IAS Prelims 2023 Special Part 1 :Environment Special

🔘Peninsular Rock Agama

◾️The Peninsular Rock Agama (Psammophilus dorsalis) which is a type of garden lizard has a strong presence in southern India.

◾️This lizard is a large animal, strikingly coloured in orange and black.

◾️They do not generate their own body heat, so they need to seek warmth from external sources like a warm rock or a sunny spot on the wall.

◾️It is majorly found in India (Asia).

◾️Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar hosts the population of the lizard.

◾️Habitat: It belongs to the Precocial Species.

◾️Precocial species are those in which the young are relatively mature and mobile from the moment of birth or hatching.

Protection Status

IUCN Red List: Least Concern

🔘Azooxanthellate Corals

◾️The azooxanthellate corals are a group of corals that do not contain zooxanthellae and derive nourishment not from the sun but from capturing different forms of planktons.

◾️They are deep-sea representatives with the majority of species being reported from depths between 200 metres and 1,000 metres.

◾️They are also reported from shallow waters unlike zooxanthellate corals that are restricted to shallow waters.

◾️Azooxanthellate corals are a group of
hard corals. 

◾️Hard corals are the prime and intrinsic part of the coral reef ecosystem

🔆Climate Change Causing Shift in Earth’s Axis

✅A study published in Geophysical Research Letters of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) says that due to the significant melting of glaciers because of global temperature rise, Earth’s axis of rotation has been moving more than usual since the 1990s.

✅While this change is not expected to affect daily life, it can change the length of the day by a few milliseconds.

🔘Carbon Dating

In News

Recently a court in Varanasi has rejected a plea requesting carbon dating into the structure (claimed to be shivling) found inside Gyanvapi Mosque.


◾️Carbon dating is a widely-used method to establish the age of organic materials.

◾️The dating method is based on the fact that Carbon-14 (C-14), an isotope of carbon with an atomic mass of 14, is radioactive, and decays at a well known rate.

◾️Developed by American physicist Willard F. Libby.

◾️The most abundant isotope of carbon in the atmosphere is C-12. A very small amount of C-14 is also present.

◾️ The ratio of C-12 to C-14 in the atmosphere is almost static and is known.

◾️The changing ratio of C-12 to C-14 in the remains of a plant or animal after it dies can be measured, and can be used to deduce the approximate time when the organism died.

◾️However, carbon dating cannot be used to determine the age of non-living things like rocks (or Shivlings.

Blackbuck National Park, Velavadar

✅located at Velavadar in the Bhavnagar District of Gujarat state, India.

✅Flat land, dry grasses and herds of antelope have always attracted visitors to this park which has a grassland ecosystem. Successful conservation programs for the blackbuck, wolf and lesser florican (a bustard) are ongoing

✅A southern portion of the park, which adjoins the Gulf of Khambhat, is in the Gulf's high tide zone and gets inundated with water. However, its semi-arid conditions, together with this inundation of seawater during monsoon, creates habitats suitable for various dependent fauna of the park

🔆Kaziranga Animal Corridor

Why in News: There are cases of clearance of forest land, digging and construction activities on at least three animal corridors within the eco-sensitive zone of the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve.
✅ Wildlife or animal corridors are meant to ensure safe passage for animals between two isolated habitats.
✅A special committee formed by the Supreme Court in its report had recommended the delineation of nine animal corridors in Kaziranga National Park (KNP).
These corridors are crucial for the rhinos, elephants, tigers, deer and other animals that escape a flooded Kaziranga during the monsoon months for the safety of the hills of Karbi Anglong district beyond the highway skirting the southern boundary of the tiger reserve.
✅Once the rain clear, the animals make their way back to the grasslands

🔆Galathea Bay

✅Galathea Bay is the site of the port and the centrepiece of the NITI Aayog proposal.
✅It is an iconic nesting site in India of the enigmatic Giant Leatherback, the world’s largest marine turtle.
✅A number of species are restricted to just the Galathea region.
✅These include the critically endangered Nicobar shrew, the Great Nicobar crake, the Nicobar frog, the Nicobar cat snake, a new skink (Lipinia sp), a new lizard (Dibamus sp,) and a snake of the Lycodon species that is yet to be described

🔘Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)

In News

CSIR- Indian Institute of Petroleum has signed MOU with Air India, AirAsia and Vistara (all under TATA), for SAF to achieve net zero emissions (NZE).


◾️International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has put the target of net zero in the aviation sector by 2050.

◾️Sustainable aviation fuels are biofuels made from sustainable resources, such as forestry and agricultural waste and used cooking oil and can be blended with fossil jet fuel to reduce emissions.

◾️It is a ‘drop-in’ fuel, meaning it can be added with no changes needed to the aircraft.

◾️In 2016, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) adopted a global market-based mechanism, the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), to address CO2 emissions from international aviation.

◾️Beginning in 2027, virtually all international flights will be subject to mandatory offsetting requirements.


In News

The Embassy of Japan, New Delhi, has filed an application seeking Geographical Indication (GI) tag for nihonshu/Japanese sake.


◾️This is the first time a product from Japan has filed for a tag at the Geographical Indication Registry in Chennai.

◾️In Japan, nihonshu is regarded as a special and valuable beverage made from fermenting rice.

◾️People traditionally drink nihonshu on special occasions, such as festivals, weddings or funerals, but it is also consumed on a daily basis.

◾️Thus, it is an integral part of the lifestyle and culture in Japan.

◾️The sake market (almost all are nihonshu) is the second largest brewed liquor (such as beer) market in Japan.

◾️The rice and koji used should originate in Japan.



✅There is concern that at least three key nesting beaches — two on Little Andaman Island and one on Great Nicobar Island — are under threat due to mega “development” plans announced in recent months.
✅ Largest of the seven species of sea turtles.
✅Leatherbacks are found in all oceans except the Arctic and the Antarctic.
✅Within the Indian Ocean, they nest only in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and the A&N Islands.


✅IUCN status:
✅Also listed in Schedule I of India’s Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, according it the highest legal protection.