Two-year study to identify threatened forest species

A two-year study to identify threatened species in the State’s forests is nearing completion, R.K. Ojha, chief project director, Tamil Nadu Biodiversity Conservation and Greening Project, said here on Thursday.

Speaking at the inauguration of the third edition of the Indian Biodiversity Congress (IBC), Mr. Ojha said the biodiversity of 650 sample plots in different forest areas was documented.

Explaining the study, Mr Ojha said the services of various institutions and non-governmental organisations was utilised to conduct the study. Already, a mid-term evaluation of the project has been completed. The study would help in creating baseline data of species found in forest areas of the State, he said.

Tamil Nadu was the pioneering state in protecting forests, Mr. Ojha said. Since the 1970s, clearing of forests to supply firewood for domestic consumption has been barred. The Forest department was conserving the natural resources for the past 30 years, he said, adding that due to this effort the extent and quality of forests had increased in the State.

K. Rosaiah, Governor, Tamil Nadu, said the IUCN Red list comprised 94 species of mammals, 78 species of birds, 66 species of amphibians, 30 species of reptiles, 122 species of fish, 113 species of invertebrates and 255 species of plants in the country that were critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable.

Rapid environmental modifications have been a major cause for the extinction of many species, he pointed out. Studies revealed that massive extinctions have occurred five times during the Earth’s history, and the last one was 65 million years ago when the dinosaurs became extinct, he said.

Nanditha Krishna, director, CPR Environmental Education Centre, and Biju Kumar, organising secretary of IBC, were among those who spoke on the occasion.

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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 1:07:33 PM |

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