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Thread: Thengumarada - Satyamangalam range

  1. #1

    Default Thengumarada - Satyamangalam range

    Thanks to the dreaded poacher Veerapan, the Satyamangalam Forests, till his death, had remained one of the most unexplored and densest forest regions. His reign over this area was so strong that people dreaded driving through these ghats, which forms an important link between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

    This place, is now going through a transformation, with the forest departments of both states (Tamil Nadu and Karnataka) focussing on Conservation of the rich flora and fauna of this region.

    There are some pristine spots in this range like Thengumarada (a haven for Black Bucks), ULIKARAIPATTY (a birding haven), Thalamalai, Thalavadi, Jodigere, a part of Nagari Sanctuary etc.

    Though i have been to some of these a few times earlier (under the eerie scare of an encounter with the dreaded bandit and with scores of armed forest personnel), this time it was a quick trip, more to visit an ailing friend, who owns an estate near Kollegal, very close to Thengumarada and Thimbam. I was hardly there for one night and the next day afternoon, but saw hordes of deer, two elephant groups (5 and 7 members), 3 bison, gangs of langurs, a sloth bear, two tigers and a large cross section of birds (from the common jungle fowl to the malabar hornbill). Most of this was on a drive on a SUV the first morning for barely 3 hours. Since it was a very quick trip, i did not carry any of my camera gear and i really missed them, especially when a large variety of birds played out in front of me right through the trip.

    The tiger was a memorable experience. Enroute to Pulinjur, we were on a single jungle road, when our driver spotted 2 of these tigers on the other side of a small rivulet. The vehicle stopped and i just had time to shoot a couple of snaps before the tigers moved back into the thickets. I am posting the photo of the tigers but not the EXIF details since these were on a aim and shoot mega zoom, which i had borrowed from my friend at Kollegal. On the way back, we saw a large sloth bear - just 30 feet from the road on a little clearing in the jungle. It was least bothered about us and hung on for ages, posing for photographs, before slowly moving out.

    This place is definitely worth spending time at and i am planning a more elaborate trip soemtime during June (b4 the rains) for a few days soon. I'll work with Sabayasachi to see if a group of us from Indiawilds can do this, of course if folks are interested.

    regards
    Rajan
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Rajan Kanagasabai; 19-04-2009 at 08:03 PM.

  2. #2

    Default

    and here is one of the mugshots of the bear . .

    Rajan
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  3. #3
    Join Date
    24-11-08
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    New Delhi
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    Default

    Rajan,
    This is superb. Good to hear that the forests are still good as the dreaded dacoit is no more and people have no fear in the world to enter those forests. I wish you had your camera gear with you. Morale of the story, never miss your camera. :-) I know how you would be feeling after having such a great sighting.

    We can certainly plan a short trip to explore these forests. Sighting these two tigers means a party is due on you.

    Anyone interested can let us know, and we can then plan for a small group to go there.

    Cheers,
    Sabyasachi

  4. #4

    Default

    Absolutely Sabyasachi

    I am still feeling horrible for leaving my photo gear behind . . . .

    Would be wonderful for a group (not more than 8 to 9) of us to make it there. The place is 30 KMS from Sathyamangalam (which is about 60KMS from Coimbatore).

    We can take a train out to Coimbatore or Mysore and pick up a cab from there to Thimbam (or simply drive out from Chennai to Coimbatore - roads are superb). The rides through the jungle require an SUV or a 4 X 4 which we can hire with the forest department or the locals.

    Accomodation is basic and nothing fancy. We can either rough it out at the forest guest houses (very very basic) or on a couple of tents. A better option would be at Bhama resorts (actually a converted farm home with basic acco and good food) , owned by a wildlife enthusiast Mr.Krishnakumar, who can organize guided treks / drives through the jungle.

    Incidentally, BR Hills (Jungle Lodges) is another 60 KMS away. So are Bandipur and Masinagudi . . . .

    Right now, this route is crowded (this is an important link between TN & Karnataka) due to the holiday season and due to the Eco tourism efforts of the forest departments. Quite a few resorts / camping sites i am told are coming up on the Karnataka side. The locals feel that sighting is at its best during June - just before the rains . . . .

    regards
    Rajan

  5. #5
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    Default

    Hi Rajan,

    Looks like your luck was at its best when you could spot all these animals in just 3 hours drive .

    Its good to hear that there are some forests which are still queit undisturbed by the tourists and are retaining their wilderness.
    I have still to photograph a tiger in the south, and it seems this will be a very good place to try my luck.

    Thanks for the update.
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

  6. #6
    Join Date
    17-12-08
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    Bangalore
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    4,589

    Default

    Wow. i'm in bangalore doing my interns for 2 months. I would love to join you guys on this. Looking forward to it... Hope my boss isn't on indiawilds...
    Regards,
    Bibhav Behera
    www.bibhavbehera.com

  7. #7
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    11-05-09
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    Kuala Lumpur
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    Default

    Hi Folks....i seem to have read this quite late...however if that trip has still not been planned pls do plan and post the details...i would love to join...if you have already taken the trip pls share your experiences further...would love to hear about it and maybe plan to go sometime....thanks

  8. #8

    Default

    Holy Cow, It is so close to where I live and I have not explored the place yet....Thanks for the info the next few yrs will be spent exploring the area.....

