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Wild animals don’t want trouble from humans: Biologist George Schaller



Sairopa (Kullu), Feb 18 Animals in the wild mostly avoid any encounters with humans – and when they do attack people, it is usually in self-defence, says legendary field biologist George Schaller.

And it would be wrong to declare tigers and leopards that attack humans as “man-eaters”, Schaller, who believes he’s still young at 83, told IANS in an interview.

Thus, there is a need for training the communities settled on the periphery of wildlife parks and sanctuaries because the wild animals — be it the tiger or the leopard or the elephant — don’t want trouble from the humans, said Schaller, who attended a two-day nature conservation biology workshop at Great Himalayan National Park’s camp office here in Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh.

“And if a tiger is a man-eater, then its killing is certain,” he added.

German-born Schaller, who devoted six decades to conservation of wildcats and their ecosystems, is currently the Vice President of Panthera, an organisation founded in 2006 for conserving the animals.

Schaller, who is wild at heart, said in India — a storehouse of biodiversity — development is a big issue.

“India is saying it’s doing a lot for the preservation of wildlife. But it is really disturbing that 200 sq km of forest area of the Panna tiger reserve (in Madhya Pradesh) which is being diverted for non-forest purposes. After the 1990s, the country’s image in preserving forests is going down,” said the biologist-cum-author, who travelled to Central Africa to study the mountain gorilla when he was 25.

It is greed and corruption that threaten nature more.

The problem, in fact, across the globe is that oil, mining and timber companies are prepared to pay anything to operate in sensitive areas. Sadly, governments and officials succumb to their pressures.

“I know people (supposed conservationists) who prefer to sit in their offices (rather than go into the field). Conservation has not to do only with animals. It also has to do with economics and politics.”

Schaller, who has studied wildlife in several reserve forests and national parks in India, said the Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand is the most vulnerable to poaching for international trade owing to its proximity to the Nepal border, a major trade link to the Chinese traditional medicine market.

Estimates say India supports the highest population of tigers in the wild, accounting for 2,226 of the estimated 3,890 worldwide.

Schaller, who has worked for nearly two decades on studying endemic wildlife in the Tibetan Plateau, said the snow leopard also needs protection from pastoral communities.

“The Spiti Valley (in Himachal Pradesh) and the Hemis National Park (in Jammu and Kashmir) support a good population of the snow leopard,” said Schaller, who spent most of his time in the field in Asia, Africa and South America.

“They are beautiful and majestic animals that rarely attack humans. They attack only when the villagers attack them with sticks. I have spent nights in their habitat and they passed my sleeping bag.”

“Man-animal conflicts are more a social issue. For the conservation of the wildlife, you need cooperation of the local communities,” he said.

Apart from the Spiti Valley, the state’s Pin Valley National Park, which Schaller trekked in three-four years ago, the Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary, the Great Himalayan National Park and the Pangi and Bharmour areas of Chamba district have a sizable population of the snow leopard.

Even neighbouring Uttarakhand has a good population of the elusive and highly-endangered species.

According to Schaller, for conserving the snow leopard there is need to maintain a sizable population of its prey species like the Asiatic ibex — a wild goat — and the Himalayan blue sheep.

Schaller’s photograph of a snow leopard, taken in Pakistan in 1970, is the first recorded image of the wild cat.

The founding fathers of wildlife conservation advocated the need to link eco-tourism with the local communities.

Take the case of tracking the critically-endangered mountain gorilla — the world’s largest ape — in the Virunga Mountains in the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda in eastern Africa.

“This is the best managed park in the world, in terms of both earning foreign exchange and wildlife management. Part of the income fetched from the visitors is used for the welfare of the communities who reside along the park, who are also making an effort to conserve the forests.

“If we fail to create awareness on wildlife, then we will fail to preserve for our future generations,” he added.


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Make your eyes standout this festive season



Eye Makeup

New Delhi, Dec 13: Work around your eyes to make a style statement in the festive season. Opt for bright coloured kohl pencils for the day time and invest in good eyelash extensions as they instantly brighten and define eyes, making the face appear younger, suggest experts.

Elton Fernandez, make-up artist at Maybelline New York and Sapna Bedi-Khaitan, owner at Novalash India, have listed some ideas:

* A liner in black is great for the eyelid, while a gel pencil in sapphire shade adds a vibrant electric touch as you apply some kajal on the lower waterline. The black liner could also be added towards the outer corners of the eye for more definition. Add drama to your lashes with a hyper curl mascara.

* Blend concealer with fingers onto the under eyes and inner corners of your eyes. Use bright coloured kohl pencils in shades like turquoise, emerald or sapphire instead of typical black kajal for the day.

At night, go in for deeper colours that will make your eyes stand out. Glitter eyes is also a trend to watch out for in the coming year.

