TNAU identifies grasses & trees to improve Elephant Habitats

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.

Key Points

  • 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 shade dried. They have also been powdered for characterising nutritional and anti-nutritional values.

Aim of the project

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

Team have presented the interim report. 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 have degraded because of spread of invasive species such as lantana camara.

Nilgiri Mountains

These mountains form a part of Western Ghats in western Tamil Nadu. 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.

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