Monday, July 30, 2012
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Monday, July 23, 2012
Nagpanchami and snake bite protocol.
The festival of Nagpanchami will be celebrated on the 23rd of July throughout the state with much reverence and worship.
And as someone who is perpetually in awe of snakes and anything related to their kind, I will join in with other snake devotees to celebrate the relationship of this captivating Indian symbol of nature worship-the Cobra with the Mother Earth.
Amidst offerings of fresh grass blades offered to the clay replica of a hooded cobra and relishing the customary ‘patolyo’ sweets wrapped in turmeric leaves, I wish to absorb traditional knowledge too of the relationship between snakes and humans in today’s changing times.
I will also visit as many people as possible to seek to address issues relating to proper awareness of ‘First aid’ for venomous snake-bite amongst my extended family, friends and acquaintances and with a able team of snake handlers, research associates and well-wishers, will surely contribute in a small way.
Please do your bit too- spread awareness about the below mentioned latest Snake bite protocol amongst friends and family.
“First aid treatment is carried out immediately or very soon after the bite, before the patient reaches a dispensary or hospital.
Unfortunately, most of the traditional, popular, available and affordable first aid methods have proved to be useless or even frankly dangerous. These methods include: making local incisions or pricks/punctures at the site of the bite or in the bitten limb, attempts to suck the venom out of the wound, use of (black) snake stones, tying tight tourniquets around the limb, electric shock and even application of chemicals, herbs or ice packs. While most of these methods/cures have been proved wrong and in fact put the patient at a greater risk than before. So please do not attempt any of these above-mentioned methods in case of a bite.
I have sadly seen many local people have great confidence in traditional (herbal) treatments, but they must not be allowed to delay medical treatment or to do harm.
The recommended First Aid protocol for Snake bite as practiced today follows the below mentioned points
• Reassure the victim who may be very anxious and scared.
• Immobilize the bitten limb with a splint or sling (any movement or muscular contraction increases absorption of venom into the bloodstream.
• Consider Pressure immobilization for bites by elapid snakes only like the Indian Cobra and the Indian krait including sea snakes but should not be used for viper bites because of the danger of increasing the local effects of the necrotic venom. There is considerable debate of which technique to be used and I have personally found the use of a local compression pad applied over the wound pressure bandaging of the entire limb to be very effective.
• Avoid any interference with the bite wound as this may introduce infection, increase absorption of the venom and increase local bleeding.
· The patient must be transported to a place where they can receive medical care (dispensary or hospital) as quickly, but as safely and comfortably as possible. Any movement, especially of the bitten limb, must be reduced to an absolute minimum to avoid increasing the systemic absorption of venom. If possible the patient should not be allowed to walk and carried with the help of a stretcher or bed or sitting on a chair, etc.
And lastly remember, Polyvalent Anti Snake venom Serum is the only effective remedy for a venomous snakebite in India.
(Image courtesy- Devadatta Naik)
Sunday, July 15, 2012
As an ecologist I have walked and driven in these parts for more than a decade now and yet every single time I do so I see and experience something new. It is truly a World heritage site and needs protection of the highest order.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Monday, July 9, 2012
The 100 Solar Lanterns project aims to procure 100 solar lamps for the purpose of free distribution to school going children in the Castle Rock- Kuveshi region to enable them to study at night.
Here Vaibhav Kandalgaonkar explains to a parent at the Hypnale Research Base the functioning of the Solar lantern.
Saturday, July 7, 2012
The Mhadei Research Center has been conducting studies on the Herpetofauna of the Chorla Ghats area since 2004.
The Chorla Ghats area is part of the Mhadei Bio region and covers the three states of Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
On 5th July 2012 night at 10.30 pm, a Malabar Pit Viper snake (Trimeresurus malabaricus) was observed approaching a foam nest of a Malabar Gliding frog
(Rhacophorus malabaricus) on a branch of a Kumbh tree( Careya arboreya) . A female of the Malabar Gliding frog (R malabaricus) was seen besides the foam nest in dormant state on a leaf of the same tree.
At 11.05 pm the Malabar Pit Viper caught the female R malabaricus, at mid section of the body and proceeded to swallow it headfirst. The process took 40 minutes approx after which the snake moved across to another branch of the same tree.
Endemic to the Western Ghats of India, the Malabar Pit Viper has highly developed heat sensory thermo receptor pits between its nostrils and eyes, which enable it to locate and strike at a prey even at night. They also enable the viper to sense temperature changes of up to 0.001 degree Celsius and strike with pinpoint accuracy. That’s another reason why it is known as the pit viper.
The Malabar Pit Viper, which feeds exclusively on lesser life forms like lizards, geckos and juveniles of birds, occupies an important niche in the forest ecosystem and is rather shy in temperament unless it is threatened. Its venom is mildly toxic to humans and its bite has known to cause swelling and pain, for up to 48 hours in some cases.
Very little is known of the behavior and biology of this endemic pit viper and the observations made could be an addition to the understanding of the seasonal selective prey base of this species.
The Malabar Gliding frog is a flagship species of the Western Ghats. Its status is classified as NT (Near Threatened) by the IUCN Listing of 2002 and is threatened due to habitat alteration and exotic monoculture plantation all throughout its range.
Its red webbed feet, green coloration and other field identification details that were confirmed with photographic evidence identified the amphibian.
The area of the incident was above a water body where dominant vegetation included False Guava, Sting nettle, Citrus sp. and Bamboo. The vegetation surrounding this area is typical of a secondary forest ecosystem typical of the region.
The height of the tree from the ground where the snake caught gliding frog is 2.5 meters from the ground and the altitude of the place is 644 msl.
The lat/longitude, hygrometric data and other details were recorded along with a few record shots from a distance to avoid disturbing the pit viper
The skies were partially cloudy and the temperature was 28 degrees centigrade.
Sunday, July 1, 2012
There is an increase in illegal garbage being dumped in the Chorla Ghats area of the Mhadei WLS and is a matter of grave concern. A need to curb this menace is being voiced bye villagers as well as ecologists who fear that water sources including the Anjunem reservoir will get contaminated with this grabage that is dumped on hill slopes as well as on road sides.