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*For correspondence. (e-mail: 

Rehabilitation approach for Eugenia  

singampattiana Beddome – an endemic and 

critically endangered tree species of southern 

tropical evergreen forests in India 


Manoj Kumar Sarcar


*, Aruna Basu Sarcar


 and V. Chelladurai




Tamil Nadu Forest Plantation Corporation, Trichy 620 101, India 


Department of Forests, Working Plan Circle, Trichy 620 020, India 


Survey of Medicinal Plant Unit – Siddha (Govt. of India), Tirunelveli 627 002, India



Eugenia singampattiana Beddome is one of the endemic 

and threatened tree species of southern Western Ghats 

in Peninsular India with medicinal value. After more 

than 112 years since Beddome’s collection, the species 

could be recollected from the same locality in ever-

green forests of Singampatti and Papanasam Reserved 

Forests in Tamil Nadu. The endemic zone of this species 

is located in the surroundings of the Hope lake at 

Kalakad Mudandurai Tiger Reserve (17th


Tiger Pro-

ject of India) in Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu. The 

threatened status of E. singampattina is reassessed in 

this article. Botanical description, growth habit, pheno-

logy, morphological features, silvicultural characters 

and medicinal properties are provided. Its natural dis-

tribution zone, places of endemism, the phytogeo-

graphic parameters of the area of provenance are 

described with related maps. Immediate need to pro-

tect and propagate this critically endangered species is 

emphasized and its methods of artificial reproduction 

are elaborated. Finally, conservation measures rec-

ommended to stop further erosional process of the 

species are discussed.  


Keywords: Artificial regeneration, critically endangered, 

endemism, Eugenia singampattiana, evergreen forest. 




 singampattiana Beddome (Myrtaceae), locally 

known as ‘Korandi’ by Kanni tribes in Tirunelveli district, 

Tamil Nadu is one of the endemic and threatened tree 

species of the southern Western Ghats in Peninsular India 

with medicinal value. Lushington


 described it as ‘Eugene 

Myrtle of the Singampatty Hills of Tinnelvelly’. The species 

is categorized as Endangered or Possibly Extinct by the 

Botanical Survey of India


 The species is endemic to the tail end of southern 

Western Ghats in Peninsular India. Earlier records related to 

its natural distribution are few and found only from Singam-

patti and Papanasam hills at Kalakad Mundandurai Tiger 

Reserve Forest (KMTR – 17th Tiger Project of India) in 

Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu. The species is known from 

the two collections made by Beddome from the above-

mentioned areas


 between 1864 and 1874. It had not been 

collected or reported again during the last 112 years till a 

collection was made by Daniel in 1986 and 1987 from 

Papanasam hills near Hope lake


 Subsequently, Rajendran collected samples from Check-



, on the way to Kannikatti from Tulukka mot-

tai in 1988. Gopalan collected samples during 1990–92 

from Ambalam river bank, Inchikuli, Kannikatti and from 

Ullar to Inchikuli, respectively


 Sarcar et al.


 collected the species with flower and ripe 

fruits on the western side of Hope lake between Kavatha-

lai Ar and Tulukka mottai along the road (lower side) 

leading to Kannikatti from Kariar in September 1999 and 

again from the southern side of Hope lake near Bana-

thirtham during February and July 2000 (Figure 1). 



 again collected various parts of the species and 

phytogeographic parameters related to its growth from 

places adjacent to the Banathirtham waterfalls, Kariar to 

Kannikatti forest rest house, Inchikuli, Pambar and Mallar 

river bank during 1999–2001 and assessed the population 

of matured trees in the above areas. 

 Gopalan and Henry


 in their book Endemic Plants of 

India, have revised the present status of the species as 

‘Endangered’ based on availability of more than 500 mature 

trees of the species in two isolated fragmented popula-

tions. After a comprehensive study of the total population 

of the species and considering its narrow zone of endem-

ism in the world, its status is required to be revised as a 

plant of ‘Critically Endangered’ order according to the 

norms of IUCN Guidelines


Material and methods 

After more than 112 years since Beddome’s collection, 

the species has been recollected in the watershed of Tam-

braparni, Pambar, Maller, Ullar, around the western, 





southern and eastern sides of Hope lake in the western 

Ghats area, Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu. For further 

studies, locations of fragmented populations were marked 

on the Survey of India Maps (1969, 1978)


 and then their 

geographical co-ordinates were confirmed by the hand-held 

GPS (Global Positioning System). Different parts on the 

plants, viz. leaf, stem, flower, seeds, bark and wood sample 

were collected in addition to the various phytogeographic 

parameters, e.g. rock, soil, climatic elements and species 

assemblage in which this plant grows. 

