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Arannya Environment Research Organisation

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#NoSUP: Anti Single Use Plastic Drive by Arannya Goa

 
Change begins from within and from an individual. If we wish for a better world, it is us who needs to act for the change to happen. With this thought, Arannya has begun its #NoSUP campaign on the occasion of Earth Day 2019, to spread awareness amongst people against the use of Single Use Plastics. #NoSUP expands to "No Single Use Plastic". The #NoSUP campaign is a very simple voluntary initiative, where a network of 200 youths spread across Goa are being asked to interact with local small businesses and try to persuade them not to use SUP (single use plastics), while every month a team from Arannya comprising of Arannya staff and volunteers from Arannya's network group visit a popular tourist destination of Goa and does this sensitisation campaign  covering maximum vendors and customers together. 
 
 
At each stall, our team engages with the vendor primarily, trying to understand his/ her basic problems with the mode of his business operation and why it is difficult to avoid SUP. Upon listening to the answers to our queries, we try to reason with them as to which areas and which situations SUP can be avoided. Our request to every vendor has been simple "please avoid giving your customers SUP, especially frivolous SUP's like straws, however if they insist, do give them as we do not want your business to be affected". We always part from each vendor by providing them with our campaign cut-out hanger and a request to try their best to make a difference. - Harshada Gauns (President AERO)

A Cutout designed by Vighnesh Shinde from Team Arannya at a Stall in Old Goa

SUP is widely used in various sectors in Goa and the biggest user is probably the food and packaging industry. The use is widespread, right from the plastic cups and Styrofoam plates used at various religious festivals and marriage/birthday feasts to the Paper cups coated with plastic, filled with carbonated drinks covered with a plastic lid and a plastic straw at the centre! 

During Arannya's pilot drives at selected locations across Goa, it documented that: 

i) at an average place of worship with good patronage during festivities, uses and disposes about 3000-4000 units of Type 5 SUP cups every day for a duration of 1-3 days at an average. 

ii) at an average marriage reception with a guest list of ~500 individuals, ~1500 units of Type 5 SUP glasses are used and discarded at the drinking water dispenser.

iii) at an average small-scale Sugarcane Juice Stall ~50 Type 5 plastic straws are used every day.

To understand the scale of SUP used in Goa, all we need to do is multiply this with the number of such small-scale vendors across Goa, or the number of weddings per year across the state or the number of places of worship in Goa. Yes, this number is beyond human comprehension and that's how big this problem is! 

The problem is even worse because recycling of Type 5 plastic is very costly and difficult so in most cases is either incinerated or goes into landfill. All this is intuitively very weird because it is sometimes beyond comprehension how humans as an evolved race can produce something to be used for 5 minutes and then discarded to remain on this planet for 300- 1000 years!

This is the reason why a campaign like #NoSUP is extremely important in the current situation. The credit of developing the concept and idea of this campaign goes to Vighnesh Shinde, Outreach and Nature Educator from Arannya who is very passionate about this issue. He carried out several pilot interactions at Cancona, Sirvoi, Faterpe and Betim before using all his collective experience in designing the current campaign.

Cutout Designs of the #NoSUP Campaign

Team Arannya after the Campaign at Old Goa

Short Course: Plant Animal Interaction

 
At Arannya, we strongly believe in complimenting to our conventional education system and curriculum by providing a parallel learning platform. We spent an entire day with Bachelor's in Science students from Shree Malikarjum College, Canacona conducting a short course on Plant Animal Interaction as an Introductory initiative to make life sciences an interdisciplinary learning process. The course was instructed by Pronoy Baidya who heads our R&E division and has been teaching ant plant interaction at the Goa University for past five years. Arannya is extremely thankful to Dr. Manoj S Kamat, Principal of Shree Malikarjun College for his gracious invitation and enthusiasm for trying to make science learning an interdisciplinary effort.. 
 
 
 
 

Pronoy Baidya Explaining the Various ways Birds Interact with Silk Cotton Flowers

 

Explaining and Observing Interactions in the Field

Pronoy Baidya with Principal and Faculty of SMAC

Outreach Marathon- Karapur Sarvan

 
A child's world is full of ideas and imaginations. Arannya believes in shaping these thoughts and ideas in a manner that helps them learn and think in a positive way. Jalmesh Karapurkar and Vighnesh Shinde from our team, had a great time communicating with 170 students in our latest outreach programme on "Environment and it's necessity for living" held in 3 different schools at Karapur Sarvan Sankhlim - Goa.

Vighnesh interacting with students at Karapur

Arannya wishes to thank teachers of Karapur and Sarvan for organising this awareness marathon at her end and giving us an opportunity to take a few steps towards our goal!

Vighnesh interacting with children at Sarvan

Students of Sarvan Primary School

Wetland Walk and Great Backyard Bird Count

Every Contribution to Citizen Science is Valuable!
 
We at Arannya believe that "first step towards change is awareness" and what best way than involving youths of Goa to learn about Wetlands and Participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count 2019! In the surroundings of Navelim Important Bird and Biodiversity Area on 17th February, 22 young enthusiasts came together with our team to have a fun-filled morning.
 
To know more about sightings and our checklist of birds on the GBBC Sunday, click the link given below
 

Wetland Walk Group on the day of Great Backyard Bird Count 2019

 

Outreach Marathon, Loliem- Goa

 
We at AERO strongly believe children have the power to transform the future of this world" that is why we never miss an opportunity to interact with them. Our outreach instructor at Arannya, Vighnesh Shinde reached out to more than 300 students over two days in Canacona Taluka of Goa. Everywhere we go, we try to spread awareness on the importance and criticality of our environment and try making children understand, how we can save our environment by adopting a sustainable lifestyle.

