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Important Facts For Prelims

Important Facts For Prelims (15th March 2019)

  • 15 Mar 2019
  • 3 min read

Bannerghatta National Park

  • The Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ) Expert Committee of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF), has recommended the reduction of nearly 100 sq. km in the ESZ of Bannerghatta National Park.
  • ESZ provides a regulated buffer zone around protected areas.
  • The fear is that this reduction would lead to more quarrying in the area.
    • However, there is a Supreme Court ruling prohibiting quarrying and mining activities within 1km of protected areas irrespective of the ESZ distance.
    • Therefore, the ‘safe zone’ of 1 km around protected areas is already in place across the country.
    • Other ‘development’ activities apart from mining and quarrying can take place, which can have an adverse impact on forests.

Bannerghatta National Park

  • The Bannerghatta National Park is located near Bangalore in Karnataka.
  • Wildlife such as elephants, gaur, leopard, jackal, fox, wild boar, sloth bear, Sambar, Chital, spotted deer, barking deer, common langur, bonnet macaque, porcupine, and hares are found in abundance.
  • The Bannerghatta Biological Park has been an integral part of Bannerghatta National Park.
  • It emerged out as an independent establishment during the year 2002.
  • Bannerghatta Biological Park is one among the few places in the world where wilderness is preserved so close to a big city. It is having different units such as Zoo, Safari, Butterfly Park and Rescue Center (Conservation of captive animals).

West Nile Virus

  • The Union health ministry has sent a disease surveillance team to Kerala to investigate a case of West Nile fever.

West Nile Virus

  • West Nile virus can cause a fatal neurological disease in humans.
  • However, approximately 80% of people who are infected do not show any symptoms.
  • West Nile virus is mainly transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes.
  • The virus can cause severe disease and death in horses.
  • Vaccines are available for use in horses but not yet available for people.
  • It does not have specific treatment either.
  • Birds are the natural hosts of West Nile virus. It spreads to human by Culex mosquitoes. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds.
  • WNV was first isolated from a patient from the West Nile district of Northern Uganda in 1937.

Cases in India

  • WNV is very uncommon in India. However, WNV infections have been reported from Vellore and Kolar districts during 1977, 1978 and 1981.
  • During an outbreak of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Kerala, in May 2011, the presence of WNV was confirmed in clinical specimens.
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