The Nodal Centre for Biological Invasions (NCBI) at the Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI) has come out with a management plan to eradicate Senna spectabilis, the exotic invasive plant that is posing a severe threat to the State’s wildlife habitat.
About Senna spectabilis
- Based on the results of the experimental study done at the Periyar Tiger Reserve, the plan envisages landscape-level management of the tree.
- Senna spectabilis is a deciduous tree native to tropical areas of America.
- It grows up to 15 to 20 metres in a short period of time and distributes thousands of seeds after flowering.
- The thick foliage of the tree arrests the growth of other indigenous tree and grass species. Thus, it causes food shortage for the wildlife population, especially herbivores.
- It also adversely affects the germination and growth of the native species.
- IUCN: ‘Least Concern’
- While the invasion of Senna spectabilis is most severe in Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary and nearby forests, the sporadic presence of the tree is found in the fringes of many other forest areas of the State.
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