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When a large tree falls, the log becomes a rich source of food. The nutrients in the wood are broken down by decomposers: fungi, millipedes, woodlice, termites and other organisms. Many plants, adapted to low light, thrive in these surroundings. This beautiful artwork by Sartaj Ghuman showcases life around a fallen log in the rainforests of Anamalai. As you scroll down this illustration, the animals and plants that live on and around the microhabitats created by these rotting logs present themselves to you.
Created as part of a nature education outreach materials for the Nature Conservation Foundation (NCF), the project was conceived, conceptualised and implemented by NCF scientists TR Shankar Raman and Divya Mudappa, along with Sartaj Ghuman who was the resident artist of the programme in 2018. The project was supported by a grant from the Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Co. Ltd., Chennai.
The paintings were incorporated as digital interactive displays at the Anamalai Nature Information Centre (ANIC) in Iyerpadi near Valparai. Established by NCF in 2008, in collaboration with Parry Agro Industries Ltd., an environmentally-conscious plantation company, the centre is home to many posters developed with other renowned wildlife artists like Maya Ramamswamy, Rohan Chakravarty, Sartaj Ghuman, and Nirupa Rao, to provide attractive and educational information on plants and animals of the Valparai plateau and the Anamalai Hills. The digital interactive display at the centre also includes interactive artwork previously published on Nature inFocus, by Sangeetha Kadur and Daniel Luis.
The first interactive artwork in the series was Around a Tree Buttress.