Wednesday, June 27, 2012


The 2nd Castle Rock- Kuveshi Herpetofauna Expedition 2012.
This will be the first of its kind expedition to the region and will help establish a foundation for further work in the area.
A high altitude mixed moist deciduous and semi evergreen region, with altitudes ranging from 517- 800 msl, the forests around Castle Rock and Kuveshi village are a wildlifers paradise and a researcher’s dream area to work in.
 Our base is at Kuveshi village, a small hamlet situated in the heart of rainforests and 12 kilometers away from Castle Rock. The motor able dirt track that leads to Kuveshi passes through some of the most exquisite forests of the region and includes a criss cross network of streams and rivulets that meander through these forests.
The Herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians) in this region have escaped serious documentation for a while. Basic checklists include the presence of the King cobra, Indian Rock Python, Hump nosed and Malabar Pit vipers, Draco and Indian Monitor lizard, Malabar gliding frog and Maharashtra Bush frog amongst others.
The fabled Dudhsagar falls are located in tranquil dense tropical forest criss-crossed with small streams which all merge into the Dudhsagar falls. These streams are a haven for herpetofauna and will be our focus for documentation.
The Base
The research base at Kuveshi is named Hypnale after the Latin name of the Hump nosed pit viper (Hypnale hypnale). The forest that surrounds the villages of Castle Rock and Kuveshi are the type locality of this species that is endemic to the forests of South India and Sri Lanka. The research station is a part of the Wildlife Research Station network that we are trying to establish across the Northern Western Ghats of India and is focused towards study of lesser-known fauna in the region.

Climate- Medium to heavy showers with windy weather.
Temperature- 18 degrees Celsius to 28 degrees Celsius.
Humidity- 80 percent and above.

The Trip will include opportunistic surveys, stream surveys and in situ photography of Western Ghats herpetofauna and other aspects of biodiversity.
Field identification of reptiles and amphibians, training on field survey techniques and discussion of natural history will also be a part of the program.
Participants will also get to use field equipment, learn basic observation and field skills and work alongside qualified researchers in the field.

a.    Photo documentation and observation of endemic and endangered herpetofauna.
b.    Small treks and stream walks in pristine rainforest eco systems.
c.    Learning from field ecologists and use of field equipment.
And much more…

DATES- 7th July 2012 TO 8th July  (7.00 am departure from Panjim on 7th July and reaching on 8th July at 6.00 pm at Panjim)
CONTRIBUTION FEES- Rs 2200/- per participant  (this includes all meals and snacks, usage of equipment, resource person fees and transportation from Panjim to Hypnale base station at Kuveshi and back.)



AGE GROUP- 16 years to 60 years. (Participants have to be physically fit and prepared for the monsoons)

Essentials for the workshop.
1.    Fast drying earth colored field clothes.
2.    Good walking shoes fit for rough terrain.
3.    Leech Socks (if don’t have a pair, buy one from us.)
4.    Rain wear (it really pours)
5.    Field Note Pad and Pen/pencil.
6.    Back pack for field.
7.    Water bottle or container for Field.
8.    Camera.
9.     Sleeping bag.
10. Personal identification papers (Car License or Election card)

Please note-
1.    There is very little cell phone coverage in the areas where the expedition will travel. Please note the same.
2.    Alcohol consumption is not allowed at any point of time during the expedition. This is not a picnic.
3.    Please carry personal identification papers i.e. Election card or Driving license for the expedition.
4.    The success of this expedition will depend on time management, discipline and ethical wildlife protocol. Please stick to the guidelines and suggestions of the Team Leader.
5.    The expedition will operate in rainy and strong windy areas. Please note that electronic equipment and other personal belongings are protected against the elements.
6.    HERPACTIVE or its Team Leaders and service providers will not responsible for the loss of equipment or belongings.
7.    Medical emergencies and health issues will be given priority and changes in itinerary due to such reasons will be at the discretion of the Team Leader.
8.    The Team Leader reserves the right to shorten/call off the expedition in event of concerns for the security/health/climate/accident and any such eventuality that may put life at risk for the team.


1 comment:

Anvith said...

Hello Nirmal,
My name is Anvith KS. I work as a Web developer in Belgaum. I'm an enthusiastic photographer, cyclist, trekker outdoors guy. I read about you and looked you up and found your blog. I Would like to now if it would be possible to meet up with you. Are you based out of Goa? How often are you in Chorla? We had visited Chorla ghat on sunday and I was really taken aback by the beauty. On the way I cam across the way to Bhimgad Sanctuary. I would like to know if you organize trips like this one on a regular basis. I would be highly obliged if you can share your contact info with me.
My contact number is +919480982003.
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