Vighnesh interacting with students at S.S. Angle Higher Secondary School

Arannya wishes to thank Vaibhavi Naik, member of Loliem Biodiversity Management Committee for organising this awareness marathon at her end and giving us an opportunity to take a few steps towards our goal!

Vighnesh interacting with children at Damodar Vidyalaya

Students of Damodar Vidyalaya listening to Vighnesh.

Vighnesh, explaining about extinction

Interacting with students of St. Sebastian School

Arannya at NoMoZo 2.0 Porvorim

No Effort is Small!
 
Arannya got a wonderful opportunity this Sunday to reach out to more than 250 children at the Porvorim NoMoZo! We were able to take the message of wildlife conservation, environment protection, sustainable living and responsible citizenship to the public. Children and parents alike were moved by the consequences of our unsustainable lifestyle and were determined to make small changes in their lives that would lead to larger positive consequences.

Harshada interacting with young students at NoMoZo 2.0 Porvorim.

Our Stall No. 6 was also a huge attraction for kids who tried their hand on the spot the bird challenge, spot quiz and meet with an artist activity. Arannya is grateful to Paresh Porob sir for giving the opportunity for making a small difference to this world. Kudos to our team Harshada Gauns, Gayatri Naik, Shivcharan Gauns, Vighnesh Shinde and Pronoy Baidya for all the hard work put in. A big thank you to Hon. MLA Rohan Khaunte and Nomozo 2.0 - Porvorim for the great initiative!

Vighnesh interacting with children at Stall No. 6

Harshada interacting with parents of children, who thronged our stall.

A student, writing a message for Mother Earth

All the amazing messages left by students for our Mother Earth!

Outreach at Vivekanand Vidyalaya, Borim

Small Steps for Making a Difference!
 
#catchthemyoung Vighnesh Shinde from Team Arannya did a presentation on Environment, the effects of plastics and irresponsible human activities on environment at Vivekananda School, Borim. The children were stunned and shocked at the consequences of our actions and pledged to be responsible citizens by avoiding single use plastics and adopting the 4 R's. These are small ways in which Arannya contributes towards Environment education and sustainable living at the grassroots level.

The group with Team Arannya.

Vighnesh, made the entire session participatory and highly interactive while showing students various info-graphics and videos.

Vighnesh explaining the concept of pollution through a video.

We at Arannya cherish every such opportunity that comes our way that enables us to make a small difference to the society and our world. We thank the Principal and teachers of Vivekananda School, Borim, Goa for giving us an opportunity to interact with their students.

 

Interaction with Hon. Governor of Goa

Small Steps Towards a Greater Cause!
 
It's a great privilege for Arannya that Akshatra Pracy Fernandes from our team got to present before the honourable Governor of Goa Smt. Mridula Sinha on the biodiversity of Paroda and got a chance to interact with her closely. It's opportunities like these that gives our young and energetic team confidence to continue on our path and keep trying to make a difference for Goa and it's wildlife!

Akshatra with Hon. Governor of Goa Smt. Mridula Sinha

 

Charotar Crocodile Count

Every Effort Counts!
 
Jalmesh Karapurkar from Team Arannya is off to Charotar Crocodile Count, Gujarat to be a part of the census team. We strongly believe in participatory learning and our team constantly strives to learn and provide it's expertise wherever and whenever needed for Wildlife. Wishing Jalmesh all the best!

Jalmesh Karapurkar

 

Paroda Biodiversity Walk

Walking for Biodiversity!
 
A great evening today at the Paroda Biodiversity Walk held at Chandreshwar Hill in association with the Paroda Biodiversity Management Committee. It was amazing to see the zeal and enthusiasm of the Sarpanch and Chairman of the Paroda BMC and a special thanks to Miguel Braganza and Mandar Bhagat for their support. It was a lovely time with lot of local and traditional knowledge being exchanged. This is Arannya's small contribution towards development of the village's Public Biodiversity Register. Enabling local communities, working with Goa's youths and enjoying nature!

Team Arannya with Paroda Panchayat Members, BMC Members and Biodiversity Enthusiasts.

 

Nature Education Talk at Sharada English High School, Marcel, Goa

Small Steps for Making a Difference!
 
We at AERO strongly believe in the transformative powers and influence that children have in the society. We constantly try to engage with children and provide them with an alternative view of the living world different from that described in the textbooks. This being our ideology, our team never misses a chance to interact with children and one such session happened on 7 December 2018, when our team had to squeeze time amidst a packed schedule for meeting up with a bunch of super excited and wonderful children from Sharada English High school, Marcel, Goa.

Founder President Harshada Gauns, interacting with children.

Our founder president Harshada Gauns and content developer Shivcharan Gauns spent an hour talking to children about nature and the joys of watching the living world, importance of protecting our wildlife and how students have a big role and responsibility in the future of our environment.

Harshada being felicitated after the interaction session.

We at Arannya cherish every such opportunity that comes our way that enables us to make a small difference to the society and our world. We thank the Principal and teachers of Sharada English High school, Marcel, Goa for giving us an opportunity to interact with their students.

 

Winter Tree Walk

A tree can tell tales worth a thousand words!
 
