Eradicating invasive plant species
#GS 03 Environmental Conservation
- Senna spectabilis is a plant species belonging to the legume family (Fabaceae) in the subfamily Caesalpinioideae and is native to South and Central America.
- The plant has been turned into an invasive alien species in parts of Africa such as Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda, and also in South-India.
- The thick foliage of the tree prevents the growth of other indigenous tree and grass species nearby which affects the plant life in the region.
- This in turn results in food shortage for the wildlife population, particularly for the herbivores.
Periyar Tiger Reserve
- Periyar National Park is a protected wildlife reserve located in the Pandalam Hills and Cardamom Hills in Kerala.
- Two major rivers, the Pamba and the Periyar, passes through the park and are the major source of water for the region’s flora and fauna.
- It was established in 1895 after the building of Mullaperiyar Dam, it was declared as a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1950 and declared as Tiger Reserve in 1978.
Eradicating Invasive Species
- The plan has been proposed by the Nodal Centre for Biological Invasions (NCBI) at the Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI).
- They have proposed a threefold approach for removing invasive species; for large trees, large saplings, and small saplings.
- The large trees need to be debarked from 1.3 m above ground level downwards, including the collar part of the tree.
- Once the trees start to dry up, their soil seed bank will become active which will result in a large number of plantlets starting to sprout.
- The larger saplings will be uprooted using specially designed weed pullers.
- Finally, the removal of small plantlets need to be done mechanically.
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