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19th February 2024 – by Dr Dave Houston & Dr Komal Raul

By 19th February 2024March 11th, 2024No Comments

19th February

by Dr Dave Houston & Dr Komal Raul

Day 10 started much like every day with hot chai served at Queen’s Corner.

Breakfast was at 8am and consisted of fresh fruit, toast and jam, puri-bhaji, egg bhurgi and sandwiches.

At 9am Prof. Lee Skerratt gave a lecture on the ecological importance of amphibians and the challenges they face in the modern era, primarily focused on chytridiomycosis and options for its control and treatment.

This was followed with more chai and fried vegetable pakora on the terrace.

At 11am Dr. Abhijit Das gave us a lecture on the morphological identification of frog species and how their preferred habitat and behaviour leads to the development of characteristic anatomical features.

Immediately after this, Lee and Abhijit conducted a practical demonstration showcasing various preserved specimens of frogs, toads, salamanders, newts and caecilians. They also demonstrated safe handling techniques and the collection of physical information in the field.

We then had an extended lunch break during which, after having eaten, we spent some time in the shade of a large banyan tree working on our presentations and watching the black-faced langurs overhead.

At 3.15pm we met up outside the front of the hotel and clambered into the open-top bus that was to take us to the field site inside Sariska Tiger Reserve.

The field site itself was a small shallow stream deep in the park. We were divided into five groups each with a tutor to provide guidance and advice. We then had to find, catch, measure, weigh and swab a selection of frogs and present our findings to the class, at which point we also identified our frog species.

We then enjoyed more hot chai and crispy pakoras.

As the sun went down we headed to another site outside the reserve to perform a night time survey using head-torches to identify frogs from their eyeshine. We managed to catch a good variety of species despite the heavily human-altered nature of the site.

All that was left was the bus journey back to the hotel and a delicious dinner of dahl, chicken soup, paneer, mutton curry and gulab jamun.

This blog was written around the bonfire by Komal Raul and Dave Houston and approved by a selection of their peers.

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