A Broken Record on Repeat – Animal Extinction Likely if Palm Oil Expands in North East India

A Broken Record on Repeat - Animal Extinction Likely if Palm Oil Expands in North East India

As with the forest kingdoms of Borneo and the Amazon rainforest, the Indian forest kingdom of the Golden Langurs and Pygmy Hogs is under siege by palm oil in the north east of India. The region is home to some of the most endangered wildlife in the world. Situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, the whole area is one of the most fertile and diverse places on the planet. This region is earmarked for destruction for palm oil. Renowned British wildlife photographer Craig Jones went there to photograph pygmy hogs and report on their dwindling home.

The Eastern Himalayas harbours an amazing diversity of life. There are 163 globally threatened species found in the Himalayas, including Asia’s three largest herbivores – Asian elephant, greater one-horned rhinoceros, and wild water buffalo – and its largest carnivore, the tiger. The region is home to:
• 10,000 types of plants
• 300 mammals
• 977 birds
• 176 reptiles
• 105 amphibians
• 269 freshwater fish

Indian documentary about the dangers of palm oil

Attn Indian #nature and #wildlife lovers – #palmoil #deforestation is a threat to rare and beautiful animals in NE #India. Help them in the supermarket each time you shop – #Boycottpalmoil #Boycott4Wildlife

#Wildlife photographer @craigjones17 captures the beauty of animals in NE #India and #Assam – animals are under threat from #palmoil #deforestation. Learn how to help them and #Boycottpalmoil #Boycott4Wildlife

The Himalayan grasslands have the densest population of Bengal tigers, which live alongside Asian elephants and one-horned rhinos. The mountains offer refuge for red pandas, golden langurs, takins and pygmy hogs. This is the only known location in the world where Bengal tigers and snow leopards share habitat.

Shy, critically endangered Pygmy Hogs in Assam

Pygmy Hogs make small nests in the ground by digging a small trench and lining it with vegetation. They use leaves and other soft materials to then make it really cosy inside. During the heat of the day, they stay within these nests. They also use them to hide away their young from predators and other dangers.

Craig Jones

The Pygmy Hog lives in the southern foothills of the Himalayas. In the 1960’s numbers had declined to such an extent that the species was thought to be extinct. Following a fire in the Barnardi Forest Reserve in 1971, a group of Pygmy Hogs were found seeking refuge in a nearby tea plantation.

The plantation owner took these mini pigs into captivity to protect them from local hunters and called on the assistance of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust to advise on managing the newly formed captive population. Read more

Protect the North East: Stop Palm Oil!

India is one of the largest consumers of palm oil hidden in supermarket goods

Palm oil is the most widely consumed vegetable oil on the planet.  In India, most commonly used as cooking oil as well as an ingredient in a wide range of consumer goods. India is the largest user of palm oil products, capturing over 20 percent of global supply.  
Oil palm grows in tropical rainforests, and the uncontrolled clearing of these forests for plantations has led to widespread loss of forests and the habitat destruction endangered species across the world where palm oil plantation has started.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged farmers across the eight northeastern states to set up palm oil missions to reduce India’s dependence on imported edible oils, in line with the Centre’s Atmanirbhar Bharat or Self-Reliant India campaign.

Palm oil causes ecocide and extinction

The world’s largest consumer of vegetable oils, the Indian public remains unaware of the dangers of massive palm oil plantations, especially in thickly forested regions. The threat to biodiversity is emphasized by experts in the northeastern region, which accounts for 25% of the country’s forest cover.

To clear land and help grow palm, swathes of rainforest will be burned, destroying habitat and homes and the fragile rainforest ecosystem. Trees that remove carbon from the air will be destroyed, removing their storage properties forever. And when the forest is burned, high levels of carbon dioxide and soot are released, a huge contributor to climate change.

