The Constant Gardener.

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.

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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.

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