Trees are everywhere, but seldom draw our attention towards them. Being sedentary and non-charismatic in nature, trees have attracted very less attention from nature lovers in general and much less is known about their ecology. Lack of good botanists and plant taxonomist in the country is another hurdle towards making trees an exciting subject worthy to draw attention.

A general briefing of participants before the Tree Walk.

On 2 December 2018, Akshatra Pracy Fernandes, AERO’s in-house Botanist conducted a “Tree Walk” in the quite environs of Xeldem in Quepem, Goa attended by 25 tree lovers. During the walk 34 species of trees were identified and explained to participants with key features of identification. Extensive discussions took place about understanding their role in the ecosystem and the various interactions they have with other organisms. Discussions also happened about local names of trees and the traditional medicinal uses of trees in Goan culture.

Akshatra explaining the use of a hand lens for plant taxonomy

Learning to get a hold of the hand lens

Trying to take a closer look at leaf glands

Understanding the difference between drupe and berry

The “Tree Walk” also overlapped with the “Winter Tree Quest” a pan-India citizen science initiative spearheaded by the SeasonWatch team. The objective of the quest was to rapid-document and assess phenology of common Indian trees across the country. This information aggregation was facilitated by the SeasonWatch app which was used during the “Tree Walk” and its functionality explained extensively to the participants. Being able to use the SeasonWatch app and the concept of phenology also helped us to connect with participants at a level to encourage them to undertake regular observations rather than just casual observations.

Harshada, explaining SeasonWatch app to participants

Participants trying out the SeasonWatch app

 

Everyone was all smiles at the end of the walk with many participants having learnt some new skills in identifying common trees around them. Walks like these are AERO's efforts to raise awareness amongst people of Goa, especially youngsters to help them connect with nature with an aim to instil the need to live a sustainable life which is closer to nature. 

The group all in smiles after an amazing morning of Tree Watching

AERO always maintains detailed biodiversity lists of sightings from its various initiatives and believes strongly in the power of citizen science. While, species that are listed on SeasonWatch app were listed directly, we also documented all other tree species in the area which are listed below. 

S.No Scientific Name Common Name Local Name
1Tectona grandisTeak 
2Terminalia alataIndian LaurelMatti, Ain
3Terminalia paniculata Kindal TreeKindal, Kinjal, Quinzol
4Terminalia bellirica BahedaGoting, Behada
5Terminalia cattapaIndian Almond 
6Acacia auriculiformisEarleaf Acacia 
7Acacia niloticaTomentos BabulBabul
8Leucaena leucocephalaWild Tamarind 
9Anacardium occidentalCashew 
10Cassia fistula Golden Shower Tree 
11Peltophorum pterocarpumCopper PodGulmohar
12Bombax ceibaSilk Cotton TreeSavar
13Mangifera IndicaMangoĀma
14Artocarpus heterophyllusJackfruitPhanas
15Artocarpus altilisBreadfruitNeer Phanas
16Moringa oleiferaDrumstick TreeShevga
17Trema orientalisIndian Charcoal TreeKhargul, Kapshi
18Ziziphus jujubaJujubeJujubeBora
19Delonix regiaFlame Tree 
20Spathodea campanulataAfrican Tuliptree 
21Alstonia scholarisDevil's TreeSatvin
22Ceiba pentandraWhite Silk Cotton TreeSamali
23Ficus hispidaHairy FigKharvoti
24Ficus benghalensisBanyanVad
25Ficus racemosaCluster FigUmber
26Plumeria rubraFrangipaniChaempae
27Plumeria albaWhite Frangipani 
28Azadirachta indicaNeem 
29Melia azadirachtaPersian LilacBakan-nimb
30Psidium guajavaGuavaPairr
31Zanthoxylum rhetsaIndian Prickly AshChiphal
32Bridelia retusaSpinous Kino TreeAsana
33Buchanania cochinensisChironji TreeChar
34Annona reticulata Netted Custard AppleRaamphal

Winter Nature Camp

AERO conducted its flagship "Nature Camp for Youths" from 23 to 25 November 2018 at Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary that was attended by 30 participants from all across Goa. Our camps are always a mix of fun and serious learning giving opportunity for all participants to explore nature like never before and a platform to discuss about burning and current environment issues of the world with our team.

Participants of the Winter Nature Camp came from all across Goa from different education background and prior experience.
Our youngest participant was just 15 years old and was one of the most enthusiastic person in the group.

The camp started off with an introduction of Team Arannya to the participants which was followed by an innovative method of getting participants introducing themselves and also to work as a team for the rest of the camp's duration. Our crew worked round the clock to keep participants engaged and ensured that every minute spent was either fun or a learning experience.

Introducing Team Arannya

A different take on getting everyone to work as a team

Team discussion session

Getting ready to perform

Participants sharing a lite moment

Our team demonstrating rules of the activity

Participants in action

Team Arannya

Participants got multiple opportunities to observe and photograph many of Western Ghat's endemic flora and fauna during the three nature trails conducted every day, giving a chance to observe animals from all niches. Nature trails were followed up every evening with great discussions which saw participation from all in the group. Topics of discussions ranged from, nocturnal fauna of Goa and the threats they face, bird migration and human influence on the life of birds, hunting of wild animals and what we as youth can do and how to be a more responsible internet wildlife-crusader. There were also multiple fun games and one of the most favourite activity for all the participants was the field sketching session, where Arannya's in-house artist Vighnesh Shinde taught participants the importance of field sketching and easy steps to do field sketching. 

