Wildlife photographer Sabari Varkala always springs a surprise or two with tantalising frames of the raw charm of life in the wild. Recently, the netizens got a glimpse of the rare and unique white gaur or bison, which is quite distinct from the all-black gaurs, through his YouTube channel ‘Sabari The Traveller’. And now, the lensman has uploaded snaps of the reclusive Nilgiri Marten, an endangered species found in the Western Ghats.
Sabari spotted the albino gaur, which is a result of extraordinary changes in the genetic makeup, and froze the moment at Periyamkombil in Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary in Idukki district. The Nilgiri Marten was clicked at the Thirunelli forests in Wayanad district.
Rewinding the pic
Sabari is a travel freak who loves to experience and share the mesmerizing beauty of nature with other avid travellers. He has undertaken scores of expeditions, including many into the jungles, and this time around he opted to explore the pristine grace of Wayanad.
The ace wildlife photographer was busy clicking pictures of a lone tusker near a forest road the morning after he reached Thirunelli, and suddenly, something sprang out of the thick wild vegetation from the other side of the road.
“In an instance, I recognized that it was Nilgiri Marten, a shy mammal that is sought after by wildlife photographers and researchers. These small animals are found in Nilgiri and Munnar regions in the Western Ghats and rarely spotted in Wayanad forests,” notes Sabari.
They have an attractive colour combination of deep brown and yellow. Their yellow-coloured throats have a stark contrast to the deep brown colour from their heads to rumps. These animals have thickly-furred tails that are 45cm long and are often seen on trees.
“It moved swiftly across the road, maybe, faster than the shutter speed of my camera, and I couldn’t take more pictures of this reclusive animal. The reality is that not many studies were done on this mammal belonging to the marten species,” he notes.