Communicating latest research concepts from both natural and social science facets of conservation.
Agumbe monsoon: How water transforms the landscape
Monsoon takes on a whole new meaning when you find yourself in the highest rainfall zone in the Western Ghats – the second highest rainfall zone in India. Agumbe, a wonderfully forested region in western Karnataka, “the king cobra capital of the world”, receives an average of 7640 millimeters of rainfall a year and a record of 4500 millimeters in a single month. With the coming of the monsoon and the first showers, one witnesses a miraculous transformation of the landscape —a change that occurs in more ways than can be perceived by a casual observer. At first, the thirsty laterite soil seems to absorb every drop of water. But the rain is incessant, and soon every little ditch, depression and trench is converted into a water body. Dry streams, reduced to a series of interspersed pools and rocks in the summer months, begin to trickle and then flow. Rivulets course through plantations and forests, rapidly feeding streams and rivers. As the rivers begin to flow, cascading over weathered rock, fallen trees and dry banks, it sets in motion countless processes of revival, birth, growth, life and death.
Tasneem Khan is the Assistant Director of the Andaman and Nicobar islands Environmental Team, India, firstname.lastname@example.org. Umeed Mistry is a diver and photographer, email@example.com. Current Conservation is grateful to YES BANK & SAEVUS / NATURAL CAPITAL AWARDS for permission to use these images.