Mitra Magazine11


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Mitra Magazine11

  1. 1. Issue No. 1 February 2010 MITRA towards green sunrise...... Enchanting In This Issue Cotigao Bhagwaan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary CREATURE FEATURE TUSSAR SILK MOTH By Omkar Dharwadkar
  2. 2. We all came together when we were studying in G.V.M’s Higher Secondary About Us through the G.V.M’s Nature Study Circle (GNSC). Guided by Mr. Ajay Dongre we started our journey through jungle trails and birdwatching. Fascinated by the magnificence of birds, we turned towards photography as an attempt to preserve their beauties. But soon, our photography was not just limited to birds and we started to look out for whatever that can be termed as wildlife. We eventually built a big database of photographs and decided to share those with people. As a result, we organized an exhibition of Photographs at Kala Academy Goa under GNSC. Due to its great success with around 1500 people visiting it in just three days, we organized the exhibition at different places like schools and colleges like the Chowgule College Margao. Meanwhile, some of our members, who were interested in fauna like the snakes, took up the work of rescuing snakes. Today a lot of our members are involved in rescues of snakes and other distressed wild animals. Recently, we have started arranging activities like jungle treks for public. Also we have done awareness campaigns in schools and higher secondaries.
  3. 3. A word from Mitra...... Hi everybody, We present you the first issue of our magazine. We intend to make our readers aware of the natural wealth possessed by our state Goa and rest of the Western Ghats. This is our first attempt in doing so. Western Ghats is one of the few biodiversity hotspot regions of the world. It means that there are lots of endemic species in Western Ghats and they are threatened. Goa is endowed with pleasant environment, beautiful beaches and a small part of Western Ghats. Goa holds six Wildlife Sanctuaries which is a treat for a nature lover. We have been enjoying the beauty of goan forests for last three years. At the same time we could see how so called developmental activities are destroying our natural heritage. We felt the need to take steps to conserve what we are losing. So we founded MITRA, a NGO, to serve the cause. We started arranging treks for general public in wildlife sanctuaries to make them aware of the natural wealth we have. Some of our members took up wildlife rescues. We also started awareness campaigns in high schools and higher secondary schools. We began photodocumenting the Wildlife. And now we have taken another step by presenting this first issue of our magazine. We hope that you will like it. Do send us your feedback and suggestions. - Team Mitra Email: Blog:
  4. 4. Contents Page 2: About Us Page 3: A word from Mitra...... Page 5: In News - Forensic Reports confirm’s Tiger’s remains - Bhimgad declared as Wildlife Sanctuary Enchanting Page 6: Travel Cotigao -By Mandar Gaude Page 11: Bhagwaan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary -By Rohan Naik Page 15: Creature Feature
  5. 5. In News Forensic Reports confirm’s Tiger’s remains The investigations into Goa’s tiger killing case has got a boost with forensic report confirming that the remains collected from a plantation were of a striped cat. Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII) has confirmed that the sample matches to that of a tiger. One out of the seven samples matched which is enough to confirm. The tiger was killed in Keri village in a cashew platation, in February last year. Bhimgad declared as Wildlife Sanctuary The two-decade-long struggle of environmentalists has finally succeeded with the Ministry of Environment and Forests according wildlife sanctuary status to Bhimgad forest area (13,167.10 hectares) recently. Due to this, most of the Mhadei forests has now come under legal protection. Forests of Mhadei are home for a vast number of different species. Newly discovered species like the Mhadei Caecilian are found only in this area. A couple of rare bats-Wroughton’s freetailed bat and Theobald’s tomb bat-rare primates like slender Loris, lesser known mammals like brown civet, have all been documented from this area during the last few years. Did You Know? The IUCN Red List Threatened Species tells the global conservation status of plant and animal species. Species are classified in nine groups, set through criteria such as rate of decline, population size, area of geographic distribution, and degree of population and distribution fragmentation. • Extinct (EX) - No individuals remaining. • Extinct in the Wild (EW) - Known only to survive in captivity, or as a naturalized population outside its historic range. • Critically Endangered (CR) - Extremely high risk of extinction in the wild. • Endangered (EN) - High risk of extinction in the wild. • Vulnerable (VU) - High risk of endangerment in the wild. • Near Threatened (NT) - Likely to become endangered in the near future. • Least Concern (LC) - Lowest risk. Does not qualify for a more at risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category. • Data Deficient (DD) - Not enough data to make an assessment of its risk of extinction. • Not Evaluated (NE) - Has not yet been evaluated against the criteria. The term “threatened” is a grouping of three categories: Critically Endangered, Endangered, and Vulnerable.
