Monday, April 16, 2012

Indian Tree Shrew - Lesser Known Indian Wildlife

The jungle is always full of surprise. In spite of going repeatedly to Barha for birding the expectancy remains. Barha is a reserve forest about 8 km from my house. It is part of Mandla and Jabalpur forest divisions which were once densely forested and teemed with wild animals including tiger and leopard.    

Due to the destruction of these forest and poaching by villagers, the mega fauna is extinct. But one does come across squirrels, Hanuman langur, rhesus macaque and monitor lizard. Perhaps a night safari would churn up more nocturnal animals. 

Indian Tree Shrew JBP
Tree Shrew on Ground
Tree Shrew on the run
Tree Shrew Photo

The above photographs have been taken by Mr. Jagat Flora my friend and fellow birder. At Barha the birds remain and near to Jabalpur it is the finest birding destination. During our many birding trips we saw this creature scurrying to hide on the very first glance. The confusion over its identity prevailed till we were able to photograph it. The images helped us identity this mammal. 

Indian Tree Shrew are found in dry deciduous and moist deciduous forest of Central and South India. They resemble the common squirrel but are hardly akin in habits. This mammal has been placed in Insectivora but lot of confusion prevails over its classification.

This animal is diurnal in habit and hardly climbs trees though it can. Very little is known about the Indian Tree Shrew which lives in burroughs in the forests.