Shutterbugs capture big picture of small species
One needs to look at the population status of amphibians and invertebrates, too.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A Panoramic shot of the rocky hills at Idukki’s Ramakkalmedu soaked in sepia hues at dawn, clicked by Thomson Saburaj, is one of the visual delights the ongoing ‘Beats of Nature’ exhibition offers at the Museum Auditorium here. The show displays over 60 snaps of wildlife and nature’s bounties captured by nature enthusiasts Suresh Kurup, Biju P B, Sujith V Gopalan, Pradeep Valathungal, Bijulal M D, and Thomson. One of the frames displays a tiny frog with sparkling spots on its body, giving it the appeal of a cluster of stars in the night sky. Thus, it is named Galaxy Frog, says Sujith, who clicked the amphibian at the Anaimalai Hills, southern Western Ghats. “The frog is of 2 to 3 cm only and lives in a microhabitat there,” says the herpetologist and freelance conservation biologist.
“It is very rare to find them in their natural habitat. A similar one is the Resplendent Shrub Frog, which is also of the same size and endangered.” The shutterbugs, who are from various walks of life, met at an event organised by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) long ago. Bonding over wildlife photography, they went on an expedition across India and Bhutan to document rare species of flora and fauna. “During our explorations, we focused on lesser-known and rare species, especially the birds, reptiles and amphibians, and captured them after thorough research,” recalls Sujith.
“Every life form is as important as big mammals such as lions, tigers and elephants. Conservation has revolved more around the biggies. One needs to look at the population status of amphibians and invertebrates, too. The photos exhibited are outcomes of our travels over the past five years.”The exhibition showcases rare fellows in the wild, such as the Indian wild dog, which is often mistaken as the Indian wolf, bar-throated Siva bird, Indian scops owl, rufous-necked hornbill, painted stork, ultramarine flycatcher, which is 12cm in size and leucistic spotted deer.