  6. 6. Enchanting Cotigao - by Mandar Gaude The 85.6 Cotigao wildlife We set out the same afternoon. sanctuary is situated in south goa After two and half hours’ travel by and has old and dense forests. It is a bus we reached our destination. I travel delight for wildlife enthusiast. was steppping in this sanctuary after Mandar tells his experiences of his about half a year. Last time it was journey in this Jan.... fun learning about frogs and I was down with flu for first seven searching for Caecilians. days of the New Year which had Hunt for Frogmouth ruined half of my semester vacation. Night trails are always exciting and For quite a few time, I was away from thrilling. One reason is increased wildlife and now that I had recovered possibility of mammal sighting. from the flu, I was feeling an intense Another reason is many beautiful urge to go for a trip to a wildlife tiny spiders can be seen. Omkar had sanctuary that morning, and then once photographed about 35 species Omkar invited me to accompany him of spiders in within two hours. Birds to Cotigao Wild Life Sanctuary. I like Frogmouths and Nightjars are agreed instantly. ones which are active in night. Also
  7. 7. some mammals like flying squirrel, turtles had come out from nest civet are more likely to be seen in already. They were around twenty night. in number. We observed while That night we went out to search for forest guards released them in the the frogmouth. It is a Arabian Sea. nocturnal bird(organisms active only Olive ridleys are critically at the night) and its face looks like endangered species. They are the that of a frog. We started hearing smallest of the marine turtle Frogmouth calls. Calls became louder species in the world. They are in time indicating they had come highly migratory, covering close to us. But still we couldn’t spot thousands of kilometers between one since they had excellently foraging and nesting grounds. They managed to camouflage in the choose narrow beaches near surrounding. We waited in hope that estuaries and bays to lay eggs. the bird will show up. But we saw Each adult female lays just a glimpse for few seconds when approximately 100-140 eggs at a it flew from one branch to another time. It is believed that they nest and that was the only success we in an interval of one-four years. got. The nesting season is between November to March. Morjim and Visit to Olive Ridleys Galgibag beaches are two nesting After dinner we went to Galgibag sites in Goa. For the conservation, Beach to witness Olive Ridley turtles forest department guard the nests hatching. We were little unlucky as against humans and stray dogs. (c) Mandar Newly born Olive Ridley Tutles waiting to be released in sea at Galgibag. Forest Department monitors nesting of Olive Ridley Turtles and protects them until they hatch. The eggs hatch in 47-50 days.
  8. 8. The Eco-tourism Complex (C) Utkarsh Stage I: The eco-tourism complex of cotigao Egg of Red is well developed. It has spacious pierro cottages for accommodation. It also has a small amphitheatre, children’s park, a cycling trail, a small arboretum, rescue enclosures, nature interpretation centre. It is also home Stage II: for a large number of lesser known Caterpillar of Red (C) Utkarsh fauna. Draco, the gliding Lizard can Pierro be seen while having a cup of tea. Many butterflies keep hovering in air. We saw almost complete life cycle of red pierrot on a plant. One can see a number of beautiful tiny Red Pierro spiders in night. Spotted deers come in night just outside the complex. Yellow Pansy (c) Mandar (c) Mandar Signature spider Caterpillar of a Moth (c) Mandar (c) Mandar
  9. 9. An Unexpected Encounter Something shined at road side. After sometime we realized that it was a We enjoyed another night trail other black panther, sitting at the roadside. night. This time we went deeper in We all were awestruck. After looking sanctuary with DCF Dr. Debendra at us for few seconds, it stood up Dalai and DRO Vilas Gawas. We and walked slowly inside the deeper headed towards Bela Lake. Bela Lake jungle. It was a superb sighting. We is one of the fruitful sites for came out of the vehicle and tried to mammal sighting in this Wildlife trace the panther, but it had Sanctuary. Last year, my first vanished into the thick forest. A encounter with a leopard in the wild black panther is nothing but an was here. offspring of a normal leopard i.e. one We were welcomed by a black naped with spots. There is just some hare. Then we saw an adult female difference in pigmentation of skin Sambhar, Small Indian Civet, Grey as there is in humans. It is a very Nightjar, Jerdon’s Nightjar and a rare animal and we were lucky to Bedome Cat snake. see one. Only bad news was no one And then a rare mammal showed up. could get a picture of it. But the We were moving slowly and quietly. night out had paid off. Grey Nightjar (c) Mandar
  10. 10. Kuskem Waterfall Sunbeam, Cruiser, Blue Mormon and many more can be seen easily. Also Kuskem Waterfall is another attraction some rare species like Black Rajah, of Cotigao. A forest guard took us Red-Spot Duke, Fluufy Tit, Paris there on his bike. The main waterfall Peacock, Common Nawab can be revives only in monsoons. We saw seen. Along with butterflies, one can how it looks when it is dry. It was a also see beautiful birds. Some of the large steep rock structure. We endemic birds like Malabar Trogon, decided to visit another waterfall White-bellied Blue Flycatcher, Malabar inside forest. We were going along Pied Hornbill, Malabar Parakeet can the river path. be found. The chilled water and dark It is always a pleasant experience to green canopy keeps you fresh. walk through the rivers in Western The waterfall was smaller than the Ghats. It is one wonderful experience previous one. But it looked beautiful provided by Mother Nature for which with milk white water flowing through we should be very much grateful to it. There was a lot of butterfly her. It is a treat for butterfly activity near waterfall. We saw Black lovers. Many beautiful butterfly Rajah, Common Leopard, Commander, species like Tamil yeoman, Angled Angled Sunbeam, Lesser gull, Cruiser Kuskem Waterfall and Common Albatross. (C) Mandar Before returning home I thanked Mother Nature for giving those wonderful experiences. I was returning with full satisfaction.