 For confirmation of species, vegetative parts collected 

from its endemic zone were compared with the existing 

herbarium document available at the Southern Regional 

Office, Botanical Survey of India, Coimbatore, Tamil 

Nadu. Herbarium of the species collected is deposited in 

the Survey of Medicinal Plants Unit, Siddha (Field No. 

6925 dated 22 February 2000) under Central Council for 

Research in Ayurveda and Siddha, Palayamkottai, Tirunelveli 

for maintenance. 

 Soil samples were collected from the places of endemism 

of the species and analysed in 2001. 

 Bark, leaf and roots of the plant were collected during 

the field survey and the sample was sent to Foundation 

for Revitalization of Local Health Tradition (FRLHT), 




Figure 1. Eugenia singampattiana Bedd. a, Twig with fruits; b, Strik-

ing orange colour fruits with dark green leaves c, Mature seeds. 

Bangalore in April 2003 to obtain its phytochemical para-


 Detailed study about nursery techniques both from 

seed origin and vegetative parts was made at Tirunelveli 

after collecting seeds and stem-cuttings. Frequent field 

visits were made to the above forest areas during 1999–

2001. Natural regenerations as well as floral composi-

tions and phenological characters of the species were 

studied during these field visits. The various primary and 

secondary data on phytogeographic parameters were col-

lected during field visits in the locality. 

Results and discussions 

Various characters of the plant 

A small, dense, evergreen tree grows in semi-evergreen 

to evergreen forests in the Singampatti hills of southern 

Western Ghats. Under favourable situation, it attains a 

height of about 6–9 m with 40 cm girth. It has distinct 

morphological and silvicultural characters along with 

specific properties of medicinal value. 


Morphological characters: Bark grey, smooth; branch-

lets ferete. Leaves opposite, simple 6–12 


 3–8 cm, dark 

green above, light beneath. Ovate or elliptic–oblong, 

acute at apex, rounded at base, nerves and intramarginal 

nerves prominent; petiole short. Inflorence terminal, racemes. 

Flowers white, crowded, actinomorphic, bisexual. Sepals 

four, oval–orbicular; petals four, nerved ovate. Bracts and 

bracteoles pubescent; calyx tube 3 mm long (Figure 2). 




Figure 2. E. singampattiana Bedd


. 1, Flowering and fruiting twig; 2, 

Flower; 3, Petal; 4, Calyx with stamens; 5, Stamen; 6, Cross section of 

ovary; 7, Fruits; 8, Seeds.  





Table 1. Eugenia singampattiana – phytochemical parameters 

 Visible Long UV Short UV Anisaldehyde 


TLC Profile 

 Syzigium cumini Nil 0.41, 0.506, 0.58 Nil 0.072, 0.228, 0.337, 0.578, 0.686, 0.891 

 Eugenia singampattiana Nil 0.41, 0.506, 0.58 Nil 0.072, 0.18, 0.265, 0.337, 0.42, 0.578 

 S. cumini E. singampattiana 

Foreign organic matter Nil Nil 

Moisture content 8.8 10.2 

Total ash (%) 4.97 8.19 

Acid insol. ash (%) 0.2650 0.3563 

Alcohol sol. ext (%) 14.77 4.08 

Water sol. ext (%) 11.89 3.66 

Reducing sugars (%) + + 

Hydrolizable sugars + + 

Phenolics + + 

Bark from E. singampattiana are scrapings from a young and immature plant, whereas bark from S. cumini is 

from a matured tree. These are the preliminary observations from a single sample. TLC profile shows some com-

mon bands both in the UV light and on spraying with anisaldehyde. +, Present. 