* For the eyeshadow, lightly dust the deep pink shadow all over the eyelid. Use the lighter frosty beige as a highlighter on the brow bone.

* Fill in the brows. Run any brown mascara gently through the brows. This not only fills gaps in hair growth, but also keeps hair upwards and in place. No eye look is complete with ungroomed brows. The trick is to close sparse gaps while keeping brow hair in place. End your look with a contouring stick that will provide a highlighted look on the cheekbones to accentuate and dramatize the bone structure.

* Invest in good eyelash extensions as they instantly brighten and define eyes, making the face appear younger, more alert and refreshed all day.

You will not need to apply mascara with lash extensions. These create a thick, dark lash line. Many women skip applying eye make-up altogether, saving valuable time in the mornings. Not only do the eyelash extensions come in different lengths and curvatures, they also come in different colours.

* If you want to make your eyes look bigger, use an off-white or cream coloured kohl inside the eyes’ waterline, coat lower lashes with a mascara. Shade the undereye part with a soft brown eyeshadow and apply a nice defined eyeliner on the eyelid. Curling lashes is crucial to make eyes look awake and engaging.


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4 expert tips to maintain your skin during winter



New Delhi, Dec 12: Ready with your new winter look but not ready to deal with the harsh winter weather?

While winter is all about snuggling into cozy quilts, sitting by the heater and sipping hot drinks, it is also about dealing with dry skin, chapped lips, and cracked heels. Dr. Chandrika Mahendra, Principal Scientist, Personal Care, The Himalaya Drug Company, shares her expertise on keeping your skin healthy during winter.

*Nourish the skin from within

Moisturising your dry skin every now and then during winter can be a little annoying. All you need to keep your skin soft and supple is an intensive skin care product that is enriched with the goodness of cocoa butter. Cocoa contains antioxidants that help repair skin cells.

* Keep yourself hydrated

While your skin needs essential minerals and vitamins, drinking water is a must to keep your body adequately hydrated. We are less likely to feel thirsty during winter. However, consuming warm water will help in flushing out toxins and enhancing blood circulation. So, ensure you drink two to three liters of water a day.

* Say goodbye to chapped lips

Dry weather and chapped lips go together. Therefore, it is important to keep your lips moisturized and healthy during the winter months. For soft and smooth lips, look for herbal products with 100 per cent natural color, antioxidants, and Vitamin E.

* Follow your workout routine

Winter can often make you lazy and drowsy. It is crucial to stay active and fit to speed up your metabolism for a healthy body and skin. Regular workouts increase your body’s strength, boost your energy levels, and improve skin health. So, make time for a quick run, join a gym, or take a stroll in the garden, but don’t let winter hinder your schedule.


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Exfoliate, apply sunscreen to get rid of dry skin



sunscreen Skin care

New Delhi, Dec 10: Most people associate winter with dry skin. To counter the flaking skin, exfoliate your lips, face and body once a week, and don’t forget your sunscreen, suggest experts.

Pallavi Mehra, Marketing Manager at VanityCask, and Arzoo Shah, make-up artist at MyGlamm, have shared how:

* Exfoliate lips: Treat your uneven dry and chapped lips with luxurious lip scrub pertaining feed for one’s lips with essential plant extracts. Fuse ground coffee with brown sugar and macadamia oil to get a pout as soft as velvet.

* Choose a radiant base: To get that perfect sheen, opt for a radiant and dewy finish foundation. A peach and pumpkin palette is the perfect substitute to bronzer during winter season to achieve a natural look.

* Cream-based blushes: To bring back that healthy flush and imperceptible glow this winter, cream blush is the need of the hour. A hint of both colour and moisture formula giving cheeks a three dimensional look bring the contours of the cheeks forward.

* Hydrating primer: A lightweight, serum-like textured primer provides a great canvas for make-up. An illuminating primer mattifies skin for that extra dose of radiance.

* SPF: Applying sunscreen to your face and hands every morning is essential. If you are anxious about the chemicals in sunscreens with high SPF, you can opt for children’s sunscreen as it’s just as effective and extra gentle on your skin.

* Don’t shy away from supplements: Take supplements to give your skin some additional lift, particularly during the winter months. For winter, pay special attention to vitamins E, C and B2, which will support the creation of skin cells.

* Exfoliate: Between the cold, damp air outside and the dry indoor heating, your skin cells are majorly dehydrated, which can lead to a build-up of dead skin that can eventually clog your pores. Exfoliate your body once a week and your face once or twice a week, but make sure you don’t over exfoliate.

* Use lip balm: There’s nothing more irritating than cracked dry lips. A good lip balm is the key to getting soft lips.

You don’t need to limit your Vaseline or lip balm to your lips. You can apply it under the eyes at night to keep away crow’s feet, and also use it to tackle dry skin on your face. You can even use your lip balm on the ends of your hair or to tame fly always if you need a little extra moisture.


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