Out of all the macaque species found in the world, Lion Tailed Macaque (Macaca silenus) – is the smallest and most endangered species. They are endemic to the western ghats of India and the evergreen rain forest is the ideal habitat for them. In the monsoon of 2014, I made a trip to Valparai, a small urban town located in the lap of Annamali hills in Tamilnadu’s western ghats which is considered to be one of the ideal location for spotting them. In spite of knowing the fact that both the weather and rain can hamper the viewing and photography of this endangered species more difficult, I planned that trip hoping to get the real feel of the rain forest in the rainy season. Though it was raining all the day throughout my stay of 4 days, I was lucky enough to see two different groups of LTM.
I identified one individual and waited silently till he became familiar with my presence.Identifying one individual from the group and spend sufficient time with him/her till he/she became comfortable is the best way to observe and photograph LTM. Once the fear of human presence was over, they became more friendly and comfortable.Within couple of minutes, this adult LTM brought down a big ripe Jack-fruit from the surrounding tree and started consuming it.
LTM’s are mostly frugivorous creature that means they eat a lot of fruits. Couple of more LTM’s from the same group arrived there and a little bit jovial confrontation started among them for the fruit. There exist two baby macaque who was taking help from their parents to grasp the food.The entire jack-fruit has been successfully consumed by them within couple of minutes.
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