Karadi Malai Camp. Chengelpet, Tamil Nadu

Located on the edge of the ‘Vallam Reserve Forest’, Karadi Malai Camp is twelve acres of reforested land. The Vallam Reserve Forest is one of the very few remaining pockets of Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest. Reptile man Rom Whitaker and writer Janaki Lenin have worked hard since 1996 to bring back as much forest as possible. From a stark rice field almost two decades ago, their property is now covered in young forest, housing numerous native species of wildlife including jackals, porcupines, hares, jungle cats, civets, chameleons, cobras, monitor lizards and even the occasional leopard!


Work here involves monitoring animal movements, photographing and inventorying species of plants and animals, maintaining and creating habitats, monitoring tree growth and planting more trees, assisting with camp and workshop activities and taking care of visitors and guests. Volunteers will get the opportunity to work alongside members of the legendary Irula tribe, recording the creatures that the Irulas find as well as tribal techniques, bush skills and wisdom.

Accommodation: Bamboo cottage with three beds and attached bathroom with running water.


  • Monitoring leopard movements
  • Tree growth studies
  • Monitoring migratory species f birds and butterflies
  • Reptile and amphibian inventories
  • Amphibian population dynamics
  • Various ecological projects
  • Education through camps and workshops
  • Maintenance
  • Camera Trapping: You will be responsible for the daily setting up and monitoring of our camera traps that will be used to determine the occurrence and movements of mammals on our property and the adjoining forested areas.

Project for Karadi Malai Camp is as follows:KaradiMalai_Internal

Breeding Biology of Anurans: This patch of tropical dry evergreen forest, lacks documentation of aspects such as breeding pattern and habits of select species of frogs. Volunteering with this project would involve:

  1. Documenting breeding biology of frog species such as Duttaphrynus scaber, Polypedates maculatus, Sphaerotheca breviceps amongst others.
  2. Observing and monitoring behavioral dynamics of frog species that nest in the region.