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. 

Editorial Team

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

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

Sighting of the ‘elusive’
                                                                       - Chetana H.C

First camera-trap picture of the Nilgiri marten at KMTR

One afternoon during my early days in Kakachi, dark clouds began to gather and a cool breeze started to blow. The sun which was shining brightly was soon engulfed in the dark clouds. I decided that perhaps staying inside the forest wouldn’t be a good idea and started heading towards the road . As I reached the road, there was a sudden movement in the understory nearby and within seconds an animal emerged out and crossed the road less than 10 meters from where I stood. My eyes quickly noticed the yellow patch under the neck of the small animal and the long tail. I knew I had spotted the Nilgiri marten. With two leaps the marten crossed the road and disappeared into the forest. I was thrilled, this was a lifer for me, to see this beautiful creature, even though I first recorded it on a camera trap in early 2005. My other colleagues have reported sighting the marten in similar habitats mostly along streams and also in the tree tops. It left me wondering how hard it would be to study such a cryptic, rare and beautiful animal when a mere sighting is so difficult and far apart in time. We need to know and understand these creatures and see the role they play in the dynamics of the forest. Any takers?


Volume 4,  Issue 3
      December 2010

Centre for Excellence in Conservation Science
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