Ian Lockwood

MUSINGS, TRIP ACCOUNTS AND IMAGES FROM SOUTH ASIA

Biodiversity…Conferences and Snapshots from the Palani Hills

with one comment

A pair of rare damselflies mating at Pambar Shola stream near Kodaikanal. Thanks to the help of Karen Conniff and friends in Kerala they have been identified as Esme cynovittata, a species endemic to the Palani Hills.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). In the shadow of growing evidence of declines in global biodiversity there are a variety of conferences and events being arranged to highlight the ongoing concern for this crisis of extinction. India is hosting the 11th Convention on Biodiversity conference  (CBD COP 11) in Hyderabad starting today and ending on the 19th of the month. In December the Second Indian Biodiversity Congress meets in Bangalore for a conference. The meetings come at a time when there have been months of controversy and debate surrounding the decision by India’s supreme court to restrict tourism in the core zone’s of tiger reserves. There has been further tension over the designation of the Western Ghats as a world heritage site (more on this in a future post). The Economic & Political Weekly has an article by Shalani Bhutani and Kanchi Cohli looking at India’s 10 year-old Biological Diversity Act (overseen by the NBA). The CBD has produced a comprehensive paper looking at biodiversity conservation by indigenous populations that is available as a PDF (note the significant contributions of Ashish Kothari of Kalpavriksh).

Meanwhile back in our small corner of the planet I am working on sifting through student internal assessments that have largely focused on the DP Geography sub-topic of “biodiversity and change” at our Sinharaja field study site. I have also been processing images from the summer in the Palanis Hills where I had a chance to experience a wide variety of life forms in the two weeks that we were there. Most of these were taken on trips with my friends and colleagues at the Vattakanal Conservation Trust and Gurukula Botanical Sanctuary. This post highlights some of these species…

Calanthes triplicata in flower on the floor of an undisturbed shola in the Palani Hills.

Montane grasslands habitat in the outer Palani Hills along with a Shaivite temple deity.

Ahaetulla species at Gundar Valley near Kodaikanal. Presumably it is a brown variation of Ahaetulla nasuta (see Whitaker & Captain p. 330-331).

Various montane grasslands flowers on or near to the Kukkal ridge.

Written by ianlockwood

2012-10-08 at 3:31 pm

One Response

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  1. Dear Ian

    The Ahaetulla sp. seems like a Gunther’s Vine Snake (Ahaetulla dispar) as it is found in the Palani hills. Also its snout is shorter than the common one i.e. Ahaetulla nasuta.
    Anyways, love your work and your dedication towards conservation. Would love to join you in your trips someday. I live in Kodaikanal as well and run a Wildlife educational company. Hope to meet you someday!
    Take care!

    Neerav Singh

    2012-11-01 at 9:18 am


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