THIS MONTH IN WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS | APRIL 30, 2022 | VARUN TANEJA

THIS MONTH IN WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS #April2022

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From the summer golden glow and all that Mother Nature has to offer to tragic news about one of the prides, Varun has a plethora of things to share in this edition of TMIWS.

There are many reasons for us Naturalists to love what we do and do what we love. One of them is the uncertainty and excitement that comes with going on safaris. It is special to share and look for what a safari will bring, every single time.

First things first. While the Gadakbari pride is doing well and all the females have managed to keep the young ones safe from the intruding males, a female miles apart sadly could not manage to keep the cubs alive and ended up losing them all. While we are not sure which male killed them, we do have a suspect.

 

The lioness who lost all her cubs

Image 1 - The suspect who killed the cubs

 

The suspect who killed the cubs

A major highlight: It’s fascinating to see how the weather changes and the shifts in the colors of Gir. With the landscape painted with brilliant blues and greens, our guests have been treated well with the big cats.

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This particularly handsome individual was too hot and probably dehydrated. It drank water from the lily pond in our lodge, and without intervention it flew away leaving us in awe of its colorful plumage. 

Image 4 - Tickells blue flycatcher at our lily pond

 

Tickell's blue flycatcher at our lily pond

As summer is in full swing, it’s quite an exciting time to be in the bush. Each game drive gives one the opportunity to uncover hidden gems across the stunning landscape of Gir. A few overlooked things to watch out for during the summer months that will make your safari a highly enjoyable affair.

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1. Tracking big cats: With summers and dry landscape, comes a great advantage while looking for big cats in the forest. Visibility is excellent which makes it easier to follow the movement and patterns of big cats.

2. Excellent photographic opportunities: The sightings are the best during crepuscular hours which is a treat for photography enthusiasts. Wide open woodlands, rich greens along with the stunning light lead to some of the best photographs and videos.  

3. Prolific wildlife around waterholes: Naturally, the dry landscape water is confined to limited pockets; some of which are man-made and next to the tourism routes. All sorts of animals come to quench their thirst and it’s a delight to watch them drink and interact with each other. 

In another interesting update: Krunal Trivedi is the newest member of the Naturalist Team.

Image 7 - Krunal Trivedi - newest member of the Naturalist Team

 

Krunal Trivedi - newest member of the Naturalist Team

"I've been interested in nature since I was a child. I began working as a wildlife rescuer for a non-governmental organization when I was 14 years old. Other than rescue and rehabilitation, I quickly understood that there is a lot to learn about animals. Snakes and frogs have always sparked my curiosity. I began visiting other forests in the quest of herpetofauna. Observing a female King Cobra on a nest in Uttarakhand was one of my most memorable moments. The way this female constructed her nest and protected her clutch was incredible. Following that, it became my objective to learn more about the ecology of these lesser-known wildlife species.

In 2017, I had the opportunity to work as a field assistant in Thailand on Spatial Ecology research of the Monocled Cobra and Indo-Chinese Spitting Cobra. This endeavor allowed me to learn more about the intriguing lifestyles of cobras. Following my interest in wildlife ecological studies, I started working as a Project Coordinator for Nature Club Surat, a non-governmental organization in Surat. Leopards and otters were my research subjects as soon as I joined. I began studying their interaction with humans in South Gujarat. I had the opportunity to work with the forest department on the rescue and rehabilitation of a variety of wild creatures including leopards, otters, crocodiles, hyenas, jackals, and vultures, among others. These encounters provided me with a thorough grasp of wildlife and its adoption in a human-dominated environment. As soon as I learned about the position of Naturalist in 'Aramness Gir National Park', I realized this is my calling."

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There is no doubt that exposure to nature brings a myriad of benefits. The World Health Day is celebrated on the 7th of April. More and more people are now spending time in nature (more so after the pandemic) for their physical and mental well-being. In fact, we’re seeing an interesting rise in “forest bathing” (immersing oneself in the forest, and soaking in the atmosphere through the senses). And why wouldn’t that be the case looking at the many proven benefits of doing so such as increased endorphin levels, improved social interactions and enhanced cognitive function. We, at Aramness, do our best to bridge the gap between people and nature - ensuring an immersive and impactful wilderness experience.

I along with my team hope to see you in the bush soon!