Endemics from Malabar

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The Western Ghats or the Malabar, Himalayas and Andaman are few hotspots for endemic species from India.

(Endemic- Species that are found in one particular geographical region not exceeding 50000 sq km)

Malabar Giant Squirrel, BR Hills, KarnatakaLet us look at two of them this week- From the Malabar!

If in the Western Ghats, and middle of dense wild forests, there is no way one can miss the loud crackling sound which is that of a Malabar Giant Squirrels. It’s kind of a wake-up call to the entire forest!  A beige and brown combination on their fleecy skin and the notorious eyes. Those which sparkle and are endlessly active giants, can never be a miss. The long bushy tail flutters around, in slow motion.

The huge squirrels are often found on the topmost part of trees, where the branches are leafy and clustered. They stay high and jump around branches and go completely flat on any threats, major threat being leopards and birds of prey. They are extremely shy and you will find it hard to get a glimpse of them.

 

  • Species name: Malabar Giant Squirrel, Ratufa indica
  • Place of shoot – BR Hills, Karnataka

 

Malabar Barbet, BR Hills, KarnatakaThatekkad, around March 2016 felt like an oven. And that was too early for the sun to heat up Kerala. I sat through the evening, with a camera with the lens held in my arms for about 4-5 hours. Well, afternoon until the sunset, is when birds come to have a good meal, refresh by the stream and go back to the nest.  The sweat dripped off my forehead and hit the lens.  But these winged beauties grab the attention!

When I was busy clicking all the common visitors, the Malabar Barbet, which I heard was a rare visitor, posed away!

Malabar Barbets are found in the Western Ghats, extending from South Goa to Kerala. They are most often found in thick ever green forests and also in coffee plantations. Primarily they feed on fruits but they also are found eating termites and small insects. They make holes in tree branches and each year, a new nest is cleaved. Well, I need another visit to learn more about this species!

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  • Species name : Malabar Barbet, Megalaima malabarica
  • Place of shoot – BR Hills, Karnataka
  • Season- March 2016