Monday, November 16, 2015



Received the 1st place in the theme “Exploring Unknown locations of Goa” and 2nd place in the theme “ Goa marching towards an advanced state” at the All Goa Photography Contest and Exhibition Scheme 2015 organized by Department of Information and Publicity (Govt. of Goa). Hon. Chief Minister of Goa Mr. Laxmikant Parsekar on the occasion of National Press Day 2015 presented the awards today.
Both these award-winning images were taken from aboard the ‘Sea Eagle’ cruise vessel in the hinterland backwaters of Goa. For details of how to embark on these cruises visit www.seaeaglenavigation.com


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Wildlife Week 2015


A meeting with old team members and new ones as well as held at Hypnale Research Station Kuveshi on account of Wildlife week. Interactions with local Forest watchmen, school children and the village elders on various issues were held along with team member Vaibhav Kandalgaonkar.

Took a talk for the Sattari Headmasters Association on the occasion of Wildlife Week 2015. Interactions regarding human wildlife conflicts, stress to create consciousness amongst living with wildlife for children were held. The aspects of Snake bite protocol as well as dispelling of old myths regarding snakes and other reptiles were also covered. It was a good session as Headmasters from over 15 schools participated in the session.


Dear Team members and patrons,
The Goan Jungle Book is my attempt to bring together a collection of some articles and notes I have written for local newspapers and publications, which detail my several sojourns through the forests in and around Goa, and reflect my concerns as an ecologist and activist. 

Aimed at  youth in particular and the interested nature loving individual in general, these essays offer just a tiny glimpse of the teeming jungles of Goa - where creatures big and small thrive in habitats that are unexplored and seldom appreciated. It is now in its second reprint.

This mail is a request and an appeal- to purchase 10 copies of 'The Goan Jungle Book' and support a part of our field work that is carried on with funds generated from the same. 

Each set of 10 books costs Rs 3000/- (Rs 300/- per book) . These make excellent birthday gifts or souvenirs for young adults as well as for personal libraries and as return gifts. Moreover, I promise to sign every copy if one wishes so…and delivery is by speed post at our expense.

Do please let me know if anyone is interested.
thanks and cheers
Nirmal.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Wildlife Week is from 2nd to 8th Oct 2015. This year do spend some time with kids across landscapes and speak about our wildlife. Good things. Happy thoughts. And simple ideas of how kids can help be the change that MK Gandhi spoke about. We will do our bit. Images by Nirmal Kulkarni and Shilpa Awate.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A Specialised Species expedition is being announced for the Saw Scaled Viper ( Echis carinata) in the month of September 2015. There is much ambiguity about this species and its venom, habitats, color variation and biology systematics. We will try and collect some crucial data on this for our advanced work on this species.
The dates are 10th to 13th Sept 2015. We leave on 10th in the morning and are back on 13th afternoon. There are 4 seats for this expedition. Please note it is a specialised expedition. do let me know on ophidian_nirmal@yahoo.co.in if interested.
 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

It's a tiny Goan fejervaryan frog

In the lowland areas of the Western Ghats parts of the Goa and in the hilly tracts of the Belgaum, it is quite common to hear the tinkling 'trick, trick' 12 to 14 note chorus call from the mud pools, paddy fields and local water bodies in the monsoon during the late evening. Many of these are terrestrial frogs sitting next to water bodies making calls to attract females for mating. Although most of these frogs are terrestrial, they need water bodies to breed in. These terrestrial frogs belong to the amphibian genus Fejervarya of the family Dicroglossidae and are commonly known as either 'cricket frogs' or 'fejervaryan frogs'. These frogs range in size from small (19 mm) to large (56 mm) are distributed throughout Asia.  Most fejervaryan frogs are morphologically very similar and difficult to identify on the basis of external characters alone, creating taxonomic uncertainty in terms of  names, identification and systematics.