Participants observing a basking Shikra

Closer look at the Flame-throated Bulbul

Evening trails and understanding termites

How best to understand the morphology of a Forest Wagtail?

Camp fires are the heart and soul of AERO's camps. We believe that fire and light resides in the hearts of the youths of the camp and hence shun actual fire and sit around the fire that is within everyone. Camp fire saw participants who in teams performed an amazing set of short skits based on topics of everyday relevance, ranging from the menace of plastics to wildlife conservation. The camp fire saw unbelievable showcase of talent and sportsmanship amongst participants, who did their best to out do the other teams. 

Participants all expectant before the commencement of the camp fire

Across the three days of the camp, participants were divided into six teams who constantly competed with each other in a fun way, and their performances were evaluated based on their content, innovative ideas, leadership skills and team spirit. Amongst the six teams one team was recognised as the "Green Team" of the Winter Camp 2018 for their all round performance. What set them apart was their amazing content and ideas that they executed throughout the various activities. 

Green Team of Winter Camp 2018

AERO always tries to ensure that participants of our camps get an opportunity to interact with the Range Forest Officer of the Wildlife Sanctuary, where camps are conducted. Dr. Sidhesh Naik, RFO- Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, kindly consented to interact with our participants and spoke to them about the challenges of managing a Wildlife Sanctuary and a Zoo. He also encouraged participants to take up Forest Services as a career option. At the end of the camp, participants wished that the three days did not end so soon and were a bag of mixed emotions, happy for having spent three great days amidst wilderness and sad that they had to now leave however with the promise that, no matter where they are, they will

Keep Watching...

Keep Listening...

Keep Exploring...

The group with Dr. Sidhesh Naik, RFO Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary

The winter camp resulted in a comprehensive documentation of fauna while out on the nature trails, records of which were maintained by participants. Of the fauna recorded, birds and butterflies were maintained in a systematic checklist format, while all other fauna observed noted down with notes separately. 

List of birds documented during the camp

Sr No Common Name Scientific Name
1Indian Pond HeronArdeola bacchus
2Striated HeronButorides striata
3Grey JunglefowlGallus gallus
4Cattle EgretBubulcus ibis
5Crested Serpent EagleSpilornis cheela
6ShikraAccipiter badius
7Crested Hawk EagleNisaetus cirrhatus
8White-breasted WaterhenAmauronis pheonicurus
9Rock PigeonColumba livia
10Spotted DoveStigmatopelia chinensis
11Vernal Hanging ParrotLoriculus vernalis
12Common Hawk CuckooHieococcyx varius
13Oriental Scops OwlOtus sunia
14Jungle OwletGlaucudium radiatum
15Brown Wood OwlStrix leptogrammica
16Sri Lanka FrogmouthBatrachostomus moniliger
17Jerdon's NightjarCaprimulgus atripennis
18Little SwiftApus affinis
19Malabar TrogonHarpactes fasciatus
20White-throated KingfisherHalcyon smyrnensis
21Green Bee EaterMerops orientalis
22Blue -tailed Bee EaterMerops philippinus
23Malabar Grey HornbillOcyceros griseus
24Brown-headed BarbetMegalaima zeylanica
25White-cheeked BarbetMegalaima viridis
26Brown-capped Pygmy WoodpeckerDendrocopos nanus
27Black-rumped FlamebackDinopium banghalense 
28Greater FlamebackChrysocolaptes lucidus
29Malabar WoodshrikeTepherodornis sylvicola
30Bar-winged Flycatcher ShrikeHemipus picatus
31Common IoraAegithina tiphia
32Small MinivetPericrocotus cinnamomeus
33Orange MinivetPericrocotus flammeus
34Greater Racket-tailed DrongoDicrurus paradiseus
35Ashy DrongoDicrurus leucophaeus
36White-bellied DrongoDicrurus caerulescens
37Bronzed DrongoDicrurus aeneus
38Indian Golden OrioleOriolus kundoo
39Black-hooded OrioleOriolus xanthornus
40White-spotted FantailRhipidura albogularis
41Indian Paradise FlycatcherTerpsiphone paradisi
42Black-naped MonarchHypothymis azurea
43Indian Jungle CrowCorvus culminatus
44House CrowCorvus splendens
45Red-rumped SwallowCecropis daurica
46Red-whiskered BulbulPycnonotus jocosus
47Flame-throated BulbulPycnonotus gularis
48Yellow-browed BulbulAcritillas indica
49Common TailorbirdOrthotomus sutorius
50Blyth's Reed WarblerAcrocephalus dumetorum
51Tickell's Leaf WarblerPhylloscopus affinis
52Greenish WarblerPhylloscopus trochiloides
53Green WarblerPhylloscopus nitidus
54Large-billed Leaf WarblerPhylloscopus magnirostris
55Puff-throated BabblerPellorneum ruficeps
56Dark-fronted BabblerRhopocichla atriceps
57Jungle BabblerTurdoides striata
58Brown-cheeked FulvettaAlcippe poioicephala
59Velvet-fronted NuthatchSitta frontalis
60Malabar Whistling ThrushMyophonus horsfieldii
61Orange-headed ThrushZoothera citrina
62Indian BlackbirdTurdus simillimus
63Oriental Magpie RobinCopsychus saularis
64White-rumped ShamaCopsychus malabaricus
65Blue-capped Rock ThrushMonticola cincloryhynchus
66Brown-breasted FlycatcherMuscicapa muttui
67Taiga FlycatcherFicedula albicilla
68Tickell's Blue FlycatcherCyornis tickelliae
69Asian Fairy BluebirdIrena puella
70Nilgiri FlowerpeckerDicaeum concolor
71Purple-rumped SunbirdLeptocoma zeylonica
72Purple SunbirdCinnyris asiaticus
73Crimson-backed SunbirdLeptocoma minima
74Little SpiderhunterArachnothera longirostra
75Forest WagtailDendronanthus indicus
76Olive-backed PipitAnthus hodgsoni

