We May Soon Lose The Animals & Plants Featured In Today’s Google Doodle, Here’s Why

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The albatross is much more than just another word in Pink Floyd’s classic song “Echoes”, and the water lily is more than just a pretty flower to feature on our mobile wallpapers – as explained by today’s wonderful Google Doodle, celebrating Earth Day 2019.

Google Doodle has been known for time and again bringing the limelight to the lesser known and the lesser-heard, aiming to raise awareness. Over the past few years, Google’s Earth Day Doodles have highlighted quite a number of concerning environmental issues. The 2019 Doodle can be registered as informative, reminding the humankind once again how beautifully diverse and amazing our planet is.

The six amazing organisms which feature on today’s Google Doodle belong to a wide range of ecosystems – from the deepest cavern of the earth to miles high in the sky.

But, amid the soaring temperatures, melting ice caps and rising pollution, how well are our Earth Day superstars at present? Efforts For Good decides to have a look.

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1. Wandering albatross

The Google Doodle begins with an animated albatross in flight, with its remarkable ability of dynamic soaring that enables it to spend weeks hovering over the sea or migrating – without even flapping its wings once. The wandering albatross has the widest wingspan in the bird world, often reaching up to 3.5 m, the average being 3 m to 3.1 m.

 

Google Doodle Earth Day 2019

The seabird is presently categorised as a vulnerable species by the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN), just one step short of becoming endangered. Owing to longline fishing, marine plastic pollution and the menace of fishing hooks, thousands of albatross are getting killed every year. Due to heavy trawling along coastlines, many of these birds get caught in fishermen’s nets as bycatch.

Google Doodle Earth Day 2019

2. Coastal Redwood

Textbooks talk about the monstrously tall Sequoia sempervirens or Coastal Redwood tree of California as the tallest living species on earth, standing at a massive 377 feet. The tree is also one among the oldest surviving flora on the planet.

The species currently features in the endangered category of IUCN list.

 

Google Doodle Earth Day 2019

Even two centuries ago, the trees were nowhere near their present crisis, as forests of Coastal Redwood trees covered an enormous expanse of 2,100,000 acres in coastal California. Rampant deforestation due to commercial logging and urban expansion have reduced the number of these marvellous giants to merely a handful.

Since 1918, the Save The Redwoods League has been working actively to preserve these trees. Aside from climate change, they consider lack of awareness, illegal marijuana cultivation and forest fires as the major threats to the Redwood trees. In addition, irreparable damage is being caused by the unfortunate practice of burl poaching, where stress-induced outgrowths or ‘burls’ of Redwood trees are chopped off for their demand in the furniture industry.

Google Doodle Earth Day 2019

3. Paedophryne amauensis

A native of Papua New Guinea, the world’s smallest frog is a fairly recent discovery. The species was discovered by herpetologist Christopher Austin and his student Eric Rittmeyer in August 2009. A Paedophryne amauensis frog measures only 7.7 mm and can fit on a human fingernail. But, in one jump, they can cover up to 30 times their body length. Despite the near-microscopic body size, they are noted for their high-pitched mating call resembling insect peeps.

Google Doodle Earth Day 2019

Given their size, surviving on the littered rainforest floor is no cakewalk for these frogs. So, they tend to camouflage themselves with the fallen leaves and mimic insect noises.

Though the ‘coin-sized croaker’ in Google Doodle list is not yet a threatened species, climate change and change in the rainforest ecosystem can indeed pose a danger to the survival of the planet’s smallest vertebrate.

Google Doodle Earth Day 2019

4. Amazon Water Lily

Floating in the shallow waters of the Amazon river basin, the Victoria amazonica remains to be one of the largest aquatic plants. They were named after Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, in the 19th century. This particular species of water lily has quite an interesting history attached to its name. Their beauty and elegance once made them the bone of contention between the Victorian gardeners, who tried to grow the South American native species in enclosed spaces of England. In fact, they had a competition going on as to who would become the first person to flower this water lily in England, which was won by Joseph Paxton and Mr Ivison.

Google Doodle Earth Day 2019

The leaves of this water lily can reach up to 3 m in diameter, thus giving rise to the popular notion that a small person can easily sit and float on one of them.

Though the species does not face any imminent risk of extinction, we ought to preserve the natural sanctity of the Amazon rainforests lest the altered climate may affect them.

Google Doodle Earth Day 2019

5. Coelacanth

“At 407-million-years old, it’s one of the world’s oldest living species,” – so reads the description of Coelacanth in the Google Doodle. These feisty survivors were once considered to be an extinct species which existed over 66 million years ago. However, in 1938, these fishes were rediscovered along the South African coast. A local fisherman had unknowingly caught a Coelacanth, which was identified by Museum curator Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer. Her astonishing discovery was later confirmed by ichthyologist J.L.B Smith.

Google Doodle Earth Day 2019

The ageless miracle survivors are currently under threat due to mismanaged fishing where they end up as accidental bycatch. Hence, the Latimeria chalumnae species of Coelacanth are deemed to belong in the critically endangered category of IUCN Red list, just a step away from extinction.

