On Monday August 26th, India's Lower House of Parliament (the Lok Sabha) approved a Food Security Bill that aims to provide subsidised food to two thirds of its population. Continue reading to find out more.
CABI's Dr Marc Kenis talks to television station Canal Alpha about the evolving threat of the box tree moth (Cydalima perspectalis) in the Swiss Jura region. Dr Kenis will hold a conference in Delemont on September 20th to discuss measures to control this threat.
"They have been found in Switzerland since 2007, and in Jura since 2010, but this year the population of caterpillars and their damage has exploded in the region. They are an insect from Asia that was probably brought here accidentally, but now they question the survival of the natural ecosystem."
India has a coastline of more than 8000 km which is rich in biodiversity. Apart from sustaining fishing grounds, India's coastal waters and beaches provide foraging and nesting sites for a variety of marine species, including sea turtles. Five species of sea turtles are known to inhabit Indian coastal waters and islands. But as detailed in a report from the WWF this summer, the turtles are under threat from a variety of sources, including unplanned beach development (including ports, lighting, tourism and plantations), by-catch mortality (in trawl nets and gill nets), weak enforcement of fisheries and Protected Area regulations and, to a limited extent, killing of turtles for meat and the poaching of eggs. The future may be bleak unless conservation steps are taken - and tourism could play its part in helping conservation, rather than harming it.
Zee News reports that beaches like Mandarmani and Digha in West Bengal are among those where turtles, including vulnerable Olive Ridleys, are threatened by tourism.
Blog contributed by Bettina Carter, Plant Protection Content Editor, CABI
Our honey bees are dying in large numbers, and in an attempt to understand why, scientists at the Natural Resources Institute and Rothamsted have developed an ingenious monitoring system using a technique called harmonic radar entomology. This involves attaching tiny antennae to the bees' backs to monitor their flight path. In this rather delicate operation each antenna is stuck to the bee's thorax by hand using a strong adhesive. A signal is emitted by a portable radar tracking system which is picked up by a diode in the centre of the antenna on the bee's back. This signal is unique and allows researchers to track the exact flying path of the bees. Each signal translates into a blip on a radar screen. A computer programme then transforms the series of blips into a flight path.