 Fruit is almost spherical in shape (1.5–1.75 cm diameter 

and 5.5–6.5 cm circumference). Persistent calyx. Riped 

fruit is yellowish-orange to crimson-red with fleshy peri-

carp. Seeds 2–3, planoconvex, 1.5–1.5 


 1.3 cm stony black. 

 The plant starts flowering from middle of February, it 

continues up to end of July and fruiting starts from July 

and fruits ripen in September–October. 


Silvicultural characters: E. singampattiana is a shade-

bearer, specially during young stage; seedlings and saplings 

are found under shade of second and first-storied high 

forest. Species is frost-tender in early stages and hardier 

later. It is fire and drought-tender. It grows well where soil 

moisture is ensured with good drainage. The species is not 

readily browsed by cattle. 

 Like Syzygium cumini (Troups, 1920)¹ ³, E. singampat-

tiana possesses excellent coppicing power. Large number 

of shoots are produced, particularly round the periphery 

of the cut surface of the stump. Stumps and also branch-

cuttings produce stools as a rule. Figure 3 shows the appear-

ance of pure coppice shoots. 


Medicinal properties: Comparative profile of bark of S. 

cumini and E. singampattiana is given in Table 1 based 

on biochemical tests conducted by Shastry at FRLHT. 

The results show that the phytochemical parameters of E. 

singampatiana have similar medicinal properties as S. 


Natural distribution zone 

The species is endemic to the tail end of the southern 

Western Ghats, Agasthiyamalai area, Tirunelveli district, 

Tamil Nadu of Peninsular India. This has also been reported 

by Ramesh and Pascal




Figure 3. E. singampattiana BeddA tree near Banathirtham (south-

ern bank of Thamiraparani) showing excellent coppicing power. 



 Beddome made two collections, one from Singampatti 



 and the other from Papanasam hills at an altitudinal 

range of 300–900 m. 

 The species was relocated time to time from almost the 

same geographical area of southern, western and eastern 

side of Hope lake in KMTR area. 

 Occurrence of the species is strictly restricted to a nar-

row zone of micro watersheds of Tambraparni river and 

its tributaries around Hope lake within the altitudinal 

range of 280–900 m, mainly in semi-evergreen forest 

type, the upper portion of which merges from wet ever-

green forest and the lower portion joins a moist mixed 

deciduous forest types of the Western Ghats. The natural 

distribution zone of the species is located between lat. 




N to 8




N and between long. 77




E to 





E. Figure 4 shows the general distribution loca-

lity, while Figure 5 shows the natural distribution zone 

with places of endemism. The places of occurrence of the







Figure 4. E. singampattiana Bedd. General distribution area (KMTR and its surroundings). 




species reported from time to time are also shown in Fig-

ure 5. 

Phytogeographic conditions of the area of  


The species could be relocated in the semi-evergreen to 

evergreen forest types of KMTR, where the milieu of 

various phytogeographic factors has played a key role in its 

endemism, growth and also for its present ‘Endangered 

status’. A study of this background may help in identifying 

its other locations and to take up appropriate measures to 

protect the existing populations and also for further 

propagation efforts. 


Topographic matrix: The watersheds of Tambraparni and 

its tributeris around Hope lake in which the endemic zone 

of the species could be noticed is topographically located 

on the northeastern aspects of the southern Western Ghats, 

having the altitudinal range of 280–900 m. Except the ad-

jacent areas of Hope lake up to 600 m, the remaining areas 

have steep slope


 The area is drained by river Tambraparni and its tribu-

taries like Pambar, Mallar odai and Kavatalaiar. Melak-

kosu odai, Karaiar which contribute to the Hope lake 

from the west, northwest, south, east, southeast sides res-

pectively (vide Figure 5). 

Climatic conditions: The natural distribution area of the 

species is located in the transit zone and enjoys both 

tropical monsoon rainforest climate (Am) and tropical 

wet and dry climate or monsoon savana (Aw), according 

to climatic zones classified by W. koppen


 Climate of the locality above 500 m, i.e. in the upper 

reaches of watersheds around the Agasthiswaram and 

other peaks like Naga Pothigai, and Aintalai Pothigai, remains 

cool and temperature does not fall below 16.2


C in the 

coldest month. April and May are the hottest months. 

