Weekend Getaway: Wildlife workshop at Jungle Retreat

The Gerry Martin Project is organizing a workshop at Jungle Retreat this March with the objective of inculcating field skills in understanding the behaviour of the animals, and looking at the relationship between man and animal in the eco-system.

Wildlife workshop at Jungle Retreat Photograph: GoogleWildlife workshop at Jungle Retreat     Photograph: GMP

Since the latter part of the 18th century
the Nilgiris have been described in colonial journals and accounts as a place teeming with game and wildfowl. Endowed with altitudes touching 2600mts ASL and healthy rainfall, the Nilgiris is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet. Unfortunately, like most of the wild lands, these ranges are also facing tremendous pressures from human development and exploitation. There have been massive declines in faunal populations over the last century and the total forested area has also dropped significantly.

However, about two decades ago, a few individuals and families started homestays and small resorts in the area. This wildlife tourism slowly began to boom and today there are numerous such places around the region. In the last decade or so, it does seem like some species are making a comeback here. Large cats, for example, are being spotted a lot more frequently and since the conversion from agriculture to tourism has been quite expansive, there seems to be a decline in conflict.

Jungle Retreat, a family run resort on the periphery of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve has been doing its bit for conservation work in the lower Nilgiris for more than a decade. The land was initially barren and stark and was used in agriculture- primarily rice, finger millet and potatoes. Farmers used to poison wild animals that strayed into the property and use electric fences tapped directly into the main grid, killing animals regularly. Today, Jungle Retreat covers over thirty five acres of land that has been returned to the forest. Animals and birds are welcomed and watched and everything that you find in the forest can be found on the property. 

This March the Gerry Martin Project is running a large game workshop in the jungle paradise with the objective of inculcating field skills in tracking and spotting, understanding the behaviour of the animals, and looking at the relationship between man and animal in this fragile eco-system.


Hikes into the forest
Interpreting Tracks and signs
Camping out for a night
A Game drive
Setting up camera-traps and hides
Night Surveys

Workshop Dates:
The workshop will start at 11 am on Friday, the 18th of March and end around 1:30 pm on Sunday the 20th of March, 2011.
For further details or to register, get in touch with Conan Dumenil on +91-9972068300 or

Tags: jungle retreat, gerry martin project, mudumalai tiger reserve, nilgiris, home stays, hikes, forest, resort, eco-system, wildlife tourism, species, agriculture, faunal populations


selvaprasanna.s Mar 01st, 2011 01:38 PM

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