BENGALURU: To keep the Jog Falls alive and flowing in splendour, the critically endangered grass species -- Hubbardia diandra – has to be well protected.This grass species has been listed in the threatened species list in the RET (Rare, Endangered and Threatened) Species report, prepared by the Karnataka Biodiversity Board. The report was released by board chairman Ananth Hegde Ashisara and forest minister Aravind Limbavalli on Wednesday.
Keshav Korse, committee member and botanist, said, “This grass species is found only in this region and because of its strong ground rooting capacity, the shape of the water falls is intact as it helps in ensuring that there is no soil erosion. This grass is found all along the Jog Falls and its surrounding areas.”
The report lists 32 endangered plants and 56 animal and bird species which need immediate attention from the government and citizens, and is a comparison of what was assessed in 2009 to now. The list of endangered species also includes Syzygium travancoricum Gamble (water jamuns found along water bodies), Myristica (nutmeg), Salim Ali Fruit Bat, Leatherback Sea Turtle, Kottigehara Dancing Frog, Kolar Leaf Nosed Bat, Lion Tailed Macaque, Malabar Large Spotted Civet, Water Buffalo and Sahayadri Forest Rat among others.
The committee members pointed out that Karnataka has roughly around 5,000 plant species, and1,000 of them are threatened. Most of the plants, animals and birds are facing threat because of habitat loss, mega projects, beach tourism, increasing use of pesticides in agricultural activities, exploitation of local resources to the maximum and many others. The committee members have suggested to the government to conduct a study once in five-six years, instead of 10 years, to know what needs to be done to protect the biodiversity.
Puneeth Pathak, member-secretary, Karnataka Biodiversity Board, said that the report has been prepared with the intention that the government and citizens will pay attention to what needs to be well protected. The list will be refined in the coming years.