Wednesday, April 25, 2012

When our turn will come to give back to Mother earth...

Has anyone noticed....the frequency of earthquakes in last few months??? or you must be giving an eye to news related to nature's fury....floods, volcano eruption, drought etc..etc....don't you feel that its a clear indication that now its our turn to pay back to our mother doesn't mean that we will start celebrating days day, world environment day, ozone day....recent one is Greenathon. For an environmentalist like us, all days should be Earth, ozone or environment day.

 In my Recent trip to Sahayadris from where Western Ghats starts, made me feel like what I am giving to my planet. Am I doing enough to save my nature and natural resources? No, I think answer is no, nothing....the work I am trying to do is not enough. One of my friend who is very passionate about wildlife conservation is doing way beyond his capabilities despite the fact that he doesn't have the proper degree in his hand, still he is worried about conservation. When he can try his level best, then why not others?
My trip to Sahayadri was to assess the impact on few migratory bird due to some developmental activity which is going on there, but when I reached there and saw the was awful, not on birds but on the entire landscape. Blasting, digging, red soil all over which was making the low visibility in the was soooo painful and made us think whether we should take up the study or not? Now, we are doing the study coz we want to come up with the proper conservation action which has to be taken out while carrying out all these developmental activities.
During my stay, I came across few threatened species of flora and fauna and was surprised how and why government has given permission for this activity? Government has certain rules and regulation before initiating such activities but alas! this activity has not been included under EIA norms. Still wondering why? 
Due to some official constrain I cannot write detail in this blog but I strongly believe if government think of renewable energy resources also, then before initiating the proposed project, see the proper impact on the environment.........

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ways to Dialogue..........

Annual river in Kumbhalgarh WLS
I do not know how to express my view today….I was in the field “Kumbhalgarh WLS” to share our research findings with local community called “Raika”. Raika is a community whose main occupation is livestock rearing especially sheep and goat rearing and they are traditionally dependent on the forest for their need.

View of Aravalli Hills

Garasia Tribal

Raika community

                            This workshop cum field visit was organized by an NGO called “Lok-hit Pashu Palak Sansthan (LPPS) that is working with Raikas for the welfare of this community in the vicinity of Kumbhalgarh WLS. Being with Foundation for Ecological Security (FES) my colleague and I was asked to share our research as well as “what we are doing inside and outside the protected areas for the benefit of local communities and on conservation aspect”.  Other participants were from Kalpvriksh (NGO from Pune) and Sahjeevan (NGO from BHuj-Kachchh) along with few members of Maldhari community from Banni Grassland (Kachchh- Gujarat). This Maldhari community was invited to share their views about the conservation of grasslands in extreme western part of country. Apart from this they did share their notion about Forest Right Act (2006) and how they are managing their resources in sustainable manner.  
Grass potential of Kumbhalgarh WLS
Neema Pathak from Kalpvriksh was very clear in telling about the Forest Right Act, Individual Property Right (IPR) and Community Property Right (CPR).  Many things are very much clearly mentioned in the Act but some of the NGOs are trying to misinterpret the information available and the local community vivaciously grasping this information. It is so disheartening to see how the real facts are getting distorted!!!!! I wanted to tell many things but I didn’t find it as a suitable platform. Though, it was very difficult for me to keep myself quiet, and I did communicate with local community but in a different perspective. One thing which came up, was the management aspect, it’s not that local community cannot manage their resources but lack of collective efforts or you can say lack of UNITY is becoming a major problem.  Most of my friends think that these tribal and local communities are innocent people but increased impact of technology and politics has grown its root deeper at the village level and that is where their innocence is paying interest. Literate people are taking advantage of their innocence and lack of accord to earn their bread. It’s so ridiculous!

I am a wildlife biologist, I do care about the forest and practically I am against any type of developmental activities inside the forest, I do believe in natural flow of nutrient and natural regeneration of forest but on the other hand I do aware of the rights which are being asked by local community. Here comes my concern of transient the information, passing on the right information and in precise way should be the criteria in engaging these people with us. Dialogue with respective department and local community should be in agenda. If government has brought some Act for the welfare of the tribal community, then we all should join hands together towards the sustainable management and conservation of our resources.
Some of the NGOs are behaving like a rival of forest department. In this way the differences and clashes between the forest department and local community cannot be filled.  These NGOs should work like cement instead of working like a negative catalyst.  Overall these resources are all ours and it’s our duty to conserve these resources in sustainable manner. If economic growth is necessary for the country then same thing should apply for the tribal also and I don’t think anyone will deny this fact of economic and social uplifting of local and tribal community but in this social and economic uplifting one should never forget our environment and sustainable use of natural resources.  

Monday, May 30, 2011

pictures from Sitamata WLS

Gloriosa superba

River Karmoi in Sitamata WLS

Look like a Golf Course na!!!

Valley of Flowers...isn't it???

What a red beauty.......

Add caption

early morning of winter season.....

water lily...

local community...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Majestic abode for Wildlife………..

