Curious case of vultures

Do owls eat snakes?
Owls eat snakes, especially the screech owl which tends to grab smaller sized snakes and bring them back to the nest while they are still alive. These snakes serve a very important purpose in the nest of an owl, eating all of the vermin which accumulate as a result of the decaying animals which serve as prey for the owls. This keeps the nest nice and clean.

Do bats eat humans?
Don’t believe horror movies. Bats do not eat humans. In fact, your chances of even ever being attacked by a bat are zero. These furry winged creatures are often persecuted due to the fact that most people have very little to no understanding of bat ecology or the important roles that they play in controlling night flying insects. Contrary to popular misconceptions, these winged creatures of the night are not blind, do not drink human blood, and will not just suddenly swoop down from the night sky and attack you or get tangled in your hair. Bats eat insects. They can eat up to half of their body weight in night flying insects such as mosquitoes and moths. Other species of bats eat fruits, smaller animals like frogs, fish, and rodents.

Are bats good for gardens?
Very good. Because they eat so many insects they are a great organic pest control method for your garden. Their waste also makes great fertiliser. Did you know that just a single bat on its own can eat more than 600 mosquitos per hour? By creating a bat friendly yard you will not only protect your garden from pests, you will also be doing greater good for bats as their populations are declining due to pesticide and habitat loss. If you are trying to attract bats to help your garden you might want to create a shelter that they will like. Bats can often be found hanging out in old trees and/or large shrubs, so if you have these in your yard it will help. 

Bats also nest in abandoned buildings, hollow trees, in loose tree bark and in bat houses. Bats are also attracted to water features so you might put a pond or fountain. Planting night blooming flowers will also help attract these furry little guys to your garden. Just a few flowers that you might want to try include datura, moonflower, yucca, evening primrose, night blooming water lily, night blooming jasmine, cleome, and nicotiana.
Are bats good for the environment?
Very good. Apart from eating insects, some species are also critical in pollinating fruits and seeds, and their waste is great fertiliser. Unfortunately, despite their positive role in pollinating and killing off insects, over 40 per cent of bats are now endangered or threatened due to destruction of habitat and being killed off by humans.

I am thinking of getting clownfish for my aquarium. Is that alright ?
No. Clownfish are from coral reefs. They are great travellers. In fact a baby clownfish can travel up to 400 kilometers in search of a new reef. They need anemones which aquaria cannot provide Clownfish are endangered. They are easy prey: Of the many thousands of clownfish that hatch, only a lucky few will ever reach a reef – and most of those will be eaten within the first 24 hours. Sellers of fish catch them illegally and add to their endangered status. Most people have no idea off how to look after fish in home aquaria and so most fish die in a few weeks.

Do we have a large number of elephants with tusks
No. Due to poaching for many decades which is now stopped, we have less than 1000 tuskers left.

No one in India has mourned the extinction of vultures from our country. Were they irrelevant ?
Every extinction changes the world and makes it a worse place to live in. The Parsi community in Mumbai have traditionally exposed their dead to vultures in “towers of silence”. With their disappearance, an entire religion has to change it ways and that creates confusion in the human community. The Parsi community is left in a very difficult position of trying to figure out how to appropriately and respectfully take care of their own dead in a world without vultures. 

Scientists estimated that vultures cleaned up ten million or more camel, cow, and buffalo , dog carcasses a year in India. They’ve also played an important role in containing disease of various kinds and controlling the number of predators that feed on those carcasses and spread other diseases, like rats or dogs. 

Their disappearance has led not just to the rise in the numbers of scavengers but also to very major diseases like rabies and anthrax in India.

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