Over the years, we have gathered some impeccable and valuable footage from the field, with the help of our camera traps. Our field biologists have placed the camera traps in such unique places that they have managed to capture the wild inhabitants in their candid best, helping us make immense headway in our habitat conservation project sites across Karnataka. As the weather takes a pleasant turn in the south of India with occasional spells of delightful rains, the camera trap continues to give us some tremendous sightings of leopards, sloth bears, monitor lizards and many more such elusive species.
Here are some debuts on the camera traps for this month!
There are countless myths attached to monitor lizards which is one of the main reasons that they are poached in large numbers and are marginalised as the commonly misunderstood reptiles that are found in the Indian subcontinent. A Bengal monitor lizard (Varanus varius) can be seen here gliding right past the camera trap, with its long tongue actively surveying the surroundings. Monitor lizard’s tongue is bifurcated at the tip, which allows them to pick up scents and helps them steer clear of their predators!
In a heart-warming capture, two sloth bear cubs are joined by another sibling for an enthusiastic session of mock-wrestling! The mother sloth bear can be spotted walking right past her cubs, until one of them realises and follows her immediately, followed by the other two. Sloth bears have a gestation period of 6-7 months wherein normally they give birth to a litter of two cubs in an underground den. This footage shows three cubs with the mother, which is an extremely rare sight for sloth bear families and counts for valuable footage in our research.
A male leopard can be seen carefully assessing his surroundings before perching himself comfortably amidst a rock-strewn hillock. Leopards are nocturnal animals, venturing out in search of food mostly at night, which is why they can be spotted resting during the day in caves, dens and even on tree branches. Due to their wide distribution in the Southern parts of India, leopards and sloth bears share their home in complete harmony, along with a number of species such as pangolins, porcupines and many more!
Sloth bear mothers are fiercely protective of their cubs and are willing to stand tall in the face of danger to protect their young ones! Here, two sloth bear cubs can be seen comfortably suckling their mother as she tries to catch a shut-eye. The sloth bears are the only species of bears where the mother carries the cubs on her back, and the cubs have been observed suckling up until the ages of two years.
This exclusive footage helps us in expanding our research and learning more about the wild inhabitants of the animal kingdom that we share our space with. You can stay tuned for more such interesting footage with us!