Sitamata Wildlife Sanctuary is a beautiful abode for the birds of different regions. It is supposed to believe that Goddess 'Sita' had spent her few years of exile in this area, hence this sanctuary named as Sitamata WLS with three perennial rivers in its account. This sanctuary has its immense importance in Southern Rajasthan mainly because it forms the northwestern limit of Teak-bamboo forests and the fauna occurring there in. It is exceptional for diversity and interspersion of habitats, which includes area of teak stands, wetlands, perennial streams, gentle undulating mountains, natural deep gorges and fine grooves of mixed woodlands. The location of this sanctuary being at the inter junction of the Aravalli, Vindyan hill ranges, and Malwa Plateau makes it zoo-geographically important and more unique as floral and faunal elements of both ranges could occur.
This majestic Wildlife Sanctuary (SWLS) lies in the districts of Chittaurgarh, Udaipur and newly formed Pratapgarh district in the southwest region of Rajasthan State extending upto 422.95 km2. Three perennial river i.e. Jakham, karmoi and Sitamata wet the sanctuary through out the year. General topography presents a picture of tangled wilderness of ridges, plateaus, valleys with network of streams and at places fairly wide plains.
The climate is characterized by distinct winter, summer and monsoon season.The winter commences from November and becomes cold in December –January with the minimum temperature of 6oC. Summer starts from mid March and the heat become intense in April with the maximum temperature of 45oC. Rain showers from mid June and continues up to mid September. Sometimes winter showers also occur in January-February. 
Bauhinia racemosa
Peristylis spp.
  When talk about Rajasthan, only scene comes in mind is vast sand dunes, desert, dry areas but seeing this sanctuary would surely surprise everyone by seeing network of three rivers Jakham, the Karmoi and the Sitamata and accompanied lush green riparian vegetation is main characteristic of this sanctuary.All this have resulted in diverse micro and macro habitats that are home to quite a few conservation significant floral species like Sterculia urens,Dendrocalamus strictus, Chlorophytum tuberosum, Buchanania lanzan, Desmostachya bipinnata, Gloriosa superba and Orchid like Vanda and Peristylis.

With so many characteristics, this sanctuary is interspersed with about 26 villages and their agriculture field that creates a typical mosaic; while along the periphery there are nearly 20 villages. The agricultural activities coupled with the heavy biotic pressure of domestic livestock, illicit cutting of wood, timber and bamboo and other MFP collection, encroachments, both inside and the periphery exerts enormous pressure on the PA.
Indian Peafowl
This entire geographic feature makes this sanctuary perfect abode for more then 300 species of birds including Indian Pitta, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Black-naped Monarch, Verditer Flycatcher, Ultramarine Flycatcher, three type of Kingfisher and major attraction is Stroke-billed Kingfisher in the riverine, Tit species like Black-lored Tit, Great Tit, small birds like munias and winter visitors like warblers, and even can see dancing Indian Peafowls everywhere in the monsoon season. 
Peacock Pansy
Butterflies like Lime butterflies, Mormon, Blue Tigers, Grey, blue, peacock and chocolate pansy can be seen feeding on many flowering species.                                                                           
Tiny spiders are of course can bring joy of being in the forest.
Mammals like Palm and Small Indian Civet are an attraction in the night feeding on some fruiting trees. Jungle Cat and smallest Rusty-spotted Cat is also a feature of attraction in the sanctuary along with endangered Four-horned Antelope. 

Indian Rock Python
Reptiles like Fan-throated Lizard, to poisonous Kobra, Krait to Python, even crocodiles can be seen at the bank of Jakham Dam.

Overall this sanctuary is a must visit place in southern Aravallis. Even Sitamata temple is located at the heart of the sanctuary midst of lush green forest with riverine all along. 
Waterfall near Sitamata Temple
One could ever imagine a walk in the forest listening chirping birds all over, fishes and even small crabs in the river, water is so clear that one can even see river-bed full of small pebbles, deep gorges and valley and after that a small water fall. It’s so comforting to be in this protected area. I would advise to all my friends to take some time off from their busy life and visit this place at least once in their life.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Just for doing sake...."environmental education'

Two days ago,I had meeting on "How to bring kids close to nature"? Sounds interesting, right? Unfortunately, it was little disappointing. Teachers thinks nature camps can bring kids close to nature, absolutely true, but what activities do they think they can cover during that time. Most of the teachers were forcing me to include questions from the what type of leaf? aestivation, petals, corolla, etc..etc..I was trying to explain them, if I were a kid I would certainly not go for this type of nature camp where I will have to do practical which I would have done in the laboratory. My whole time went up in letting them understand the fact that nature camp does not mean to carry out practical work instead of doing some creative activity like identify bird calls, trying to identify animals tracks and signs, trying to search bird's nest, tryig to identify stars etc.etc.. But it is an unfotunate fate of our education system that they always want to run on the same trek.
I am trying to bring the change by getting myself involved in all the planning, and to execute them in the field. Keeping my fingers crossed for the next meeting.

Monday, May 2, 2011

My Own Project on one of the endemic and vulnerable bird of India "White-naped Tit (Parus nuchalis)"...facing threat from various anthropogenic pressure. Mining, cutting, lopping and above all migratory livestock, all are prevailing in its habitat consequently resulting into shrinking of its habitat i.e. Tropical thorn forest of India.
For more, please visit website of Rufford foundation.