Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve faces new threat

Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve faces new threat

Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve are facing new threat from invasive plant species.

An invasive species is an animal/plant that causes ecological or economic damage in a new environment where it is not a native animal/plant.

Some Examples:

  • Parthenium species came to India in the 1950s through imported wheat from America.
  • Lantana was brought to South America by the British as an ornamental plant.
  • Both the above mentioned species are threatening more than 40% of Tiger Reserves of India.
  • The field director of Kaziranga has submitted a list of 18 invasive plants. These plants are occupying the landscape posing a threat to indigenous grasses, shrubs and trees.
  • Herbivorous animals generally avoid the consumption of aggressive plants. In such a situation, these plants continue to reproduce at an alarming rate and pose a threat to limit the indigenous flora.

Several invasive species have been identified in India. These are the following:

Bombax ceiba-Semul, Trewia nudiflora-Gutel/Bhelkar, Crataeva nurvala – Barun, Lagerstroemia speciosa – Ejhar, Lagerstroemia parviflora-Sidha Shrubs, Litsea salicifolia – Dighloti, Securinega virosa – Panisikoti, Glochidion ellipticum – Panisikati, Leea macrophylla – Kukura thengia (Annual), Ipomoea carnea – Ipomoea, Rosa involucrata – Wild rose/Bonoria Gulap, Lippia alba – Bontulasi/Kuhum kata bon, Mimosa himalaica – Mimosa, Cestrum diurnum – Din ka Raja, Climbers, Derris cuneifloia – (Karbi), Calamus tenuis – Bet, Mikenia micrantha – Mikenia and Eupatorium odoratum – Germany bon.

The identified species also has herbal properties. Examples are Lea macrophylla, Cestrum dunum etc. However, their toxicity far outweighs their usefulness.

Under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, permission has been sought for experimental elimination, cutting, sorting, uprooting and engulfing of invasive species.

Kaziranga National Park (KNP)

  • This national park located in Assam has the largest population of one-horned rhinoceros in the world.
  • Kaziranga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (1985).
  • Kaziranga National Park is also a Tiger Reserve (2006).

Source – The Hindu

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