  11. 11. Bhagwaan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary - by Rohan Naik (C) Rohan Bhagwaan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park (Now clubbed together) is one of the finest habitats for willdlife in Goa. It is a part of the Western Ghats-one of the top biodiversity hotspots in the world. With its variety of habitats from dense forest to open grasslands, rocky streams etc, it houses a variety of wildlife. From small insects-butterflies, dragonflies-damselflies; amphibians, reptiles, birds to huge mammals, different sorts of animals and also plants are found here. Also one can see variety of beautiful mushrooms during rainy season. Stream ruby trio (C) Rohan (C) Rohan Beddome’s Frog Centamoud Moth (C) Rohan (C) Rohan A lovely Flower Common Jezebel
  12. 12. (C) Rohan (C) Rohan Stream Ruby Damselfly Caterpillar of a moth (C) Rohan (C) Rohan Unidentified Insect - Its antannae Angled Sunbeam are remarkably longer than its body (C) Rohan Green Vine Snake
  13. 13. It stretches over a large area and includes many different villages. Spots like the sunset point, the Vasant Bandhara are a must visit. The sunset point is at the peak of one of the (C) Rohan highest hills of the sanctuary from where you can get the view of the entire ghat section and of course the sunset in the evening. It also holds the famous Dudhsagar waterfall and the Devils Canyon. The famous temple of Tambdi Surla and the waterfall adjacent to it also fall under the same sanctuary. (C) Rohan Stream Ruby male guarding the egg laying female (C) Rohan Tambdi Surla Temple
  14. 14. (C) Rohan (C) Rohan Tamil Lacewing Common Indian Toad In all, if you are a wildlife enthusiast, nature lover or even interested in the ancient culture or architecture, Mollem sanctuary is the place which will never disappoint you. (C) Rohan Did You Know? The Dragonfly (Bhirmoot) is one of the two living member of order Odonata. Other member is Damselfly. Many people misunderstand damselfly as dragonfly. One can differ easily between two by looking at its resting position. Dragonflies sit with wings held open, horizontally or downwards whereas damselflies sit with wings held closed, usually over abdomen. Also damselflies are slender.
  15. 15. CREATURE FEATURE Common Banded Kukri Malabar Giant Squirrel Oligodon arnensis Ratufa Indica (C) Utkarsh Class:- Mammalia Description:-Body length varies from 254 to 457 mm and tail length is almost the same as body length. They weigh aproximately 1.5 to 2 kg. Colour of back or upper part varies from deep red to brown Class:- Reptilia and that of front part is Type:- Non Venomous white. Distribution:-It is Length:-Average: 35cm found in western ghats (C) Rohan At Birth: 8cm and endemic to the Description:- They are reddish or same. They are found in all wildlife greyish-brown with 10-12 black or sanctuaries of Goa. dark brown bands. The top of the Habitat and habits:- It is arboreal and head has a distinct arrowhead spends most of its time on trees. It design. Underneath they are white in makes its shelter within holes in trees. appearance. Their thickness is less. Moving from tree to tree, it can leap 6 Distribution:- Throughout India. meters or more. It rarely leaves the Habitat:- Banded Kukris are mainly trees, usually only to chase other cave, crevice and tree-hole dwellers. squirrels during the breeding season. It Sometimes they are found in termite builds eagle-sized nests in the branches mounds. of trees and raise the young there until Habits:- This specie doesn’t bite they begin to emerge from the nest often and its main defence is to and gain independence. It is typically stiffen and jerk when provoked. They solitary. Active during day. lay 3-6 eggs. Food:-Fruits, flowers, nuts, bark, bird Food:- They feed on Geckos, skinks, eggs and insects. They disperse the small mice and eggs of reptiles and seeds on ground and thus help in birds. The tiny young ones feed on propagation of trees. insects, their larvae and spiders. Status:- Near Threatened Miscellaeous:-These snakes get their Miscellaneous:- It is state animal of name from their sharp, curved teeth, Maharashtra. Called shekro in Goa. perfect for holding strong prey such Poached for its meat and also because as geckos. Normally not found in it sometimes damages arecanut crop urban areas. for its food.
  16. 16. CREDITS People Behind this issue WRITERS: Mandar Gaude Rohan Naik PHOTOGRAPHS: Rohan Naik Utkarsh Tilve Omkar Dharwadkar Mandar Gaude DESIGN AND LAYOUT: Mandar Gaude EDITED BY: Omkar Dharwadkar Kaustubh Naik (c) Mitra This issue is for online viewing only. No part of this issue may be printed or sold by any means. This issue is for free viewing. Send us feedback at: Blog: