30 Hectares Of Invasive Plant Species Cleared From Mudumalai Tiger Reserve; Sent To Make Paper

by Tooba Shaikh
30 Hectares Of Invasive Plant Species Cleared From Mudumalai Tiger Reserve; Sent To Make Paper

The Mudumalai Tiger Reserve was recently all over the news when people were still talking about the Oscars 2023. This reserve was where the Oscar-winning documentary ‘The Elephant Whisperers’ was shot. The Forest Department of Tamil Nadu recently cleared out close to 30 hectares of an invasive plant species that threatened the ecosystem. In what is being lauded as a smart move, the plants and trees that were cleared out were sent to make paper.

Mudumalai Tiger Reserve: 30 Hectares Of Invasive Plants Cleared

Senna spectabilis, also known as Calceolaria shower, is a deadly and invasive plant. Its growth is rapid and once it starts spreading, it can seriously hamper the ecosystem of a forest. In an excellent move, the Tamil Nadu Forest Department recently cleared out about 30 hectares of this invasive plant from the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve.

The forest department removed a whopping 2,000 tonnes of plants and trees. The species is extremely notorious for spreading quickly and inhibiting the growth of other plants and native trees. The Hindu, in January, published an article on the rapid spread of the invasive species in Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary.

The article talked about the need for rapid action in the Sanctuary and for removing the invasive species. This means that the Senna Spectabilis is a problem that the authorities of the wildlife sanctuaries and natural reserves face routinely.

Also Read: Tourists Flock To Meet Raghu And Ammu At Mudumalai National Park After The Elephant Whisperers’s Oscar Win

Turning A Problem Into A Solution

So, why is the species so dangerous that it had to be removed from the forest? According to experts, the dense foliage of the tree hijacks a large amounts of space and hogs sunlight. This prevents other native trees and plants from flourishing.

This is problematic not only because this will inhibit the biodiversity of a forest, but also because this will lead to food shortages for many herbivores in the ecosystem. Hence, in order to maintain balance, these have to be removed.

In a stroke of genius, the forest department of Tamil Nadu has found an excellent solution to the problem of Senna Spectabilis. They removed close to 2,000 tonnes of the stuff from the forest. But, instead of dumping it and letting it rot, the authorities had it sent to Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Paper Limited in order to make paper.

By making paper out of these unwanted and excessive plants, TN authorities have demonstrated an optimal application of best out of waste. 

Also Read: The Elephant Whisperers Wins An Oscar For Best Documentary. Here’s All About The Tribe & The Sanctuary

Cover Image Credits: @supriyasahuias/Twitter