Trekking in the Western Ghats!
The Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Udupi district of Karnataka, Kollur and was established in 1974 covering an area of 247 sq km. The vegetation type is a mix of evergreen, semi-evergreen and moist deciduous forests covering the steep slopes typical of the Western Ghats Mountains. These forests can support a myriad of butterflies due to the varied plant composition and diversity. Hence, this forest comes under the Medicinal Plants Conservation Areas. (Local communities are actively involved in this conservation effort. MPCAs serve as the study sites for conservation biology related research and also the source of authentic and quality planting material for propagation)
Longitudes : 13o41'25.87"E to 13o58'51.85"E
Latitudes : 74o39'8.68"N to 74o56'8.84"N.
Annual rainfall : 4,593 mm
Elevation ranges : 9-1,315 m above sea level.
The sanctuary receives an annual rainfall of 4,593 mm and the elevation here ranges from 9-1,315 m above sea level. Water sources include the Chakra nadi, Kollur River, 27 perennial streams, 36 large seasonal streams, several smaller streams, two seasonal natural lakes, one spring and 20 artificial water tanks. (Source from Atree’s Website)
A wide variety of butterflies, reptiles and birds are found here. My trek through this beautiful forest opened my eyes further on the beauty and endemism of species of flora and fauna seen in this region. I was completely amazed at the beauty of this forest. I trekked a lot in a period of 3 days; a trek to Arshinagundi Falls, A trail specifically for butterflies, a trek into the forests to explore a Nature trail and a trail for Birds. I was amazed at the butterfly and bird life. It’s truly a joy to trek. This place is truly a haven for butterflies and birds. Unfortunately I couldn’t spot any large mammals and the shy Lion Tailed Macaques. Nevertheless I saw some beauties and rare flora.
My highlight: I spotted a lovely Ornate flying snake near a stream basking on a tree; 6 m above ground.
A photo log of my Experience:
Ornate Flying Snake