Kochi

Call for protecting sacred grove

The Salim Ali Foundation, a green campaign group, has called for protecting the sacred grove, Santhivanam, which supports a wide variety of flora and fauna.

Scientific studies by the Salim Ali Foundation, Kerala Forest Research Institute, Malabar Natural History and Cochin Natural History Society showed that evergreen, semi evergreen, lowland and midland vegetation was there in the sacred grove.

The area is quite rich in biodiversity with 206 species of plants, 49 species of damselflies and dragonflies, 131 species of butterflies, 12 varieties of amphibians, 20 species of reptiles and 138 species of birds. Such rich biodiversity showed the immense significance of the area for long-term conservation, said V.S. Vijayan, who heads the Foundation.

The ecosystem services offered by Santhivanam work out to around ₹37 lakh a year. The Kerala State Electricity Board, which is drawing power lines through the area, should go for an alternative route, which would reduce the ecological loss significantly. It could also consider laying underground cables, although it might be expensive, said Mr. Vijayan, who was chairman of the Kerala State Biodiversity Board.

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 5:31:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/call-for-protecting-sacred-grove/article27131622.ece

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