Bev is situated in the western ghats of South India admist the natural forests of the Mookambika wildlife sanctuary, 240 sq. miles of lush forests, cascading waterfalls, secluded caves, and evergreen hills. There is an ever presence of a colorful contrast of flora and fauna. The site is the habitat of many rare and endangered species, such as deer, leopards, bison, monkeys, wild boar, sloth bears, flying squirrels, large land tortoise, and hundreds of varieties of multi colored tropical birds are represented.
Bev's Wealth of Flora
Over 100 ayurvedic herbs have been identified and many wild fruit, spice, and medicinal plants including kutaja, asparagus, raceemosus, brahmi, sandalwood, arjuna, rosewood, jackfruit, frankincense, dasamoola, black pepper, gingers, nutmeg, clove, cardamom, mango, and banyan grow profusely amidst the tropical forests which are almost unmatched for bio-diversity.
The sanctuary has evergreen, semi-evergreen and moist deciduous forest and small patches of teak plantations. Some of the dominant evergreen tree species Dipterocarpus indicus, Poeciloneuron indicum, Calophyllum tomentosum, Hopea parviflora and Machilus macrantha. Myristica sp. and Elaeocarpus sp. are found in the middle storey.
Canes (Calamus sp.) are abundant in the under-storey. Calamus thwaitsii is a cane found at the lower altitudes and can grow to heights of 100 m. Another species, Pseudontenuis grows at higher altitudes. An interesting local observation used as a way to distinguish the two species is that Thwaitsii and the range of the lion-tailed macaque (which inhabits the higher altitudes of the sanctuary) do not overlap!
Terminalia paniculata, Artocarpus hirsuta, Hopea
parviflora, Vitex altissima, Eugenia sp. and Cinnamomum sp. dominate
the top storey of the semi-evergreen forests. Bombax celiba, Mangifera
indica, Dalbergia latifolia, Dillenia pentagyna and Adina cordifolia
are conspicuous among the moist deciduous tree species.
Helping Preserve our Planet's Natural Resources
One of the major accomplishments of the Bev was the establishment of the Nature Protection program. The main purpose of the Program is to identify the forest reserves' natural features and establish priorities for their protection. Since inception rare varieties of flora have been planted to preserve their importance as well as for propagation.
Trekking Trails meander through the natural surroundings. Camps, seminars and treks are organized on a regular basis for awareness and preservation of the environment.
The program also works with other agencies to increase protection for high priority natural areas that are not dedicated nature preserves, but contain important features.
Over the past 17 years, the program has collaborated
with numerous state agencies, as well as private conservation groups,
and private landowners to identify and conserve our resources.