Adventure

Conservation Outreach Road Trip

Conservation Outreach Road Trip (CORT)

-Susan Sharma

Yet another citizen effort to help, document and archive the grass root level environment and wildlife conservation effort is currently on. 

Nirmal Kulkarni is a wildlife ecologist working in the Western Ghats on lesser known fauna in general and herpetofauna in particular.   He also aims to photo document the lesser known fauna the Mahdei Bio region and create awareness amongst the masses.   With this objective in mind Nirmal has set out on a road trip which he has christened "Conservation Outreach Road Trip-Inspiring people, places and their work ".    His journey covers  Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra.

The primary aim of these road trips is to identify, motivate and engage with grass roots activists and conservationists whose silent work needs to be appreciated and further strengthened.  Another purpose is to provide these identified individuals, groups and teams with basic equipment, field guides and share experiences about conservation as well as eco-tourism.   Nirmal has a group of writers, photographers and researchers accompanying him, all on volunteer basis.

Research associate Rahul Khanolkar connected with anti poaching camp watchmen from Bimgad WLS Karnataka. They were provided First Aid kits as a first step towards empowering these grassroots warriors as part of the CORT initiative.

The stories on the way are recorded by the writer while the photographer documents the still and moving images.  The trip will ensure that a detailed report and reality check is done on field issues that concern the forests of these states.  And finally of course, with the help of images, video shoots and journal entries and sketches, he hopes to generate stories for popular as well as scientific interest.

Nirmal giving first aid kit to Darshan nail a round forester at Castle Rock wildlife range karnataka.

At the end of the year, a ‘ Grass Roots Conservation database’ will be created to bring these silent workers on one platform so that their combined strength can inspire as well as motivate the work of others.  

The team outside anti poaching camp near kuveshi village Karnataka

Rahul Khanolkar, Research associate at Mhadei Research Centre explaining about the Davis Weather station to team members.


Chaukul village screening of  a wildlife drama oriented documentary "Vaghobacha Khatla' in the local language Marathi on human-leopard conflict. 

"You can join a trip too. Come be a part of the ‘Conservation Road trip’ journey and help make a difference…one step at a time." says Nirmal.  Nirmal Kulkarni can be contacted at ophidian_nirmal@yahoo.co.in

Burning Issues

Winged Guardians of Mountainscapes


Winged Guardians of Mountainscapes
-Dr.Susan Sharma

WWF-India organized a talk on 15th February, 2014 at India International Centre, New Delhi where I was given an opportunity to talk about the state of mountain pheasants in India.  Here is a brief introduction followed by a link to the full presentation.  I would also request IWC members to vote on the poll on our homepage "Are pheasants game-birds or endangered species?"

Mountain pheasants like the Himalayan Monal, Tragopan, , Koklas and Kaleej are the guardians of India's mountainscapes.

An Overview
Pheasants belong to the order Galliformes or fowl like birds. This large family of birds includes the jungle fowl and peafowl which are found in the plains of India. The focus of this presentation is “mountain pheasants” which originated in the young Himalayan Mountains. Almost all pheasant species are exploited in their native habitat by local communities and visiting hunters. Sixteen species have been introduced outside of their natural ranges for ornamental purposes, hunting, eggs and meat collection or for feathers . Over one-third of total species of pheasants are officially listed as in danger of extinction from their native Habitat.

Why are they important?
Pheasant species range from sea level to 4,200 m mountain pheasants which inhabit the Himalayas and the higher mountain ranges of China, Japan, and Taiwan, and low elevation species like peafowl and jungle fowl. Since pheasants are ground dwelling birds, they are particularly vulnerable to human disturbance. After establishing a close link between oak trees and pheasants for shelter, ecologists have reached the conclusion that a decline in the pheasant population mirrors an adverse change in the mature forest. So in scientific terms, pheasants are considered „indicator species„ of healthy habitat. 
  
