Sathyamangalam Wildlife Census - March 2009
Trip Start Mar 27, 2009
1Trip End Mar 29, 2009
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Mr. Kalidass, Head, OSAI - NGO explained the nuances of the census. People from WWF - India explained in detail the secrets of the forest and survival there.
Sathyamangalam forest area was divided into 85 blocks and 2 volunteers along with a Forest Guard were put into a group that will go into the forest for census. Census was planned to be conducted in three different ways i.e. Block Count, Waterhole Count and Indirect Evidence Count. After lunch, volunteers were sent to their respective blocks.
The actual census began on 28 March 2009, with Waterhole Count.The Block Count and the Indirect Evidence Count were done on 29 March 2009.
The census started on 28 March 2009 at 6.00 a.m. We reached the waterhole (Maanthotti - literally means deer tank) and waited in vain for about 2.5 hours before anything happened.
The waterhole was an artificial concrete tank, built to provide water to the fauna around this place during summer and when all the natural water sources are dry. The waterhole used to be flocked during the dry spells which are common in this area. but due to the occasional showers the previous week, the vegetation was green and perhaps water was available elsewhere.
At around 8.05 a.m. we sighted a hare and that was what we saw for the next 4 hours. At around 12.30, a group of 9 spotted deer were found. The forest guard, Mr. K. Krishnan who accompanied us sighted another group of 15 spotted deer at around 3.15 p.m. And that was what we saw the whole day in our block. Of course, there were a lot of things that would interest an ornithologist as we could see many Tree pies, Bulbuls, babblers, mynahs and crows around.
We started back to our dorm at around 4.30 p.m., much early than the scheduled 6 p.m. instead of going to the dorm, we headed straight to the road which led to Tengumarada - which gave us the desired result. This is situated just behind the Bhavani Sagar Dam.
Where I stayed
Forest Department Quarters - Bhavanisagar