Monday, October 19, 2009

Dandeli! Wildlife week celebrations.

I keep frequenting this place as my work takes me there. Its always a pleasure being in those jungles. I'm fond of the people and the place :)

DANDELI : A wildlife enthusiasts delight. Be it the diversity, the forests or the birds it has lots to offer. I had the opportunity of staying in Kulgi for a week and be apart of the wildlife week celebrations.

Wildlife Week 2009
The 55th wildlife week celebrations in Dandeli Anshi Tiger Reserve, in association with CEE organized a weeklong programme to mark the wildlife week celebrations at Kulgi and Dandeli for various target groups from the 1st to the 7th October 2009. The overall objective of this celebration was to sensitize citizens on the importance of nature and wildlife and a need for its conservation.

On the 1 st and 2nd October, the Teachers Training Programme on Nature Education was conducted. 23 teachers from various schools around Dandeli attended the programme.
The Wildlife week as well as the teacher's training programme was inaugurated by the chief guest Dr. Sunil Panwar IFS, Deputy Conservator of Forests, wildlife division Dandeli. The programme aims at teaching them about nature and showing interactive ways to educate their children.
I gave a small ppt on reptiles found in Dandeli and Anshi. I spoke about the venomous and non venomous species and also about the myths regarding snakes. The need for conserving them was high lighted.

The 3RD of October was for school children around Dandeli. The event was called "GAJARAJA MELA". Painting competitions, activities, street play and essay writing was conducted. A photography exhibition was also held which featured the best of wildlife from professional photographers as well as amateurs. The children got materials on wildlife and nature. Each child was happy and learnt about the wildlife near their homes.

4th day:
The event was inaugurated by MR. Sudarshan, Chief Wildlife Warden.
Mr. Sudarshan spoke briefly about bird watching, how one should go about it, the ways of identifying birds and their calls. He mentioned the bird books of Dr.Salim Ali and Grimmet and inskipp’s. Dr. Sunil Panwar, Mr. Kumaraswamy, Raghu ( RFO) and other officials were present.
The group included children, college students and families. Different groups were formed and each group had a naturalist to help them identify the birds.
The purpose of this event was to instill the passion for bird watching and need for conserving them. We made groups and i was the head naturalist for my group.

The birds seen were lovely species:

Malabar Pied Hornbills
Malabar Grey Hornbills
Scarlet Minivets
white bellied woodpecker
plum headed parakeets
Lesser rAcket tailed Drongos
flower peckers
Brahminy Kite
black drogo
spotted dove and alot more.

WE also saw a pair of Malabar Giant Squirrels and hanuman langurs.

The 5th day had self help groups from around kulgi and Dandeli. These women are important as they are the ones who interact and see wildlife near their homes. The need is to sensitize them on nature and its conservation.Slide shows, documentaries, ppt presentations and talks were part of their programme. Making them aware of their role they play in protecting the forests.

The 6 th day was conducted for the rural youths of dandeli. They were enthusiastic and form an important part in conserving our resources. Activities on nature, slide shows on wildlife, documentary screening about climate change and talks were conducted for them.

The 7 th day was the last day of the wildlife week. The distribution of prizes was conducted.All the children from their respective schools attended.

The STREET PLAY was by a local group who protect the forests.


The street play has a unique way of showing the importance of the forest and wildlife. The play concentrated on poaching of the hornbills, wild boar and tiger, the forest fires, and the ethics to conserve these.
They showed the need for conserving the forests and that’s its each ones role in conserving the forests.

All in All the whole week went by and it was an amazing experience. It always feels nice when your doing something worthwhile. :)

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