Syzygium travancoricum at Kalasamala

KFRI initiative’s to conserve threatened trees of Syzygium travancoricum at Kalasamala.

Syzygium travancoricum is a Critically Endangered species red listed by IUCN in 1998.  This species is locally known as “Poriyal” and “Kulavetty”. There are about 500 reported individuals of the species in which more than 200 are from Kalasamala, Thrissur which indicates the significance of the population. This area is highly threated due to addition of lateritic soil from the top hill, mainly due to mining and construction activities. This was happened in last decade before that it was a perfect swamp ecosystem with perennial water flow. These changes resulted in total failure of regeneration. In addition changes in microhabitat enhanced stem borer attack and numbers of mature trees are decreasing in each year. KFRI has raised 250 seedlings of this species in lab and 100 seedlings were planted at Kalasamala on June 5th in connection with environmental day celebration. This was the first initiative to restore the habitat which needs continuous long-term commitment and input.

“KFRI will continue its efforts to conserve the population of Syzigium travancoricum at Kalasamala, one of the largest populations described so far” said Dr. B. S. Corrie, IFS, Director of KFRI.

“Officials from Porkkulam Grama Panchayath, temple authorities, students of Concord English Higher Secondary School and local public are very much supportive to the effort for conserving this population” said Dr. V. B.Sreekumar, Scientist who raised seedlings for planting.

As per Dr. K. A. Sreejith, Scientist, Ecology Department, KFRI “Population of S.travancoricum at Kalasamala is one among the long-term monitoring locations of KFRI which will generate data on this population for scientific management and conservation”

“This site will get more attention and conservation support when it is officially declared as biodiversity heritage site, and the process in final stage” said Dr.R.V.Varma, Former Chairman, State Biodiversity Board Kerala

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