    You are one lucky - - -

    Keep clicking
    C J Vikram - 9003027304

  9. #9
    Join Date
    13-01-10
    Location
    Coimbatore
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    34

    Default Thengumarahada tigers

    dear mr rajan,

    am living in coimbatore. its just within 100 kms from thengumarahada. but i ever visited that place. but after i read about your forum, am very eager to visit that place. am sure i will plan my trip within a month. get back to you after my visit.

    thank you

  10. #10
    Join Date
    23-02-09
    Location
    Bangalore
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    113

    Default am interested

    Hi Rajan - Am interested in going there. Are you planning a trip??

    Quote Originally Posted by Rajan Kanagasabai View Post
    Absolutely Sabyasachi

    I am still feeling horrible for leaving my photo gear behind . . . .

    Would be wonderful for a group (not more than 8 to 9) of us to make it there. The place is 30 KMS from Sathyamangalam (which is about 60KMS from Coimbatore).

    We can take a train out to Coimbatore or Mysore and pick up a cab from there to Thimbam (or simply drive out from Chennai to Coimbatore - roads are superb). The rides through the jungle require an SUV or a 4 X 4 which we can hire with the forest department or the locals....

  11. #11
    Join Date
    17-09-09
    Location
    Trivandrum
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    Default Iam interested too....

    I am interested in joining you folks.Lovely place to explore.I have once travelled on a bike from Bangalore-Shivasamudram-Kollegal-Dharmapuri-Bangalore!!!

    That was many years ago and Veerappan was still roamming the forests.Saw 2 elephants right on the middle of the road.And no cameras at that time!!

    Regards

  12. #12

    Default

    Hi Ramesh, Sankar

    I have no immediate plans but will be at Kabini from the 11th to 14th April and then on at Coimbatore untill the 25th. Maybe we can plan a quick day or two at Thengumarada sometime after the 16th of April.

    regards
    Rajan

  13. #13
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    17-09-09
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    Trivandrum
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    Default Thats fine with me

    April 16 to 18 looks fine for me.If its ok for others as well we can plan a trip.

    Thanks

  14. #14
    Join Date
    13-01-10
    Location
    Coimbatore
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    Default

    hi mr.rajan,
    thanks for the information. but i have to be in chennai from 13th to 17th april for
    official conference. i will join you on some other trip. thank you

  15. #15
    Join Date
    17-12-08
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    Default Update

    Found this update at http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/s...o-lack-of.html

    New Delhi – Two adult elephants have died of “exhaustion” while searching for water and food during the last four days in the Sathyamangalam forests in southern Tamil Nadu state, the Times of India newspaper reported Wednesday.

    A 35-year-old makhna — a bull elephant without a tusk — died in the elephant haven of Thengumarahada in Bhavanisagar forest range in Sathyamangalam division on Monday evening. The postmortem examination conducted by forest department veterinarian revealed that the elephant had died of “impaction,” a potential case of dehydration and colitis in the stomach.

    On April 16, a 50-year-old female elephant was found dead at Kovilur forest area in Palayam. The elephant had lesions in liver and spleen, an indication that it had raided pesticide-laced food crops because of the fodder shortage in the jungles, the report said.

    Elephants gulp at least 100 to 125 litres of water everyday. While healthy elephants can trudge long distances in search of water, “weak and sick” animals are unable to “perambulate” and succumb, says forest veterinarian Dr N.S. Manoharan.

    However, Sathyamangalam District Forest Officer, S. Ramasubramaniam, has been quoted as saying that there is no food or water scarcity in the forests. “We have provided adequate water troughs for the animals. And it is not abnormal for elephants to die at 35 years in wild conditions,” he said.

    With the onset of summer, forests in western Tamil Nadu have been reeling under severe drought conditions and a spate of fire as well.

    With fodder and water holes drying up in the jungles, elephants are raiding the agricultural fields in hamlets located on the forest fringes.

    Besides drought conditions, viral diseases are also taking a toll on elephants. Last Sunday, a baby elephant died at a water trough at the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology at Anaikatty in Coimbatore, due to “severe viral infection”.

    The death of the elephants comes days after elephant conservationists and Tamil Nadu Forest officials discussed initiatives undertaken and future activities for conservation of Asian elephants in the state during a two-day workshop at Coimbatore city.

    Participants also discussed issues that are affecting elephants in Tamil Nadu, according to DNA newspaper.

    The workshop is a follow-up on recommendations of the national elephant corridor workshop held in Bangalore city in December 2007.

    The Tamil Nadu Forest Department, the Project Elephant, the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), the Elephant Family and the World Land Trust (WLT) jointly organized the workshop.

    Tamil Nadu state chief wildlife warden R Sundararaju has been quoted as saying that the habitat degradation and fragmentation are among major causes of human-elephant conflicts.

    Sundararaju called upon participants to formulate viable recommendations to reduce conflicts and help conserve elephants.

    "Help us conserve the elephant and forests for our own survival," Sundararaju said.