Google Doodle Earth Day 2019

6. Deep cave springtail

Living at 1,980 metres below the earth’s surface, the Deep cave springtail (Plutomurus ortobalaganensis) is the deepest terrestrial animal, found only in the Krubera-Voronja cave in Georgia, which is the world’s deepest known cave. Adapted to living in extreme darkness, these insects have no eyes.

Google Doodle Earth Day 2019

The species was discovered in 2010. Not much is known about them, but undoubtedly they are one of the natural wonders of the earth.

Google Doodle Earth Day 2019

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but how much love we put into giving.
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‘Happy Fridge’: The Key To Bridge Food Wastage And Hunger Problem In India

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Rahul Khera and Gautam Jindal, volunteers (aka hunger heroes) at Feeding India, were among the many Delhi NCR residents accustomed to seeing hungry children pick up half-eaten burgers or stale sandwiches from the dustbin and savour those with the brightest smiles. Like many others, they also had the will to promote equitable food distribution but was perplexed about the approach, until they learnt about the community fridge initiative which has gained unprecedented success in Saudi Arabia and few other European countries. Meanwhile, community fridges were already being installed outside restaurants or in public places in a handful of cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Coimbatore and Kochi.

Say Goodbye To Throwing Away Excess Food Because Now You Can Donate The Food To The Needy – Happy Fridge

Thank you for overwhelming response for the Happy Fridge concept. We need more funds from you to install more fridges like this across India. With the limited funds avaialble Feeding India was able to install three fridges only. Kindly donate here http://bit.ly/happyfridge

Posted by The Logical Indian on Saturday, October 27, 2018

Needless to mention, with a shocking 103rd rank in the Global Hunger Index and a food wastage estimate of around Rs 58,000 crore – India was perhaps the best country to implement such an initiative. With Gautam’s help, an enthusiastic Rahul invested his own savings to install a ‘Happy Fridge’ outside his residence at Sun City, Sector 54 in Gurgaon. Set up in 2017 by these Feeding India volunteers, the fridge in Gurgaon has inspired the NGO to scale up the project across India.

No one has ever become poor by giving
– Anne Frank

‘Happy Fridge’ fostered many smiles

It didn’t take long for the local residents to learn about this laudable endeavour. They welcomed it, as wastage of excess food was a recurring problem in almost every household. “Intimating the localities was no mammoth task, thanks to social media. However, it was difficult to spread the word among those who actually needed the food,” shares Rahul, who went from auto stands to slums, inviting rickshaw pullers, ragpickers or roadside vendors to avail the community fridge any time they feel hungry. “The security guards of our residential complex played a huge role in explaining how the fridge works to the beneficiaries,” he adds.

The operational and maintenance costs of the ‘ happy fridge ‘ are being maintained diligently by the community members.

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Making memories, sprouting awareness

“I remember one young man who had arrived from a village looking for some menial day job. Somehow he had run out of his paltry savings and had no money to buy one decent meal a day. For about a month, our happy fridge was his solace, till he earned his first salary from a housekeeping job,” shares a jubilant Rahul.

In another incident, a truck driver returning in the wee hours of midnight was starving after a whole day’s hard work. He had run out of cooking fuel at his home, so our fridge was at his rescue.

“The residents keep all sorts of palatable dishes in the happy fridge, ranging from dry snacks, fruits to cooked meals. Sometimes, they even keep raw vegetables, to ensure not a single bit of good food ends up in their trash while other people go hungry to bed,” reveals Rahul.

On an average, each happy fridge supplies around 10-15 meals in a day. The gratitude and pure smiles of the hungry souls after a fulfilling meal are more than enough to continue to motivate Rahul and his neighbours. In fact, inspired by him, many other communities in the Delhi-NCR region set up community fridges in their areas.

Feeding India will set up 500 Happy Fridges

Since the past few years, Feeding India has been a prominent organisation working in the forefront to solve the hunger problem in India. Primarily, they were involved in redistributing leftover food from weddings and parties among the underprivileged people in different cities of India. Their volunteers, better known as “Hunger Heroes of India”, worked actively to bridge the gap between food wastage and food crisis.

“We used to get a lot of calls from individual households to collect their excess food. However, unfortunately, we lacked the manpower and planning to launch our programme on a door to door basis. We were desperately looking for an alternative when we learnt about the community fridges,” shares Srishti Jain, co-founder of Feeding India.

After interacting with Rahul Khera and other campaigners of community fridges, Feeding India decided to amplify this extraordinary project throughout the length and breadth of India. Presently, they have launched the #FightFoodWaste campaign to install 500 community fridges – nicknamed ‘ Happy Fridge ’. So any passer-by – be it a kid going to school without a lunchbox, or a labourer returning home late at night with no promise of a dinner – can now grab a pack of biscuits or a bowl of ‘dal-chawal’ (rice & lentil soup) to satiate their hunger. Click here to contribute for ‘ Happy Fridge ‘ and ensure India never sleeps hungry again.

Feeding India also urges everyone to make a promise to stop wasting food and instead consider donating it to those in need.

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It's not how much we give
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