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Periyar Inheritance

Yellow Thigh Spider by Suresh Elamon

Periyar‘s evergreen forests are vulnerable to degradation if humans interfere with their complex biotic elements. This need not always take the extreme form of deforestation at the hands of the tea plantations that virtually hold Periyar hostage with their mono-cultured patchwork. Even subtle influences can disrupt fine-tuned forest interrelationships and cause the system to fail if the habitat is fragmented. In such circumstances, species such as the yellow thigh spider Poicelotheria rufilata might be amongst the first visible species to vanish, with a much larger community of life having died out even before the obvious signs of degradation were known to us.
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