Protecting the Slender Loris
As part of the PAWS - BOSCH CSR Slender Loris conservation activities, ten of us from RBEI Cob started off to Ayyalur forests in Dindigul on Dec 16 morning from Coimbatore , to know more on the nocturnal Loris and its habitat . The trip was coordinated through the NGO SEEDS which is very much active with their community work there. As we reached Dindigul, we were briefed by Mr Muthusamy of SEEDS Trust on the impressive work they carry out in the areas of biodiversity, Women and Children Empowerment and Health, creating self-reliant communities. Visiting the tribal settlement deep inside at Kuppampatty village with the SEEDS team was an eye opener wherein we came to realize that time seem to have stood still there with the folks holding on to their age old customs and beliefs that resulted in exploitation.
We used the opportunity to interact with tribal and stressed on the importance of education and jobs so that they are empowered and able to better their lives. They listened attentively with a lot of interest. We also participated in the tree plantation drive at the village school where 5 children who volunteered to nurture them, were handed over the saplings to plant and water them. An Awareness talk on preserving the eco system and the Slender Loris which is found in abundance in the Ayyalur forests was also conducted.
We then set off to the scrub forests after a quick dinner to spot the Slender Loris. Apparently the Loris has been classified under the protected species as huge numbers have been hunted and smuggled out. A trek in the stillness of the night as the leaves rustled accompanied by the sounds of the jungles under a star studded sky is a heavenly experience that is unparalleled!
Our excitement knew no bounds when we could finally spot the first Loris hidden among the branches with the help of torch lights. We craned our necks, precariously perching ourselves on the rocky terrain to click a picture of this shy primate As we continued to explore deep inside the forests we came across many more sightings of the Loris , thanks to the staff from SEEDS. After having completed our trek, content that the purpose of sighting and capturing photographs of the Loris as well as understanding its habitat and the threats it faced was met. Of course it’s just the beginning of our conservation journey and we hope to actively contribute towards spreading awareness as well as preserving habitats of the Slender Loris in the coming year, nurturing the ecosystem and doing our bit for the planet.