Vol.08. Nos.1 - 2 (2009) pp.85-90
Title:

Conservation of Pseudoxytenanthera ritcheyii in the forests of Kerala and potential for its cultivation outside forests.

Authors:Krishnankutty, C.N; Mammen Chundamannil

Abstract:Pseudoxytenanthera ritcheyii, a rare endemic bamboo species locally known as Ă«erankolĂ­, occurs sporadically in the natural forests of Nilambur, Kerala, India. Due to concern over the depletion of this rare bamboo resource, harvesting was banned by the Government of Kerala since 2005. Before the ban, erankol was being harvested by the traders on behalf of the Tribal Cooperative Society employing tribals. Erankol harvesting provided hardly any revenue to the State or substantial employment to the tribals or value addition after its extraction. Its markets are mostly in the neighbouring State of TamilNadu, where it was being sold through retail bamboo depots. Due to non-availability of erankol from Kerala since 2005, bamboo retailers in Tamil Nadu sourced as a substitute, P. monadelpha, from Andhra Pradesh. It is argued that it is not imperative to continue harvesting of erankol from the forests of Kerala so that the remaining wild population can be conserved for maintaining its genetic diversity. The assured markets for erankol make it an ideal species for promotion and propagation in suitable areas outside forests by the National Bamboo Mission and the State Forest Departments in their agroforestry programmes.

Keywords:employment; endemic species; harvesting; markets; nature

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