The Longwood Shola in Kotagiri, the Nilgiris’ last urban Shola forest has been granted the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC) accreditation.
The initiative is a forest conservation programme across the commonwealth countries that was started in 2015.
Supriya Sahu, Additional Chief Secretary, (Environment, Climate Change and Forests), said only one other forest in India has the QCC accreditation. The Longwood Shola would be the second such forest to get the accreditation.
The 116 hectare-forest patch in Kotagiri town is a popular spot for bird-watching and for herpetologists. The Hindu had on July 29 in its ‘Tamil Nadu [in focus] section highlighted the eco-tourism plans in the Longwood Shola in Kotagiri.
According to studies conducted by the Forest Department, the area is believed to be home to around 13 species of mammals, including the “vulnerable” Nilgiri marten, leopards, 52 species of birds, many of which are endemic to the western ghats, 44 different types of tree species, 32 varieties of shrubs, 25 species of lianas and climbers, epiphytes and at least 12 species of ferns.