Uprooting of invasive plant species to begin at Taljai tekdi in Pune on Oct 21

The campaign will kick-off from Taljai tekdi in Pune at 7.30am on October 21 with invasive plant Cosmos uprooting drive to help preserve the rich biodiversity on the tekdi
Cosmos Sulphurous. The campaign will kick-off from Taljai tekdi in Pune at 7.30am on October 21 with invasive plant Cosmos uprooting drive to help preserve the rich biodiversity on the tekdi. (HT)
Cosmos Sulphurous. The campaign will kick-off from Taljai tekdi in Pune at 7.30am on October 21 with invasive plant Cosmos uprooting drive to help preserve the rich biodiversity on the tekdi. (HT)
Published on Oct 20, 2021 01:29 AM IST
Copy Link
ByPrachi Bari

PUNE: The yellow flowers commonly found on the roadside and on hill slopes may paint a pretty picture but the reality is far from it. According to botanists and environmentalists, these Cosmos flowers (Cosmos Sulphurous) are a slow killer of native plants and shrubs.

So much so that Dr Sachin Punekar, biologist from the Agarkar Research institute, has started an initiative called MABI (Movement against Biological Invasion) to promote the conservation of native flora in the face of this mushrooming challenge. The campaign will kick-off from Taljai tekdi at 7.30am on October 21 with a Cosmos uprooting drive to help preserve the rich biodiversity on the tekdi.

Punekar said, “MABI is a movement against any type of biological invasion but currently, the city is seeing an onslaught of pretty yellow-orange coloured flowers across hills and hill slopes. Cosmos is an invasive alien species of plant, an obnoxious weed that has come here from various sources. It has created a challenge for native biodiversity because of its prolific growth and has wiped out indigenous species of plants and disrupted the local food chain upon which a number of insects and animals are directly dependent for their food and shelter.”

According to environmentalists and nature lovers, it is unfortunate that the rampant growth of this invasive species of plant was not addressed earlier but they feel that a dedicated movement might help rein in the invasion that has spread to grasslands and scrublands.

Punekar said, “With the help of various partners and stakeholders, nature lovers, environmentalists, we want to sensitise everyone about the ill effects of this species. There are a large number of these plants growing rampantly in the wild and on the tekdis creating problems for livestock and herbivores who are losing out on fodder which is dwindling day by day.”

Punekar, along with stakeholders such as the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), will uproot the Cosmos plants mechanically and stop them from spreading further, making room for local species to grow in good time.

Mangesh Dighe, environment officer, PMC said, “Yellow Cosmos is a native plant of Mexico and is commonly seen along highways but has now spread to the hills and plains of the city. The Cosmos flowers are very attractive and we often see people taking photos of them but they are slowly killing local plant species. Hence we appeal to citizens to come in large numbers to the Taljai tekdi to help uproot these biologically invasive plants and maintain local plants.”

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, December 07, 2021