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  • Writer's pictureluv shekhawat

Camera Trap

Over the last decade, a huge change has been observed in the conservation pattern of many animals. In order to move forward with the conservation efforts,proper identification and documentation is required.

Although it is possible to monitor and keep a record of the animals during daylight,

problems arise especially during nighttime due to less visibility and ineffective monitoring

due to different reasons like danger from the wild animals, unfavorable climatic conditions and mainly to avoid excess encroachment in the habitat of the wild animals.

In order to overcome such obstacles and to keepyear-roundtabs on the presence and

movement of wild animals intheir habitats, camera traps have been used widely.

Camera Trap

Camera trap is a digital camera which is equipped with motion sensor, which gets activated when a moving object (like bird or animal) passes in front of the camera.

Camera traps are wildlife friendly and does not interfere or disturb the wildlife where it is installed.

It is used widely by zoologists, biologists, photographers, and conservation experts around the globe for capturing images and videos of the wildlife

Working of Camera Trap

Every camera trap works in a similar manner which relies on motion detection.

The camera trap is fitted with infrared light illuminator that is not visible to the animals/birds. When an object passes across the beam of infrared light, the detector gets activated which turns on the flash and the camera. The flash illuminates the passing object (animals/birds) and the camera captures the image.

The infrared light (wavelength of 940 nm) is outside the visible spectrum and thus not visible; and the animal/bird is not affected by it.

Applications of Camera Trap

Camera Traps are usually set up around locations like a water body or trails which have indicators like pug marks, scats or claw marks of the animals.

Camera Traps are used around the world for various purposes most likely focused on conservation, some of the major purposes of camera trap are:

  1. Surveying, Tracking and Monitoring

  2. Determining the activity pattern (at what time the animal is active)

  3. Behavioral pattern (behavior such as foraging, hunting, and mating)

Camera Trap Images captured around Utsav Camp

1. Striped Hyena (Hyaena hyaena)

IUCN status: Near Threatened

The Indian striped Hyena is specialist nocturnal scavenger actively searching for carcasses and if an opportunity arises, will prey on small animals like jackals, hares or goats.

It has a creamy mud color fur with black stripes and a long fluffy tail. The hindlimbs are shorter than the forelimbs and hence the posterior body has a downward slope.

The Indian striped Hyena is majorly distributed in arid regions of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

2. Jungle cat (Felis chaus)

IUCN status: Least Concern

Jungle cat is a medium sized nocturnal cat found all over Central India with dense vegetation, woodlands, grasslands, and cultivation fields.

It has sandy grey coat with no spots or stripes on the body and is seen actively hunting birds, rodents, snakes and occasionally peacocks and porcupines

3. Small Indian civet (Viverricula indica)

IUCN status: Least Concern

The small Indian civet is a nocturnal animal with pale grey coat with longitudinal bands running across its body. The feet portion has black fur and the long greyish tail has alternating 7 to 9 black rings.

It hunts primarily at night and is fond of hunting mice, rats, birds, and occasionally poultry birds.

The small Indian Civet is distributed throughout India in dense forests, forest edges, and grasslands.

4. Wild Boar (Sus scrofa)

IUCN status: Least Concern

The wild boar, also called the wild pig is a brownish grey pig found all over Central India across all habitats. It has a large stout body with prominent nose and short lean limbs.

The wild boards usually stay in herds digging grounds for roots, tubers, seeds and occasionally scavenge and steal kills from other predators.

5. Blue Bull (Boselaphus tragocamelus)

IUCN status: Least Concern

The Blue Bull, commonly knowns as ‘Nilgai’ is the largest antelope species of India. The males are greyish-blue in color and has sharp conical horns. The females are light brown in color and have no horns.

The Nilgai prefers open grasslands with short and scattered shrubs. It is considered one of the major pests in Central India due to its frequent invasion into the agricultural fields which cause economic loss to the farmers.

6. Golden Jackal (Canis aureus)

IUCN status: Least Concern

The golden jackal is a small nocturnal canine that resides primarily in scrublands, forest edges and dry forests. It has a creamy yellow or dark beige color fur with a narrow-pointed muzzle, long furry tail and short legs.

The golden jackal primarily hunts hares, rodents, pheasants, francolins, fawns, ducks and poultry birds.

7. Ruddy Mongoose (Urva smithii)

IUCN status: Least Concern

The Ruddy Mongoose inhabits open forests, dry river beds, burrows and rocky hills. It is

found all over Peninsular India.

It has grey coat fur with black-tipped tail. The body is elongated with short limbs preying mainly on birds, scorpions and snakes. In some cases, will scavenge and raid the nests of birds eating the eggs.

8. Indian Fox (Vulpes bengalensis)

IUCN status: Least Concern

The Indian Fox, also known as the Bengal Fox is a endemic fox species of the Indian

subcontinent. It has a grayish coat with hints of rufous fur on its legs and underparts.It has a dainty appearance and a long black-tipped bushy tail.

The Indian Fox is mainly nocturnal feeding on small mammals and birds, reptiles, insects and also on fruits.

9. Indian Leopard (Panthera pardus fusca)

IUCN status: Vulnerable

The Indian Leopard has a pale yellow to yellowish brown coat with black rosette patterns all over its body. The rosette pattern is unique to each individual and the tail ends in white tip.

The Leopard is one of the most elusive wild cats and lives solitarily, being active at night. It has a broad diet and highly opportunistic preying on primates, hares, deers, peafowls, and wild boars.

10. Indian Crested Porcupine (Hystrix indica)

The Indian Crested Porcupine is the largest rodent species in India which spends the entire day resting in underground burrows on hill slopes and rocky terrain. It is highly nocturnal and comes out its burrow at night to feed on fruits, grains, insects, roots and smaller vertebrates.

The porcupine is dark grey to black in color with long sharp quills running from its head to the tail which is used for self-defense (although there is misconception that the porcupine shoots its quills when threatened).

Blog by

Mr. Kushagra Gupta and Mr. Aakash Upare, Naturalists at Utsav Camp Sariska.

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