Kanha's fauna

Secret lives in a nature reserve

Print edition : July 07, 2017

The barn owl. The species is threatened outside protected areas. Photo: Anant Zanjale

A verdant forest area in the Kanha Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh. Photo: Sanjay K. Shukla

Neelam the tigress and her cubs crossing a waterbody. Photo: Sanjay K. Shukla

A black-faced langur taking refuge in a tree hole in summer. Photo: Anant Zanjale

A leopard family on the lookout for prey. It is extremely unusual to see an entire family of this elusive and solitary animal. Photo: Wildlife Institute of India/Kanha

Sloth bear cubs taking a ride on their mother’s back, a rare sighting. Photo: Wildlife Institute of India/Kanha

An Indian pangolin with its characteristic self-protective large scales. Photo: Wildlife Institute of India/Kanha

The honey badger. It is an omnivore with very sharp teeth. Photo: Wildlife Institute of India/Kanha

An Indian python and a porcupine. Pythons sometimes eat porcupines, only to die later. Photo: Wildlife Institute of India/Kanha

An Indian hare uncomfortably close to an Indian python. Photo: Wildlife Institute of India/Kanha

The small Indian civet. A mostly arboreal species, it is nocturnal and an omnivore. Photo: Wildlife Institute of India/Kanha

The palm civet. This variant of the species has characteristic white patches. Photo: Wildlife Institute of India/Kanha

A porcupine mother-young duo. Porcupines are large rodents with quills for self-defence. Photo: Wildlife Institute of India/Kanha

A jackal making off with an animal leg. Photo: Wildlife Institute of India/Kanha

The rusty spotted cat. One of the smallest wild cats, it lives on trees and rocky hides and is found only in India, Sri Lanka and Nepal. Mostly nocturnal and elusive, it feeds on small-sized prey. It is also hunted for food in several places. Photo: Wildlife Institute of India/Kanha

The hyena. It is an amazing animal with powerful jaws and strong teeth. Photo: Wildlife Institute of India/Kanha

A small pack of wild dogs at a sambar kill. Photo: Wildlife Institute of India/Kanha

A common mongoose mother with her young. Photo: Wildlife Institute of India/Kanha

A smooth-coated otter near a waterbody. It is a critically endangered species. Photo: Wildlife Institute of India/Kanha

The mouse deer. It is the smallest deer species, is nocturnal and lives in tree holes. Photo: Wildlife Institute of India/Kanha

A jungle cat with a mouse. Photo: Wildlife Institute of India/Kanha

The changeable hawk eagle with a mongoose that it has hunted. Photo: Anant Zanjale

A male sloth bear rubbing his back against a tree trunk for chemical communication with breeding females. Photo: Anant Zanjale

The Indian giant squirrel. It is an amazing arboreal animal that lives in multiple nests and comes down only to drink water. Photo: Rajneesh Singh

The bamboo pit viper. It is a poisonous snake that hunts mostly at night. Photo: Anant Zanjale

A barking deer pair at a water hole. It is a mostly solitary animal. Photo: Anant Zanjale

Indian vultures feeding on a sambar deer carcass. Photo: Rahul Sharma

Kanha is home to not only the tiger but also a wide range of lesser faunal species that lead interesting lives and play important roles in the ecosystem. Kanha’s network of camera traps gives us a glimpse of their world.
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