Saturday, December 24, 2011

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The 1st Castle Rock- Kuveshi Biodivesity Workshop 2012.


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 forests that surround Kuveshi fall in the buffer areas of the Dandeli Tiger Reserve and are home to gaur, tigers, leopards, sambar, spotted deer, mouse deer, barking deer, sloth bear, slender loris to name but a few. The Herpetofauna includes 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. The view from the crown of the falls is spectacular, offering a panorama of the Mollem National Park, the Devil’s Canyon at its foot (a popular picnic spot with locals and tourists), and the little railway bridge that crosses the canyon.

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- Pleasant climate with windy weather.

Temperature- 28 degrees Celsius to 35 degrees Celsius.

Humidity- 60 percent and above.


The Trip will include opportunistic surveys, lectures on field data collection and in situ photography of Western Ghats biodiversity.

Field identification of flora and fauna, demonstration, 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 rainforest eco system that is unique and offers vast prospects for

a. Closely observing,photographing and documenting uncommon and endemic bio diversity.

b. Trekking and participation in field surveys.

c. Learning from field ecologists and use of field equipment.

And more…..

DATES- 26TH JAN 2012 TO 29TH (7.00 am departure from Panjim on 26th and reaching on 29th at 4.00pm at Panjim)

CONTRIBUTION FEES- Rs 3200/- 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.)


Please email or for details.


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

Essentials for the workshop.

1. Fast drying earth colored field clothes.

2. Good walking shoes fit for rough terrain.

3. Tick Socks (if don’t have a pair, buy one from us.)

4. Cap or Hat and Sweater or jacket (it is cold)

5. Field Note Pad and Pen/pencil.

6. Back pack for field.

7. Water bottle or container for Field.

8. Camera.

9. Field guides if you have any.

10. Personal identification papers (Car License or Election card)

Please note-

1. There is very little cell phone coverage in the areas where the workshop will travel. Please note the same.

2. Alcohol consumption is not allowed at any point of time during the workshop. 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 program will depend on time management, discipline and ethical wildlife protocol. Please stick to the guidelines and suggestions of the Team Leader.

5. The trip will operate in dusty 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 workshop in event of concerns for the security/health/climate/accident and any such eventuality that may put life at risk for the team.

Friday, December 9, 2011

With team member on the Pit Viper Expedition 2011.

Vazra waterfalls base near Chorla Ghats.

This is the base of the 143 m Vazra falls as it cascades into the forests of Virdi in Maharashtra and joins the Valvanti river. The rock face of the entire falls is also the nesting site of the Long billed vulture, an endangered and rare bird.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

use of field equipment

Use of field equipment is essential for good quality work in the the conservation field. our endeavor is to use expose students, research assistants and field workers to field equipment that can help them work better for the study and conservation of biodiversity in the region.

Forests inspire...

Some forests inspire...and need support and attention. Forests like these in Castle rock have been ignored and forgotten by researchers and conservationists alike. My team of committed volunteers and researchers will attempt to document and conserve these forgotten tracts of Castle rock forests in Karnataka over the next decade.