List of butterflies documented during the camp

S.No Common Name Scientific Name
 Papilionidae 
1Common Blue BottleGraphium sarpedon
2Tailed JayGraphium Agamemnon 
3Common RosePachliopta aristolochiae 
4Blue MormonPapilio polymnestor 
5Common MormonPapilio demoleus 
6Red HelenPrincepes helenus 
 Pieridae 
7PsycheLeptosia nina 
8Common WandererPareronia valeria hippia 
9Common EmigrantCatopsilla Pomona
10Small Grass YellowEurema brigitta rubella
11Common Grass YellowEurema hecabe 
 Lycaenidae 
12Common ImperialCneritra freja 
13Common CeruleanJamides celeno celeno 
14Pea BlueLamipes boeticus 
15Dark CeruleanJamides bochus 
16Common PierrotCastalius rosimon rosimon
17Plains CupidEdales pandava 
18Common Hedge BlueAcytolepsis puspa
 Riodininae 
19Double-banded JudyAbisara bifasciata  suffusa 
 Nymphalidae 
20Common Evening BrownMelanitis leda ismene 
21Medus BrownOrsotrioena medus medus 
22Common Bush BrownMycalesis perseus
23Common Four RingYpthima hubenri hubenri
24RusticCupha erymanthis
25Common LeopardPhalantha phalantha 
26Tamil YeomanCirrochroa thais
27Peacock PansyPrecis almana almana 
28Grey PansyPrecis atlites atlites 
29Chocolate PansyPrecis iphita iphita 
30Danaid EggflyHypolimnas missippus
31Common SailerNeptis hylas varmona 
32Grey CountTanaecia lepidea lepidea
33Common BaronEuthalia aconthea suddhodana 
34Tamil Lace WingCethosia nietneri nietneri
35Glassy TigerParantica aglea melanoides 
36Blue TigerTirumala limniace leopardus
37Striped TigerDanaus(Salatha) genutia 
38Plain TigerDanaus chrysippus
39Common CrowEuploea core 
 Hesperiidae 
40Brown awlBadamia exclamationis
41Fulvous Pied FlatPseudocoladenia dan
42Chestnut BobIambrix salsala 

List of Odonata documented during the camp

Sr No Common Name Scientific Name
 Libellulidae  
1Crimson Marsh GliderTrithemis aurora
2Crimson-backed Marsh HawkOrthetrum pruinosm
3Green Marsh HawkOrthetrum sabina
4Pied Paddy SkimmerNeurothemis tullia
 Gomphidae 
5Common ClubtailIctinogomphus rapax
 Libellulidae 
6Emerald Banded SkimmerCratilla lineata
7Asiatic BloodtailLathrecista asiatica
8Fulvous Forest Skimmer Neurothemis fulvia
9Wandering GliderPantala flavescense
10Brown Dusk HawkZyxomma petiolatum
 Coenagrionidae 
11White DartletAgriocnemis pieris
12Pygmy DartletAgriocnemis pygmaea
13Coromandel Marsh DartCeriagrion coromandelianum
 Platycnemididae 
14Bush DartCopera sp
 Calopterygidae 
15Clear-winged Forest GloryVestalis gracilis

List of other faunal groups documented during the camp

Sr No Common Name Scientific Name
 Mammals 
1Three-striped Palm SquirrelFunambulus palmarum
2Malabar Giant SquirrelRatufa indica
3Bonnet MacaqueMacaca radiata
4Grey LangurSemnopithecus
5Asian Palm CivetParadoxurus  hermaphroditus
6Spotted DeerAxis axis
 Reptiles 
1Green Vine SnakeAhaetulla nasuta
2Roux's Forest LizardCalotes rouxii
3Prashad's GeckoHemidactylus prashadi
4Brook's GeckoHemidactylus brooki
 Amphibians 
1Common Indian ToadDuttaphrynus melanosticus
2Amboli Bush FrogPseudophilatus amboli
3Common Tree FrogPolypedates leucomystax
4Marbled RamanellaUperdon mormorata
5Indian FrogIndirana sp
6Amboli CaecilianGegenophis danieli
 Other Fauna 
1Violin MantisGongylus gongylodes
2Hammer-head WormPlatyhelminthes sp.

Butterfly Walk

AERO with twelve enthusiastic youngsters spent a lovely morning in Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary, Goa documenting and learning about butterflies along the Tamdi Surla stream, which meanders through lush wet-forests of the Western Ghats. The day started with an introduction to Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary, the history of its notification, the extent of the sanctuary's spread in the state and the various charismatic animals that are resident of this sanctuary. This was followed by an introduction to butterflies and how to differentiate them from the very similar looking moths. This was also demonstrated live on the field giving everyone an opportunity to try and differentiate them.  

