Sunday, September 14, 2014

Kanha in the rains

Tiger by Teerath Singh
During the monsoon the slush creates difficulties in driving on the jungle roads. This is also the time for breeding with young fawns of herbivores being born.   The deer and gaur which have mated during the winter delver their young during the season of plenty. The monsoon rain enriches the soil and vegetation all around the reserve is robust with new germination taking place.  

The transformation is magical all around you only see green. 

The jungle is silent especially in the absence of the tourist vehicles. The park is closed from 30th June till 15th October every year. The rains cease in and around September and the slush gets time to clear out from the roads.  

Most interesting aspect is the changing dynamics of tiger movement during this period.  The dense foliage accords lot of camouflage and shelter to the big cats. The tigers and leopards have to move long distances in search of prey. The abundant water and food supplies makes the herbivores spread out freely. There is no need for congregation hence the hunters have tough time chasing after then. 

It is very difficult to see the tigers and leopards during this period. There is no certainty of locating tigers unlike the summers whence they frequent water holes. Hence more accurate tracking is  required for sighting these big cats. Kanha offers little chance of leopard sightings but they do take place sometimes frequently when the spots become localized. This happens very rarely hence you have to count on lady luck.      

The wild animals get relative peace to rear their young ones. The park opens on 16th October and the tourism circuit comes to life. In the last season couple of tigers died nevertheless they are highly protected here. Almost all the forest patched contain big cats in buffer thanks to good conservation practices. the absence of wild dog sightings last season is a major source of very. I managed to see only one dhole which is surprising for an animal that is a pack hunter.    

In spite of the negativity, tourism in park has offered livelihood to many local communities and the travel professionals.  I have been visiting the park since the day of little tourism and now, it has done very little damage if any. 

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