The Western Ghats have been labeled a world heritage site, but scientists from the city-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology have found that biodiversity is not well conserved in the reg

Rlys game for 2 of 3 proposals to minimise green damage

The Hubli-Ankola railway project has cleared another hurdle with the Railways accepting two of the three recommendations of a committee comprising engineers of the Indian Institute of Science. The committee had been set up to suggest alternative routes for the project in the wake of severe opposition from greens to the construction of the key railway line as it would harm the biodiversity of the Western Ghats. It had submitted its report on December 9, 2011 to the central empowered committee.

There is growing recognition that successful adaptation of agricultural production systems to changes in climate will depend upon the improved access to, and use of, genetic diversity.

A rare tree rediscovered from Kerala 14 years ago is still categorised as Extinct on the Red List of International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The latest version of the list released early this week has described Cynometra beddomeii , “a large tree, which has only ever been recorded from Tambacherry Ghat” as regionally extinct in Kerala. It had also stated that the plant has “not been found since 1870, despite intensive explorations.”

The Red list of threatened species, prepared by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), has listed 132 species of plants and animals as Critically Endangered, the most threatened category, from India.

Plants seemed to be the most threatened life form with 60 species being listed as Critically Endangered and 141 as Endangered. The Critically Endangered list included 18 species of amphibians, 14 fishes and 10 mammals.

It is now confined to 53 patches in Kerala

Nestled in the deep valleys of the Western Ghats that is home to a rich diversity of flora and fauna are the vestiges of a pristine habitat that could yield precious information about evolutionary biology and climate change. Scientists from the Centre for Earth Science Studies here and the Agharkar Research Institute (ARI) in Pune are studying the Myristica swamps, a vanishing ecosystem, now largely confined to 53 patches in the Kulathupuzha and Anchal forest ranges and the Shendurney wildlife sanctuary in Kerala.

Plant resources are naturally occurring substances that are considered valuable in their relatively unmodified (natural) form. The value of such resources rest in the amount of the material available and the demand for it.

Bamboo is a cultural feature of south-east Asia. No country in this region is without indigenous bamboo flora. This natural resource plays a major role in the livelihood of rural people and in rural industry. In West Bengal 75 species were reported which include 49 species growing only in the Botanical Gardens.

Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers were used to evaluate the genetic diversity among populations of Jatropha curcas (L.) from different agro-climatic regions of India. Out of 305 amplified bands obtained with 30 primers, 291 were found polymorphic.

Kerala's plant biodiversity faces a severe threat from 89 alien invasive species, which were recorded in a survey commissioned by the Kerala State Biodiversity Board.

Of these, 19 present a high risk; many were found displacing and destroying a large number of native species, causing environmental and economic loss. Around 40 per cent of the varieties belonging to Brazil, Trinidad, Costa Rica, Chile, and Mexico were believed to have reached the State mostly through timber and food grain imports,