Sunday, 28 May 2017

Clouded Leopards -- Beautiful Big Cat Predators of South Asia and South East Asia

Introduction :

Clouded Leopards are "Charismatic Felines" who are primarily found in Tropical and Sub - Tropical Rain Forests in North- East India and in some Forested Areas of North Bengal.

In India, Clouded Leopards are exclusively found in Dense Forested Areas in the States of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, Meghalaya, and Nagaland.

Clouded Leopards are elusive and are masters of the art of camouflage. They primarily live on trees and hunt only in the night. They are essentially "Arboreal".

That is to say, they spend all their time and sometimes when hunting for natural prey on Trees and on branches of trees.

In South - East Asia, Clouded Leopards are found in Tropical Rain Forests in Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysia and in East and West Kalimantan in Indonesia.

A few Clouded Leopards are even found in Nepal.

Clouded Leopards are Beautiful Big Cat Predators because of their Greyish-Yellowish-Blackish Fur with Black Spots all across the Body.

Clouded Leopards found in South - East Asia are magnificent because of their Rich Black and Yellow Fur.

Eating Habits :

Since, Clouded Leopards live on trees for most of the day -- It has been documented by Wildlife Conservationists that these Clouded Leopards kill a wide range of Monkeys which they eat on a day to day basis.

They normally kill and eat Rhesus Macaque Monkeys who also live on trees and are thus easy victims as "Prey" for Clouded Leopards.

Other than this, it has been documented by Wildlife Biologists studying Clouded Leopards that Clouded Leopards are capable of killing and eating a variety of Deer Species most notably Hog Deer and Barking Deer.

Breeding Behaviour :

The Home Range of most Male Clouded Leopards seems to overlap with Female Clouded Leopards in several forested areas of South East Asia.

Breeding between Male and Female Clouded Leopards seems to be seasonal in South East Asia and in North East India's Forests.

The gestation period of Female Clouded Leopards seems to be 3 Months according to Wildlife Biologists that have studied them up, close, and personal.

The average size of a Clouded Leopard's Family of Young Ones seems to be between 3-5 young cubs.

Male and Female Clouded Leopards are sexually mature when they are 2-3 years of age.

Conclusion :

Clouded Leopards today are threatened by Poaching and Deforestation all over their range.

The Skin and Bones of Clouded Leopards are in much demand in Illegal Markets that thrive in South East Asia.

Let us take a stand right now to save these Beautiful Big Cat Predators of South East Asia and North - East India.

Credits and References :

Wikipedia on the Clouded Leopard

Friday, 26 May 2017

Ian Khama -- My Role Model and Hero in Life

It has to be said right here and now that Botswana is blessed to have Ian Khama as its President.

Ian Khama is the best Conservationist minded President Botswana has ever had.

Africa is a Blessed Continent to have a "First Class Statesman" in Ian Khama.

A Little about him now :

Ian Khama was educated in the United Kingdom completely and graduated from Sandhurst Military School -- A Prestigious Institute in the United Kingdom.

Some years ago, Ian Khama returned to Botswana to head its armed forces. He has been twice elected and voted in as the President of Botswana by the people of Botswana.

Ian Khama is deeply concerned about the health, safety, and welfare of various wild denizens in Botswana but specially Vast Elephant Herds, White Rhinos, and last but not the least Cheetahs.

To protect them, He instituted and created the Botswana Defence Force or BDF in short to protect wildlife effectively in Botswana.

Ian Khama lastly is also concerned about the economic prosperity of Botswana, namely its Diamond Mining Business and Beef Export Business.

It is due to him that Botswana is an Upper Middle Level Income Country.

I like him a lot as He is a "Strict Disciplinarian". 

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

The Okavango Delta -- A Haven and a Magnet for Wildlife

Introduction :

Unlike other sweet water rivers in Africa, the Okavango does not enter any ocean on its 1,000 KM plus journey from its source in the Mountains of Angola to where it spills all over into a vast wetland like region further in the interior of Northern Botswana.

Around 90 % of the waters in the Okavango Delta, evaporate and are continuously replaced by annual rainy weather in the Angolan Mountains and also much further south in Botswana.

The Delta's Wetlands spread over 28,000 square kilometres all in the heart of the extremely hot and dry Kalahari Desert.

The annual floods which occur when it is dry in the Okavango Delta attract wild denizens from far and close specially migrating Savannah Bush Elephant Herds and various herds of Zebra from neighbouring African Countries which share a border with Botswana.

