November 1st, 2010 | Published in Nature & Wildlife
Lion Tailed Macaque, Southern Western Ghats
Photo © Mohit Gupta, All Rights Reserved
With lush green tea and coffee estates spreading over thousands of acres, things seem perfect as you travel through Southern Western Ghats. But the perspective totally changes if you dig a little deep and try to understand the ecological balance of this region.
While on a sojourn to Annamalai Tiger Reserve, I was fortunate enough to meet some members of National Conservation Fund, an organization working on impact of human behavior on flora and fauna, human-wildlife conflict and restoration. What today seems like a never ending sheet of tea and coffee was once a unfathomable array of rainforests, probably one of the most biologically diverse spots on this earth. Today these rainforests occur mostly in fragments and have been turned into islands in the name of industrialization and development. These fragments are constantly under threat, and so are its inhabitants.
The photograph above is of a Lion Tailed Macaque that is endemic to Southern Western Ghats. It is characterized by its arboreal nature and unlike other macaque’s is very shy and avoids humans. With the changing (rather vanishing) habitat behavior of this particular troupe of twenty odd has changed, they aren’t that shy and do come very close to the road, a sign of human progress, in search of food.