19.7.10

Leopard Spotting

Leopards are famous for their mysterious elusive nature. Obvious when sighted but extremely hard to pick out of the forest due to their dappled camouflage that blends so seamlessly into their surroundings. By day they could be concealed on the forest floor or high up in a tree enjoying a catnap, it’s hard to know where to look. Our challenge is even greater, finding these secretive cats at night and discovering exactly what they are getting up to.

So, with two starlight cameras, one thermal, two spotting vehicles, four night scopes and a small stadiums worth of infrared lights we set out every night to search for them. It may sound excessive but so far we’ve been successful in filming a leopard every night. This would be almost unheard of in Africa where leopards are far less common or dense in their distribution. But this isn’t Africa, we are in one of Asia’s most abundant wildlife areas and filming nocturnal behaviour new to television.

It’s whistling peacocks and chital deer alarm calls that we are listening out for in the forest night. The team are adapting to a whole new ecosystem and discovering leopards are far from predictable. But so far we’ve fortunate in finding them and with another night beckoning let’s hope that our luck continues!

TS

2 comments:

xl said...

"filming a leopard every night"

Well done!

Maybe post a thermal or infrared leopard pix?

ammonite said...

Just posted a thermal one xl - starlights will come when we have time to process them