The reason I chose this photograph is at the bottom of the post. My day usually begins around 5am, those urgent email replies as well as trying to clear the backlog. It was no surprise to hear music blaring in the distance, around 4am, probably a wedding celebration, they go on for days here. The volume of the music here in a protected area, well, I’ve written about this before. Noise pollution, it’s not just that it happens, it’s the disappointment that so few people care about it. In a jungle area yesterday, big cat habitat, as I was checking for leopard sign in a place where I should only hear birds or perhaps the alarm calls of deer and monkeys, I could hear music blaring from two sides, the volume must have been so high for me to hear it where it was. It was a bit depressing. I immersed myself in my work, later finding some leopard scat cheered me up.
I’ll be back in that area in a couple of hours. I’m hoping it will be peaceful, it’s not only easier to work, it’s the way the jungle should be. Protected areas aren’t here for our entertainment they are here because they are crucial to the very air we breathe and the water we drink, our health, the health of all living things. I know for a very fact that tigers and leopards hate unnecessary noise, I spend a lot of time on this, trying to understand what can work for these incredible wild animals as we strive for coexistence.
Something else I’m hoping for today is that the Biden inauguration signals the start of deeply necessary repairing of environmental policy in a country which whether the rest of us like or not, has a massive global impact. The Trump administration has been a f…… disaster for the environment, for wildlife. Making the clubbing to death of wolf clubs legal? What the hell? Disturbance takes many forms and wildlife conservation today is as much about understanding who is doing what, humans that is, as it is understanding wildlife behaviour. I could go on but my choice today is one of hope in hopefully a peaceful jungle. The reason I chose this photograph is I guess it’s because it shows a half smile, we’ve got to keep trying to keep our sense of humour but we have to take things seriously to … and form strong allies with those who also do. It’s about balance, blocking out the noise and getting on with it…
Appended later in the day:
Coming back from the jungle late this morning (and yes, despite it being a bitterly cold, thick fog morning I could still hear music blaring) I bumped into a local. I asked him how it was going, he replied that it was a bit like the leopard, not that great. I get back to my laptop, the alert system buzzes, this seizure of skins in Chattisgarh, the phone goes, an important disturbance issue comes up, I’m off to find out more now … I think it’s fair to say it never ends but I thank those who do genuinely care and help, I wish there were more of you, I guess that’s part of the goal.