October 16, 2014
My illustration for The Constant Gardener, an article on dugong feeding behaviour written by Elrika D’Souza and Vardhan Patankar, for Current Conservation magazine’s issue 8.2.
The article describes how dugongs feed in seagrass meadows (their principal food source) by completely grazing them down; and leaving these fields for other areas for a time long enough to allow the depleted areas to regenerate. Thus the dugongs tend to these meadows like gardeners, ensuring for themselves a supply of desirable, high-nutrition seagrass species — while keeping the growth of low-nutrition high-fibre species down through their grazing cycles.
The illustration shows a pair of dugongs working through some seagrass fields, leaving “trails” which eventually grow over again.
Read the article here.
MORE: On Vardhan’s blog, more details on the ongoing dugong study in the Andaman & Nicobar archipelago; on how dugong conservation efforts involve caring for its habitat and involving the local communities in protecting this species.
October 11, 2014
I have been thinking on leopards for a long time now.
They weave in and out at the fringes of our cities, pass quietly through our villages. A leopard may well be your neighbour next door, him of the night-shifts, whom you never see except for the chance encounter when you see a (his?!) paw pull in the milk packets left on his doorstep. You might possibly never ever see the modern urban leopard, oh, but he sees you.
As the forests dwindle into spotty fragments, leopards and other beings of the forest are brought into awkward and sometimes unfortunate encounters with humans. Some leopards end up being spotted by some especially social humans who muster a crowd of more humans within bewildering seconds. It’s well-known that leopards are no good at parties and social situations, and would much rather get out of it and do what they’re good at instead – stalking real prey they can eat and climbing trees Like A Boss.
Still, we seem bent on forcing leopards to join us in the great City Life. These cats of secrets and shadows now already live amongst us, seeing from high places the Truth and the future. They hear the word of the street, the calls from the dark places where people and animals live – where so many prefer not to look in case they find them.
Found Lepard began as a series of notices and flyers mobilising all the cats in the vicinity at short notice, to make a stand against the Powers That Be which refuse to explain themselves.
Here is a Found Lepard in Kulture Shop‘s newest themed collection, Urban Jungle.
He’s on art tees and art prints – currently in the Kulture Shop showroom in Bandra; soon to be found online.
Here are some of the other leopards in the series.
October 6, 2014
Days are forgotten with Kasabian.