We at AERO believe in nature as our classroom and how best to understand a forest than being in one and observing it first hand? 
Participants understanding how forests work and food-chains with butterflies as an important component of the ecosystem.

During the entire duration of the walk 40 species of butterflies were seen, the highlights being the Common Nawab, Black Prince and Indian Sunbeam. Participants got some great views of puddling Common Jay and Tailed Jay. Malabar Tree Nymph and Common Map gave fleeting appearances but enough to elevate the curiosity quotient of the participants.

Black Prince Rohana parisatis

Common Nawab Polyura athamas

Purple Leaf Blue Amblypodia anita

Indian Sunbeam Curetis thetis

Participants got multiple opportunities to photograph some of these beautiful butterflies and observe them closely coupled with the experience of trekking along the Tamdi Surla stream, crossing it and getting a chance to see a Green Vine Snake with a full belly, basking. 

Participants observing and photographing the Indian Sunbeam

Closer look at the basking Green Vine Snake

Trekking through the forests of Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary

Observing and photographing the Common Nawab

 

Everyone was all smiles at the end of the walk with many participants ticking off well earned lifers. Walks like these are AERO's efforts to raise awareness amongst people of Goa, especially youngsters to help them connect with nature with an aim to instil the need to live a sustainable life which is closer to nature. 

The group all in smiles after an amazing morning of butterflying

AERO always maintains detailed biodiversity lists of sightings from its various initiatives and believes strongly in the power of citizen science. We also make sure that our observations are always reported in the sighting registers of the respective Wildlife Sanctuaries where our events are hosted. Butterfly list from this walk has been entered into the sighting register at the Range Forest Office of Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park. Butterflies observed and documented during the walk are listed below. 

RusticPurple Leaf Blue
Common BluebottlePygmy Scrub Hopper
Three-spot Grass YellowIndian Sunbeam
Glassy TigerCommon Nawab
Common WandererCommon Mormon
Malabar Tree NymphCommon Jay
Chocolate PansyTailed Jay
Brown AwlBlue Mormon
Tamil YeomanGreat Eggfly
Monkey PuzzleBush Hopper
Angled PierrotPlain Tiger
CruiserBlack Prince
White banded AwlCommon line Blue
Restricted DemonCommon Leopard
Common five-ringCommon Lascar
Transparent six-line BlueCommon grass Yellow
Common SailerCommon hedge Blue
Common MapCommon Barron
Tailed PalmflyRed Helen
Red Spot DukeCommon four-ring

 

Spreading Happiness on Wildlife Week 2018

On the occasion of Wildlife Week 2018, AERO spent a quite and exciting day with the children of Matruchaya Trust Ponda, Goa and took the joys of nature and environment education to these kids. In a week long exercise, AERO organised a poster making competition for the children under two age categories on the theme "Goa and Wildlife" which saw 30 entries from the children and helped us understand Goa's natural resources and wildlife, through the eyes of these children. The competition was judged by Mr. Mandar Bhagat, well known bird watcher and author of many important ornithology publications from Goa. 

Winners of the Poster Competition

 

One of the Poster Entries with a very Heart Warming Message

 

An indoor session on Goa and its Environment continued after facilitation of the children which saw active participation from them. Many raised some thought provoking questions about environment security and future of Goa's wildlife which led to good discussion with the children present.   

Indoor Session Conducted by Harshada Gauns

The indoor session was followed by the most awaited hour of the day, which was the evening bird watching session which had all the children enthusiastically line up to catch a glimpse of their neighbouring nesting Brahminy Kite pair and the friendly singer Oriental Magpie Robin. The children were all smiles at the end of an exciting hour of seeing birds and butterflies up close and assured us to take care of the bird bath that was gifted to them.

An Oriental Magpie Robin being watched

Trying to spot the Sunbirds

A closer look at the Brahminy Kite Chicks

All Smiles after watching Birds

 As a part of this outreach, AERO had appealed to all caring people of Goa to help these children by providing them with books that they would put to use. This appeal was met with tremendous support from all quarters of the state with call for donation of books flooding us. AERO donated every book given to us to the Matruchaya Trust's library. Children were especially happy looking through the colourful Sanctuary Asia Magazines that were donated. AERO is eternally great-full to Pradnya Mayekar, Mithilesh Upadhyay, Ravalika Sannisetty, Joshua D'Silva, Paresh Gossavi, Dipika Parab Gauns, Shivcharan Gauns, Triveni Gawas, Kunal Parab, Shambhavi Gadgil, Neeraj Amarnani and Archana Gaonkar who helped us put smiles on the faces of these children and helped us make a difference. 

 

 
 

Dragonfly Walk

A day well spent at Betki, Goa exploring lesser known fauna of wetlands- Odonata. AERO is thankful to Mr. Vighnesh Shinde for explaining in detail about each species, their behaviour and letting participants take a peek into the world of Dragonflies & Damselflies. Special thanks to Poira High School students for joining this learning curve. Looking forward for more participation in upcoming events.

 

  

 

Checklist of Odonata Species Documented

White Dartlet

Wandering Glider

Pied Paddy Skimmer

Lesser Blue Wing

Stream Ruby

River Heliodor

Common Clubtail

Blue-tailed Green Darner

Green Marsh Hawk

Brown-backed Marsh Hawk

Ground Skimmer

Little-blue Marsh Hawk

Ruddy Marsh Skimmer

Greater Crimson Glider

Picture Wing

Crimson-tailed Marsh Hawk

Orange-tailed Marsh Dart

Yellow Bush Dart

Blue Bush Dart

 

Keri and Wildlife

Arannya Environment Research Organisation is strongly committed to student outreach programs and our goal is to develop intangible links between our future generation of youngsters and nature. Through out outreach activities we aim to provide our students in Goa, opportunities for hands-on learning, which will make them relate various environment-related problems and needs in their immediate vicinity and also at a broader scale. 

