By Sulogna Mehta
VISAKHAPATNAM: Setting up wildlife trail cameras in the unexplored regions of the Eastern Ghats is what wildlife conservation societies are now looking forward to and are seeking permission from the forest department for setting up camera traps in the forests.
Trail cameras are found in major reserve forests in the country, including the Srisailam Tiger Reserve and in parts of the Krishna sanctuary, but none have been set up so far in the reserved forests of north coastal Andhra districts though these have several varieties of fauna.
"Trail cameras are remotely triggered cameras, which can be placed at strategic points in the forests, preferably tied to tree trunks. The camera has two sensors — motion sensor and infra-red sensor. Using these two sensors, it can capture the movement of animals or anything close to it and the images can be collected a few days or even a week later, depending on the type of camera," explained conservation biologist K LN Murthy, who is also the president of the Eastern Ghats Wildlife Society (EGWS).
EGWS is, in collaboration with funding agencies like Wild Oasis and Fishing Cats Conservancy, planning to set up trail cameras in the forests of the Eastern Ghats for which forest department's permission has been sought.
Trail camera or camera traps are meant for photographing wild animals in their natural habitats and monitoring their movement in and around buffer areas. "Such cameras help identify species, including detecting rare ones and their distribution patterns, documenting natural animal behaviour in their habitat, animal population survey and also recording any illegal activities or poaching," added the biologist.
Meanwhile, for the first time, a trail camera workshop is being organised on Sunday morning at AU Environment Sciences Department by Mother Earth Environment Consciousness Society (Meecons) and Fishing Cats Conservancy to promote awareness on the use of remotely triggered camera traps. "Participants would be exposed to a practical sessions on fixing camera traps and an indoor presentation of various camera trapping techniques. A wildlife documentary would also be screened," said founder-director of Meecons S Ravi Kanth Reddy.
-- Trail cameras are remotely triggered cameras with infrared and motion detectors to photograph wildlife in their natural habitats.
-- The forests of Eastern Ghats in North Coastal Andhra don't have trail cameras though they are found in major reserve forests and sanctuaries in the country.
-- Camera traps fixed at strategic points help identify species including detecting rare ones, their distribution pattern, document natural animal behaviour, animal population survey and can also record illegal activities or poaching.