March 30, 2011

Agumbe in the heart of the monsoons! 03 - 05 June 2011

Experience the life giving rains

The beginning of June is a very interesting time in the Western Ghats. Everything is prepared for and waiting for the rains to come. The few early showers have already caused an explosion of life and amphibians and insects abound. Snakes, lizards and other small predators come out in great numbers to feast on this abundance and many species will have timed the arrival of their progeny with this season.

Gerry Martin will be heading up to the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station to experience this transition. We will be staying at the research station, in tents and explore the surrounding streams and forests to understand how various animals adapt to this wet clime.  By July, the rains in Agumbe are punishingly heavy and most life seems to simply hunker down and wait out the next two months and potentially six meters of rain!

This is the perfect time to experience the smaller wildlife and see various interactions and adaptations.

We will also learn about taxonomy of reptiles, ecological research methods, outdoor skills and guidelines for safe functioning in the wilderness.

The workshop will be a combination of activities and presentations.

Some of the aspects we will address are:
  • ·         Rainforest ecology
  • ·         Canopy Access
  • ·         Stream Ecology
  • ·         Snake Taxonomy
  • ·         Snakebite treatment and first aid
  • ·         Night survey techniques

We will stay in tents set on concrete platforms with a tarpaulin shelter over them. The bathrooms are permanent structures with hot and cold running water. 

Program Dates: 3rd to 5th June, 2011. (The group leaves Bangalore by overnight bus to Agumbe on the 2nd night and returns early in the morning on the 6th.)

If you are interested in joining or need more details, please get in touch with Gerry on 

March 24, 2011

Summer Large Game Experience

13/15 May 2011
Jungle Retreat, Masinagudi

The month of May is the harshest time of the year in much of South India. Temperatures soar, there is no rain, dust is blinding at times and water is a scarcity. The silver lining to this is the opportunity for any wildlife buff to get to experience wildlife.

A Bengal Tiger
Animals will start gravitating towards the last remaining water bodies and sources of food. Visibility is best at this time as well because the undergrowth is sparse and dry. The Gerry Martin Project is running a Large Game Experience at this time to offer people the best chance to see and photograph a lot of these animals. We will head to Mudumalai Tiger Reserve and stay at Jungle Retreat, a resort that is nestled on the fringes of the forest. 
A Spotted Deer Stag
In addition to exploring the 35 acres belonging to Jungle Retreat, we will also get a chance to camp out at their campsite high up in the hills. On a previous program, a Tiger had made its kill of a Gaur around eighty meters from our tents! 
We will also learn about camera trapping, identifying scats and pugmarks, some of the issues in the Nilgiris and more.
We stay one night in the dormitory and one night out in tents at the campsite up on the mountain. 
There are options for those who want separate rooms.
'Scoping' for Game
Chestnut-tailed Starling
Jungle Retreat also has numerous fruiting trees on its campus and should any be in fruit, we will have the chance to sit by and photograph or observe very rich bird life. We also share the campus with spotted deer, wild boar, civet cats, mongooses, wild dogs, leopards and more. The chances of seeing wildlife during this season are very high and this is an experience not to be missed by the Nature buff. 

For details or to register, get in touch with Conan on 9972068300 or