What the Camera Trap Caught #1

In trying to come to terms with all the action that happens in the area surrounding JAWAI Leopard Camp, we have recently put a few camera traps up in cleverly chosen areas. It’s quite fun to walk around looking for potential hotspots of animal activity. We use game-trails, scrapes, droppings, pugmarks and other tell-tale signs as clues on where the areas are that the animals are using. The cameras have the potential to teach us too about behaviour and movement patterns of various animals.

The camera traps allow us to get a sneak peek into the secret world in which we are merely spectators. They are always ON, allowing us to see what walks nearby when we are enjoying fine cuisine around the campfire, tucked up in bed, or relaxing by the swimming pool.

Every once in a while we will post pictures that have been taken from our camera traps. This will give you an idea of the animals we see here at JAWAI.

Lets have a look on what walked in front of our cameras last week…

The Indian Hare - I am not sure if it is the same individual, but on four consecutive nights the same camera trap caught a hare.
The Indian Hare – I am not sure if it is the same individual, but on four consecutive nights the same camera trap caught a hare.
This female Leopard appeared on the camera at 5:25 pm. From this position she can look onto the huge fields below. I imagine she uses this spot to plan her hunts as the sun sets over the distant mountains.
This female Leopard appeared on the camera at 5:25 pm. From this position she can look onto the huge fields below. I imagine she uses this spot to plan her hunts as the sun sets over the distant mountains.
The female suddenly gets up and slinks off…we saw her the next day with a fat belly. Was it possible that from this vantage point she had sighted a potential animal to sucessfully hunt?
The female suddenly gets up and slinks off…we saw her the next day with a fat belly. Was it possible that from this vantage point she had sighted a potential animal to sucessfully hunt?
We went out one night and found the remains of a porcupine. It looked like it had been killed by a leopard, but we could find no tracks to suggest this was the case. I had a camera trap in the car and attached it to a nearby tree. The next morning we returned to the site, took down the camera, plugged it in and were delighted to see a leopard had visited. We were able to use the rosette pattern to identify this male as a two year old that is potentially in the process of being pushed off by his mother and father.
We went out one night and found the remains of a porcupine. It looked like it had been killed by a leopard, but we could find no tracks to suggest this was the case. I had a camera trap in the car and attached it to a nearby tree. The next morning we returned to the site, took down the camera, plugged it in and were delighted to see a leopard had visited. We were able to use the rosette pattern to identify this male as a two year old that is potentially in the process of being pushed off by his mother and father.
A female Nilgai grazing up close to the camera. This camera sits about 100 m from my tent at camp.
A female Nilgai grazing up close to the camera. This camera sits about 100 m from my tent at camp.
A Ruddy Mongoose comes to inspect the smell of the camera. I have placed this camera trap in a nearby cave. I am sure that there is a leopard that uses this cave during the day, but as of now I have still not been able to get him on film.
A Ruddy Mongoose comes to inspect the smell of the camera. I have placed this camera trap in a nearby cave. I am sure that there is a leopard that uses this cave during the day, but as of now I have still not been able to get him on film.
A Small Indian Civit casually walks along the path. He makes regular appearances on this camera.
A Small Indian Civit casually walks along the path. He makes regular appearances on this camera.
I am so proud of this picture. It is the perfect camera trap photograph to be used in our ever growing bank of identification shots. This is one of the large males found on a granite outcrop about 20 minutes from camp.
I am so proud of this picture. It is the perfect camera trap photograph to be used in our ever growing bank of identification shots. This is one of the large males found on a granite outcrop about 20 minutes from camp.
Obviously this is not a camera trap photograph, but it is a picture I managed to take yesterday of the same male caught in the camera trap shown above. Moments before this photograph was taken I watched him chasing another male leopard up a steep rock. All this action has meant that I have moved the camera traps into this area now in hopes of revealing some of the saga that is unfolding nearby...
Obviously this is not a camera trap photograph, but it is a picture I managed to take yesterday of the same male caught in the camera trap shown above. Moments before this photograph was taken I watched him chasing another male leopard up a steep rock. All this action has meant that I have moved the camera traps into this area in hopes of revealing some of the saga that is unfolding nearby…

What will we capture this week on the hidden cameras?

Stay tuned…

Written by Adam Bannister

8 thoughts on “What the Camera Trap Caught #1

  1. Hi Adam
    I have been following JAWAI Leaopard Camp since its pre launch day and have been fascinated by the concept, design and commitment to Conservation and Tourism in the Jawai/Bera area.
    Also you have been doing a wonderful job with the blogs which is making the property particularly alluring and inviting to visit (will have to wait for promos and discounts….as it is beyond my reach at the moment).
    The Camera traps are such a brilliant idea which not only adds to the USP of the property but also in a big ways helps in the Conservation effort…..what with Animal Census and a whole lot of spinoff benefits it will bring.
    Keep up the good work.
    Cheers
    Dushy

    1. Dear Dushy
      It is wonderful to hear from you. I am so glad that you are enjoying the blog and keeping up to date on the stories unfolding here at JAWAI Leopard Camp. The area is indeed special and I hope that you manage to get here at some stage. In terms of camera traps you are so right. We are having HUGE success with them so far. I can not wait for you to see the results of this weeks. They are AWESOME. They are providing great entertainment for many and helping us with getting an idea on movements and numbers. Keep Well. Adam

  2. Hi

    Can you please advise on the sightings of Striped Hyenas. We have a few of our FTO interested but want more info on how may sightings in a month and how regular.

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    1. Striped hyena are found at jawai. We come across their tracks around camp every single morning. Sightings however are relatively few. I would say one a week at the moment. These animals are shy and avoid all human activity. I believe that there is a very healthy population here but that they come out very later in the night/ early hours of the morning. Hope this helps

    1. Camera traps are remarkable aren’t they. You are going to love some of the video footage captured by the camera traps last week. I am editing it as we speak into a little highlights package.

    1. Dear Rick, thank you for your comment. A camera trap is the best way to unobtrusively get insight into animal behavior and movements which allows us to better understand them and thus protect them. We and countless other researchers have used cameras like this for many years and there is no negative influence on the animals at all.

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