Research Associate, Nature Conservation Foundation, India
I have been working from different corners in my apartment in Bangalore—inching closer each day to the birds that call outside. Currently, I am analyzing camera-trapping data and writing a report for a project that entails population assessment of snow leopards in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.
This project focuses on the importance of using a robust sampling approach to survey all types of snow leopard habitat and not limit surveys to prime snow leopard habitats for population assessments. Our teams have retrieved camera-trap images from field sites and identified snow leopards individually. I am now using this snow leopard capture-history information to estimate density and population size of snow leopards for our study region.
The lock-down has pushed our office breaks to go online. We now have a virtual coffee meeting on weekdays to stay in touch and keep the morale high. I am using this time to work on a stop-motion animation project with my little nephew. The movie is about a hunter who gets moved by the beauty of the snow leopard and chooses a camera over his gun to shoot the snow leopard.
My nephew excitedly agreed to give animal sounds for our movie, but could not hide his disappointment on hearing the meow of the snow leopard. He has been taking creative liberties about how a snow leopard should sound in the movie, but insists on calling it a meow, perhaps in deference to his aunt. As of now, the characters are getting ready, and soon it’ll be time for lights, camera and some animation!
We hope that Manvi’s field update highlights a side of conservation that is often taking place behind the scenes. Like our colleague Manvi from her apartment in Bangalore, we will continue to inch safely closer to the birds calling outside.