24 Jun 2013

Indian birds under threat from climate change: Study

KOLKATA: Climate change is threatening the survival of a number of Asian bird species, including those in India, a new study warns.

The research conducted by Durham University and BirdLife International says that many avian species from the region are likely to suffer from climate change.

The species will require not just enhanced protection of important and protected sites, but also better management of the wider countryside, the study says.

"In some extreme cases, birds may be required to be physically moved to climatically suitable areas for survival," says the report recently published in the journal " Global Change Biology".

This study was conducted for 370 Asian bird species, whose conservation is a cause for concern, across the biodiversity hotspots of eastern Himalayas and lower Mekong River basin regions in Bhutan, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and parts of India and Nepal.

The findings demonstrate that the survival of species will be dependent upon how conservation sites are managed and whether movement is possible from one site to another.

Projections show that at least 45 per cent and up to 88 per cent of the 370 species studied will experience decline of suitable habitats, leading to changing species composition in specific areas.

Co-lead author, Dr Robert Bagchi, School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Durham University said, "Even under the least extreme scenarios of climate change, most species we examined will have to shift their ranges in order to find suitable areas in the future".

India has a total of 466 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) identified till now hosting a wide variety of avian species with many of them in the endangered category.

Co-author Dr Stuart Butchart, head of science at BirdLife International, said, "Overall, while these important sites will continue to sustain bird species of conservation concern, climate change will modify which species each site will be suitable for. We need to adapt our conservation management. Protecting natural habitats benefits people too."

Bombay Natural History Society director Dr Asad Rahmani said, "The study further proves that we need landscape-based conservation, particularly in high biodiversity areas such as the north-eastern region of India. Climate change will impact the distribution and range of many bird species due to the changes in their habitat".

Stressing on the need for a holistic landscape-based conservation, he said that some forest dependent species, which at present may occur in protected areas, may find those areas unsuitable in the coming years due to climate change.
    Courtesy with: THE TIMES OF INDIA

Eat right

Internet: Dr. Mehmet Oz on the five numbers one needs to remember if one intends to stay healthy

         America’s health-cum-beauty sensation is Dr. Mehmet Oz. His talk is relevant to all of us since we end up eating the food America bans anyway. As health obsessions and care percolate to us slower than the invasion of junk food, Dr. Oz tells you how to watch out. 

       One talk tells you how to check your weight. “What matters is your waist size. The ideal waist size measured on your belly button is about half your height.” He gives a chart to show that if your height is 5.2” the waist should measure 31”. If it is 5.5”, the waist should be 32.5, for 5.8” it should be 34 and for 5.11 it should be 35.5” and for 6.2 it should be 37”, says Dr. Oz. 

       He shows an animated video where he talks of food going in through the stomach into the smaller intestines. “Here it is washed in bile and the broken down food. The nutrition is then transmitted to the liver. No matter what you eat, the liver metabolises it,” says Dr. Oz. 

       The abdominal organs are surrounded by a layer of peritoneum called omenta. The omenta is naturally thin and of almost see-through quality. When we eat unhealthy food, the omenta becomes thicker and larger. That is what protrudes as a tummy. Showing samples of thin textured omenta and the bulbous variety, Dr. Oz says, “It is this thick omenta that causes coronary disease, diabetes and hypertension. This omenta poisons your liver, causes high cholesterol, squeezes the kidneys, and so they jack up your blood pressure ( kidneys control blood pressure), and poisons the intestine’s ability to work. This causes diabetes.” 

        Dr. Oz says you should know five numbers. “The five numbers are: you have got to know your weight, waist size, blood pressure, cholesterol and your fasting blood sugar. All these numbers are related to your weight. Even a small loss can make a big difference to these numbers. Just losing 10 pounds for a 200-pound person can reduce the risk of heart disease or diabetes by more than half.”
The doctor answers the most asked question: How do you lose weight? 

        “A few actions: High-fibre breakfast gets stored the right way, it will keep you going all day long, keeps you satiated. You wouldn’t be foraging for food at 10 in the morning like a rodent. Number two, you can have snacks but keep them less than the size of the fist and always wash down the snack with a glass of water. It will get you out of the desire to have more snacks for a couple of hours and you will be comfortable. Don’t eat food within three hours of bedtime, for that way you go to sleep without the extra calories and you wake up in the morning feeling better as well. And you’ve got to move 30 minutes a day. If you do these things and track your weight weekly and your waist monthly it will push you back just that little bit to be healthy,” says Dr. Oz. 

          Dr. Oz says in another interview that by the time you are 50, 70 per cent of how you age is dependent on your lifestyle. “People do not eat by what they know, they eat by what they feel. We have to get people emotionally engaged in this, health. It has to be cool to be healthy. If I were to be king for a day, I would ban all food items with added sugars,” he says. 

         “Fruits with natural sugars are fine.” Dr. Oz says it requires 12 exposures to a taste for a child to start accepting it, so keep at it and build a healthy lifestyle for your child.
Ending on a comforting note, Dr, Oz says we all make mistakes, “…but you should be able to make a U-turn when required.”

Courtesy with: THE HINDU