Years of research have shown that Himalayan pheasants are mostly found in moist, temperate forests where there is a thriving community of oak trees. Oaks are important in ecological terms because they grow only in forests that are mature with plenty of healthy undergrowth in the form of vibrant grasses and bushes and a wide array of specialized tree species.

In scientific terms, pheasants are considered “indicator Species” of a habitat. An indicator species is an organism whose presence, absence or abundance reflects a specific environmental condition. Anyone living in the mountains will vouch for the Himalayan Monal whose calls warn the ground dwelling animals like musk deer, tahr and bear of approaching hunters /poachers.  Musk Deer, Himalayan Thar, Serow and Pheasants make the Himalayan Region an area of immense national significance. But the winged guardians of these mountainscapes are indeed the pheasants.

The hills and valleys of the Himalayan ranges are the only areas left in the world where these exotic birds species still exist in their natural surroundings. Future of these birds is bleak unless awareness about their role in protecting the mountainscapes is brought to the locals in their language.  

The spectacular Monal, state bird of Uttarakhand is worth protecting; because protecting its habitat means protecting all other pheasants and galliformes, the musk deer, tahr, serow, bear ....the ecosystem which prevents natures fury overtaking us, humanity.


In Europe only the Alpine Chough survives in high altitudes. (Photo Schilthorn, Swiss Alps) India's high altitudes are blessed with wildlife and the gorgeous pheasants. Let us protect them and protect ourselves .

Beginning a dialogue on pheasants -their role in protecting our mountains, their role as apex species warning others of danger. This is the goal of my presentation.  The complete presentation is uploaded on slideshare.net.   Here is the link


Environment Education

Update on Tiger-Cyclo -walk through 31st January 2014

Update on Tiger-Cyclo -walk through 31st January 2014

-Sunil Joshi

Day 40 -- 22nd January 2014
Dhule.

Presentation at Rana pratap school Dhule.


Day 41 -- 23rd January 2014.
Dhule to Zodge, around 27 kilometers.
  

Presentation at Janata school, Zodge.
Day 42 -- 24th January 2014.
Zodge to Malegaon around 25 kilometers through dense fog
The schools welcomed team tiger cyclo-walk in such a great manner ........

Day 42 -- 24th January 2014.
Zodge to Malegaon around 25 kilometers.
To propagate awareness in masses, an environmental rally was arranged in village Sayne. The rally meandered in the small village for around three quarter of an hour . . . . .
Snaps of the rally ......

Day 43 -- 25th January 2014.
Malegaon.
One more rally on environmental awareness was arranged at Malegaon. Around 325 Students participated in this rally.

A huge rally of environmental awareness was initiated at Malegaon municipal corporation. The rally lasted for around an hour.


Our earlier updates can be read at
http://indianwildlifeclub.com/Ezine/View/Details.aspx?aid=908

http://www.indianwildlifeclub.com/ezine/view/details.aspx?aid=906

http://indianwildlifeclub.com/Ezine/View/Details.aspx?aid=904

Events

Living in harmony with Nature and Wildlife-One day workshop in Gurgaon

Living in harmony with Nature and Wildlife-One day workshop in Gurgaon
-Dr.Susan Sharma

Thank you for believing in the idea of IndianWildlifeClub and for being a part of our community of nature lovers.

Education is the principal component of any environmental initiative. In the last two years more than 60 of our members have taken the rigorous BNHS online Courses.  An equal number have opted for the experiential learning of volunteering with WRCS.  We are always on the look out for programs/projects where our online members can become involved on the ground.  

April is celebrated worldwide as "Earth month".  In India most of us are aware of 'earth day' being celebrated on 22nd April.  In keeping with our tradition of creating enduring values, IWC is planning a series of workshops relating to nature and environment in selected cities.  We are planning these workshops as self-sustaining events.  The first workshop is planned in Gurgaon on April 19th.  

Those of you in the National Capital Region please mark the date on your calendar (It is on a Saturday) and register.

To others, we would request you to spread the word among your friends in the NCR region.

