Ultapani – ‘Reverse waters’

I was on a small pathway inside a beautiful forest which was a little confusing to describe as I had crossed a patch of grassland and then into a riverine forest and later I was resting under the shadow of a huge buttress in a wet evergreen forest. The above lines were jotted in my field book while I was sitting there looking at the kaleidoscope of the late morning light through those high canopies.

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The Barta Story

Of the few untold stories of my life, the one involving the most beautiful snake I have ever encountered on Indian soil is not an easy one to write. Though my friend and co-conspirator in this adventure, Ashok Captain wrote ‘The Barta Chronicles’ for Hornbill – the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) magazine in 2010, my account of the story remained untold till now for several reasons.

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Corona Virus?? What does it have to do with wildlife??

While sitting in home isolation today with rest of India, I was surfing on social media and looked at the different comments and reactions from people with different backgrounds. Most have not been able to fathom what exactly has happened and are either just following the guidelines or forwarding millions of suggestions on Whatsapp or

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My Panda Moment

And it did move! It moved around the tree, looking at us occasionally and then going back to clean its body and finally dozing off with it’s back towards us. But we did manage to get a few clicks in that complete white foggy background through the maze of bamboo leaves. I was so surprised by the self-discipline of the trackers there, they allowed us to spend 20 minutes around the Red Panda from a respectable distance. They did not do any clearing for us by cutting bamboos to get better view other than holding some bamboos apart.

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Dubious role of Ultrasonic devices as a snake repellent

There are multiple devices available internationally as “Home & Garden” snake  & rodent repellent devices. These devices work on the principle of utilising sonic wave sound and vibrations technology. As the sonic wave is emitted while passing through a media like soil, it also creates vibrations due to energy transfer. Though snakes can not hear sound

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The Polyvalent Scenario

Thanks to interests shown by many people in snakebite death mitigation and snake conservation,  tragedies and stories on snakebites  are being documented on social media quite regularly. The resulting discussions range from humanity, herpetological and medical grounds to Alternative treatments and treatment protocols. The below writing is to present facts and open up a can

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The Rescue Paradox

  Recently I was in discussion with a friend about snake rescue and we just decided to pen down a list of snake friends in our knowledge that have died due to snakebites. In 30 minutes we could come up with 29 names, there may be additions to this list if we start researching on

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The Bottom Time

Nearly a quarter of a century back I had a dream of becoming a Mariner when I was an undergrad student doing my major in zoology. Two factors that were instrumental in leading me to that dream, one was my father who loved to swim in sea and collect shells   and the second was my

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The Lost Frontier

Near Ranthambore, one of the famous national parks of India, on 6th June 2014, 7-year old son of Radheshyam, a Mogiya of Andoli Village in Chouth ka Barwara, got bitten by a snake on his face. Typical of Indian rural scenario, he was taken to the local temple and kept there. Fortunately the venom injected

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I have been craned

It was, way back in 2002, when I started seriously looking up to sky for photography , before that my photography world was always looking down to my beloved snakes and reptiles, I had armed myself with Canon 400 mm, 5.6 lens, brought second hand from Fort market and went to Bharatpur to shoot some

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Fallen for waterfalls

Water always finds the way when it has a place to flow. It loves the earth, caresses it, covers it, jumps from it and then we get our streams, rivers and waterfalls!!! (Kondhavle falls at Bhimashankar, Maharshtra, India )   All the monsoon treks done during college days were always filled with experiences of different

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Whistling Hunters

Dholes (Cuon alpinus) – Asiatic wild dogs, once found all over Asia is defending their existence in our Indian Jungles . India is the only remaining stronghold for them with some scatter populations in Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Laos , Vietnam and Thailand. Dholes are highly social animals living in large groups with very rigid hierarchy.

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Agumbe – Rainforest

I wanted to visit Agumbe for so many years but the plan never materialized. This time it just happened over a long weekend.   Me, Vidya Venkatesh and Bhavna Menon, drove from Mumbai to Sirsi, stayed at Greenworld farm , just 18 kms from Sirsi. This was started and run by Mumbai Couple, Aniruddha and

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Panna Tiger Reserve

Recently I visited Panna Tiger Reserve, in MP, to attend Capacity Building Workshop organized by  Last Wilderness  Foundation, Panna, in the central highlands of India is a pristine forest characterized by deep, rocky valleys and plateaus specked with Kardhai, Mahua and Tendu trees, through which the Ken River flows. Its beauty notwithstanding, it is ecologically

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