“Brake for Snakes” Awareness Campaign

Animal fatalities are one of the most conspicuous effects of roads in any habitat or landscape. Reptiles and amphibians contribute to most of the roadkill incidents at the same time they are the least noticed by people. Since our country has a large diversity of landscapes, small animals, such as herpetofauna, most of them endemic that occupy small areas as its total distributional range. These landscapes are well connected by roads and we use these roads. This is an awareness effort for the people who drive to “brake for snakes”, save a life, contribute to the biodiversity conservation of what little wildlife we have left. Here snakes are taken as a mascot because they contribute to the highest percentage of roadkills that a road could cause.

When you pay attention to the smallest things, you will never miss the big wildlife.

We launched this awareness campaign with the members of the HVK Forum -arguably the most responsible driving community in India- during their first ever Tamil Nadu meet.

for more information check http://www.facebook.com/BrakeForSnakes

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The Brake for Snakes Awareness Campaign was launched with Mr. HVK and a few HVK Forum members

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Mr. HV Kumar inaugurating the Campaign by pasting the first Brake for Snakes sticker on my car

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HVK with us

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HVK with us after the unveiling of the sticker

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Me pasting the Brake for Snakes Awareness Campaign stick on HVK’s Legendary Mahindra Scorpio

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Arguably the most famous personality in the Indian Travel community, Mr. HVK supports our campaign

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Me giving a presentation on the importance of Bio Diversity, especially the macro fauna during the launch of Brake for Snakes Campaign

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The Campaign Sticker

Write to us at uberspan@gmail.com or peltopelor@gmail.com or find us on Facebook for your stickers.

Karianshola Macro Life

It was the much awaited weekend for wildlife enthusiasts in and around Coimbatore. Greenspiration 2016 was underway and we had speakers from all over India. Most of them couldn’t take a day off after the event because of their busy schedule, but upon request Mr. Karthikeyan Srinivasan, Head Naturalist of The Jungle Lodges and Resorts decided to stay back for an extra 2 nights and head out for a jungle trek with our team.

Right after the event, we headed towards Sethumadai, Pollachi, where accommodation was arranged for the team. The following day we went for a trek in Karianshola, Topslip. With Karthik guiding us, it was a learning process for most of us. The forest floor was teaming with macro life, so much so we were on the look out to not step on any creatures!

We came across some amazing spiders, mantis, butterflies, bugs and geckos.

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Ant mimic Praying Mantis

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Ant mimic Praying Mantis

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Pisaura sp. with a distinctive nest

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Tiger Beetle

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Cotton Stainer Bug- Adult

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Tent-Web built by spiders of the Cyrtophora genus

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Brown Lynx Spider (Awaiting ID Confirmation)

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Praying Mantis

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Praying Mantis

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Praying Mantis

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Wings of a Cicada

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Bracket Fungi

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Awaiting ID

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Robber Fly

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Nilgiri Langur in the forest canopy

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Awaiting ID

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Awaiting ID

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Cotton Stainer Bugs- Young

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Bright Babul Blue

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Large Salmon Arab

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Karthik in the field

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Tiger claw marks on the tree. My friend here stands 5.7″ tall. For your imagination to figure how tall the Tiger stands on it’s hind legs

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Robber Fly

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The Pioneer, with a spider!

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Grass Jewel- India’s Smallest Butterfly

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Dusk at Sethumadai

 

Thadam Experiences- Come Experience Pollachi

Thadam is a travel venture that aims at providing unique travel experiences to tourists at unexplored destinations. From Nature Walks amidst unexplored jungle trails to Rustic Village Tours and Photography Workshops at some of India’s finest wild destinations, Thadam employs tourism as an effective tool for conservation of bio-cultural diversity of the place we tour.

The Armor of Wisdom

The death ritual of elephants is profound. Elephant herds spend days next to the deceased, touching, feeling, gently kicking and even crying over the lost member of their family. They are known to be gently investigating the bones with their trunks and feet as though they are paying homage to the departed, all that while remaining sombre!!! Even completely unrelated elephants stop over a dead elephant’s carcasses or bones to religiously observe/ analyze before they continue on their journey.

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Elephants have one of the biggest brains among the living beings. A brain that’s so complex, it gives the elephant the ability to Think! A skull that can protect such a piece of evolutionary masterpiece is the greatest Armor of Wisdom!

This particular elephant was hunted down by 2 Tigers in Mudumalai Tiger Reserve.

Image made in January, 2015.

World Photography Day 2015

The Silent Watchers

Most of the time, people who have no voice over matters are the ones that usually posses most knowledge about the jungle and its denizens. An hour long conversation with these boatmen of Parambikulam Tiger Reserve left us in awe! With just a humble salary to run the family and a menial task of rowing a boat from point A to point B, the knowledge they possessed over forests, from Tiger Reserve franchises to Conservation ideas, Public Private Partnerships in restoring forest fringes to regulating wildlife tourism and sustaining indigenous groups of forest dwellers, their acumen and dedication towards contributing to Wildlife and Nature was immense.

It’s experiences like these that enriches the life of a photographer! Happy World Photography Day to all my fellow photographers who have inspired me and contributed to my journey.

