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Environment, Ecology & Biodiversity Current Affairs Series (Class -1) by Sudhanshu Sir

environment ecology and biodiversity

In our Environment Biodiversity and Ecology Lecture Series we are here with Class – 1 including 4 Topics based on Current Affairs. We’ll learn here the changes in the course of Brahmaputra’s tributary, Beki; the conservation status of the Red-headed vulture; the growing concern of climate anxiety; and the pervasive impact of microplastics. Stay updated with this Free Environment, Biodiversity and Ecology Video Series into these pressing environmental topics.

Topic -1 Brahmaputra tributary changing course, displacing state highway?

Beki River

Beki, a tributary of the Brahmaputra, changes course. The Beki River originates in Bhutan, one of the right-bank tributaries of the Brahmaputra River. This river is also known as the Kurisu River in Bhutan. A large portion of the Beki Riverflows in the state of Assam and ultimately mixes with Bay of Bengal.

Geographical Location:

It flows through the Manas National Park. Discharging a huge amount of water yearly, the river turns dangerous during monsoon season.

Fauna and Flora:

Beki River is rich in bio-diversities. It is the home of a variety of food fish species, ornamental fish species, amphibians, reptiles, birds, insects, etc.

  • Since the Beki River is carrying almost all the discharge of a huge catchment area, its flood hazard has become more severe day by day.
  • The river’s bank is eroded through Barpeta and Baksa districts during its meandering course.
  • There have been several devastating floods starting in 2004 due to the release of excess water from the Kurichu Dam in Bhutan.
  • This caused severe erosion in the Manas National Park upstream, which has become a threat to the riparian area.
Riparian area

The interface between running freshwater and land is called a riparian zone. It includes the vegetation that grows along the edge of a river and the animals that consume or take shelter in the.

Topic-2 Red-headed vulture

Recently, The Red-headed vulture was spotted in the Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary.

About Red-headed vulture

This is one of the 9 species of Vulture which are found in India. It is also called the Asian King vulture or Pondicherry Vulture was extensively found in India but its numbers drastically reduced after diclofenac poisoning.

Drug Poisoning:

The widespread use of veterinary drugs like diclofenac, ketoprofen, and aceclofenac in the late 20th century has had devastating consequences for vulture populations.

These drugs, commonly used to treat pain and inflammation in livestock, are toxic to vultures when they feed on carcasses of treated animals.

Diclofenac in particular causes fatal kidney failure in vultures, and similar effects have been documented with ketoprofen and aceclofenac.

Secondary Poisoning:

Vultures are scavengers, often consuming carcasses contaminated with pesticides or other toxins. Vultures feeding on carcasses of animals hunted with lead ammunition can suffer fatal lead poisoning. This “secondary poisoning” poses a significant threat, further declining their populations.

Conservation status

IUCN Red List: Critically Endangered

Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule 1

Free Environment Biodiversity and Ecology Class - 1: Red-headed vulture; Biodiversity and Ecology

Key Facts about the Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary

It is located on the Southern Delhi Ridge of the Aravalli hill range on the Delhi-Haryana border and in Southern Delhi as well as northern parts of the Faridabad and Gurugram districts of Haryana.

It is at the end of an important wildlife corridor that starts from Sariska National Park in Alwar, Rajasthan.

Topic -3 Climate Anxiety

Climate Anxiety

Climate anxiety, also known as eco-anxiety, is the chronic fear of environmental doom. Climate anxiety (or eco-anxiety) is the worry, frustration, grief, and anger linked to the reality of the ongoing climate crisis and the government’s failure to respond to it accurately. It is also called ‘climate change crisis’, ‘eco-angst’, ‘eco-trauma’, and ‘ecological grief’.

Addressing climate anxiety is crucial

Not only for maintaining mental health but also for ensuring effective climate action. When individuals are paralyzed by fear, they are less likely to engage in the proactive behaviors necessary to combat climate change.

Climate anxiety manifests through various psychological and physical symptoms, including persistent worry, sleep disturbances, a sense of helplessness, and even physical symptoms like heart palpitations and headaches.

Recognizing these symptoms is the first step toward managing them effectively.

Topic-4 Microplastics release in Water in India

In 2024, India to be among the top 4 contributors of microplastics released into water bodies.

After China, India will release the highest volume of microplastics & chemical additives into waterways. The microplastic concentration in Ganga, which forms India’s largest river basin, was found to be more than any other major world river. In 2023, India’s Central Pollution Control Board acknowledged the presence of microplastics in its waterbodies, in a report submitted to the National Green Tribunal.


Microplastics are small plastic particles less than 5 millimeters in diameter. They are categorized into two types:

Primary Microplastics:

These are intentionally manufactured small plastics, such as microbeads used in cosmetics and personal care products.

Microbeads in Cosmetics: Found in scrubs, facial cleansers, and toothpaste, these tiny beads are added for their abrasive properties.

Microfibers in Textiles: Microfibers are intentionally manufactured for use in textiles like fleece and synthetic fabrics, known for their softness and durability.

Secondary Microplastics:

These result from the breakdown of larger plastic debris through processes like weathering and degradation.

Plastic Bottles and Bags: Over time, plastic bottles and bags degrade into smaller particles due to UV radiation, physical abrasion, and chemical processes.

Fishing Nets and Gear: Lost or discarded fishing nets break down into microplastics, contributing significantly to ocean pollution.

Biodiversity and Ecology; Microplastics
What are the Current Developments Regarding Microplastics?

Microplastics in Testicular Tissues: The study reported mean total microplastic levels of 122.63 µg/g in dogs and 328.44 µg/g in humans, with polyethylene (PE) being the dominant polymer. This discovery raises concerns about the potential impact on human reproductive health, including declining sperm counts.

Global Plastic Overshoot Day (POD): In 2024, POD is projected to occur on 5th September, marking the point when plastic waste generation exceeds the world’s capacity to manage it.

By the end of 2024, 217 countries are expected to release over 3 million tonnes of microplastics into waterways, with China and India being the top contributors.

Microplastics in Drinking Water: A critical review assessed the quality of 50 studies on microplastics in drinking water and freshwater sources.

  • Ban on Single-Use Plastics
  • India Plastics Pact
  • Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016
  • Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules 2018
  • Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2024

Earth witnessed Plastic Overshoot Day on July 28, 2023. This marks the point in the year when the amount of plastic waste generated exceeds the global waste management capacity.

In 2024, the global Plastic Overshoot Day is projected to occur on September 5th.

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