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Saving Chenkurinji from climate change

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    13th Jul, 2022

Context

The Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary derives its name Chenkurinji (Glutatravancorica), a species endemic to the Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve.

About

Chenkurinji:

  • Chenkurinji (Glutatravancorica) is a species endemic to the Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve.
  • Belonging to the Anacardiaceae family, the tree was once abundant in the hills on the southern parts of the Aryankavu Pass in Kerala’s Kollam district.
  • The Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary derives its name Chenkurinji (Glutatravancorica), a species endemic to the Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve.
  • Threats: 
    • Chenkurinji is very susceptible to climate change and the present condition of the species is quite bad with low regeneration performance.
    • Though there are seemingly enough trees, most are not productive, generating a negative trend in its population.
    • Moreover, the majority of the trees are old with poor flowering and fruiting rates.
  • Significance of Chenkurinji: It is reported to have medicinal properties and is used to lower blood pressure and treat arthritis.

Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve (ABR)

  • Located in the Western Ghats
  • The Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve (ABR) was established in 2001 and straddles the border of Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram Districts inKerala and Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari Districts in Tamil Nadu, South India at the southern end of the Western Ghats. 
  • It consisting mostly of tropical forests
  • It is also a unique genetic reservoir of cultivated plants especially cardamom, jamune, nutmeg, pepper and plantain
  • Three wildlife sanctuaries, Shendurney, Peppara, Neyyar and KalakadMundanthurai Tiger reserve are included in the site.
  • Agastyamalai is also home to theKanikaran, one of the oldest surviving ancient tribes in the world.

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