Inspite of Covid-19 scare, 20 people ventured out with us inside Green Valley Park to learn all about trees. The students from SIES college dominated the group. The walk was conducted by Isaac Kehimkar & Dr. Shubhalaxmi. The participants were introduced to different aspects of tree ecology and later on they carried out the exercise of calculating carbon sequestration by trees. They worked in 7 groups and each group measured 5 trees. Altogether 40 trees were measured. The highest carbon content was found in Tennis Ball tree. It’s 168 cm girth trunk stores 780 kg carbon which it created after absorbing 2850 kg carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Such facts about the trees were new to the participants.
The Gardening for Wildlife course started on 1 March 2020 with seven wildlife lovers who wanted to invite wildlife in their backyard. The participants belong to different professional backgrounds right from doctors, IT Sector, Architect, and housewife too. We have one participant from Dubai too. The course kick-started with a hangout session on the course overview by Dr. V Shubhalaxmi and Mr. Isaac Kehimkar. The participants are involved in online assignments, fieldwork, and DIY throughout the week with the hangout sessions with experts on Sundays. The participants are loving it and have started takings steps towards developing their own wildlife garden.
A marine walk was conducted for 57 enthusiastic students of Rose Manor International School from 8.30 am to 10.30 am. Students explored the rocky beach of Chimbai and learn about the different marine organisms dwelling the rocky beach. They were amazed to see the sea anemone in the small rock pools. Hermit crabs, bivalves, barnacles, gastropods, and crabs were the other highlights of the walk.
A two-hour free Marine walk at Chimbai beach was conducted by Mr Sudan. Around 10 participants attended the walk and explored the neglected hidden marine life of the rocky shore of Chimbai beach. They observed pistol shrimp, rock crabs, mollusc shells, hermit crab, sponges, sea anemone and decorator worm, etc.
We organized a migratory bird and surrounding mangroves watch at Talawe by Dr Ketki Marthak. We observed different type of birds like Black wing stilt, Common coot, Rosy starling, Green bee-eater. These walks help in better understanding of wetlands and their importance.
On 22nd Feb, 25 Volunteers From Piramal Foundation participated in the restoration works of Kharghar hills. The programme started with the nature trail conducted by Issac Kehimker and Nishtha Raut. participants learnt about flora and also learnt about the birds and the insects. Post trail the participants were divided into two groups where they worked on the nature trail development by digging and lining of the stones and the other team worked on making the pond barrier.
This was our first event on Central Park. Though we 25 sign ups but only small group actually dared to join us on a chilly Sunday morning. The place surprised us with myriad native and exotic trees that were planted along the pathway. Based on plantation we could assign a particular pathway to a tree e.g. Sita Ashok Lane, Peepal Lane, Tabebua Lane, Copperpod Lane, Laburnum Lane and Wild Almond Lane. The other trees who were the remanent of original forests included; Red Silk Cotton, Mahuva, Soccer Ball, Asan, Palymra, Charcoal tree, Banyan, iron tree and so on. The other highlights included hibernating stink bugs, harvester ants busy dehusking. Caterpillar of plain tiger and humming bird hawkmoth and green lacewing. There were good number of birds too such a Yellow wagtails, Black Drongo, Red Wattled lapwing, Shikha, Cattle Egret. Pond Heron and large congregation of cormorants near the water body. Overall it was well spent Sunday in nature’s lap.
iNaturewatch conducted a free marine walk for 31 students of Xaviers college on 14 Jan 2020 from 7 am to 9 am. The group sighted species of crab - Metopograpsus sp, Portunus sp, Egg mass of Nerita sp., Ceratium sp., Amphipods, Sponges and sea anemone. Ghost fishing was found and live berried crabs found in the netting. There was an unplanned mangrove cleanup taken up by the students which indicated awareness in the current generation.
On 15th Jan 2020 Marine walk was conducted by Sathish Chennuri and Chanakya at Chimbai beach(Bandra). Somaiya college students accompanied by their professors attended the marine walk, we could observe lot of rocky shore inhabitant flora and fauna i.e pistol shrimp, rock crabs, mollusc shells, hermit crab, sponges, sea anemone and decorator worm etc. Today we also have observed lot of abandoned fishing net (ghost net) in the intertidal region which may trap lot of organisms unnecessarily. The students also spotted the gutters releasing into the ocean and marine debris.
iNaturewatch in collaboration with United Way Mumbai conducted a Marine shore walk from 7:30 to 9: 30, for Rizvi college students and professors at Chimbai Beach, Bandra, The walk was conducted by our marine biologist Mr. Satish. We came across different varieties of marine organisms like a dead sea snake, different gastropods, bivalves, crab species, sea anemone, Gobi fish, amphipods, barnacles, decorator worms, sponges and mangroves. The walk aimed at creating awareness about the huge marine biodiversity that the rocky beach is a home to.