A Broken Record on Repeat: Animal extinction likely if palm oil proceeds in North East India

The rainforests of North Eastern India are among the world’s most species-rich environments and homes to numerous endangered plants and animals, such as Bengal tigers, Water Buffaloes, and One-horned rhinos, red pandas, golden langurs, takins and pygmy hogs.

The destruction of natural habitats deprives the animals of the basis for their existence, causing an irreversible loss of biological diversity. These animals are dependent on large contiguous forest areas. In search of food, they often get lost in the plantations, where they are regarded as pests.

A Broken Record on Repeat - Animal Extinction Likely if Palm Oil Expands in North East India

Read more: India’s rare and beautiful wildlife is under threat by palm oil deforestation

Pygmy Hog Porcula salvania

Pygmy hogs are only found in the lush and dense grasslands of Manas National Park, a small protected region in the shadows of the Himalayan mountains. These shy tiny wild pigs are the smallest pigs in the…

Read more

Palm oil: a recipe for disaster in India

Given the widespread destruction of rainforests and native biodiversity caused by oil palm plantations in Southeast Asia, environmental experts and politicians are warning that the move to promote palm oil cultivation in India’s northeastern States and in…

Read more

Saker Falcon Falco cherrug

The Sager Falcon is a majestic and powerful birds of prey that have a wide range throughout much of Southern Europe, the Middle East and parts of Africa. Their plumage ranges from chocolate brown in colour to…

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Leopard Panthera pardus

Although #leopards are adaptable with a range over several continents, they are #extinct in places due to #palmoil #deforestation, #poaching and other threats. Help them every time you shop and #Boycottpalmoil #Boycott4Wildlife

Read more

King Cobra Ophiophagus hannah

Known as the serpentine king of the jungle in South East Asia, the King Cobra lives in many different environments including pristine forests, degraded forests, mangroves, swamps and woodlands. The main threats that they face are as…

Read more

Western Hoolock Gibbon Hoolock hoolock

Energetic and social Western Hoolock Gibbons live in India, Bangladesh and Myanmar. Known for their close-knit families and melodious singing, they are endangered from palm oil deforestation, timber deforestation, human persecution and illegal poaching. Help them every…

Read more


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How can you help?

Sign this petition to stop palm oil in N.E India

Sign the Petition to end palm oil in the North East of India

Contribute in five ways

1. Join the #Boycott4Wildlife on social media and subscribe to stay in the loop: Share posts from this website to your own network on Twitter, Mastadon, Instagram, Facebook and Youtube using the hashtags #Boycottpalmoil #Boycott4Wildlife.

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2. Contribute stories: Academics, conservationists, scientists, indigenous rights advocates and animal rights advocates working to expose the corruption of the palm oil industry or to save animals can contribute stories to the website.

3. Supermarket sleuthing: Next time you’re in the supermarket, take photos of products containing palm oil. Share these to social media along with the hashtags to call out the greenwashing and ecocide of the brands who use palm oil. You can also take photos of palm oil free products and congratulate brands when they go palm oil free.

4. Take to the streets: Get in touch with Palm Oil Detectives to find out more.

5. Donate: Make a one-off or monthly donation to Palm Oil Detectives as a way of saying thank you and to help pay for ongoing running costs of the website and social media campaigns. Donate here

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Palm Oil Detectives is completely self-funded by its creator. All hosting and website fees and investigations into brands are self-funded by the creator of this online movement. If you like what I am doing, you and would like me to help meet costs, please send Palm Oil Detectives a thanks on Ko-Fi.

Published by Palm Oil Detectives

Hi, I’m Palm Oil Detective’s Editor in Chief. Palm Oil Detectives is partly a consumer website about palm oil in products and partly an online community for writers, scientists, conservationists, artists and musicians to showcase their work and express their love for endangered species. I have a strong voice for creatures great and small threatened by deforestation. With our collective power we can shift the greed of the retail and industrial agriculture sectors and through strong campaigning we can stop them cutting down forests. Be bold! Be courageous! Join the #Boycott4Wildlife and stand up for the animals with your supermarket choices

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