Salt pans – a human-made wetland of significance

Geetha Iyer
It is not always that human activity destroys nature. Once in a while, they also contribute to its biodiversity. Man-made salt pans not only produce a nutrient that humans most need to survive, but they have also become places for several birds and mirco-organisms to flourish. These habitats too are under threat and we need to conserve them.

Mangroves: a national wealth

Geetha Iyer
Mangrove forests are a national wealth. They protect coastal areas from natural disasters, provide food for their inhabitants, are home to a variety of wildlife, provide a safe breeding ground for many species of fish, sustain livelihoods and are now also a popular tourist destination. When this rich and vibrant habitat gives us so much, the least we can do is to protect and conserve it.

Disappearing wetlands – paddy fields

Geetha Iyer

When you think of a paddy field, you only think of agriculture, but did you know that it is a temporary/permanent home to several species of flora and fauna? Because they sustain biodiversity, paddy fields although a result of human activities are also counted as wetlands and ironically today human activities are causing paddy fields to disappear threatening the many birds and plants that are dependent on this ecosystem.

Habitats under threat: Grasslands

Geetha Iyer
After a hiatus, we bring you Naturewatch, this time focusing on habitats under threat. With more knowledge about the different ecosystems, young minds will be in a better position to think about conserving them. In this first article, the author talks about grasslands, which we believe are ubiquitous in nature.

The flies from the forest

Geetha Iyer
This is the last article in the Nature Watch series, and as before, this article too deals with the amazing biodiversity that India has. Here the author talks about insects that reside deep in the forests. These are ‘ useful insects’ and the description ranges from the net- winged insects, the lacewing insects , the mantid fly and the scorpion fly. Biology teachers will be sure to find this information useful and also make their classes more interesting.

Winter visitors

Geetha Iyer
Why do birds migrate? How do they decide where to go? What obstacles or hazards do they face? These are some questions that can set students off on a healthy discussion about bird migration. This can be an interesting topic for projects, as it will help students think about concepts in an integrated way. Apart from enhancing thinking and writing skills, it also helps students learn the process of arriving at conclusions. Read on to learn more about bird migration.

Look out! It’s a cockroach

Geetha Iyer

Some of us hate their sight, others squirm at the thought of these creatures. There is hardly any of us who has good things to say about the cockroach. But here’s why all of us should admire them.

Confuse to survive – the mimics

Geetha Iyer

Take your students out into the field and introduce them to the world of animals and insects which use mimicry as a survival technique .This kind of activity will help students learn more about the natural world. It will also enhance their thinking, observational and reasoning skills.

Nest Watch – 3

Geetha Iyer
Did you know that snakes also build their nests? One would think that since snakes do not have limbs, they may not be able to engage in such a complex activity. However, it is only the King Cobra which builds a nest. In the last part of our series on nests, read about nest building by wild boars, termites, snakes and ants.

Nest watch – 2

Geetha Iyer

The word ‘nest’ usually brings to mind the birds, but you will be surprised to know that other creatures too make nests. While we have seen insects making nests, do we know that fish too build nests? Here’s a look at the some of the beautiful nests from the aquatic world and what students of science can learn from this.