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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Rusty Spotted Cat in Bandhavgarh

Rusty Spotted Cat - Teerath Singh
Nocturnal animals escape many eyes in forests like Bandhavgarh. Teerath Singh an avid naturalist and tour operator discovered much to his delight that the cat in his camera was a rusty spotted cat. This is one of the smallest wild cat in the World, found only in India and Sri Lanka.  

Its distribution that was earlier noted is expanding with discovery like this. New discoveries in beleaguered wildlife world are heartening. Some time back a mouse deer was photographed in Kanha - seen  after a gap of many many years.     

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Kosi River Corbett National Park

Photo Credit Ruchi Patel
This is Corbett National Park in Uttranchal State of India. The Kosi River along with Ramganga is the life lines of this ecosystem. The placid rivers are one of the most pristine and unspoiled in the country. They are home to enchanting creatures that thrive under the waters and besides.

The rivers are home to crocodiles, gharials, and many species of turtles and fishes. The rivers are part exotic landscape of this reserves. The most attractive species that inhabit this ecosystem are tigers, leopards, elephants, goral, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, serow, yellow throated martin and many more.

It is possible to trek along these river systems outside the park areas. The walk yields exciting birds and animals to see. Tigers and elephants cross over these rivers but mostly in the night hours. However precautions should be taken to keep a distance from wild animals that thrive here in plenty. Some of the male tuskers are known to charge at humans. Birders frequent treks along these rivers in quest of avian species that abounds on the banks.  It is hence wise to trek in groups and stay together.  

Corbett National Park offers exciting elephant safaris in North India. Hundreds of elephants descend upon the river beds and grasslands from the higher reaches of Shivalik Hills on the foothills of Himalayas.  

Discovering the Less Seen

The big game seekers look for tigers and leopard in the forests. They seek majestic deer species and other mega fauna. There is much excitement and thrill in watching less seen animals and few birds which are mostly nocturnal.  

Animals like civets, porcupines, fox, four horned deer and barking deer, wolf, hyena, jungle cat, mongoose besides birds like Eurasian Thicknee, Owls, nightjars are quite often missed out. It is not possible to see these creatures in tiger reserves since the night safaris are not permitted. Most of the focus is on mega fauna and in the haste to see them tourists miss out on many wonders of nature.

It takes an extra effort to discover these animals and birds. A walk in the night on jungle roads outside the reserve provides exciting discoveries.  A jeep ride on the paths that lead from one forest village to another can become thrilling. Tigers, leopards, sloth bear reside not only in National Parks but they do so outside in and around forest villages.  Sometimes they come under your headlight he!he!. 

I have visited many areas outside reserves traveling from one place to another in the late hours. On many occasions I have come across these nocturnal animals and birds. It is very difficult to spot these animals in core zones in day safaris. These animals can also be seen near the resorts and hotels that tourists stay in the reserves. 

If you are keen on enjoying nature as whole then you can move around areas which are not restricted for night safaris. A good torch is handy along with lots of patience.