Kahadi

Scientific Name: Kahadia verdansus

Common Name(s): Tree Spirit, Tree Sprite, Tree Demon

Mango Kahadi
Mango Kahadi

Physical Description

Kahadi are stout placental mammals with dexterous hands, short recurved claws, and long pointed faces. Their size when born is typically from between 3 and 5 inches, and they can grow up to 3 foot depending on the size and health of their chosen tree (1).

When born they are smooth skinned, and a dull brown, developing variable colouring and dorsal nodules which grow into leaf-shaped, camouflaging folds of skin as they age and align themselves with their chosen tree. Adult appearances are dictated by the type of tree in which the Kahadi lives (2), with their softer undersides resembling the fruiting structures of their tree and their dorsal flaps modelled after the foliage. The skin of their hands and feet resembles the bark of the tree to which they are bonded.

Diet

Although mainly nourished by their magical bond with their tree, and receive nutrients through the same mechanism as the plant itself (3), they will occasionally directly ingest the tree sap. They typically do this during the earlier growth and bonding phase of the relationship, and it has been suggested that this helps to form the magical bond between animal and tree (4).

Conifer Kahadi
Conifer Kahadi

Habitat

Kahadi are found on every major landmass, with a preference for heavily forested areas. Sparse populations have been found in arid zones living in giant cacti (5) and a single observation recorded in a grass tree (6).

Behaviour

Nocturnal and cryptic, adult Kahadi are seldom seen by humans. The young, before they have bonded, are typically easier to find as they are actively searching for an appropriate tree. Once bonded with a tree they will often go their entire lives without ever leaving it (pers. obs.).

Reproduction

Solitary animals, Kahadi breed irregularly. Breeding cycles seem to be influenced by the type of tree that they inhabit, along with the seasonality of the region in which they live, but has often been observed to take place in the spring (7). They will produce litters of live young, up to six pups at a time. The size of their litter seems to be dictated by the regional availability of unbonded trees for the young to easily access (7).

Predators

Most large carnivorous creatures will opportunistically predate upon the Kahadi (8), as these small mammals have few defensive mechanisms beyond camouflage. Birds of prey such as the Wedge Tailed Eagle (Aquila audax), big cats such as the Jaguar (Panthera onca), and great apes like the Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) are common predators of Kahadi, depending on where in the world a particular population is found.

Threats and Conservation

Briefly gathered as both scientific specimens and for the pet trade, it was soon found that Kahadi wane and perish if kept apart from their tree for an extended period (9). As such, collection of wild specimens ceased in 533 N.C.E. and legislation to protect them (10) was first introduced in Verlese in 547 N.C.E.. Since then many countries have followed suit.

Attempts have been made to cultivate artificial populations within planned gardens (11), however the exact specifications used by a young Kahadi to choose their tree have never been identified, and they have been known to perish unbonded rather than align themselves with a planted and kept tree. Exact global populations are unknown, although conservationists fear that their numbers decrease with any amount of deforestation (12), although the evidence for this is anecdotal (pers. obs.).

References

1. R. D. C. Gemnan, Sighting of Kahadia verdansus, (310) Zoology, 5:4-6

2. Hebdall’s Book of Tales

3. S. K. Arrun, Eating habits and notes on Kahadia verdansus, (528) United Journal of Biology, 31:16-20

4. F. Gar K. E., S. K. Arrun, Diet and Bonding in young Kahadia verdansus, (535) A.C.E.J. 73:12-16

5. S. Doggal, Observations of Kahadia verdansus in the Rummavo Desert, (531) United Journal of Biology, 37:10-13

6. P. Mulwe, G. F. C. Jii, Notes on Kahadia verdansus living in Xanthorrhoea, (524) Verlesian Journal of Natural History, 23:3-5

7. K. Jan T. H., V. N. C. Rel, Comparative study of Kahadia verdansus reproduction, (528) U. V. Journal of Biology, 47:11-20

8. T. M. Cyn, Natural predation risks for Kahadia verdansus, (519) Zoology, 443:15-23

9. C. Lok, J. L. Timm, H. Van C. J., Vitality loss amongst captured Kahadia verdansus, (522) Aranek Journal of Zoology, 31:12-17

10. Verlesian Natural Heritage Protection Act, Amendments 19-21

11. S. X. Gann, M. N. Vic. K., Captivity and breeding Kahadia verdansus populations, (531) Verlesian Journal of Natural History, 30:14-20

12. N. Vesha, Retrospective and Predictive analysis of conservation in relation to Kahadia verdansus, (554) United Journal of Biology, 83:17-23