Normal mean maximum temperature in these months remains 

in the neighborhood of 32.7


C. Its mean monthly temp-

erature remains around 22.9



 Rainfall is seasonal and above 200 cm per year. Bana-

thirtham (300 m) receives 323 cm and Kannikatti (777 m) 

330 cm of annual rainfall. The area gets the benefit of 

both the southwest and the northeast monsoons. The 

southwest monsoon begins in June and continues up to the 

end of August with irregular intervals, while the northeast-

ern monsoon is from October to December. The bulk of 

rainfall is derived from northeast monsoon. The month-

wise rainfall details of four centres of the locality are 

given in Table 2 (1962, 1978)



Soil properties: The soil consists mostly of a dark 

clayey loam – the argillaceous nature being probably due 

to the disintegration of feldspar aided by plentiful supply 

of humus








Figure 5. E. singampattiana Beddome – zone of natural distribution with places of endemism. 



 Soil samples were collected from places adjacent to the 

standing trees of the species identified from the western, 

southern and eastern sides of Hope lake in Singampatti 

and Papanasam RFs. These soil samples were analysed at 

the Soil Testing Laboratory, Tamil Nadu Agricultural De-

partment, Tirunelveli (see Table 3). 


Habitat and ecological situations: The resultant effect 

of various phytogeographic conditions, namely topogra-

phy, geology and soil, mixed effect of low latitudinal and 

high altitudinal extent, climatic conditions and past 

treatment, including biotic pressure has developed typical 

transitional forest types between southern tropical wet 

evergreen (rain) forest (IA/C4) and Tirunelveli semi-

evergreen forest (2A/C3) of the revised classification of 

forest types by Champion and Seth


 The species under study, i.e. E. singampattiana is basi-

cally an evergreen species available in this transitional 

zone of evergreen forest area to semi-evergreen forest. 

Southern tropical wet evergreen forest is a climax type of 

rainforest which occurs between 700 and 1500 m through 

a series of transitions from moist deciduous to evergreen 



Floristic structure, composition and association of the 

species: The top canopy or the first layer is extremely 

dense, represented by gigantic trees like Artocarpus hir-

sutusCanarium strictumCullenia exarillataDiospyros





Table 2. Monthly rainfall of the tract (average of 10 years rainfall data) 

 Upper dam Karaiyar, Banathirtham Upper Kannikatti  

Month  262 m 300 m Tambraparni 777 m 


January 19.54 14.7 11.7 29.7 

February 7.62 15.1 8.0 10.2 

March 6.43 8.1 7.8 6.8 

April 11.04 10.6 11.5 12.2 

May 11.44 13.4 10.8 21.0 

June 19.08 45.4 34.5 62.0 

July 13.13 39.0 34.4 50.3 

August 6.25 28.5 14.1 27.0 

September 7.01 18.6 18.3 26.9 

October 24.07 51.4 44.1 50.3 

November 34.19 39.2 35.5 50.5 

December 18.27 44.2 35.3 – 

Total  178.08 322.8 266.0 356.9 



Table 3. Results of soil samples* collected from places of endemism 

 Available nutrients (kg/acre) 

   Micronutrient content (in ppm) 

Soil Laboratory Texture   EC Nitrogen Phosphorus Potash  

details no. and colour Lime status pH (ds/m) N P K Zinc Copper Iron Manganese 


ES/ 16644 Yellowish No effervescence 4.9 0.04 106 2.0 175 0.03 0.08 5.24  5.64 

Banathirtham 1 16667 brown No  

   Sandy clay calcareousness 

ES/ 16645 Yellowish No effervescence 6.0 0.06 109 2.0 250 0.15 0.08 6.16 12.86 

Banathirtham 2 16668 brown No 

   Sandy clay calcareousness 

ES/ 16646 Yellowish No effervescence 6.6 0.06 104 2.5 215 0.15 0.14 5.33 12.92 

Banathirtham 3 16669 brown No 

   Sandy clay calcareousness 

*Soil samples analysed by R. Gandhi, Soil Testing Laboratory, T.N. Agricultural Department, Tirunelveli. 



