Senna spectabilis

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The Forest Department of Tamil Nadu has cleared 356.50 hectares of invasive growth of Senna spectabilis that posed a threat to biodiversity conservation in Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR).

About Senna spectabilis

  • It is a species of the legume family.
  • It is native to South and Central America and is grown as an ornamental plant as it has bright yellow flowers. 
  • It was introduced as shade trees for coffee and firewood in the country; it soon became a threat to native tree species as its dense foliage prevented the growth of other indigenous trees and grass species.
  • It is considered as Least Concern under the IUCN Red List.

Key facts about Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve

  • It is located at the junction of the Eastern and the Western Ghats in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, in the Erode District of Tamil Nadu.
  • It is contiguous with the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Bandipur Tiger Reserve (Karnataka) and BR Tiger Reserve and Wildlife Sanctuary(Karnataka). 
  • Together, these reserves — forming the Nilgiris biosphere landscape — have the biggest tiger population in the world, at over 280 tigers.
  • Vegetation: It consists of southern tropical dry thorn forests, mixed deciduous forests, semi-evergreen forests, and Riparian forests.
  • Rivers: Some of the prominent rivers in the region include the Bhavani, Moyar, and Noyyal rivers.
  • Tribal Communities: It is home to several indigenous tribal communities, including the Irula and Kurumba tribes.
  • Flora: Common Species of trees and shrubs found are Albizzia amara Chloroxylon swictenia, Gyrocarpus jacquini, Neem, Tamarind, Sandalwood, Randi dumetorum, Zizyphus and associates.
  • Fauna: The major species are Elephant, Tiger, Panther, Sloth bear, Gaur, Black Buck, Spotted deer and Bonnet macaque.

Q1) Who are Irulas?

Irulas are one of India’s oldest indigenous communities and they are a particularly vulnerable tribal group.They live primarily in the northern districts of Tamil Nadu, as well as in parts of Kerala and Karnataka. They speak Irula, which is related to Dravidian languages like Tamil and Kannada. Irulas have traditionally caught snakes and rats, but they also work as labourers.

Source: Invasive species removed from over 356 hectares in Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve