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Eravikulam National Park gets a fernarium

  • Published
    3rd Apr, 2023
Context

Recently, the Eravikulam National Park (ENP) has got a new attraction i.e. a Fernarium set up inside the park.

A fernery or Fernarium is a specialized garden for the cultivation and display of ferns.

About the move:
  • About 52 varieties of ferns have already been planted in the new Fernarium.
  • As per data, ENP has 104 varieties of ferns.
    • The government has planned to increase the number of ferns inside the park to cover all 104 varieties soon.
  • This is the first time such a fern collection has been established in the hill station.

What are ferns?

  • Ferns are part of the Epiphytic family.
  • They grow naturally in a soilless condition.
  • The plants obtain water and nutrients through leaching from trees. A large number of ferns are on the trees inside the park
  • They reproduce via spores and have neither seeds nor flowers.
  • Ferns are the ecological indicator of healthy forests.

About Eravikulam National Park (ENP):

  • This is also the land of “Neelakurinji”, the flower that blooms once in twelve years.
  • The highest peak south of the Himalayas – The Anamudi (2695 meters) is situated in this park.
  • Topography: The major part of the park is covered with rolling grasslands, but several patches of shola forests are also found in the upper part of the valley.
  • Flora:
    • Important flora includes Actinodaphne bourdilloniMicrotropis ramiflora, Pittosporum tetraspermium, Eupatorium adenophorum, Strobilanthus Kunthianus (Neela Kurinji)
    • The shola grasslands are exceptionally rich in balsams and orchids including the long-thought-extinct variety Brachycorythis wightii.
  • Fauna:
    • 29 Species of mammals are found here of which 5 are endemic to the Western Ghats.
    • The Nilgiri Tahr, Gaur, Sloth Bear, Nilgiri Langur, Tiger, Leopard, Giant Squirrel and wild dog are common.
    • Half the world population of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr lives here.
    • 140 species of birds of which 10 are unique to the Western Ghats.
    • The Atlas moth, the largest of its kind worldwide, is seen in this Park.
    • More than 100 varieties of butterflies and 20 species of amphibians are also seen here.
    • The climatic condition inside the ENP is more suitable for growing ferns.
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