Mangaluru

Land returned to nature offers facility for research

Krishna Mohan from Moodbidri and G.N. Ashoka Vardhana from Mangaluru who have given back their land to nature.  

Book store entrepreneur-turned environmental activist G.N. Ashoka Vardhana from Mangaluru and doctor Krishna Mohan from Moodbidri have not stopped at just giving back 15 acres of forest land to nature. Going a step ahead, they have put up a make-shift accommodation without disturbing the surroundings to facilitate research into flora and fauna on that land, located amid the Western Ghats.

The two arranged a gathering of environment enthusiasts on Sunday for the informal dedication of the facility, a container home named Kappe Goodu (a frog’s nest) at Ashoka Vana, the forest land inside Bisile forest range. The facility, bereft of modern amenities, can accommodate up to four persons and will be available for researchers free under their watchful eyes, Mr. Vardhana said.

Mr. Vardhana and Dr. Mohan bought the patta land about 14 years ago to prevent its possible diversion to commercial activities, including resorts. Either side of the 23-km Bisile Ghat road, from Bisile in Sakleshpur taluk of Hassan District to Kulkunda near Subrahmanya in Dakshina Kannada district, is flanked by Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary and Bisile Reserve Forest, except this small parcel. Hence, they decided to buy the property and return it to nature.

While there were a few attempts for serious research into the flora and fauna present at the location a decade ago, the initiative gained momentum in 2012 when K.V. Gururaj from Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bengaluru, and an adjunct scientist of Gubbi Labs, began conducting annual frog camp (Kappe Shibira) during the peak of the monsoon, Mr. Vardhana said. Research enthusiasts stayed at the Bisile community hall, about 4 km away, and visited Ashoka Vana in the dead of the night. Realising the need for continued research, he set up the container home, Mr. Vardhana said. Dr. Gururaj said that the process did not go beyond identifying frog species (about 38) following limited options to continue the research. Frogs too were part of the environment and they tell many things about the surroundings; one needs to know why they were there, what were their contributions. Kappe Goodu helps this mission, he said. Mr. Vardhana said that researchers need not just concentrate on frogs; but there are a variety of flora and fauna in the land.

Canopy researcher K.S. Seshadri, Belvai butterfly park founder Sammilan Shetty, wildlife enthusiasts Vikram Gowda and Umesh Goddu and many others shared their thoughts about the initiative.

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Printable version | Mar 4, 2021 10:23:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Mangalore/land-returned-to-nature-offers-facility-for-research/article33663056.ece

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