As a part of this vision, AERO engaged students of Government High School- Keri in Sattari Taluka where we conducted indoor sessions focusing on wildlife and wild resources around Keri. Linking wildlife with our culture and traditions is an essential and important task which is often forgotten while addressing nature based education and conservation in general and we at AERO attempt to create this bridge for our youngsters  so that they can retain and strengthen these connections over this lifetime.

 

Monsoon Plateau Walk

Ralph Waldo Emerson had famously said "The Earth Laughs in Flowers". The truth of this statement is realised every time one visits the plateaus of Goa during monsoons. Often termed as wastelands by our policy makers, plateaus are one of the dominant habitat types in the mid-highlands bio-geographic zone of Goa. Often, these neglected habitat types harbour amazing biodiversity that is ephemeral in nature, especially the plants that adorn them during monsoons. What looks like a dry barren land open for development projects during the months of winter and pre-monsoon, turn into lush green meadows filled with flowers of all imaginable colours to a human being's visual spectrum. 

Our Monsoon Plateau Walk was conceptualised bearing in mind the importance of these plateaus for Goa and the need to connect our society with this fragile landscape. Today, a group of 14 enthusiastic people from across Goa, descended upon the sleepy village of Pale in Velguem that has one of the most bio-diverse plateaus of the state. Charismatic species of fauna like the Indian Jackal (Canis aureus indicus), Brown Fish Owl (Ketupa zeylonensis) and Smooth-coated Otters (Lutrogale perspicillata) have been recorded from this habitat before, however today's stress was to understand the ephemeral species of plants that are the crowning jewels of this habitat. 

Ms. Akshatra Fernandes led Arannya Environment Research Organisation's trail today with the 14 participants and introduced everyone to the amazing world of Goa's biodiverse habitat 

"The Plateau"

Checklist of Plant Species Documented

Drosera indica (Gavati Davbindu)

Utricularia lazulina

Utricularia reticulata (Netted Bladderwort)

Utricularia graminifolia

Indigofera dalzellii (Dhal Godhadi)

Smithia sensitiva (Lajalu Kavala)

Eriocaulon sedgwickii (Gend)

Neanotis foetida

Utricularia preterita

Lepidagathis prostrata

Impatiens minor (Terda)

Anisochilus adinantus

Osbeckia muralis (Gulbeki)

Thyloflora dalzelli

Naregamia alata (Kapur Bhendi)

Exacum pedunculatum (Nili Chirayat)

Sopubia delphinifolia (Dudhali)

Chamaecrista mimosoides

Senna tora (Talkilo)

Rhyschospora whightiana

Murdania semiteris

Antidesma diandrum

Careya arborea

Geisaspis tenella

Smithia conferta

Mukia maderaspatana (Chirati)

Sesamum mulayanum (Rantil)

Spermacoce articularis

Eragristis minor  (Chota Chimanchara)

Rhamphicarpa fistulosa (Tutari/Channi)

Ceropegia fantastica (Kandil Phool)

Fimbristylis lawiana

Striga asiatica (Agya)

Senecio belgaumensis (Haran)

Falconaria insignis

Catenaregum spinosa

Cassia alata

Cyanotis cristata (Nabhali)

Polygala elongata (Phutani)

Rostellularia procumbens (Kalmashi)

Utricularia caerulea 

Ceropegia attenuata (Kandil Phool)

Strychnus nux vormica

Wrightia antidysentrica

Echnocarpous frutiscence

Acalypha indica

Falconeria insignis

Spermacoce ocymoides

Crotalaria fillipes

 

Snapshots from yesterday's trail!

Today's Team at Monsoon Plateau Walk

 

Trail Leader Akshatra, Explaining Nuances of Plant Identification

 

Our Senior Participant Takes a Closer Look at Herbs

Participants Trying the Skill of Plant Taxonomy

 

 
AERO is grateful to the participants and we look forward for getting more people involved for our future ventures.
 

"Take a quiet walk with Mother Nature. It will nurture your mind,body and soul"

Snapshots of Morlem Monsoon walk while our 19 participants explored flora and fauna of foothills of Western Ghats.

Interesting sightings include wild varieties of Mushrooms like Red mushroom and Fairy Cup Mushroom, Dead man's finger , Wild Orchids such as Conchidium filiforme, Parasitic plant Aeginetia indica (Forest Ghost Flower), Crêpe Ginger, Tussar Silk Moth, Lots of Butterflies, Birds and other fauna.

  

 

AERO is grateful to the participants and we look forward for getting more people involved for our future ventures.

In Conversation with Taej Mundkur

As a part of Arannya Environment Research Organisation's efforts to bring local communities and children closer to our nature, we try to get them engaged by world class educators and researchers. One such initiative was to get 250 students of Vividha Hogher Secondary School, Navelim to interact with Dr. Taej Mundkur, International Waterbird Census Coordinator and Senior Technical Officer at Wetlands International. It was a great day with the importance of locals living near a world important wetland being stressed and astonishment of students and teachers at knowing the implications of living near such a critical habitat.



