On November 3rd, after a six hour bus drive from Coimbatore, we reached the Bandipur Safari Lodge in Karnataka. I stayed in a cabin called Tiger with Hannah. Our room had a huge tiger painting on the back wall, foreshadowing the beautiful cat that we would see later that night during our first Indian safari. In total, we went on four safaris during our stay at the Bandipur Tiger Reserve. Towards the end of this post, I included a catalog that I compiled of the species that I saw during my exploration of this wildlife terrain.
In the catalog, I categorized the animals that I observed by class (mammalia, aves, arachnida, and reptilia). However, we mostly saw birds and mammals as they are easier to spot from a large, moving vehicle. Additionally, I added their common names, genus, species name, and level of threat as indicated by the IUCN Red Book (which I will explain below). Lastly, I added photos of the species that my friend Emma and I took during the safaris. For the species that we could not capture with our cameras, I included links to their respective Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) website for visual reference.
Regarding the second to last category of my catalog, IUCN stands for International Union for Conservation of Nature. They are a network of organizations that focus on conserving the environment and using the earth’s natural resources sustainably.
Influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable.”
The environmental network was created in France in 1948. It has reached a membership of 1,300 smaller organizations and counts on the support of 10,000 experts from different fields. The experts are divided into 6 commissions that work towards safeguarding the environment: species survival, social/economic policy, protected areas, environmental law, education/communication, and ecosystem management. The IUCN also organizes forums where people from various backgrounds, such as indigenous peoples groups, scientists, faith groups, and NGOs, come together to tackle environmental challenges. The IUCN is also the only environmental organization with United Nations Observer Status, which means that they can attend and occasionally participate in the UN’s General Assembly. Furthermore, the IUCN has enormous influence regarding environmental data collection. For my safari catalog, I was mostly interested in the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species. Their inventory is the world’s most comprehensive list of plant and animal species and their conservation status! It classifies each species based on their risk of extinction using the following categories: Extinct (EX), Extinct in the Wild (EW), Critically Endangered (CR), Endangered (EN), Vulnerable (VU), Near Threatened (NT), Least Concern (LC), Data Deficient (DD), and Not Evaluated (NE). If a species is classified as Critically Endangered, Endangered, or Vulnerable, it is considered threatened and therefore requires conservation efforts. To maintain their validity, the IUCN re-evaluates each species’ status every five to ten years in a peer-reviewed fashion.
In my catalog, most of the species fall under the LC (Least Concern) category. However, we were able to see some threatened species that are currently protected by Indian law, specifically under the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972.
(click on each photo to expand it!)
|MAMMALIA||Bengal Tiger||Panthera||P. tigris||EN|
|Black-naped hare/Indian hare||Lepus||L. nigricollis||LC||EOL site|
|Bonnet macaque/Zati||Macaca||M. radiata||LC|
|Gray langur/Black footed langur||Semnopithecus||S. hypoleucos||VU|
|Gaur/Indian bison||Bos||B. gaurus||VU|
|Indian elephant||Elephas||E. maximus (ssp: E.M. indicus)||EN|
|Indian leopard||Panthera||P. pardus (ssp: P. p. fusca)||VU|
|Indian muntjac/barking deer||Muntiacus||M. muntjak||LC||EOL site|
|Lion-tailed macaque/wanderoo||Macaca||M. silenus||EN|
|Ruddy mongoose||Herpestes||H. smithii||LC||EOL site|
|Sloth bear||Melursus||M. ursinus||VU||EOL site|
|Chital/spotted deer||Axis||A. axis||LC|
|Indian boar/moupin pig||Sus||S. scrofa (spp: S. s. cristatus)||LC|
|Brahminy starlings/Brahminy myna||Sturnia||S. pagodarum||LC|
|Common hawk-cuckoo/’brainfever’ bird||Hierococcyx||H. varius||LC||EOL site|
|Brown shrike||Lanius||L. cristatus||LC||EOL site|
|Lesser cuckoo||Cuculus||C. poliocephalus||LC||EOL site|
|Crested hawk-eagle||Nisaetus||N. cirrhatus||LC|
|Crested serpent eagle||Spilornis||S. cheela||LC||EOL site|
|Grey jungle fowl||Gallus||G. sonneratii||LC|
|Black-rumped flameback||Dinopium||D. benghalense||LC||EOL site|
|Indian golden oriole||Oriolus||O. kundoo||LC||EOL site|
|Grey wagtail||Motacilla||M. cinerea||LC||EOL site|
|Common myna/Indian myna||Acridotheres||A. tristis||LC||EOL site|
|Long-tailed shrike||Lanius||L. schach||LC||EOL site|
Indian peafowl [national bird of India]
|Indian pond heron/paddybird||Ardeola||A. grayii||LC||EOL site|
|Red spurfowl||Galloperdix||G. spadicea||LC||EOL site|
|Red-wattled lapwing||Vanellus||V. indicus||LC||EOL site|
|Rose-ringed parakeet||Psittacula||P. krameri||LC||EOL site|
|Indian spot-billed duck||Anas||A. poecilorhyncha||LC||EOL site|
|Spotted dove||Spilopelia||S. chinensis||LC||EOL site|
|Spotted owlet||Athene||A. brama||LC|
|White-bellied/great black woodpecker||Dryocopus||D. javensis||LC|
|White-bellied drongo||Dicrurus||D. caerulescens||LC||EOL site|
|White-naped woodpecker||Chrysocolaptes||C. festivus||LC|
|White-throated kingfisher||Halcyon||H. smyrnensis||LC|
|Yellow-footed green pigeon||Treron||T. phoenicoptera||LC|
Giant Wood Spider
Indian pond terrapin
I am so lucky that I got to experience four wildlife safaris and that I got to see a tiger on my first one! This was an invaluable opportunity and probably one of the best moments of my India journey so far. With less than three weeks remaining on this trip, I am ready to fully enjoy the few adventures that I have left in this country… I can’t wait to finally see the Taj Mahal!
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