Monday, November 20, 2017

Environment

India: Extinct mangrove species discovered on private Indian island

INCREDIBLE FIND

Last week an activist from the southern Indian state of Kerala, Mr V.K. Madhusudhanan sighted “ceriops tagal” or yellow mangrove on the 40 acre private island on Puthenthuruthu in Ashtamudi Lake, Kollam District, Kerala, according to an article in the Indian daily The Hindu. Coconut groves and palm trees are dotted around the beautiful lake of Ashtamudi, which is considered to be the gateway to the Kerala’s famous backwaters – a group of lakes interconnected by a network of canals, forming one of the largest wetland ecosystems in the state.

Wetland ecosystem in Kerala, India

Wetland ecosystem in Kerala, India

The particular mangrove species had not been seen for 150 years and was listed by the local forest department as one that had “disappeared from Kerala”, making the find very exciting.

The article also describes how officials from the Forest Conservation organisation believe the island will be seen as a “botanical treasure”, especially since yellow mangroves are greatly valued as a habitat for fisheries.

NEXT STEP – GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION?

In the region, the state government has made substantial monetary allocations for acquiring and protecting private land with rich mangrove forests. According to the article, Mr Madhusudhanan is likely to submit a proposal to the head of the forest conservation department suggesting the state acquire the entire island, in order to preserve the yellow mangrove.

To find out more about the rare species, see: The Hindu

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