ebenumElaeocarpus serratusE. tuberculatusGluta 

travancoricaHoligarna arnottianaHopea parvifloraH. 

utilisMesua ferreaPalaquium ellipticumP. bourdillo-

niiPoeciloneuron pauciflorum and Vepris bilocularis

 The second layer is composed of shade-loving trees 

such as Cinnamomum inersNageia wallichianusEugenia 

mundagamGarcinia echinocarpa var. monticolaGtra-

vancoricaHomalium jainiiIsonandra lanceolata

Kingiodendron pinnatum, Symplocos cochinchinensis 

subsp. laurinaSyzygium caryophyllatum and S. jambos

 Below the second layer, innumerable shrubs and small 

trees such as Agrostistachys borneensisAindicaAntidesma 

menasuCallicarpa tomentosaElaeocarpus munronii

Eugenia singampattianaEurya nitidaLitsea deccanensis, 

Mallotus distans and Tabernaemontana gamblei are 


 E. singampattiana is found below the second layer as 

small tree. 

 Semi-evergreen forest type is the major group which is 

distributed all around Hope lake, particularly 300–700 m 

between wet evergreen forest above and the moist deci-

duous forest below.  

 These forests are distributed in patches and belts wher-

ever moisture availability is adequate to support a semi-

evergreen forest, but at the same time inadequate for an 

evergreen climax formation. In the western side of Kata-

lamalai Estate and in the eastern side of Mallar basin exposed 

easily to biotic pressure, moist mixed deciduous forest 

type could be noticed. 

Plant propagation practices 

There is no recorded information on natural regeneration 

of the species, but during field study it was noticed that 

many natural regenerations were available below the tree 

shade near the streams, where the soil has sufficient humus 

and moisture content. Artificial reproduction methods were 

attempted both from seed origin and by stem cuttings



Propagation from seed origin: The ripened light yellowish 

to orange colour fruits was collected during September and 

October (Figure 6). These were kept in a heap under shade for 

2–3 days. This helps the pericarp to rot and then pulp is 





removed by rubbing and washing in water. The seeds were 

dried in shade. The number of fruits and seeds per kg was 

found to be ca 440 and 360–870 respectively. The seeds 

have a germination capacity of 87% and plant survival of 

61%. Seeds appear to have a dormancy period of a few 

months. Seeds were collected from fresh, ripened fruits in 

the Banathirtham area at the end of September and dib-

bled soon after the removal of pulp at Palayamkottai forest 

campus. Germination could be noticed only in January, 

indicating that the dormancy period could run for a few 

months. About 514 plants were obtained from 1 kg of seeds. 

Seed viability could be retained maximum for a period of 7–8 

months, after which the endosperm of the seeds gets 

dried-up and the seeds lose their germination capacity. 

 Seedlings of E. singampattiana have been raised for 

experimental purposes by sowing seeds in the nursery. 

No specific problems were faced during raising of the plant 

in the nursery. However, the growth pattern was slow in 

the early stages. Raised bed nursery of forest soil with 

sufficient leaf litter and humus content helps in better and 

early germination, while in ordinary soils the result is not 

encouraging. Covering the mother bed with about 1.0–

1.5 cm thick straw gives better results as it provides re-

quired warmth to the seeds. Water is supplied in the morning 




Figure 6. E. singampattiana Bedd. seedling. a, Fruits; b, Seeds; cd

Stages of germinatione, Six-month-old seedling. 

and evening. When seedlings become 3–4 cm, they are 

dibbled in 16 


 30 cm or 15 


 25 cm polythene bags. De-

tails of seed weight, germination percentage, etc. are given 

in Table 4. 


Vegetative propagation: The species is an excellent 

coppicer. Keeping this character in mind, ten stump cut-

tings of a small root portion of pencil thickness were kept 

in mud pots. All ten stumps started giving shoots within 

25 to 30 days. Small stump with root portion were collected 

from its habitat and at the time of collection itself, a 

handful of local moist soil was kept with the collected 

stump to avoid dehydration of the root portion. The stumps 

and soil were kept in small bags before they were trans-

planted into the mud pots. The root portion of the stump 

was carefully kept in the mud pot. Mixed soil, sand and 

green leaf manure (2








1) was tightly packed around the 

stump. Then a cylindrical mud pot having a small hole on 

the top was kept on the mother mud pot (vide Figure 7). 

