by Manoj Kumar Tony
Before, writing this blog,I would like to wish everyone on this auspicious day of Good Friday. The 13th day of our course started with a beautiful morning and a cup of tea at Queen’s corner of Sariska Palace. After a tasty & healthy breakfast, we rushed to the lecture theatre at 09:30 am where a very interactive session was initiated by our gurudev Dr Parag Nigam sir, on physical restraints of wild animals. Nigam sir explained different techniques about active and passive capture of animals including all types of cages, traps, nets, snares used in wildlife capture. He explained how to comfort animals during the restraining process. After this interactive session, Dr Abhijit Das, a renowned herpetologist took over the class. He provided inputs on anatomical, biological and physiological attributes of various amphibians and reptiles including identification and marking techniques. In a very lucid manner, he explained the differentiation between venous and non-venous snakes, monitor lizards, turtles and tortoises, their rescue and rehabilitation essentials. The field session included a demonstration of various tools and techniques in physical restraint. Various types of equipment, cages, snares and nets were demonstrated. We set leg hold traps and Aldrich foot snare on our own.
Different types of equipment used by herpetological studies were subsequently demonstrated by Dr Abhijit. Mock drill of setting traps/snares, use of mist nets for catching birds, the rescue of reptile nests besides in situ and ex situ incubation was carried out and was quite a learning experience. The evening session started with a demonstration and safe handling of turtles. It was really fascinating to handle a live turtle. Animal sexing, handling, identification, marking techniques, biological sampling was carried out.
The last exercise was the field survey of amphibians in a small wetland Bandipole. It was a great experience to walk in the forest area during dusk ..with Nigam sir and Dr Das, who discussed biological and ecological aspects of frogs and their relationship with the wetlands. The impact of pollution, diseases etc on amphibian populations was discussed. Detailed information on Chytrid and its role in amphibian decline was discussed at length in an interesting manner… Really, it was a day of great learning……
Thanks, IWAH 2021 Team