Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tree Walk @ Melagiri

Tree walk is an initiative to understand and catalogue the tree species in Melagiris.  Our member Sheshadri who is an expert on trees is leading the walk which has been very informative to say the least.

In his own words Sheshadri puts down the following on flora and on the Tree walk project
"Trees dominate the landscape in the rich Forests of South India. Every species of Tree makes possible the existence of hundreds of other members of  Biological community.

We need to acquaint ourselves with these harmonious lifeforms. They evolved from 250 to 350 million years ago. Humans are only 1.5 lakh years old !

Tree walks are the first steps needed for Tree conservation. Accurate Field Botanists and Effective Foresters are the need of the Hour.

It is important to identify Forest trees and discover their various functions in supporting biodiversity. The botanical names, local names of Trees and Shrubs.. Their various Shapes, Sizes, Forms and occurrence in the Wild will be explored in detail. In this way we can relate to them and learn to conserve them.All other species of Flora and Fauna shall follow....

In-Situ conservation measures are -  protecting their habitat and minimizing Human activity ( except some ancient tribes who have always lived in harmony with the forests ). Special protection for Rare and Endangered Trees.

Ex-Situ conservation measures are Collection of Seeds, generating Tall Saplings in local TNFD Nurseries or Nurseries and Farmlands in adjacent locations. Planting them in appropriate locations on the periphery of forest areas to Improve Natural Forest Cover. Thus attracting a wide variety of Local Fauna."

We have completed 2 sessions on the tree walk session so far that began first in May 2011.

We came across to a variety of trees from the evergreen trees like Mimusops elengi to scrub jungle varieties like Capparis sepiaria. We even documented a few Eastern ghat species like Givotia rottleriformis. This verily proves that Melagiri indeed is this unique landscape, where the the eastern and Western Ghats meet!

Sometimes we came across rare varieties like Wrightia arborea.

There were trees like Mitragyna parvifolia where we witnessed several hundreds of common crows and plain tigers busy nectering reminding us of the ecological services these trees provide.

Please find the documentation on the tree walk here, https://sites.google.com/site/aboutmelagiri/main/flora and images at the KANS picasa album https://picasaweb.google.com/ka.naturesociety/FloraOfMelagiri

Documenting Flora is an ongoing project.  Please get in touch with Karthik (karthikguna@gmail.com)  for more details regarding participation during the tree walk and other details.



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