A newsletter on the Natural History, Ecology
and Conservation of the Agasthyamalai region, Western Ghats, India.

Any and all opinions expressed in this newsletter are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of ATREE. 

A S H O K A   T R U S T   F O R   R E S E A R C H   I N   E C O L O G Y   A N D   T H E   E N V I R O N M E N T

Ghosts of darkness

                                                                       - Rajkamal Goswami

The Puckle’s path is a 4.5 km loop jeep trail in the Mundanthurai range of KMTR well known for consistent encounter and sightings of many animals and birds. For the last three years it was regularly monitored for diurnal animal sign & encounter surveys. What would it be like to venture inside it at night has been a long curiosity! When Saleem, my co-surveyor seemed to be game for a night survey we picked up our torches and walked into the darkness. The 2 night surveys seemed quite productive as we encountered two bears, a leopard as well as a herd of about 7 Chitals. We also saw quite a few slender lorises and two species of civets: the toddy cat & the brown palm civet! After each 4.5 km stretch (transect) we lie down on the tar road, looking up at the sky and feeling at one with the universe! With the blaring day traffic during the SMK festival, only the nights, quiet & still, allowed us to soak the aura of the jungle. Thanks to forest department, who closed the road for the night traffic, amidst the uproar from the community.


Centre for Excellence in Conservation Science
Royal Enclave,Srirampura,Jakkur Post
Telephone: 080-23635555 (EPABX)
Fax : 080- 23530070

photo: Rajkamal Goswami
Volume 5,  Special Issue
      January 2011

Editorial Team

Editor: M. Soubadra Devy
Associate editor: Vivek Ramachandran
Editorial Review: R. Ganesan, T.Ganesh
Design and presentation: Vivek Ramachandran