Pristine Debrigarh

Photo: Sumit Chakraborty

Abstract: The mesmerising environs of the Sanctuary is a paradise for nature lovers. Abounding in grasslands and water bodies Debrigarh is a little known destination with astounding birding possibilities.

The author is a freelance writer and photographer from Kolkata. Email:

Term Power

What is ...

An hypothetical shape of the earth, coinciding with mean sea level and its imagined extension under (or over) land areas.

A process by which lakes and ponds become enriched with dissolved nutrients, either from natural sources or human activities. Nutrient enrichment increases the growth of algae and other microscopic plants which in turn decreases dissolved oxygen levels, ultimately leading to the death of aquatic flora and fauna.

The Greek term ‘cryos’ meaning ‘ice’, cryosphere collectively is that part of the earth’s crust and atmosphere subject to temperatures below 00C for at least part of each year.

A layer of loose, heterogeneous material covering solid rock which includes dust, soil, broken rock, and other related materials. It is present on Earth, Moon, some asteroids, and other celestial bodies.

A large community of plants and animals including soil organisms that occupies a distinct region. They are characterised by abiotic and biotic factors spread over a large area.

An organism that derives its energy from non-living organic matter and hence is heterotrophic in nature. They use dead organisms and non-living organic compounds as their food source.

An instrument used for measuring the moisture content in the atmosphere.

A sandbar that connects an island to the mainland or to another island and is usually formed by the interaction of waves refracting from opposite directions.

A type of Protozoa that proliferates in warm marine environment and whose sedimentation leads eventually to the formation of chalk.

Black earth or soil containing a high percentage of humus and high percentage of phosphoric acid, phosphorus and ammonia. This soil type is often found in continental interiors with a temperate vegetation. Chernozem is very fertile and produces a high agricultural yield.

Secreted or excreted chemical factor that triggers a social response in members of the same species. They affect the behaviour or physiology of the organisms. Plants, insects and some vertebrates communicate by using pheromones.

Mammals best adapted to aquatic life such as whales, dolphins, and porpoises. The body of a cetacean is fusiform (spindle-shaped) with forelimbs modified into flippers and tiny hind limbs.

Characterically refers to extremely low nutrient concentrations resulting in low sustainability. The term ‘oligotrophic’ may be used to refer to environments that offer little to sustain life, organisms that survive in such environments, or the adaptations that support survival.

A phenomenon of the atmosphere where a composite front is formed when colder air surrounds a mass of warm air. It is the coming together of the cold sector of air in a depression as the warm sector is lifted from the surface altogether.

A leached soil type found in cold, humid climatic areas in high latitudes. Podsols are usually formed in areas where precipitation rates exceed evaporation.