Originally Posted by [bQuote[/b] ]f you are on a monsoon trail, don’t pluck plants
Forest Department bans any uprooting of rare speices in the forests surrounding Pune.
Express News Service
Pune, July 12: THE forest department plans to enforce a ban on the collection of rare and endangered plants in the forests of Pune and surrounding areas. Chief Conservator of Forest Prakash Thosare said the ban to be effected from August 1 to September 30, had been aimed at the mindless cutting and uprooting of these species under the garb of specimen collection.
‘‘This year, we propose the ban as a measure to spread awareness, especially because the Western Ghats are a biodiversity hotspot with many species endemic to the region,’’ he said. Plants like drosera, utriculerias, seropegia, orchids and others mentioned by the Red Data Book issued by the Botanical Survey of India have been included in the ban. The monsoon months have been selected because it is now that plants are known to sprout anew.
The CCF plans to issue a circular to schools and colleges stating information about the ban in which he proposes to mention that the Range Forest Officer’s permission needs to be sought in case a specimen needs to be collected. Areas like Katraj Ghat and Sinhagad where many botanical excursions are undertaken will be specially patrolled during the ban period. Punitive action will be taken under the Indian Forest Act 1927, says Thosare.
M G poopole, head of the department of Botany, University of Pune supports such a move. ‘‘There is an unnecessary destruction of many rare species of plants because of indiscriminate collection by students of botany. Also rare plants like Mapia foetida, said to have anti-carcinogenic properties are being uprooted from the Sahyadri and taken away by unscrupulous agents for their processing.’’
P K Ghanekar, head of the department, Botany, Abasaheb Garware College, too has welcomed the ban. ‘‘In a convetion of botany teachers at the University level a couple of years ago, we had decided to encourage some practices. Teachers were to encourage the use of photographs instead of plant specimen in herbaria sheets, weed species were to be included in this selection, unnecessary cutting of plant species was to be discouraged,’’ he says.