Here are the details



Workshop - Living in harmony with nature and environment is possible
An IndianWildlifeClub.com WORKSHOP on 19th April 2014 

Venue: South City Club (Club Patio) E-Block, South City I, Gurgaon
LIVING IN HARMONY WITH NATURE AND ENVIRONMENT 

Understand, Imagine, Adopt and Make an Impact
9.00 to 9.30 Registration
9.30 to 10.00 Welcome address and Introduction of Participants - Dr.Susan Sharma
10.00 to 11.00 Session 1: Ashish Shah 
The Web of Life - What is under Threat? 
Why talk about Sustainable living in harmony with nature
11.00 to 11.15 Tea
11.15 to 12.15 Session 2: Shashi Sharma 
Understanding and Demystifying Ecological Balance , Regeneration, self renewal in nature Sustainability and Lifestyles
12.15 to 1.15 Session 3: Barun Aggarwal 
Indoor air quality- How to improve it with plants
1.15 to 2.15 Lunch
2.15 to 3.15 Session 4: 
Group activity
3.15 to 3.30 Tea
3.30 to 4.30 Session 5: Dr. Surya Prakash 
Birds and Butterflies as Indicators of Quality of Environment
4.30 to 5.00 Summing Up and Conclusion
   
   
Our Speakers 

Ashish Shah: Programme Manager at Season Watch, National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore. 
Shashi Sharma: Corporate Consultant, Gurgaon. Earlier, India Chief risk Manager at GE Capital Services. 
Barun Aggarwal: Director at Breathe Easy, Paharpur Business Centre , New Delhi. 
Dr.Surya Prakash School of Life Sciences, JNU, New Delhi.

Register for the workshop
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Click here to pay Rs 2000/ online 

If you do not wish to pay online, credit Rs 2000/ to the following account 

Name of account: IndianWildlifeClub.com 
Number of Account: 30003443877 (MCA account) 
Branch: Sushant Lok I, Gurgaon 
IFSC Code: SBIN0004449

Wilderness Volunteers

Volunteering Opportunities in Sahyadri Tiger Reserve


Volunteering Opportunities in Sahyadri Tiger Reserve

-Susan Sharma


Details of Volunteering Opportunity 

Wildlife Research and Conservation Society is carrying out a survey of wildlife occupancy in buffer zone of Sahyadri Tiger Reserve. Volunteers are invited to participate in the survey. The field work will be carried out in mountainous terrain in remote areas. As part of the work, every day, participants will walk through a pre-decided stretch of the forest, along forest trails or roads. 
 
During these walks, participants will record signs of carnivores and herbivores such as scats, sprays, tracks, scrape marks, pellets, burrows etc. 

Pugmarks of Tiger and Sloth Bear seen on the jeep road in Kanha 

Participants will also record threats to the forest and wildlife such as tree cutting, firewood collection, cattle grazing etc. Occasionally interviews may be conducted with local people about wildlife presence and human wildlife conflict. Volunteers should be capable of walking 15 to 20 km every day in hilly terrain and this requires them to be physically fit. Previous experience of wildlife surveys will be an advantage. Living arrangements may be very basic in many places with no bathrooms or toilets.  The food provided will be whatever is available locally so volunteers should be prepared to adjust. 

Volunteers are expected to be equipped with field clothes (green/brown), torch, water bottle, backpack and other field requirements, as the work sites could be remote. Food expenses will be paid by WRCS. It will be helpful if you can carry your own sleeping bag. The survey is beginning immediately. Volunteers should apply only if they can stay for a minimum of 15 days.   Please note that final selection of volunteers will be by WRCS.  
How to apply.  Go to 

http://www.indianwildlifeclub.com/Volunteer/Melghat/beAVolunteer.aspx

Log in with your email id and password for Indianwildlifeclub.com to fill up the log in protected application form.  

For more details and clarifications please contact

Satvika Kumbhare, Communication officer 
Wildlife Research and Conservation Society 
www.wrcsindia.org 
Email: info@wrcsindia.org 
Ph: 020 65222903, 25871310 
Mob: 9960749824



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