Saturday, September 19, 2009

Vazra Sakla waterfalls

The Vazra Sakla waterfalls are on the Goa-Karnataka-Maharashtra border in the Chorla Ghats region and are part of the Swapnagandha valley. The height of the waterfalls is 143 meters and the forests they support and sustain are home to a diversity of flora and fauna, some of which is endemic to the region. The entire region of which the Chorla Ghats is a part is called the Mhadei Bio region.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Malabar Pit Viper (Trimeresurus malabaricus).

Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary.Goa India.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Researchers observe rare Herpetofauna behavior in Mhadei region.

A partially cloudy June 20th morning saw researchers documenting Herpetofauna of the Mhadei region, observe a rare behavior at 750 meters above sea level of a Boulenger’s Bronzeback tree snake (Dendrelaphis bifrenalis) eat a Malabar Gliding (Rhacophorus malabaricus) female frog in broad daylight at 11.00 am in the morning.
The Boulenger’s Bronzeback tree snake is a rare species with taxonomic nomenclature still being under uncertainty and is known from a handful of locations in the Western Ghats of India including Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary in Goa, Anshi National Park in Karnataka and forests of Amboli and Matheran in Maharashtra in India so far. Elsewhere it has been reported from the island country of Sri Lanka. Very little is known of the taxonomy, behavior and biology of this elusive and shy tree snake and the observations made by the duo of researchers Nirmal Kulkarni and his assistant Namdeo Gaonkar are an addition to the understanding of the selective seasonal prey base of this species.
The Malabar Gliding frog (Rhacophorus malabaricus) is an endemic flagship species of the Western Ghats of India and has been listed as NT (Near Threatened) by the IUCN Listing of 2002. It is threatened due to habitat loss and exotic monoculture plantation in its range.
The Boulenger’s Bronzeback tree snake was observed stalking a foam nest of a Malabar gliding frog and subsequently capturing a female frog on a wild Jamun tree at a height of approx 14 feet above the ground near a water body.
The tree snake swallowed the Gliding frog head first and feet last and the entire process took 1 hour 10 minutes during which field observations and photo documentary evidences were collected by the duo for further study. Climate data recorded humidity at 82 percent and temperature at 28 degrees centigrade.
Images and other information on this observation were subsequently sent to various scientific institutions for identification and included the Indian Herpetological Society and the Madras Crocodile Bank besides various independent researchers and confirmation of the species was received a week ago on Sept 1st 09. A research note communication is now being prepared for the same.
The Mhadei region encompasses the states of Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka is home to an array of lesser known and yet important Herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians) found in the Western Ghats of India. Many rare and endemic species have been reported from this region before and is acknowledged as a hotspot for lesser-known wildlife by researchers in the country.