RV Matters - 19 Aug 2018

Several reports of sightings of Chameleons have been coming in from students and colleagues after seeing the last week’s “RV Matters!”. I am happy that several eyes are now alert and on the looking out for these interesting animals.

Last Saturday as I was returning from my morning walk, I came across a specimen of the chameleon on the road, next to the second bridge. It was dull, brown, utterly lifeless and flattened as it was a run-over specimen. Roadkills are now increasingly threatening our wildlife all over the country and our little corner is not spared. I have been regularly seeing animals run over by vehicles that operate in our valley. The victims include several species of snakes, lizards, frogs and toads, snails, millipedes, gerbils ( a rodent), squirrels and occasionally birds that feed on the ground (like the coucal). Dr A.J.T. Johnsingh who spoke on the occasion of our Bird Preserve Anniversary last month had cited roadkills as one of the greatest threats to our wildlife.

We are now witnessing an explosion of vehicular population in our own campus and unlike in the past when there were restrictions on the movement of vehicles (there are still signs saying “No Cars beyond this point”), 2-wheeler and 4-wheeler vehicles are freely moving all across the campus (and sometimes even off the roads). It is not uncommon to find vehicles parked at odd places at different times of the day (and night).

I would like to appeal to everyone to be a little more sensitive not only to our children’s saftey but also have consideration for all the wildlife that is affected by this indiscriminate movement of vehicles in our campus which was declared a Bird Preserve 27 years ago.

Dr Santharam