Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mhadei Herpetology Camp 2010

MHADEI HERPETOLOGY CAMP 2010

THE SETTINGS-

The Chorla Ghats forests lie on the tri state boundaries of Goa- Karnataka-Maharashtra states and are part of the Mhadei Bio region. Classified as a Mega Biodiversity hotspot and an Important Bird area, the region is acknowledged as a large cat corridor and an area of high endemism for lesser-known fauna.

The forests types predominantly include mixed moist deciduous and semi evergreen forests with intermediate canebrakes and riverine vegetation.

Heavy to medium rainfall, diverse vegetation and high humidity has led to creation of niche habitats for Herpetofauna that are unique to this region. Availability of a variety of prey base and minimal human disturbance has ensured sustained stability of small populations in certain pockets of these forests.

THE SEASON-

Climate- Heavy to medium showers with windy weather.

Temperature- 18 degrees Celsius to 22 degrees Celsius.

Humidity- 85 percent and above.

THE OBJECTIVE-

The Herpetofauna of this region has been overlooked by serious workers and researchers in the past and the only work carried out by team leader Nirmal Kulkarni and his colleagues have resulted in documentation of 2 new caecilian species besides other range extensions of endemic and rare reptiles and amphibians. The team will help compile a basic checklist of the Herpetofauna in identified areas of interest and lay foundations of further work in the region.

CAMP STRUCTURE-

The Mhadei Herpetology camp has been specifically designed keeping in mind the unique Monsoon Herpetofauna of the Northern Western Ghats of India of which the Mhadei Bio-region is a part.

During this camp we will explore High altitude plateaus, monsoonal stream eco-systems and fringe forest environments. The program will also include an orientation on basics in Snake taxonomy, Reptile rescue, and Snake Bite protocol and wildlife photography.

Participants will also get to learn techniques of field surveys and scientific documentation of Herpetofauna with the help of field equipment.

WHAT TO EXPECT-

The Monsoons offer opportunities rare opportunity to observe and study Herpetofauna that are otherwise inactive for the rest of the year.

Participants will be able to document over 20 rare, endemic and uncommon species of Herpetofauna. Some species include-

1. Malabar Gliding Frog (Rhacophorus malabaricus)

2. Pied belly shield Tail snake. (Melanophidium punctatum)

3. Beddome’e keelback snake. (Amphiesma beddomei)

4. Malabar Pit viper. (Trimeresurus malabaricus)

5. Mhadei caecilian. (Gegeneophis mhadeiensis)

6. Malabar Night frog. (Nyctibatrachus major)

TEAM LEADER-

Nirmal Kulkarni

A qualified field ecologist and herpetologist, Nirmal Kulkarni has to credit the discovery of 2 new species of legless amphibians (caecilians), a host of research papers and an experience of over 15 years in the forests of the Western Ghats of India. He is also a wildlife photographer and specializes in photographing lesser-known fauna. He currently works on pit vipers and amphibians in the Northern Western Ghats of India.

ABOUT HERPACTIVE-

Herpactive is an initiative by Nirmal Kulkarni, herpetologist and wildlife photographer to create awareness and instill appreciation for Herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians) of Goa in particular and the country in general.

Herpactive aims to promote the science of field herpetology by conducting walks, surveys, training workshops and field technique sessions for budding herp- enthusiasts as well as serious students of main-stream science.

DATES- 25th 26th and 27th August 2010.

THE ACCOMODATION-

Participants will stay in Shared accommodation at Swapnagandha Resort Chorla Ghats.

Participants will also visit and work at the Mhadei Research Center.

Food will include Vegetarian and Non-vegetarian options.

ESSENTIALS-

1. Fast drying earth colored field clothes.

2. Gumboots or good walking shoes fit for rainy weather.

3. Powerful Torch or Headlight- with extra batteries.

4. Rainwear (Raincoats or Ponchos).

5. Field Note Pad and Pen/pencil.

6. Personal medical kit if any.

7. Back pack for field.

8. Water bottle or container for Field.

9. Sleeping bag or blanket and sheet.

10. Camera.

11. Personal toiletries.

CAMP FEES- RS. 7000/- (Seven Thousand only) including Pick up and drop from Panjim, all meals, course fee and stay at shared accommodation at Swapnagandha Resort.

AGE GROUP- 18 YEARS TO 50 YEARS

NUMBER OF SEATS- 8 (EIGHT SEATS ONLY)

NOTE-

1. THIS IS NOT A PICNIC SO PLEASE BE SURE TO KNOW THAT PARTICIPANTS WILL HAVE TO MAINTAIN DISCIPLINE AND FOLLOW RULES AS LAID BY SURVEY LEADERS.

2. ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION WILL NOT BE ALLOWED DURING THE ENTIRE PERIOD OF THE SURVEY.

FOR DETAILS CONTACT- OPHIDIAN_NIRMAL@YAHOO.CO.IN

OR CALL ON 09326107079 (Nirmal) OR 09822586918 (Glenda).