Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Researchers found extinct plant after 136 yrs


PUNE: Researchers from Pune, Calicut and Kozhikode have rediscovered the plant, Globe Andersonii, from Sikkim Himalaya which has been considered extinct for the last 136 years.
Their research was recently published in an international journal, Botany Letters.

The plant dicovered by them is commonly called Dancing Ladies or Swan flower and has been enlisted as a critically endangered species. It usually grows in dense areas on rocky slopes in evergreen forests. Sachin Punekar, who is the co-author of the paper, collected this species from Sevoke Hill Forest in July, 2011, after a gap of 136 years.

“This taxon is critically endangered and narrowly endemic. As no live collections were made for the last 136 years, it was considered presumably extinct in the wild. Efforts made by the authors for the rediscovery of the taxon for the past several years were in vain. However, we could locate some specimens in July 2011, which was used to make a detailed description,” added Punekar, former scientist, Botanical Survey of India, Sikkim Himalayan Regional Centre (SHRC), Sikkim, and founder of Biospheres, an NGO.

Other researchers were Jayakrishnan Thachat from the University of Calicut, Vadakkoot Hareesh and Mamiyil Sabu from the Malabar Botanical Garden and Institute for Plant Sciences, Kozhikode.
Punekar said, “Recently, a narrowly endemic new species of Globba, ‘G. teesta’ was reported from West Bengal. On critical examination, we identified it as Globba andersonii, an endemic and endangered species.”


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