From what is happening at the Okavango Delta Year in and Year Out -- countless species of animals depend on this water source.

The various channels and islands that comprise the vast Okavango Delta are a veritable stronghold of Wild Denizens specially Mammals.

The large patchwork of islands, channels, and Floodplains of the Okavango Delta are a seasonal refuge for thousands and thousands of Elephants, Buffaloes, Wildebeests, and various kinds of Antelopes.

The Okavango Delta was recently named as an outstanding World Heritage Site. This is a great achievement for Botswana's Natural History.

The Okavango Delta is truly one of the last sanctuaries for Mammalian Wildlife on the African Continent.

It is quite usual to see Giraffes dashing between islands in the Okavango Delta as is the case with Herds of Wild Buffaloes.

It is important to state here that the waterways, lagoons, and islands that comprise the Okavango Delta are a perfect habitat for large groups of Hippos.

Moremi Game Reserve which comprises 40 % of the Okavango Delta is home to the Big Five -- namely Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Rhino, and Buffalo.

Rhinos in particular are making their presence felt in the Okavango Delta.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Big Cat Predators of Chobe National Park, Botswana

The Savuti Marsh Area in Chobe National Park in Northern Botswana is home to one of the largest densities of Big Cat Predators not only in Southern Africa but in the whole of Africa.

A) Cheetahs :

The Cheetah is found in fair numbers in Northern Botswana's Savuti Marsh Area which encompasses the Okavango Delta.

They hunt for prey regularly during the first few hours of the Sun rising and during the last few hours of the Sun going down.

Their Prey includes Impala and Springbok as well as other kinds of Gazelle which are found in plenty in Chobe National Park.

Cheetah Males can often be seen singly or in groups of 2 while hunting prey. Cheetah Brothers are a common sight in the Okavango Delta's Savuti Marsh Area.

B) Leopards :

Leopards are found in plenty in woodlands that encompass the Okavango Delta and Savuti Marsh Area in Northern Botswana.

Leopards in the Savuti Marsh Area of Chobe National Park have a diverse diet of prey which includes Impalas, Springboks, and Nyalas wherever they are found.

Other Gazelles also form a substantial part of their prey.

Leopards normally hunt alone in the Savuti Marsh Area with Leopard Cubs not seen in the company of their Mothers during hunts.

C) Lions :

Lions are feared and formidable predators found in and around the Savuti Marsh Area of Chobe National Park.

Their preferred prey species include Zebras, Wildebeests, Buffaloes, Impalas, and Nyala to mention a few.

Sometimes, smaller prey species like Warthogs are regularly killed and eaten by Lions.

Finally, Lions hunt in the company of Prides they live among.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Humpback Whales of the Atlantic Ocean -- Giants of the Deep Sea

Introduction :

It is distressing to know that a large number of Humpback Whales on the Atlantic Coastline of the U.S. East Coast are dying or getting beached from North Carolina to Maine.

The root cause of their deaths must be investigated as soon as possible. Atlantic Humpback Whales are Precious Whales in more ways than one.

They are well known for their singing repertoire during the breeding cycle. Singing is mostly done by Males. Their Songs are distinct and unique as compared to other sounds made by them.

Their Songs usually last 10 minutes, but can go on for hours sometimes. The singing male has been seen surfacing to breathe between repetitions of the song.

All Males at a "Breeding Region" usually sing the same song to attract females though changes to the song can occur during the course of the breeding season.

Humpback Whales are the 5th largest of the Baleen Whales and are usually stockier than other whales.

They normally weigh anything from 25-30 Tonnes.

In the North Atlantic Ocean, Humpback Whales are thought to form discrete clusters of Pods in and around their feeding grounds which is usually near the Gulf of Maine, Newfoundland, Labrador etc.

The Humpback Whale Migration is thought to be the largest among any mammals. They can be considered to be "Long Distance Trekkers".

Some reasons for their long distance migration include "Predator Avoidance" specially avoiding Sharks and Orcas also known as Killer Whales. Another reason for their long distance migration includes abundance of food and warm water in their breeding grounds.

Conclusion :

One of the biggest threats to Atlantic Humpback Whales is "Pollution". Specially, dumping of Industrial Waste on the High Seas and in Estuaries which flow into the Ocean resulting in the ingestion of "Contaminated Prey" ultimately resulting in the death of Dozens of Humpbacks.

Let us promise to keep Oceans which are the Homes of Humpbacks free of Industrial Waste.

Credits :

The Humpback Whale Research Foundation