HD Kote (Heggadadevana Kote) Sector
Fig: Nugu waters
Vegetation, butterflies and birds study is being carried out regularly in few water-bodies, forest and agriculture fields on either side of Mysore-HD Kote Roa which we call as HD Sector. The area is part of River Kapila-Kaveri Basin. To some extent healthy Tropical deciduous thorn-scrub forests could be found at Arasanakere, Bettadabeedu, Harohalli, Maddur, Malleshwara Gudda, Kothegala and Chikkadevammana Betta. A contiguous forest that was covering entire Arasanakatte, Bettada beedu, Kallalli, Javarayanahundi area is disintegrated into isolated patches. To some extent, the plant species that used to occur in scrub jungles, grass lands and lightly wooden deciduous area about five decades back is still present. Rampant encroachment for agriculture, cattle grazing, and accommodating growing population has reduced the vast thorn-scrub jungle to bare minimum.
Few productive water-bodies that are studied are –Muganahundi, Gopalapura, Subbarayanakere, Udbur, Jayapura, Harohalli, Gujjegowdana pura, Ahalya, Hampapura, Maddur, Karigala, Hanumantharayana kere, Jodi Aladamarada kere, HD purada kere, and Shanthikere. Area-wise Shanthikere is largest, diversity-wise Karigala is the best. Reservoirs like Kabini, Nugu and Taraka are seldom visited as they are located partially within in Wildlife sanctuaries and entry is restricted. Antharasanthe, part of this sector, where Salim Ali has conducted Mysore Bird survey (1939) is now transformed into agricultural fields. Recorded flora and fauna is remarkable; 359 species of flowering plants, 238 species of birds and 126 species of butterflies (better diversity dependent on vegetation).
Western-crowned Warbler, White Stork, Chestnut Bittern and Reef Heron. In this sector, at particular locality, once we have met with Spotted babbler, though its presence is well recorded in adjoining National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries. Thorn scrub forests are supporting very few pairs of White-bellied Minivet. Painted Spurfowl has been recorded in Chikkadevammana betta on 20.08.2010 (Vishwanath MK). Few uncommon birds-of-prey like, Tawny Eagle (3 nests) and Bonelli’s Eagle (1 nest) are under observation. Few birds like Brown-backed Needletail, Lorikeet, Malabar Lark and Plum-headed Parakeet have been recorded beyond their known habitat or may we interpret that their habitat shrinked and they keep coming to their ancestors’ area. Malabar Crested Lark has been sighted recently at Saraguru, where earlier dense forest was present. Birds like Oriental Skylark, Sykes Lark and Rufous-tailed Larks breed here during rainy season. During winter they spread out to few locations like KRS backwaters, Yennehole, Narasambudhi and Kalale Kere.
Few rare migratory birds recorded here are- Grey headed Lapwing, Ashy Minivet, Northern Goshawk, Osprey,
Habitat supports some rare butterflies of this region-Black Rajah, Tawny Rajah, Anomolous Nawab, Spot Swordtail, Common Lascar and Striped Albatross. Few Indian butterflies belonging to Danainae sub-family become gregarious before their migration and roost in communes numbering thousands of individuals. Such roosts are usually on one or a few closely grouped trees or bushes, while neighbouring vegetation is often entirely without roosting butterflies. Such congregations are recorded here either prior to actual migration or while resting on the way. Only four species, Blue Tiger, Dark Blue Tiger, Indian Common Crow and Double Branded Crow constitutes major share.
Fig: Backwaters of Kapila (Kabini) dam
Fig: Harohalli Forest
Fig: Reef Heron amidst Egrets and Herons
Fig: Common Banded Peacock
Fig: Kapila waters in evening light
Fig: Chikkadevammana Betta
Fig: Bonelli's Eagle
Fig: Angled Castor, Common Pierrot & Common Leopard butterflies feeding on Leopard scat.
Fig: Spotted Swordtail