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World Tiger Day 2015

Celebrating #WorldTigerDay by showcasing a few other animals in the jungle that share space with the Mighty Royal Bengal Tiger! Along with the Royal Bengal Tiger, there are many species of animals, birds, reptiles and amphibians facing threats of extinction. #SaveTiger campaigns directly or indirectly benefit all the other species in the bio diversity with the Govt of India announcing Wildlife Sanctuaries as Tiger Reserves. Tiger Reserves have more protection and scrutiny as compared to any other sanctuary. This post is an initiative by Überspan Films and Pollachi Papyrus to showcase a few of the lesser known endangered species that need the same attention as the Tiger or any other endangered species that has a purpose in the bio diversity and cannot be replaced.

Listed as Endangered as the total number of mature individuals is less than 2,500 with no subpopulation having more than 250 mature individuals. There are estimates of a continued decline of over 20% of the populations in the next approximately 25 years, along with hunting and continued loss of habitat. Text from IUCN

Listed as Endangered as the total number of mature individuals is less than 2,500 with no subpopulation having more than 250 mature individuals. There are estimates of a continued decline of over 20% of the populations in the next approximately 25 years, along with hunting and continued loss of habitat. Text from IUCN

Listed as Endangered because its population size is estimated to number fewer than 2,500 mature individuals, there is an observed continuing decline in the number of mature individuals, and no subpopulation contains more than 250 mature individuals.

Listed as Endangered because its population size is estimated to number fewer than 2,500 mature individuals, there is an observed continuing decline in the number of mature individuals, and no subpopulation contains more than 250 mature individuals. Text from IUCN

Raorchestes jayarami also known as the Jayaram's Bush Frog is found in Valparai. It is a recently discovered species of frog and not much information is available at this point.

Raorchestes jayarami also known as the Jayaram’s Bush Frog is found in Valparai. It is a recently discovered species of frog and not much information is available at this point.

It is estimated that fewer than 2,500 mature individuals remain in the wild and the declining population trend is expected to continue. Main threats to the species include ongoing habitat loss, depletion of prey base, interspecific competition, persecution and possibly disease transfer from domestic and feral dogs. Text from IUCN.

It is estimated that fewer than 2,500 mature individuals remain in the wild and the declining population trend is expected to continue. Main threats to the species include ongoing habitat loss, depletion of prey base, interspecific competition, persecution and possibly disease transfer from domestic and feral dogs. Text from IUCN.

This species has a naturally very small and severely fragmented range, which is further declining rapidly as a result of conversion of forest habitats to plantations, agriculture and settlements. It therefore qualifies as Endangered.

This species has a naturally very small and severely fragmented range, which is further declining rapidly as a result of conversion of forest habitats to plantations, agriculture and settlements. It therefore qualifies as Endangered.

Listed as Vulnerable as the number of mature individuals is less than 10,000 (Molur et al. 2003) across many, severely fragmented locations, with continuing decline in habitat quality, area and with no subpopulation containing more than 1,000 mature individuals. Text from IUCN.

Listed as Vulnerable as the number of mature individuals is less than 10,000 (Molur et al. 2003) across many, severely fragmented locations, with continuing decline in habitat quality, area and with no subpopulation containing more than 1,000 mature individuals. Text from IUCN.

An initiative by Überspan Films and Pollachi Papyrus

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Telephoto Lens for Landscape Photography

Golden Misty Morning in Valparai | Landscape Photography with a Telephoto Lens

Shot with a Telephoto lens at 230mm focal length

Shot with a Telephoto lens at 230mm focal length

Budding photographers usually believe that only wide angle lenses should/can be used for landscape photography and telephoto lens are meant only for shooting mammals and birds. It is a highly misunderstood subject and people often get carried away when they see massive bazookas like the 500mm/ 600mm / 800mm prime lenses. It is always an advantage to have longer focal length lenses for photographing wildlife especially the ones that have a wide open aperture. While an f/4, 600mm lens will come in handy, you will have to shell out Rs. 7,00,000- 14,00,000 to possess one of these state of the art monsters. But what about the folks that cannot afford such expensive lenses? Can’t they produce beautiful images at all? Is it all a case of dream never come true?

Gold Clouds- Shot at 150mm focal length

Gold Clouds- Shot at 150mm focal length

Misty covering the tea plantation shot with a telephoto lens

Misty covering the tea plantation shot with a telephoto lens

No, one doesn’t need expensive gear to produce beautiful images. With the right amount of technical knowledge and understanding of the equipment, one can produce top quality image with just about any equipment. What did people do before the D4s’ and the 1Dxs’? Rules are for beginners until they understand the concept of photography. If y’all want to know how I use my Ultra-Wide Angle lens to shoot mammals, click on the link below.

https://harishvaravenkat.wordpress.com/…/mission-wide-angle/

Scorpion vs Ant

Mother! A Universal word! When it comes to protecting their young ones, they are fierce! Be it a tiny scorpion or a mighty elephant, they fend off their enemies with all their might.

Last year, while documenting the Geckos of Coimbatore, we came across an Indian Red Scorpion (Hottentotta tamulus) with young ones trying to fend off a persistent perpetrator, this time, an ant. After multiple attempts to snatch one of the baby scorpions, the ant couldn’t handle the wrath of the protective mother scorpion and had to beat hasty retreat.

Releasing this as the first video from my new venture Überspan Films

© Überspan Films