Water was sparingly sprinkled once in two days through 

this hole without opening the cylindrical mud jar. The jar 

should not be opened frequently. Keeping an empty mud jar 

on the mother pot creates a natural greenhouse effect, 

stimulating early and ensured shoot formation. Within 

25–30 days new shoots appeared with red-coloured young 

leaves. The plant was allowed to continue in such confine-

ment for two months. Then the jar was opened in the evening 

and again closed in morning without allowing direct sunlight. 

Slowly, the exposure period was extended. This led to the 

formation of chlorophyll in the plant, which will change 

its colour from red to light green. After the third month, 

plants were kept in shade and normal care was taken. To 

produce large number of plants from stump cuttings, mist 

chamber methods by Silpaulin sheets can be used econo-


 Artificial reproduction methods were attempted both 

from seed origin and also by stem cuttings by the authors at 

Tirunelveli. About 46 seedlings of seed origin and 9 plants 

from stem cuttings were raised as a preliminary experi-


Conservation efforts and methods 

The species with narrow endemic zone of distribution is 

in imminent danger of extinction. Appropriate conservation 

measures are immediately to be taken up to ensure its sur-

vival in the wild by protecting the existing known 

population of the species and its rare habitat from further 

anthropogenic pressure. 


Measures taken: The species and its habitat get general 

protection under various Acts and Rules of Tamil Nadu 

Forest Department, as the area comes under Reserved 

Forest Category (Papanasam and Singampatti RFs). Further, 

this habitat also possesses general protection provisions





Table 4. E. singampattiana – seed weight, germinative capacity and plant per cent 

 No. of seeds Germinative  No. of days for Plants 

Data source per kg capacity (%) Plant (%) germination per kg 


Sarcar et al.


 857 84 60 65–85 days 514 

Sarcar et al.


 556 87 57 70–95 days – 

Shivasankar 363 89 65 60–85 days – 







Figure 7. E. singampattiana Bedd. – seedling/coppice/shoots. 1, 2, Fruits; 3, Seeds; 4–6, Germination 

stages; 7, Development of seedling in four months; 8, Mudpot with cylindrical cover (mud pot) on the top 

with small hole (for filtered light); 9, Development of coppice shoots from branch cuttings; 10, Young 

coppice shoots. 



available under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, 

2002, as it comes under KMTR (17th Tiger Reserve of 

India). However, species-specific conservation measures 

are yet to be taken up. 


Measures proposed: (i) As importance is given for pro-

tection of wild fauna under the Wild Life (Protection) 

Act, 1972, 2002 in India, similar importance has to be given 

to such threatened plants. A specific and comprehensive 

Plant Schedule, including this species may be brought 

under Wild Life Protection (Amendment) Act 2002 or in 

the Biological Diversity Act 2002, so that all the threat-

ened plant species, particularly critical ones get immedi-

ate attention and legal support. (ii) The sole surviving 

population of the species in the wild in hilly areas of Sin-

gampatti and Papanasam, Tirunelveli district, Tamil Nadu 





should be accorded full protection by declaring the specific 

locality and its vicinity as a ‘plant sanctuary’


. Intensive 

species inventory is to be conducted in its distribution 

range so that more niches, if available, can be identified 

and made as plant sanctuaries and protected. (iii) High-

resolution satellite data and GIS can be used to find the 

actual ecological parameters of the niches of this species, 

so that the controlling elements and favourable habitat 

can be taken care of and species-specific zonation maps 

can be prepared for intensive care and management. 

Similarly, an atlas showing the spatial distribution of 

each endemic and threatened plant according to IUCN 



 has to be prepared to make species-specific 

future management plan for such imperilled plant species. 

(iv) Efforts should be taken to raise forest nurseries by 

collecting mature seeds during September–October. After 

getting seedlings of height more than 30–40 cm, they can 

be planted in their natural habitat to increase the stock 

density of the species as in situ conservation. For ex situ 

conservation, healthy seedlings of the species can also be 

planted in other parts of the Western Ghats having similar 

phytogeographic and ecological conditions. (v) Efforts to 

raise stocks artificially through application of tissue culture 

techniques and vegetative propagation by stem/root cuttings 

should also be attempted.  

