Wednesday 3 April 2013

The Slender Loris of Bangalore

Environmentalists, old Bangaloreans and even many others have started cribbing about how Bangalore has lost its character and today it is become more of a concrete jungle.
Apart from a general chorus of degradation of green, environmentalists have also bemoaned the slow death of the flora and fauna of the area. Yes, there has been a lot of destruction and it has led to the disappearance of several species of animals and birds but there are still pockets of green where one can find a variety of wildlife and enjoy the antics of small animals, birds and reptiles.
One common animal that is endemic to the jungles of south India is the Slender Loris or Kadu Pappa in Kannada.
Fortunately, Bangalore still has several places where the Slender Loris can be found and they are abundant in the last remnants of City’s green.
The Slender Loris has been noticed in the campus of the Indian Institute of Science (IISC) in Malleswaram, the University of Agriculture Sciences (UAS) campus in Hebbal and GKVK on Bellary Road, the sprawling campus of the Central Power Research Institute (CPRI) on New BEL Road in Jalahalli, Sankey tank park and the Valley School in Uttarahalli.
A few Slender Loris also have been sighted in the huge campus of Bangalore University. Generally, Slender Loris are solitary and nocturnal and they prefer Neem, Acacia, Eculapytus, Jatropa trees. The Slender Loris- Loris lydekkerianus- is one of the two nocturnal primates found in India. Two subspecies of the
slender Loris are found in India – the dry forest Mysore Slender Loris- Loris Iydekkerianus and the wet forest Malabar Slender Loris- Loris Iydekkerianus Malabaricus.
As with many nocturnal primates, studies on the ecology and behaviour of the Slender Loris were begun only recently and much
still remains unknown about the species, particularly precise information about its geographical range in India and factors affecting the distribution of the two subspecies.
The Slender Loris is actually a monkey and the smallest primate in India. An extremely shy inhabitant of the tropical forests of the Western and Eastern Ghats has found itself a precarious home in the bustling metropolis of Bangalore.
Researchers have zeroed in on 185 sites in south India where Slender Loris are found. Almost all the sights, including the ones at Bangalore, faced problems of deforestation, encroachment, loss of habitat and even anthological pressures.
Bangalore has a population of over 100 Slender Loris, with the IISc having about 20 of them, the UAS 50 and areas on Kanakapura Road another 50. A few are found in the other campuses mentioned in earlier paragraphs.

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