India's first rainforest research centre at Agumbe

Agumbe in the Malnad region of Karnataka is a place that has drawn the attention of conservationists worldwide. For it is home to the only permanent rainforest research station in India. Established by Chennai-based herpetologist Romulus Whitaker, the research station will facilitate the study and conservation of the rainforests of South India, using the King Cobra as the flagship species.

The dream of building the research station received its first impetus when Whitaker’s mother Doris Norden willed him money that enabled him to purchase eight acres of land in Agumbe. A reserve forest, Agumbe is adjacent to one of the last surviving lowland rainforests, Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Kudremukh National Park.

The King Cobra, which is found in India from Kanyakumari to Goa, Assam and Arunachal, the Sunderbans and parts of Orissa, is an endangered species. It is also the world’s largest venomous snake.

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