Monday, June 7, 2010

Tadoba (TATR) & Hosur - for the Census activity

January and February were busy months for my adventure team with everyone preoccupied with work. In this meanwhile, I got an oppurtunity to take part in the Wildlife census activity at Tadoba (TATR) in January and the Synchronized tiger census in the Hosur forest area in February.

Experience in Tadoba was wonderful, you get an insight into the lives of the department people, their routines and the hardships they face. I and Nag took part in the week long census activity in Tadoba. Walking in the Tiger land armed with nothing but a camera and a solitary department fella accompanying you and roaming for hours together is something cherishable. While walking, you suddenly hear the roar of a tiger right next to you, and your eyes start scanning the surroundings, but our poor sights can't spot them amidst the dense growth, the experience is something you won't forget in a hurry! You might not have spotted them, but they would have definitely seen you :)

Overall it was a good learning experience being a part of the wild roaming around the forests and more special when especially you come face to face with some!
On our last day and during the last field survey session as we were busy collecting samples and entering the records, we heard rumbling and scratching sounds too close by, just as we waited we were face to face with a big black sloth bear only the lantana b/w us. He saw us, stopped, waited for a couple of seconds and then turned around and ran for his dear life. Early in the day as we were nearing our transact area, I could see stripes crossing the road, unmistakably it was the big cat crossing the road in a hurry in the dew. As we were far and visibility poor, no ample proof of our sighting could be recorded.
We were assigned the Mohurli range under the able guidance of Shri Sonanve of the forest department. Our task included walking along the defined transact paths and sighting herbivores, carnivores all along the path, collecting samples of vegetation, lantana at specified interval distances, noting down the light content, observing the scats, pugmarks etc... etc... The weather was cold in the mornings, red hot in the afternoons and again chill after sunset.
We were put up in the forest department dormitory at Mohurli (that is still yet to be inaugarated) and food sourced from the MTDC resort nearby.
A wonderful week spent amidst where I want to be always...!
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Hosur (Synchronized Tiger Census)

I'm a subscriber of kennethanderson groups on yahoo and through one of the digest, i got to know of the census or survey happening in the Hosur forest division. I never realized so close to Bangalore city, forests still exist. The Hosur road that leads to Chennai via Krishnagiri cuts through the forest and there are instances of elephants straying onto this highway.

This time, I participated alone as registration was to be done in advance and I was assigned along with another participant Sai the Hosur range and my range was specifically the Shoolagiri range (Erandapalli). We were accomodated in the Cattle farm rest house at Hosur and the food was also organized.

The forests here are dry lands, often cultivated lands creeping in between and also inaccessible rocky terrain, but what I realized during my two days was this habitat still supported a large presence of sloth bears, foxes and leopards too. As done everywhere, we were assigned transact paths for direct and indirect sightings as well as to note the growth and vegetation and various other aspects.

The forest department Range officers, Guards, Watchers were keen learners and also excellent hosts, we were fed like anything and that too in heavy doses.I enjoyed my field survey here but problems are plenty and hope the nature survives the human onslaught!

Kenneth Anderson Nature Society (KANS) website - www.kans.org.in/

Care for the nature and the nature cares for you!

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