Traces left behind

Walking trail at Singinawa Jungle Lodge.

One of the greatest pleasures of going on a nature walk is getting the opportunity to step into the natural world and experiencing the marvels of nature. You must always be aware of the fact that there is all sorts of life around you, whether crouched behind bushes, perched on trees, hiding in their burrows or perhaps some small creatures that might catch your attention.

Take some time to relish and explore your journey through the trails, as there are so many hidden clues you may stumble upon. Hoof marks of deer in search of fresh grass, pug marks of big cats out patrolling its grounds after dusk or possibly different kinds of droppings, are some of the few indicators of these mysterious and elusive creatures. At most times, just these signs will give you a deeper understanding about where and what the animal was up to.

For instance, a small animal has made this patch of dry Lantana into its makeshift den.
Camera trap used for capturing images of nocturnal life.
Sometimes we get lucky. For instance, getting this Indian Crested Porcupine (above) and a Small Indian Civet (below) in one of our camera traps was a lucky.
Colour of the droppings in the picture above indicate a high amount of calcium intake in the animal’s diet.
To show the size reference, use objects in your surroundings. For instance, I’ve used a matchstick.
Pellet-like droppings indicate the presence of ungulates.
Fallen honeycomb in the middle of the track.
Nest made by the Red-wattled Lapwing.
Dismantled termite mounds act as hiding grounds for many smaller predators.
Rains wash away all the evidences left and create a brand new canvas for fresh tracks.

Once you learn to identify various tracks, signs and sounds around you, you can begin to follow their trails and discover different activities they might be engaging in. From feeding areas to denning or roosting sites, underground shelters and more, you’ll soon discover endless secrets of the wild world!

Namrata Bhandari
Naturalist, Singinawa Jungle Lodge

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