News Crux Awards
Vyas Samman 2020
- Well known Hindi writer Prof. Sharad Pagare will be conferred with the prestigious Vyas Samman - 2020 for his novel 'Patliputru Ki Samragi.'
- He is the first Hindi writer from Madhya Pradesh to get this award.
- The Vyas Samman, started in 1991, is given by K K Birla Foundation for an outstanding literary work in Hindi authored by an Indian citizen published during the last 10 years.
News Crux Ecology & Environment
IUCN Changes Conservation Status Of Two African Elephant Species
- On 23rd March, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has changed the conservation status of two species of African elephants (African forest elephant and African savanna elephant).
- The African forest elephant is now listed as ‘Critically Endangered’, and the African savanna elephant is now listed as ‘endangered’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species.
- The two species, which were previously considered as a single species on the Red List, were previously listed as vulnerable. They are now being assessed separately due to the emergence of new genetic evidence, according to the IUCN.
- The populations rarely intersect, as forest elephants live in the tropical forests of Central Africa, and savanna elephants prefer the open country in Sub-Saharan Africa, which includes grasslands and deserts.
- Both species are important to the ecology where they live. Forest elephants are considered the "gardeners of the forest," as they help distribute seeds as they eat the fruit and vegetation in tropical forests. Savanna elephants are "impactful, keystone species" in the varied habitat where they live.
- The number of African elephants decreased by more than 86% over 31 years, and African savanna elephant populations fell by at least 60% over the last 50 years, according to the ICUN.About 415,000 elephants of both species combined are left on the continent.
- Poaching for ivory and loss of habitat as it is converted primarily to agricultural land use are the reasons for the sharp declines of their population.