Conclusion and perspectives 

E. singampattiana was first collected and reported by Bed-



 during 1864–74. Subsequently, after more than 

112 years, this species was recollected and reported. 

However, these efforts were mainly taxonomic exercises, 

except a brief report by the Botanical Survey of India 


and by Gopalan and Henry


 on different facets 

about the species. 

 The present study attempted to focus on species-

specific information like field identification characters, 

maps of the natural distribution zone in addition to the 

phytogeographic parameters and ecological conditions un-

der which this plant grows. Further, species recovery plan, 

with plant propagation practices, including photographs 

and line diagrams are provided. Besides, conservation 

measures to be taken up for this plant have also been rec-

ommended for the natural resources managers to make spe-

cific programmes for further stock improvement of the 

species. Thus, the comprehensive report about this criti-

cally endangered species may be used as an effective tool 

for implementation in the field. 

 However, all the scientific and technical information 

can only be effectively implemented when protection and 

management of such natural resources is supported by the 

required regulations, institutional mechanism and strong 

legislation in the country. 

 In this context it is relevant to mention here that we 

have the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 and Wildlife 

(Protection) Amendment Act 2002, under which only six 

plants received such protection (under Schedule VI), while 

many species of wild fauna including insects and beetles 

are listed as protected species (Schedule I–V). Besides, 

there is a list of 28 plants (including the abovementioned 

six plants) which the Ministry of Trade and Commerce 

prohibits trade under CITES. Further, in the Biological 

Diversity Act 2002, there is no special protection provision 

for imperilled plants, except one section which speaks 

only about empowerment of the Central Government to notify 

any plant species as threatened and make regulations on the 




 Therefore, it is a matter of concern that when more than 

7 to 10% of plants


 suffer from various degrees of threat in 

the country, we are yet to frame any specific policy/ 

guideline in this sector of plant protection, except for six 

plants. In the absence of such legal acts or policies for 

flora, illegally collected plants from the KMTR or Re-

served Forests could neither be identified (physically or 

by biochemical tests in a forensic laboratory due to lack 

of skill, expertise and policies) nor booked outside the 

forest boundary under any offence, as it is not legally 

supported by court of law. Hence, scheduling of the 

threatened plants community should separately to be taken 

up with equal strength like fauna, since according to Raven



‘it is likely that as a quarter of all species of Indian plants 

may be either extinct or on their way to extinction within 

25 years, the great majority of the species present now are 

likely to be extinct within a century if proper conservation 

efforts are not in place in time.’ 

 Thus the natural resource managers, administrators and 

legislators should re-look into the existing policy frame-

work, management strategies and make a comprehensive 

species-specific recovery plan for all the imperilled plant 

resources of the country to protect them for the present 

and future heritage of mankind. 



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Reserve (KMTR), Tirunelveli, 1999. 





10. Sarcar, M. K., Nursery techniques and study of phytogeographic 

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patti RF, KMTR, Tirunelveli, 2000. 

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1954, p. 395. 

16. Rahamatullah, S. A., Working Plan for Tirunelveli South Forest 

Division, 1959–69. Govt of Tamil Nadu, Madras, 1962. 

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Statistical Cell, Tamil Nadu Forest Department, Madras 1978, vol. 

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464, pp. 57–71; 87. 

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1990, 40, 469–774. 




ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. We thank Dr V. K. Melkani, the then 

Field Director, and Shri Shivasankar, Range Officer and Field Staff, 

Mundanthurai Range for timely co-operation during field visits. We 

acknowledge the help rendered by Kanni tribals in the project area. We 

also thank Dr R. Gopalan, Scientist, BSI, Coimbatore and Dr S. B. S. 

Dutta, Scientist, NRSA, Hyderabad for valuable suggestions. We are 

grateful to Shri J. C. Kala, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, 

Chennai and Shri T. S. Srinivasa Murthy, Conservator of Forests, 

Chennai for encouragement. 





Received 2 June 2005; revised accepted 19 April 2006 






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