Field training for newly recruited Forest Guards from Tamil Nadu Forest Department
Researchers from ATREE’s Agasthyamalai Community Conservation Centre were invited to conduct a one-day field training workshop for newly recruited Forest Guards (FGs) from the Tamil Nadu Forest Department. The field training was provided by Mathivanan, Saravanan, Thamizhazhagan and Maria Antony from ATREE.
Over 56 FGs participated in the workshop. The FGs were introduced to the flora and fauna of Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR). Endemic plant species like Bentinckia condapanna, Euphorbia santapauii, Macaranga peltata and Naegeia wallichianawere shown to them and information about these species was provided to them. Key insights on Cullenia exarillata, keystone species of wet-evergreen forest in Kakachi region, was shared with the FGs.
The FGs were shown scats of Tigers, Wild Dogs and Elephant and Indian Gaur dung and introduced to methods helpful in identifying indirect signs to assess the presence of small and large herbivores and carnivores.
Interesting facts about the life cycle of cicada, leeches, tree ants and slugs were described in the field based on the observations. A demo on tree climbing to access the canopy by using single rope technique was shown to the FGs.
Researchers highlighted the significance of ATREE’s long term research programme and the story of the rediscovery of Chalazodes Bubble-nest frog.