Trek from Kodanadu Gene pool to Thengumarahada 07.10.11 and 08.10.11
It was a very clear day when i joined the trekking team on 07.10.11; the trek was organized by NWEA in association with Forest Division, Nilgiri North .We had 25 participants from NWEA, Government Arts College-Ooty, WTI, and OSAI. We started-off from Kodanadu Genepool which lies at an elevation of 2038 meters above MSL to trek towards Thengumarahada.
It was of great pride to be in the pristine and core area of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve of which 2537.60 Sq.kms is in Tamilnadu, as we trekked down-hill we had the glimpse of the North Eastern Slope which is enriched with a variety of plant species including the popular Strabilanthes (Kurinji Flower) plants. The enduring silence of the valley reminded us of the patience, Mother Nature has to us. The trek along with Nilgiris-North DFO, S.Ramasubramanian, Forest staff, Wildlife Biologists and Conservationists was an immense experience. It was a valuable learning opportunity on the importance of nature and its valuable resources. It also gave us the needed motivation to share the experiences of a rare chance of entering into the wild and the importance of conservation to our society.
After a seven hour trek through the wild, we reached the Thengumarahada trekking camp house and it was time for some brain storming. Mr.Arjun of WTI gave a presentation on the Life of Forest staff, which included the difficulties faced by the forest staff and suggestions for improving their way of life. He also spoke about the rapid decline of Tiger population which was around 40,000 in 1907 to around 1800 in the year 2011.
Nilgiris North division DFO, S.Ramasubramanian briefed on the various topics related to conservation and the efforts taken by the department to improve Eco-Awareness. He also stressed that in future, trekking shall be organized based on individual themes like Bird watching, Eco-Awareness and Entomology, etc. The treks shall have participation of experts in the respective fields which will make it more of a learning and thought provoking experience. He also shared his view that public understanding and cooperation is needed to sort out pending ecological and sensitive issues and that conservation is a long term process and will give result only over years. Many of the improvements or results which we see know are the results of sustained conservation efforts taken before 10 to 20 years.
Members of the NWEA, WTI, and Government Arts College, Ooty actively participated in the brain storming session.
On the second day (08.10.11) of our trek of 4 hours, we travelled from Thengumarahada to Siriyur where we had a brief sighting of various birds including three King Vultures. We were received at Siriyur by the the Forest Department staff and the Hon. Secretary of NWEA, K.Vijay. The trek concluded with a lunch at the Anaikatty rest house.
I wish to conclude by saying that, the trek organized by NWEA and Nilgiris North – Forest Department was executed with utmost safety and made ever lasting in our memories with a sense of satisfaction. It was possible only because of the passionate and sincere cooperation of the Forest staff with special mention to the Rangers, FGs and APWs.
Report filed by P.Navin kumar.