A team led by K.P. Dinesh, S.P. Vijayakumar, Varun Torsekar  and Kartik Shanker of Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore; B.H. Chennakeshavamurthy of Zoological Survey of India, Calicut and Nirmal Kulkarni of Mhadei Research Centre, Goa have published their findings on a new species of tiny fejervaryan frogs in the recent edition of the international taxonomic journal Zootaxa. The new species is called 'Fejervarya gomantaki' after the state of Goa where this species is found. Most fejervaryan species in South and South-east Asia are cryptic and difficult to identify on the basis of morphology alone. The authors have used a combination of morphology, geographic distribution range and molecular methods to describe the new species.  In addition, the authors provide an overview of the systematics of the group and recommend additional sampling across the Asian continent.

 At present, the new species is known to be found in low lying water logged areas of Goa and the adjoining hill ranges of Belgaum where it is abundant locally. However, more detailed studies of this species are necessary to map its distribution range and understand its biology.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

This is an appeal to all research colleagues, collaborators, volunteers, patrons, supporters and interns of our conservation research work. lend your voice and time to roar for the Tiger from the 23rd of July to the 29th of July 2015. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing and however small it be…speak for our national animal and conservation of its habitat. On Global Tiger Day, July 29th, make your roar count.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

A Goan backwaters riverscape 2015
This a Goan riverscape where coconut groves share roots with mangroves and marsh crocodiles share habitats with smooth coated otters and pied kingfishers. A Goa that Goans need to conserve and treasure while it remains. 

Monday, June 1, 2015

On Vata Pournima today


I have been fortunate to see a 400 year old Banayan tree intact. Without been hacked as part of a road-widening plan. Without being surrounded by a marbled flooring or black stones and choked. Free from bill- boards pinned to it. I have watched in awe this Ficus over the years. Somewhere safe. Somewhere intact and protected. Today on behalf on this Ficus r, I urge everyone to do a rethink.  About the Ficus in your neighborhood, in your city square or besides your school. And act. On Vata Pournima today, conserve the Ficus and its legacy.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Sunrise at he Hypnale Research Station at Kuveshi is a beautiful affair. Overlooking forests of Anshi dandeli tiger reserve and contiguous to the forests of Mollem National park, this is home to me whilst in the DATR.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Updated Checklist of Amphibians of India released

An updated Checklist of Amphibians of India was released on the Mhadei Research Center website today by a team of research scientists.

The team comprising of Dr. K P Dinesh from Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES), Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Mr  C Radhakrishnan retired Scientist of  Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), Dr B.H. Channakeshavamurthy from the Western Ghats Regional Centre (WGRC), Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), Kerala, and Nirmal U Kulkarni from the Mhadei Research Centre, Goa.
The present checklist is updated with all species names available till January 2015 and enlists 382 species of amphibians from India, including 32 species listed recently from Goa that are marked with # and 217 species from the Western Ghats of India that are marked with an asterix (*).
The authors have expressed gladness for the release of this updated Checklist and hope that the downloadable version will help naturalists, wildlife enthusiasts, students of herpetology as well the general public interested in amphibians.
 The Checklist has been updated till January 2015 and will be regularly updated at periodic intervals according to the need of new advances in amphibian studies as well as additions of new descriptions of species.
The checklist is available on http://mhadeiresearchcenter.org/resources as a free download. The website address of the Mhadei research center is www.mhadeiresearchcenter.org
The Mhadei Research Center has been established to provide a platform for wildlife researchers to document and study the biodiversity of the Mhadei Bio region that encompasses the states of Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

Established on the firm foundations of carrying out field projects related to conservation biology and data collection, the Center is also being developed as a repository of scientific knowledge on the Bio region and a database source on the Northern Western Ghats that are also known as the Sahyadris.

It also facilitates ecology studies and training for students of wildlife sciences on a collaborative basis in co ordination with official agencies including the Indian Institute of Science, the Zoological Survey of India, the Botanical Survey of India, the Madras Crocodile Bank trust and Center for Herpetology, the Wildlife Conservation Society-India program and the Bombay Natural History Society amongst others.

For details about the Checklist and the Mhadei Research Center contact-
Nirmal U Kulkarni – ophidian_nirmal@yahoo.co.in



news on the amphibian check list for India


Sheer Bliss

Some sights create supreme awe. mass roosting/resting by these blue tiger /dark blue tiger butterflies is certainly one of them. sheer bliss.