Forest dept excited as camera sights Honey badger in BNP

Forest dept excited as camera sights Honey badger in BNP

Submitted by alvin on Wed, 2016-06-29 17:42 Bengaluru: In a development that has excited the state forest department and wildlife lovers, honey badger, a small carnivore known for its fearlessness, has been sighted in Bannerghatta National Park (BNP).Honey badger or Ratel Nellivora Capensis has been a recent addition to the list of fauna of Bannerghatta. The animal was photographed by a camera installed by the forest department.A study taken up by Karnataka State Forest Department, headed by Dr Sunil Panwar, DCF, Bannerghatta, and Avinash Krishna, research officer from Arocha India, and others, has established the presence of a ratel here. In a paper “A badger in Bannerghatta: An opportunistic record of the Ratel Mellivora Capensis from Karnataka” published in Journal of Threatened Taxa, researchers said the small mammal was spotted near Karadikal Mahadeshwara Elephant Corridor that connects Harohalli and Anekal.The paper stated that the carnivore was photographed by one of the cameras placed to study movement of elephants and tigers.“Two motion-triggered infra-red camera traps were set to record the ranging patterns of a wild tiger that had been recently reported in BNP. Cameras were set in two of the wildlife ranges Bannerghatta wildlife range and Harohalli wildlife range. One of the cameras was set up near the Karadikal Mahadeshwara Elephant Corridor that connects Harohalli and Anekal wildlife ranges of BNP between 15 October 2015 and 10 November 2015. This recorded images of a Ratel on 2 November 2015,” wrote the researchers.According to the study, Bennerghatta could be a good habitat for these animals since the park was connected to CWS in the south-west. “Though a single sighting is not sufficient to establish resident population of ratels in BNP, the habitat bears some of the ecological characteristics that may be conducive. Good diversity and occurrence of bamboo and water bodies could be a viable shelter for these small carnivores,” said the studyElated over the finding, the forest department has now stepped up monitoring in the park. We are getting about a sixty cameras to conduct a survey of smaller mammals,” DCF Panwar told Bfirst.inWith sighting of a wild tiger being reported in 2015, the sighting of ratel has made Bannerghatta ecosystem more significant.