    Highlighting the significance of corridors in elephant conservation, Project Elephant director AN Prasad said corridor connectivity is always a necessity for elephant's survival.

    "Elephants are wide-ranging and are continuously on the move, so connectivity is always a necessity for elephant's survival. If the connectivity is broken, elephants either remain trapped in small areas or they migrate to other unchartered territories leading to conflicts," Prasad has been quoted as saying.

    The WTI executive director Vivek Menon expressed concern that elephant species is in danger in India despite being revered as a God, the newspaper report said.

    "Despite elephants being found in large numbers in India, and despite them being revered as a God, the species is in danger. It is important to make people understand the elephant and its needs to facilitate its conservation," Menon said.

    The workshop discussed the WTI work the 'Right of Passage' that documents 88 elephant corridors across India.

    The workshop also discussed the issues related to human-elephant conflict scenario, status of corridors, as well as mitigation of elephant deaths due to train hits in various forest divisions in Tamil Nadu.

    The Indian subcontinent has the largest population of Asian elephant with population estimates ranging from 26,000 to 31,000.

    The 12,000 sq. km area, spanning three southern states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala may be home to 6,300 elephants, the largest remaining population of Asian elephants in the world, according to various reports.
    Regards,
    Bibhav Behera
    www.bibhavbehera.com

  16. #16
    Join Date
    07-06-10
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    Doha , Qatar
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    Default

    Dear Rajan,
    I am planning to visit Bandipur, Nagarhole, Mudumalai, Waynad & Bhadra Tiger reserves in the September. Can you please tell me how to reach above mentioned place (where you sighted Tigers & bear) from Mysore ? how far it will be ? Will it be OK to visit all these places in September as it is a monsoon time ?
    Please guide me.

  17. #17
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    Default

    Hi Ravindra,

    Bandipur, Nagarhole and Mudumalai are connected National Parks. They are around 250 kms from Bangalore. The part in Karnataka state is called Bandipur while the one in Tamil Nadu is called Mudumalai. They are on the border of the two states with just a few kms separating them. Wayand is located in Kerala and is a bit far from Bangalore.

    These are open through out the year, so you can visit in September. The sightings can vary depending on the monsoon.

    Let us know if you need any more information.
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

  18. #18
    Join Date
    17-12-08
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    Bangalore
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    Default Tiger population increases in Sathyamangalam forest

    An encouraging update...

    Erode (TN),Sept29 (PTI) The tiger population has almost doubled in the Sathyamangalam forest range here within a year as per a census in the region,a forest official said today. In 2007 there were only eight Tigers in the Sathyamangalam forest. It declined to seven in 2008 and increased to ten in 2009. Now as per the census going on in the area there are about 18 Tigers in the forest, District Forest Officer N Ramasubramaniam told PTI. This is due to the strict vigil maintained by the forest department against poaching and proper facilities for the animals care like adequate water, he said. "Exhaustive study in ascertaining tiger population in the entire Sathyamangalam forest division is going on�, he said. He said a fresh census would be taken soon on elephants.There were 866 elephants in 2009, compared to 815 in 2007. There were 672 Gaur in the forest in 2009 as against 630 in 2007. "There are 2348 spotted deer, 1068 black bucks (kasturi Maan), 304 Sambar deer and 77 Barking deer.Government plans to start a black Buck Sanctuary in the Bhavanisagar area," he said. The leopard population too has seen a rise with 27 inhabiting the forest now against 19 in 2007. "But the wild boar population is decreasing sharply due to climatic conditions.No one is hunting the variety." Compared to 2402 wild boars 2009, there were only 843 in 2009. There forest also has 43 sloth bears and 15 striped hyenas. A separate vigilance squad has been formed to prevent poaching in the forest. He also said over the past few days some Tigers from Karnataka have been migrating to Tamilnadu forests,especially Sathyamangalam.

    Taken from http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfee...st/362611.html
    Regards,
    Bibhav Behera
    www.bibhavbehera.com

  19. #19
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    07-06-10
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    Doha , Qatar
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    38

    Default Satyamangalam Forest

    It is a great news that tiger population doubled in Satyamangalam forest. It is one of few good news that are coming from forests nowdays, particularly related to tigers.
    Recently I visited Bandipur, Nagarhole, Mudumalai & waynad, but no tiger sighting, only tiger footprints .May be I will try next time satyamanglam.
    As per reports some tigers are migrated from Karnataka side, I think that me the main reason for this sudden increase in numbers. But one question remains to be explored. Why tigers from Karnataka side are migrating ? Is there prey shortage towards Karnataka side, particularly Bandipur side ?

    Ravindra Yadav

  20. #20
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    23-02-09
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    Bangalore
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    Default

    Hi Ravindra.
    In Bandipur side, the prey density is quite high. The tiger population is healthy and growing. Since Tigers are territorial, they need more forest cover (with prey) to support their population growth. Very often Tigers are pushed away from their territories (by other stronger tigers) and many times we have seen tigers straying in Begur area. Since Bandipur, Kollegal, Satyamangalam are all contiguous, there is a possibility that Satyangalam is getting more Tigers.

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