#WildWomenInterviews with Janaki Lenin: Episode 16
Divya Mudappa started her career in wildlife studying the Malabar gray hornbill and brown palm civet in the forests of the Western Ghats.
This work led to the recognition that the breaking up of forests into fragments can affect small animals and birds. But the restoration of even small plots of badly hacked forests can encourage the survival of these creatures. Since then, even as she continues her work with wild animals, Divya and her husband, T.R. Shankar Raman, painstakingly germinate seeds of native tree species in a nursery. They transplant them into plots slated for restoration in collaboration with agro companies.
Wild Women Interviews With Janaki Lenin
Since the time she mistook a large-sized small Indian civet in the Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary for the Malabar civet about twenty five years ago, she has been on the latter’s trail. The Malabar civet is the most endangered small carnivore in the world. Since the mid-1800s, authors of books about India’s wildlife offered contradictory descriptions of how abundant or rare the species was and where it was found. Some said it was common while others claimed it was rare. Being a large-bodied animal, could trade in civets for their musk have driven them to rarity or extinction? Or its possible captives of the imported large-spotted civet from Southeast Asia may have escaped.
Various teams conducted intensive surveys and found a few skins, but they were far too poorly maintained to extract DNA.
Hear the interview to find out why Divya Mudappa thinks the Malabar civet may not even exist.
Social media –
Twitter – @gundupoo
Instagram – @divyamudappa
Watch more #WildWomenInterviews With Janaki Lenin here: