A collective of #bears is called a sleuth, but I'm going to go with 'a cuddle'. In a few weeks it will be winter and snow will dust the meadows and #forests of Dachigam. But for now, it is the beginning of #fall and the towering #oaks of this park are dropping trillions of #acorns. Simultaneously, the Himalayan black bears that inhabit the lower reaches of #Dachigam are fattening up for their long winter sleep and they are in the mood for a feast. It's not quite seven am and the five of us are clustered together on a forest path, surrounded by these gorging wild #animals. I came hoping to catch sight of one, but I have long lost count of how many I can see. (Over 15 is our final consensus) Nazir, our commander in chief, whispers explicit instructions. Stick together. If one looks at you, freeze. Should we be charged, DO NOT RUN. Make yourself as big as possible and get loud. Luckily this eventuality doesn't arise. The bears are like single-minded stoners. More preoccupied with the munchies than any confrontation. For over forty minutes we stand wide-eyed. Then suddenly they're gone, swallowed by their beautiful forest home. I wasn't invited to partake of the spread, but I am greedy and slip an acorn into my pocket. A reminder of this glorious morning in #Kashmir.
Image: Steve Winter/ National Geographic // The Sanctuary Nature Foundation is delighted to present the first-ever Sanctuary Wildlife Photography Festival 2017! Don’t miss this intensive technical workshop with an exceptional panel of experts and award-winning #wildlife#photographers.
Advanced Wildlife Photography Workshop:
Sunday, November 5, 10 a.m. – 4p.m., The Quarter, The Royal Opera House, Mumbai.
Workshop Fee: Rs.7,500/- for the day-long advanced workshop package, including: Interactive, engaging sessions with the experts; Interaction with the winners of the Sanctuary Wildlife Photography Awards 2017; One free donor pass to the Wildlife #Photography Awards Ceremony; One free copy of Sanctuary’s latest coffee-table book 'Wild Chhattisgarh'; One free copy of the new, limited edition hard-cover coffee-table book 'Birds Abode' by Manjula Mathur; Networking lunch at The Quarter, a newly-opened café at The Royal Opera House.
・・・ #Regram#RG@bertiegregory: A lettuce coral covered in anthias in the Northern Red Sea. The diversity (the number of different species) of coral reefs is mind blowing. It is estimated that whilst they only occupy 1% of the ocean floor, they are home to more than 25% of the ocean's biodiversity! Coral reefs all around the world are in trouble but why should we care? Well, aside from just being awesome, they provide so many functions that are vital to human existence including coastline storm protection, fisheries production, tourism and climate regulation.
Image: Daanish Shastri // 'Ramganga's Otter Empire'- This bevy of #otters inhabits the stretch of the #Ramganga river around lakdi-ka -pul in #Corbett. Wait patiently at one spot and they might pop into view.
Image: Aditya Salekar // The #monsoon, when #Yeoor#forest, transforms into a paradise for nature lovers, was when Aditya spotted this pair of Oriental Dwarf #Kingfishers Ceyx erithaca engaged in a classic #courtship routine. The male #bird, in customary fashion, feeds the female, before being allowed to mate with her.
Image: T.N.A Perumal (Sanctuary photo archives) // "In the early 1900s, it was the 'in-thing': a matter of pride and prestige, to #hunt with a gun. Fortunately, enlightened persons discarded the gun in favour of the #camera when they discovered that #photography was a far better sport, demanding even greater stealth and skill, better knowledge of #animals, in addition to a keenly developed sense of aesthetics. The fact that animals shot with the camera were free to roam the #jungles greatly added to the magnetic draw for this new activity. #Photographs had other advantages over blood sports. The images were more permanent and, what is more, such 'trophies' could easily be duplicated and shared with friends! " wrote the legendary Indian #wildlife photographer, late T. N. A. Perumal, in an article which he penned for Sanctuary Asia back in 1990. Read excerpts from the article in our October 2017 cover story.
Image: Zeeshan Mirza // Wildlife biologists @zeeshan_a_mirza and Rajesh Sanap were out on a night stroll at an often-frequented trail in the #Aarey Milk Colony located in the outskirts of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. The female #leopard#Panthera pardus seen here, which had been continuously sighted for a week in the area, made its presence known by grunting. As the grunts got louder, Rajesh intuited that she would cross the road they were on, and true to his word, she did, allowing Zeeshan enough time to frame this image.