Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Melagiri Bio-diversity survey

Dear Friends,
Call for volunteers for Melagiri Biodiversity Survey
Kenneth Anderson Nature Society ( and Asian Nature Conservation foundation ( ) are jointly conducting a biodiversity survey in the Melagiri region of Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri districts.

Asian Nature Conservation Foundation, a professional research and conservation trust, is the lead agency for the survey and they have deputed a team consisting of 2 full time researcher officers, GIS expert and a field assistant all lead by Dr.Bhaskaran for a period of one year.

Kenneth Anderson Nature Society is an NGO whose members are serious, non-professional naturalists and conservationists drawn from all walks of life. KANS was born in these very forests one year ago.

Background of the region:

The Melagiris are a range of hills on the Eastern Ghats, bound by the river Cauvery on the west. Forest covered hills and valleys are the predominant landscape, with the highest peak of Gutherayan rising up to 1390mtrs. The forests are largely dry deciduous with some stretches of shola forests on the slopes of Gutherayan peak. The total reserve forest area is around 1400 sq km, with representative presence of nearly all animals and birds expected to be found in a similar habitat. The ruling monarch of these jungles is however the Elephant.

Purpose of the Survey:
This is a hitherto unknown area is covered extensively in the stories of Kenneth Anderson. The objective of the survey is to take stock of the forests, which have been deteriorating over time. We hope to bring to public light the beauty and diversity of these forests and also highlight the socio-economic issues facing conservation in this region.

A Sanctuary is being proposed in this area and we hope our inventory of the species and inputs on the human-forest interaction issues will lend weight to the proposal.

Survey particulars:
The Survey is broadly divided into the following categories:
1- Bird count for temporal and spatial distribution of bird species and populations (transects).
2 – Vegetation (transects).
3 – Reptiles
4 - Fishes
5 – Mammals (transects, camera traps).
6- Biotic pressures and effect of human activities on forests. (socio economic questionnaires)
7- Man animal (elephant) conflict. (questionnaires being done by a full time dedicated M.Phil student)

8- GIS mapping of the landscape with overlapped layers of vegetation maps, species distribution etc.

Call for Volunteers:

We request your help making this survey a success. We require volunteers to carry out transects and field surveys. None of the volunteer work is full time and can be carried out on weekends or holidays. Transects will be carried out by teams of two. Participation dates are flexible.

This is an excellent opportunity to experience the little known jungles frequented by Kenneth Anderson and experience a unique area of the Eastern ghats.

These are territorial forests and facilities are meagre to say the least. Accommodation wherever possible will be provided in places such as anti-poaching camps, forest guest house etc,. Otherwise please be prepared to sleep under stars like Kenneth Anderson did!

Reasonable level of physical fitness is expected as the transects will involve walking over distances measuring 6 to 8 kilometers, over densely wooded hill slopes. A willingness to rough it out and enjoy the outdoors are an essential requirement! There are no other prerequisites.

The survey is a voluntary unfunded project and no stipends or reimbursements will be paid for the volunteers. The survey work will begin in the month of July and continue for a year.

Please do drop me a mail at giving your interests to enable me to keep you informed about programs as they develop.

Warm regards
Sanjeev Kumar S.R
Vice President
Kenneth Anderson Nature Society.
Mob: 9362321000


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