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Saturday, January 25

Beddome's Cat Snake (Boiga beddomei) video from Western Ghats, Kerala, India

Well, it is a cat snake and looks like a Beddome's Cat Snake (Boiga beddomei). But not very sure. If anybody can help in exact identification, that will be great help.

It came right into the house during a rainy night, but later decided to go back to a nearby plant to take rest.

As per International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Beddome's Cat Snake (Boiga beddomei) is considered data deficient. Though its actual geographic distribution is unclear, there are numerous reports of species from Sri Lanka and different parts of Western Ghats, in India.

The snake in the video was recorded from Southern Western Ghats of Kerala ( Kannur district, Kerala, India.)

Wednesday, January 15

Aralam WLS adds Blue Nawab and the Cornelian to its butterfly diversity

Blue Nawab,Polyura schreiber wardii, Indian butterflies, Aralam butterfly, Aralam butterfly survey
Blue Nawab (Polyura schreiber wardii)
(Photo Courtesy: Aditya Joshi/Wiki Media Commons under CC BY-SA 2.0)
The latest butterfly survey at Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary, a small protected area situated in the Southern Western Ghats, added two more new winged beauties to its rich insect diversity. The three day survey carried out from January 10 to 12 recorded Blue Nawab and Cronelian butterflies from different parts of the sanctuary for the first time. With the new additions, the total butterfly species found in Aralam WLS increased to 242, according to researchers who participated in the survey.

Though Blue Nawab was recorded from different parts of the state since 2003, this is for the first time that we record the caterpillars of the butterfly from inside Aralam Wildlife sanctuary, said Jafer Palot, Secretary, Malabar Natural History Society which routinely organizes the butterfly survey camp at Aralam each year to monitor and study the altitude migration of Common Albatross and related species of butterflies in the sanctuary.

According to researchers who participated in the survey, migration was abundant this year. During peak hours of migration, the monitoring teams were able to record as much as 1500 butterflying passing a specific spot on the banks of Cheenkani River in one minute period. It has been observed during the earlier butterfly surveys in the sanctuary that hundreds of thousands of butterflies belonging to specific species migrate from upper reaches of Western Ghats to lower reaches though certain fixed routes during this season. However, their point of origin is still unknown just as the destination of their enigmatic journey.

The Cornelian (Deudorix epijarbas)
(Photo Courtesy: Ajit U / Wikimedia Commons under CC BY-SA 2.0)
The new addition again increases the conservation significance of the sanctuary for its rich insect diversity. Even Silent Valley National Park, which is known for its rich and endemic fauna, has only up to 125 species of butterflies recorded so far, says butterfly enthusiasts. Talking to media, V C Balakrishnan, an environmentalist who has been participating in the event for the last several years, said that the new discovery increases the conservation significance of Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary. "This underscores the importance of conserving the place as an important biodiversity spot where butterflies and other winged creatures flock together in lakhs," he said.

According to Balakrishnan, who is an expert in identifying and documenting plants in Western Ghats, the caterpillars of Cornelian butterfly were on Sapindus plant and on Connarus plant. Caterpillars of Blue Nawab were found on a plant which is called as Vallimandaram (Bauhinia phoenicea) in Malayalam.

The butterfly survey camp also reported high mud-puddling on the banks of the rivers Cheekannipuzha and Urutipuzha in the sanctuary. During mud-puddling, butterflies flock to the wet forest floor or on the river banks to suck in nutrients and rare minerals from soil. According to V Madhusoodhanan, Assistant Wildlife Warden of Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary, the three day camp with around 90 participants recorded more than 150 species of butterflies from different parts of the sanctuary this year.

Now, watch the huge butterfly roost observed in Aralam during the migration season of 2013.

Monday, January 13

Cinereous tit (Parus cinereus) funny video

Watch a cute, small Cinereous tit (Parus cinereus) desperately trying to drink from a water tap. Cinereous tit (Parus cinereus) is an interesting small bird which belongs to Paridae and is found in parts of South East Asia, including India. Earlier they used to be considered as a sub species of great tit. this video was recorded from Himachal Prdesh, India