Eighteen ‘sarpakavus' spread over nearly 35 acres will be covered under the Kerala Forest Department's scheme to protect and conserve the sacred groves in Ernakulam district this year.

The government move to protect the natural resource comes in the wake of rampant urbanisation threatening the ecology of the sacred groves across the State. Considered as miniature forests and having attributes of large forests, sacred groves are traditionally protected by the local communities as ‘kavus or sarpakavus'.