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Thread: A biodiversity spot - soon to be turned upside down

  1. #1
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    Default A biodiversity spot - soon to be turned upside down

    Last Sunday, 4th Jun, I decided to go to wilderness after a gap of about a month . I chose my favorite spot about 80 Kms from Hyderabad, near Vikarabad. I had sighted a Wolf there in Jan-2016, than herd of Nilgais in Mar-Apr-17. If we leave NSTR, then this population of Nilgais must be defining the southern boundary of their population in Indian Subcontinent.

    I had little sleep and was having a heavy head when I woke up early in the morning, nevertheless I decided to proceed with my plan; I landed in the forest at around 7:30 AM. Soon I saw a female Nilgai and it's calf who were looking at me from behind the thicket. Thereafter I kept on driving on forest tracks for couple of hours, very slowly in 1st gear, breathing in the clean air, gradually I became one with nature.

    It was around 10 AM when I decided to check a water stream for birds, this small forest has 2 perennial water streams with flowing water during peak summers also. I sighted 3 pairs of Tickell's blue flycatchers and one Paradise flycatcher. After picking up plastic garbage from the water stream I got into car. I moved on slowly looking either side , then decided to stop the car under a tree shade, it was around 12:30 PM. Suddenly my eyes caught movement ahead one the left side, a big Chital male emerged with quick stride, seeing my car it changed its direction and crossed the road downhill galloping along a ravine farther to my right side. I moved ahead, stopped and looked to my right, far I saw the male and a female chital still moving fast. This was a tremendous finding for me. I have been going into this jungle for last 7 years, this was my first sighting of Chitals there.

    I moved on to the second perennial water stream, where this winter I had sighted Verditer flycatcher, Crested Bunting, Red breasted flycatcher and lot of White-browed bulbuls. There also I saw a Tickell's blue flycatcher and a pair of Fantails. It was about 2 PM now and I decided to call it a day.

    I started back and stopped at the spot where male Chital had emerged. I was looking to the vast open area on my left. Suddenly on my instinct I looked to my right, I saw a deer looking at me intently. I froze, slowly looked at it through my Camera, and I could not believe my eyes. It was a male Chousingha. It kept looking at me for a long time then moved on slowly.

    I reached my home at 5:30 PM. I opened my laptop and did a google search for news related to Damagundem Reserve Forest. And saw this damn distressing news. Somehow it is feeling like I am losing a part of my soul, my being.

    Subhash Shrivastava;

  2. #2
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    Sad to hear that your favourite spot is now going to be partially destroyed due to base station, office and staff quarters construction activities of the Navy. The challenge is not just the 100 acres that is supposed to be concretised. The fencing will create hurdles for the movement of wildlife. Some of the wildlife use extreme low frequency ie. less than 20 Hz for communication. For example elephants (though they are not there in that area) use low frequency, which travels a very long distance, to communicate with other members. Tiger mother to cub communication is similarly below 20Hz. The lowest limit of human hearing is 20Hz. So several times I have seen this communication but couldn't hear. I am not sure about the communication frequencies that deer species use.

    There are insect species who use frequencies lower than 20Hz. Our knowledge of wildlife communication frequencies is extremely limited. We have no idea how the wildlife will cope up when the base station will be operating in the similar frequencies. The only thing we can hope is that due to the Navy hopefully the trees will grow and not get converted into lawns. There is mind numbing destruction of environment and wildlife going on in our country. With 130 crore people in this country, wonder whether any green area in this country will survive.

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    losing our protected areas is becoming a norm. We need to protect these for various reasons and build public awareness on why we need them.

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