KERALA

Declare Asramam mangrove forest biodiversity spot: KSSP

BIODIVERSITY HOTSPOT: Sixty-two species of birds have been found to frequent the Asramam mangrove forest on the banks of Ashtamudi Lake in Kollam.— Photo: C. Suresh Kumar

BIODIVERSITY HOTSPOT: Sixty-two species of birds have been found to frequent the Asramam mangrove forest on the banks of Ashtamudi Lake in Kollam.— Photo: C. Suresh Kumar  



: The Kerala Sasthra Sahithya Parishad (KSSP) has released a comprehensive study on the Asramam mangrove forests on the banks of Ashtamudi Lake in Kollam city.

The study was carried out in view of the environmental threat faced by the mangrove forests, the lake and the Asramam maidan.

Through the booklet titled ‘Asramam Kandalvanam,’ the KSSP called upon the government to declare the mangrove forest as a biodiversity heritage spot and initiate effective measures to protect the biodiversity of the forest and the lake. The study suggests strong measures on the part of the government to preserve the Asramam maidan.

It calls for steps to handover the Asramam mangrove forests to the Forest Department as the first step towards protecting the site. The mangrove forest should also be notified after GPS marking. All interventions in the area should be in compliance with the provisions under the relevant environment laws and as per the Ramsar Convention since the lake is a Ramsar site.

The study urged the government to ensure that there are no encroachments upon the lake. A map of the protected area should be prominently displayed at the Asramam Adventure Park.

A list of all plants and animals that use the mangrove forest and the lake as a natural habitat should be displayed. The KSSP study shows that that there are three species of true mangroves, 10 species of mangrove associates and 115 species of other plants in the area. Unfortunately, nine exotic invasive species plants have also been spotted there.

The lake has 34 edible fish species and about 62 species of birds frequent the mangrove forest. The study suggests planting of mangrove and other saplings suitable to the area. All plastic waste accumulated in the area should be cleared on a regular basis and it should be ensured that such waste is destroyed.

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