6 July 2021.
Experts from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) and Forest College and Research Institute (FC&RI) has undertaken a project to identify native grasses & trees in order to improve elephant habitats and standardise mass multiplication techniques.
Forest Department has set up eight-member group after they realised that areas occupied by native grasses and fodder trees in wild have been degraded.
- Team submitted an interim report recently in which they have identified 29 native grass species and 14 fodder tree species that are palatable for elephants and other herbivores.
- Team also started a nursery for growing these species in FC&RI campus.
- Leaves and plant parts of 29 native fodder grass species and 14 fodder tree species have been dried in the shade.
- They have also been powdered for characterising nutritional and anti-nutritional values.
- Scientists have undertaken the project with the objective of improving quality of elephant habitats by restoring them with native grasses and fodder trees.
About the project
- An interim report has been presented by the team. In the next phase, they will assess nutritive value of trees & plants and standardise mass multiplication technology to plant in lower slopes of Nilgiris and Coimbatore Forest Division.
- They have already assessed the fodder quality of same.
- Quality has degraded because of spread of invasive species such as lantana camara.
- These mountains are found in western Tamil Nadu and called as Western Ghats. 24 peaks of Nilgiri Mountains are above 2,000 metres in height.
- Highest peak is Doddabetta with height of 2,637 metres.
- Word Nilgiri has been derived from Tamil Word Neelam meaning blue and giri meaning mountain.
- Nilgiri Hills are separated from Karnataka Plateau by Moyar River.