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Important Facts For Prelims

Important Facts for Prelims (28th December 2018)

  • 28 Dec 2018
  • 4 min read

Decrease in Population of River Dolphins

  • Rise in salinity in the central and eastern water system of the Indian Sunderbans has resulted in the decrease of population of the Ganges River Dolphins in the region.
  • Researchers have found some evidence of the species only in the western part of Sunderbans, where the salinity is lower.
  • Reasons for rise in salinity: 
    • Lost connectivity with the upstream freshwater flow;
    • Rise in sea level, triggered by climate change;
    • Hydrological modifications like water diversion and commission of large barrages upstream.
  • Flow of freshwater to the Sunderbans is crucial for the subsistence of these species as it becomes difficult for the dolphin to remain submerged in waters with high salinity.
  • A higher rate of encounter were noted in rivers and stretches that had limited use of motorised boats, less river traffic and more country boats.
  • Earlier in 2018, it was reported that the Dolphin population also declined at the Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary (VGDS).

Baseline Survey of Waterfowl in Kaziranga

  • For the first time survey of various bird species, specifically the waterfowl was held in Kaziranga National Park.
  • Traditionally the focus of attention in the Kaziranga, has been the ‘big four’ — rhino, elephant, Bengal tiger and Asiatic water buffalo.
  • A good avifauna reflects on the health of the ecosystem, and the baseline survey will help to understand the population trend.

Pokkali Paddy

  • Endemic to Central kerala, the Pokkali paddy variety, which grows to a height of up to 2 metre, survived the devastating floods.
  • The GI-tagged Pokkali is a saltwater-tolerant paddy grown in the coastal fields of Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Thrissur districts of Kerala.
  • This traditional farming of Pokkali paddy is facing threat as farmers are not getting satisfactory return despite it fetches good price in the market.
  • Local societies, cooperative banks and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act(MGNREGA) groups have stepped in to protect this variety of rice, which the local people believe has medicinal properties.
  • Pokkali is an ancient farming practice. One season of rice farming is alternated with another season of prawn culture.

Pavakoothu Puppetry

  • In Kerala, the traditional glove puppet play is called Pavakoothu.
  • It came into existence during the 18th century due to the influence of Kathakali, the famous classical dance-drama of Kerala.
  • The head and the arms of puppet are carved of wood and joined together with thick cloth, cut and stitched into a small bag.
  • The face of the puppets are decorated with paints, small and thin pieces of gilded tin, the feathers of the peacock, etc.
  • The manipulator puts his hand into the bag and moves the hands and head of the puppet.
  • The theme for glove puppet plays in Kerala is based on the episodes from either the Ramayana or the Mahabharata.
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