biodiversity field work human-wildlife interaction

Critter Candid Cam

Travel to this fabulous landscape in India’s wild west to encounter camels, carnivores, people, livestock, and more!

Field work for my last project on resource use in a guild of carnivores [1] was done at the gorgeous Banni grasslands in the desert northwest of India. It was an ecological study that involved a fair amount of camera trapping, and covered an area of about 2500 square kilometers. In the salt flats that seem to extend endlessly in all directions, all is not as it meets the eye. And field work here was equal measures exciting, frustrating, and maddeningly chaotic, resulting in field stories and folk tales that could fill a book. Here’s a curated short movie of 20 camera trap videos from this study, with a cast of wildlife, livestock, people, and the elements, all interacting with the camera in some way.

The wildlife seen in the movie include (in their order of appearance): desert (white-footed) fox (Vulpes vulpes pusilla), golden jackal (Canis aureus), Indian fox (Vulpes bengalensis), desert cat (Felis libyca), jungle cat (Felis chaus), chinkara (Gazella bennettii), Indian hare (Lepus nigricollis), Indian grey mongoose (Herpestes edwardsi), nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus), and wild boar (Sus scrofa).


[1] Kadambari Devarajan, Abi Tamim Vanak & Vishwesha Guttal (December 2015), “The Company Canids Confront: Resource Partitioning in Sympatric Carnivores in an Arid Ecosystem”, Master’s thesis submitted to Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.

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