Staff Reporter

PONDICHERRY: Retaining Pondicherry's unique identity has always been a tough job, especially with many aspects of the Union Territory's culture and tradition being closely linked with that of neighbouring Tamil Nadu. In an effort to retain Pondicherry's identity, the Department of Forests and Wildlife is taking steps to notify a State animal, bird, tree and flower for Pondicherry.

"Though we have already started the process and have collected information, we would like to take into consideration the opinion of the public, because they have to popularise the state animal, bird, tree and flower. Members of the public can contact our office with details such as justification for selection," said P. Devaraj, Deputy Conservator of Forests.

Those giving their choice of subjects are requested to give details such as uniqueness, local distribution, ancientness, geographical importance, and cultural, historical, medicinal and ecological considerations. Also, if the species has been listed in the Red Data Book then its status such as `endangered' or `vulnerable' may also be listed. The details may be sent by post or by email to devarajifs@