosperity.
Uttarayan: Gujarat celebrates it in the form of the convivial kite festival of Uttarayan.
Maghi: In Punjab, Makar Sankranti is celebrated as Maghi. Bathing in a river in the early hours on Maghi is important.
Saaji: In Shimla District of Himachal Pradesh, Makara Sankranti is known as Magha Saaji. Saaji is the Pahari word for Sankranti, start of the new month. Hence this day marks the start of the month of Magha.
Kicheri: The festival is known as Kicheri in Uttar Pradesh and involves ritual bathing.
Shakrain is an annual celebration of winter in Bangladesh, observed with the flying of kites.
Maghe Sankranti is a Nepalese festival observed on the first of Magh in the Bikram Samwat Hindu Solar Nepali calendar (about 14 January).
 
2. Formalin in Fish
 
Bihar’s heath department has imposed a blanket ban for 15 days on sale of fish from Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal in capital Patna after samples were found to be contaminated with formalin. 
The ban includes storage and transportation of fish from Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.
Formalin is a toxic, colourless solution that is derived by dissolving formaldehyde gas in water.
It is a cancer-inducing chemical used to preserve fish and is used as a disinfectant. It is used in the manufacture of pesticides, fertilisers, glue, paper and paint, among other products.
Formalin causes irritation in the eyes, throat, skin and stomach. In the long run continued exposure causes harm to the kidneys, liver and can even cause cancers.
Formaldehyde is a highly reactive, flammable gas, which means it can become a fire hazard when exposed to flame or heat.
Fish is a highly perishable commodity. If it isn’t maintained at the proper temperature of 5 degree Celsius, it gets spoilt. 
To avoid that and increase its shelf life, the sellers now use chemicals such as formalin and ammonia.
If the point of sale is far from the place of catch, formalin is used as a preservative. Meanwhile, ammonia is mixed with the water that is frozen to keep fish fresh.
In June 2018, Kerala food safety department officials seized nearly 9,600 kg of fish preserved in formalin at a border check post in Kollam district. The seized fish included 7,000 kg of prawns and 2,600 kg of other species. The seizure was part of ‘Operation Sagar Rani’ launched by the state.
 
3. Kyasanur Forest Disease
 
Karnataka is currently reeling under an outbreak of monkey fever or Kyasanur forest disease (KFD). Authorities are taking measures, including vaccination to combat the disease and spread of it in the state.
KFD is caused by the Kyasanur Forest Disease Virus (KFDV). The virus was identified in 1957 when it was isolated from a sick monkey from the Kyasanur Forest. Since then, between 400-500 humans cases per year have been reported.
Hard ticks (Hemaphysalis spinigera) are the reservoir of the KFD virus and once infected, remain so for life.
Rodents, shrews, and monkeys are common hosts for KFDV after being bitten by an infected tick. KFDV can cause epizootics with high fatality in primates.
Transmission to humans may occur after a tick bite or contact with an infected animal, most importantly a sick or recently dead monkey. No person-to-person transmission has been described.
The disease as of now is stated to be transmitted through monkeys. Large animals such as goats, cows, and sheep may become infected with KFD but play a limited role in the transmission of the disease.
These animals provide the blood meals for ticks and it is possible for infected animals with viremia to infect other ticks, but transmission of KFDV to humans from these larger animals is extremely rare. Furthermore, there is no evidence of disease transmission via the unpasteurised milk of any of these animals.
 
4. Crocodile Census by Odisha
 
Recent Crocodile Census by Odisha.
The population of the saltwater or estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) has increased in the water bodies of Odisha’s Bhitarkanika National Park and its nearby areas in Kendrapara district.
1,742 individuals have been recorded in this year’s annual reptile census.
The increase in population was primarily due to the far-sighted measures of the government.
There are three species of crocodilians—saltwater, Mugger and Gharial.
Crocodile conservation programmes in India:
The Gharial and Saltwater crocodile conservation programme was first implemented in Odisha in early 1975 and subsequently the Mugger conservation programme was initiated, since Odisha is having distinction for existence of all the three species of Indian crocodilians. The funds and technical support for the project came from UNDP/ FAO through the Government of India.
‘BAULA’ PROJECT AT DANGAMAL: ‘Baula’ is the Oriya term for Saltwater Crocodile. Dangmal is in Bhitarkanika sanctuary.
MUGGER PROJECT AT RAMATIRTHA: The Ramatirtha center, in Odisha, is meant for Mugger crocodiles.
GHARIAL PROJECT AT TIKARPADA, Odisha.
CAPTIVE BREEDING OF CROCODILES AT NANDANKANAN, Odisha.
 
5. Hawaiian tree snail is the first extinction of 2019
 
George, the last known Achatinella apexfulva- a Hawaiian tree snail, died on New Year’s Day 2019, making his species the first to be declared officially extinct in 2019.
This genus of tree snails is endemic to Hawaii, and all extant species are endangered. They were once abundant, and were mentioned extensively in Hawaiian folklore and songs, and their shells were used in lei and other ornaments.
Achatinella apexfulva was the first of over 750 species of land snail from the Hawaiian Islands to be described by Western science. 
The first description came from a shell on a ‘lei’ (traditional garland used by indigenous Polynesian Hawaiians) given to British seaman, Captain George Dixon, while he docked on the island of O`ahu around 1787. ‘Apex fulva’, or ‘yellow tip’, was a trait that many of their kind displayed and is what they were named for.
 


 

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