Indore: Madhya Pradesh has the largest forest cover in the country with 216 plant species. However, there are more than 32 recognised rare plant species of the state which are endangered.
In order to revive the endangered species, the forest department is now producing saplings of these species in nurseries.
The initial plan of expanding production by selling them is facing a battle due to lockdown and coronavirus outbreak.
State Forest Area
In terms of forest canopy density classes, MP has 6676.02 square km under very dense forest (2.17% of the geographical area), 34,341.40 square km under moderately dense forest (11.14% of geographical area) and 36,465.07 square km (11.83% of geographical area of the state) under open forest, as per Forest Survey of India (FSI) report.
Rare Endangered Species of MP
As per recent study and distributing in 45 plant species, 25 are vulnerable, 40 are endangered, 18 are critically endangered, and 11 are near threatened.
Some endangered plants are Bija, Pickle, Haldu, Maida, Salai, Kullu, Guggal, Dahiman, Sheesham, Lodhra, Padar, Sonpatha, Tinsa, Dhankat, Kusum Bharangi Malkangani, Kalihari, Mahul, Gunmar, Nirgurhkand, Kevakand, Gulbakavali, Manjistha, Dahiman, Sonapatha, Lodhra and Guggal
Sheesham, Beeja, Padar (Ardhakpari), Kullu and Kaitha are vulnerable species.
Salai, Pickle (Chironji), Dhankat (Dhamin), Anjan, Tinsa, Haldi and Kusum are near endangered species.
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Cause of endangerment
Main reasons responsible for the shrinking of forest cover are overgrazing, plugging old grassland, clearing of forest for agriculture, megaprojects and using plants for firewood, felling of trees for leaf collection, pollution, and failure of pollination. This situation may further deteriorate if appropriate conservation techniques are not applied.
Need to revive the species
The threatened species include bija, having high timber and fodder value, used to cure diabetes and make concussion equipment; tinsa, used to improve fertility in women; salai, producing resin and gum; and dahiman, used to cure high blood pressure. Critically endangered Dahiman tree known for cancer-curing properties.
Sheesham tree is used to make fodder, wood, medicines, dholak and tabla instruments. Berberis aristata (turmeric or haldu tree) is used to fight jaundice and other bacterial diseases. Medicines are made from Lodhra, Padar and Sonpatha.
Saplings available in nursery for common people
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests PC Dubey informed that 165 other species of excellent plants are also available in 171 nurseries of the forest department.
Dubey said that these rare endangered species have general as well as unique utilities. Many tree species have economic and cultural significance in the everyday life of local forest dwellers.
Forest Department has produced one crore saplings of 32 rare species endangered. These plants, which are used as lifesaving and medicine, are also the source of income of villagers and forest dwellers. Plants of all species can also be purchased from the nurseries of the forest department at the rate of Rs 12 to 15.