Guest Write-up from Sindhu HV [My daughter]
Sometime we never notice and bother until unless we know the adverse of the things. Certainly am talking about one of the fast growing evil in and around our environment i.e., Lantana. I was not having much more information about this horrible Lantana before attending the workshop. I got the complete information about it is in the workshop which was held at Bandipura. It was truly an amazing experience with Conservation Awareness Team Trust [CATT - www.catt.org.in ] who organized ‘Lantana Control Management’ workshop on 6 – 7th December 2014 at lovely place Bandipura.
The workshop was comprised 30 CATT’s with all age groups, very young and old. Many were very experienced wildlife conservers. The workshop was arranged for two days. Our first day plan was really good one and very interesting subject. The event was went very cool and calm and relax in the mother nature. I was very excited and waiting to grab the information about Lantana. Workshop started around 2 pm in Bandipura forest seminar hall.
There were three captains Prathap, Saradhi & Shyam uncles. They were briefed about two days programs. A special guest was Kantharaj sir, who is Director of Bandipura Tiger Reserve Forest , gave much more information about Bandipura and its origin. I came to know that, during Mysore Maharajas they reserved Bandipura forest for hunting the wild animals. Later during the British rule they declared this forest as protected area. It is a part of massive Nilagiri biosphere. Four rivers flow into the Bandipura reserve forest viz., Kabini, Moyar, Moolehole & Nugu. It is identified as Tiger reserve in 1974.
Later Girish gave us complete information about Lantana and it adverse on the nature. Lantana is toxic plants that are specially originated from Australian pacific region. This Lantana basically belongs to verbenaceae family. These grow at height of 3 -6 feet and even more taller. They have different colored flowers. They contain toxin lantadene A & B that stops the growth of other nearby plants and trees. Around 41% of Bandipura forest area is covered by this evil plant. It impacted shortage of food for herbivorous animals. So they are entering into the cities in search of shrub and grass. This is resulting for the starvation of carnivores. This Lantana is of no use to the animals in the forest. The seeds of the Lantana get multiplied easily and starts to grow very fast. Lantana plants produce toxic black – blue colored fruit that make the animals to die. The leaves of this plant when it is touched it irritates a lot.
So to control the growth of Lantana Govt has taken many biological, chemical, mechanical methods. However it could not able to control effectively. Girish explained about how utilized the Lantana for different usage which motivate the local people. Involving the local tribal preparing many household decorative items like Chairs, Tables and some decorative items. The session was more interactive and debated one. The session was concluded and now its break time.
Second session of workshop about my favorite Western Ghat and its present condition. I was very interested about this topic. This seminar was conducted by Shree Harsha uncle. He explained about its origin and the seminar was more interactive. I was determined to contribute little of my part of life for the conservation of Western Ghats for the sake of ecological balance of Western Ghats. I am sure that I will do it. Harsha uncle even gave presentation about the various types of census. It is inspired me to dream of participating in tiger census. I found it more special for me. I was much exited to get much more information about it. I was truly amazed. Really thank you so much Harsha uncle. I think it was almost become dark. The overall session was over by 6.45 pm.
Relaxed sometime around the campus and now the time for evening documentary film which was telecast every day at 7.30pm. Today’s documentary about the Nagarahole. Documentary was more informative and entire one season cycle from Monsoon to Monsoon. Really it was great film.
Now the time of dinner and had yummy food. The time is retire for the day. The dormitory was very nice and rest for the day.
Early morning woke up around 5 am and were getting ready for morning safari.
Unfortunately we did not see any wild animals except Deer & Wild Indian Gaur. We were more sad because yesterday evening who went for safari was delighted by a Tiger. We were enough lucky to see only the pug-mark of tiger. Returned back from safari with great disappointed one and finished the yummy breakfast.
The next program was more noble cause. Visiting the nearest village Kaaremala around Bandipura and distribute the notebooks to the needy poor tribal children. It was one of the happiest moments in my life. The cheerful kids smile and felt enough lucky and happy to be part of this wonderful event. I thought CATT does only about the nature and wildlife whereas it struggling to bring happiness around the Bandipura tribal people. Really it is great effort.
After this event we left towards the village where the tribal people preparing the items by Lantana. There were around 8 – 10 people group who are in preparation of various house decorative items. It was unbelievable to see the types, design and durability. Never thought someone can make so attractive items as such. Many of us purchased different home needs. Got complete information about the preparation of item. Now the time to say good bye and back to Bengaluru.
After reaching the Bandipura finished the lunch and now the time say good bye to wonderful bunch of people. I was more delighted and two days worth time spending of the life. Two days workshop not only motivated and also brought more awareness and spread across the people about evilness of Lantana. Thanked each one of them and left to back.
I have gained the below things from two day workshop from CATT
More awareness about Lantana and motivated to do something effort to control it
Many facts about my favorite Western Ghats
Census about various animals and specially more interested about tiger one. Definitely try to be part of next tiger census.
Two days relaxed under wild environment of Bandipura