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14 tree species listed as endangered

Raviprasad Kamila


‘Pressure on Mangalore forest circle is increasing'


MANGALORE: The Department of Forests has listed 14 tree species and a medicinal plant as rare and endangered in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts and the Kudremukh National Park area even as International Year of Forests (2011), as declared so by the United Nations, began on Saturday.

The department has declared medicinal plant “Garduda pathala” (Hysnocarpus pentandra) as endangered.

The trees declared as rare and endangered are Bhrunga or Lavanga (Cinnamomum macrocarpum); Sannale or Karimara (Diospyros candouena); Hunnaru huli (Garcinia indica); Kadu jajikai (Myristica dactytaides); Kadekolu muruga(Garcinia gummigeetta); Neeru hippemara (Madhuca Neifouia); Rampathre (Myristica malabarica); and Chunga (Symmplocos racemosa).

Others are Gulamavu (Forsea macranta); Halugondsa (Mappia foetida); Holehonne (Colophyllum apetatum); Hebbalasu (Artocorpus hirsute); Karimara (Diospyros candollena) and Neeruchunga (Symplocos cochinchinunnis).

S. Shanthappa, Conservator of Forests, Mangalore Circle, told The Hindu that “pressure on the forestland in the circle is increasing.''

Black Panther, Barasingha and long-tiled black Macaque are the endangered animals in the circle, he said. According to the wildlife census conducted in December 2009, only two Barasingha were spotted in the circle, Mr. Shanthappa said added that the department conducted census once in four years.

Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts and the Kudremukh National Park area came under the circle. Someshwar and Mookambika sanctuaries were also part of it, he said.

He said that the circle had 2.7 lakh hectares of territorial forests and one lakh hectares of deemed forests. According to the census, the circle had two tigers, one hog deer, 13 langurs, 29 elephants, 58 leopards, 165 wild buffaloes, 38 chithal, seven barking deer, 45 hare, 10 guar and 126 bison. There were 29 spotted deer, 12 mouse deer, 10 wild dogs and 52 sambar. Including other animals, the census had listed 1,151 animals, he added. Dinesh Holla, an avid trekker in the Western Ghats, said that the mafia cultivating ganja, owners of some coffee and rubber estates, granite quarries and some hydel projects had emerged as threats to rainforests in the Western Ghats.

Rainforests in Banjarumale, Barimale, Ambattimale and Elimate in the Charmadi range were being encroached upon by owners of coffee estates. Rainforests in Venkatagiri, Metkal Betta, Kombramale and Ombattu Bette in Shiradi range too were being encroached upon. The proposed Gundia Power Project would destroy a large forest area in the Western Ghats, he alleged.

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