We at AERO are extremely greatfull to Dr. Taej Mundkur for speaking to students from a rural school and implanting the seeds of wetlands and waterbirds conservation in them.

How to do an Effective TY Project!

Training program conducted at Government College of Arts Science and Commerce Sanquelim Goa, for zoology students as a part of our Research and Education Division's objective on "How to do an effective bachelors level project". 

We at AERO are thankful to Dr. Gervasio Mendes, Principal Government College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Sanquelim and Dr. Vaibhav Chindarkar, Head of Zoology Department for the support and encouragement to help students connect with us. 

Mollem Monsoon Nature Camp

Team Arannya with participants at Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park , successfully completed its 2nd nature Camp. We had a group with 8 women participants who were extremely interested in exploring nature. A team of explorers and descendants of mother nature, trying to become a responsible patrons, securing wildlife for the future generations.

We at AERO are thankful to Mr. Paresh Porob, Range Forest Officer, Mr. Arjun Gawas Deputy Range Forest Officer and all staff at Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park for their immense support and hospitality during the camp. 

Beat Plastic Pollution!

Our Founder President, Harshada Gauns was invited by the Goa Science Centre & Planetarium as the Chief Guest of World Environment Day valedictory function, where she spoke to 150 school students about how to beat plastic pollution by applying the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Refuse formula. 

 

Research Matters!!!

AERO's Research and Education Division's first and one of its kind intensive two day training program for students enrolled in Master's program and for early career teachers teaching at various colleges in Goa was held at WWF- Goa State Office. The training program saw 20 participants slog it out for two days through intensive brain-storming sessions varying from Philosophy of Science to basics of bio-statistics and GIS. 


Day 1 Introductory Session


Day 2 Session on Sampling Strategies


Day 2 Session on Dataframe Management and Basic Statistics


Certificates Distribution to Participants

The course was a great hit with the participants who had really valuable feedback to share with us!

We at AERO are thankful to Dr. Coralie D'Lima, Senior Programme Coordinator of WWF Goa for providing us with classroom facility at the WWF Goa State Office and for addressing our participants before the commencement of the Training Program.

Wild Dialogues: Conservation through Conversation

Arannya Environment Research Organisation's first public event Wild Dialogues: Conservation through Conversation was held on the occasion of World Environment Day 05 June 2018. The event saw five of Goa's most well known wildlife researchers and managers come on a common platform and interact with a 200 strong crowd mostly of youngsters. For an organisation that has just begun, this was an overwhelming response and also showed the interest an enthusiasm that this generation has for doing their bit towards wildlife and conservation. 

The event featured keynote address by Dr. Manoj-Sumati R Borkar, Associate Professor of Zoology & Environmental Studies at Carmel College for Women, Nuvem, who spoke on a topic titled "My Journey as a Wildlife Biologist".

Parag Rangnekar, Program Manager at Mineral Foundation of Goa, spoke on a very sassy titled topic "Enter the Dragon", explaining his journey with Odonates (Dragonflies and Damselflies) of Goa.

Pronoy Baidya, Senior Research Fellow and Graduate Student at Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, spoke on the topic titled "Life of an Ecologist through the Eyes of an Ant" in a rather cinematic fashion taking us on a journey of unravelling the marvels of Goa's ants. 

Paresh Porob, Range Forest Officer of Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park, Goa Forest Department, spoke on the topic titled "Wildlife Conservation through Awareness and Policing"with a lot of examples and anecdotes derived from his illustrious career.  

Abhishek Jamalabad, Marine Biologist at WWF India's marine program in Goa spoke on the topic titled "From the Deep End to the Intertidal"explaining his tryst with the oceans of India. 

The guest of honour for the event, Dr. Vaibhav Chindarkar, Associate Professor and Head of Department- Zoology, Government College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Sanquelim inaugurated AERO's website and addressed the gathering with many words of support and caution at the same time for us, while encouraging youngsters in the audience to take up basic sciences and champion the cause of finding solutions to the various problems that plagues the human society today. 

AERO also felicitated Shri. Raghudas Tari, Shri. Rajendra Kelkar, Shri Namdev Gaonkar, Shri. Paresh Gosavii and Shri. Omkar Dharwadkar for their contribution towards wildlife conservation in Goa. 


Guest Speakers of Wild Dialogues with AERO Team (From Left: Jalmesh Karapurkar,
Shayeesh Priankar, Hanuman Gawas, Parag Rangnekar, Abhishek Jamalabad,
Dr. Manoj Borkar, Dr. Vaibhav Chindarkar, Paresh Porob,
Pronoy Baidya, Mayur Gawas, Harshada Gauns)

AERO is thankful to our co-hosts Goa Science Centre and Planetarium and our Sponsors Integrated Biopharma & Pharma Solutions, Mohit Ispat Ltd. and Vividha Alumni Association. 

Nature within Us

Arannya Environment Research Organisation organised a one day programme titled "Nature within Us" for "Teaching environment to Tiny tots" of the Kothambi village, the event concluded with lots of happiness and joys especially to the small kids who had come on early Sunday morning. The event highlights were Introduction to nature, Wildlife film, Fun games which include bird cards play and dumb charades. Also, a poster on Biodiversity of Goa was shared amongst the villagers of Kothambi Pale, Goa.

Bondla Nature Orientation Camp

Arannya Environment Research Organisation's first Nature Orientation Camp was held at Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary, Goa and saw 11 enthusiastic youngsters participate in this two day camp. 

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