Sonneratia alba species declared state mangrove tree of Maharashtra

Updated on Sep 24, 2020 05:14 PM IST
Sonneratia alba is an evergreen mangrove species that grows up to five feet(HT Photo)
Sonneratia alba is an evergreen mangrove species that grows up to five feet(HT Photo)
By, Mumbai

The state government on Tuesday declared Sonneratia alba, or the mangrove apple, the official state mangrove tree. Maharashtra is the first coastal state in India to declare a state mangrove tree species to enhance conservation of the salt-tolerant vegetation.

The government resolution (GR) issued on Tuesday noted that the state’s coastline benefits from mangrove vegetation and read, “Students and general public should be made aware about the importance of mangroves, and their support for the protection and conservation of these trees. Accordingly, the Maharashtra government declares Sonneratia alba as the state mangrove tree.”

Sonneratia alba is an evergreen mangrove species that grows up to five feet; has white flowers with a pink base; and bears distinctive green apples as fruits. They often grow on newly-formed mudflats playing an important role in combating land erosion. The fruit is used to make pickles. Of the 60 mangrove species found globally, Maharashtra is home to 20.

On August 7, the State Board of Wildlife (SBWL) had approved a proposal for the declaration by the state mangrove cell under the forest department. “Mangrove presence is prominent along our coastline acting as shield against natural disasters and crucial in terms of carbon storage. More so, a large area near our urban centres has mangrove cover. Declaring a state mangrove tree gives our effort to protect this ecosystem a further boost,” said Aaditya Thackeray, state environment and tourism minister.

Milind Mhaiksar, principal secretary (forest) said, “It is a welcome step which shows sensitivity as well as aesthetic recognition towards the important ecosystem of mangroves. The state is also on a fast track to complete the final notification of mangrove areas as reserved forest, and also hand over these zones to the forest department.”

In Mumbai, the mangrove cell documented the species along Thane creek, Bhandup, Vasai and Dombivli along major mudflats. “The idea was to select a species which was neither extremely rare nor common, which could help us spread awareness among local communities and public at large about mangrove conservation,” said Virendra Tiwari, additional principal chief conservator of forest (mangrove cell).

Experts said mangrove apple had the potential to thrive and the species and instinctively equips itself with a defence mechanism to fight future sea level rise where the state’s dominant species Avicennia could fail. “This declaration is symbolic both of our hope to fight climate change through nature-based solutions and the best way to do it that is through a community-based conservation strategy” said N Vasudevan, former mangrove cell head.

MANGROVE CELL FRONTLINE STAFF SUCCUMBS TO COVID-19

Security personnel of the Maharashtra State Security Corporation (MSSC) Tushar Shivaji Aavhad, 31, died at Sion Hospital on Monday. He is the first of the state mangrove cell’s on-ground, frontline staff to succumb to Covid-19. “Aavhad died due to health complications (brain haemorrhage) which aggravated after he tested positive for Covid-19. He was a head guard deputed at Mandale for mangrove protection,” said DR Patil, divisional forest officer (mangrove cell). Two other officers (another MSSC security personnel and a range forest officer) have also tested positive for Covid-19 and been admitted to different hospitals.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Badri Chatterjee is an environment correspondent at Hindustan Times, Mumbai. He writes about environment issues - air, water and noise pollution, climate change - weather, wildlife - forests, marine and mangrove conservation

Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Shrikant Tyagi at the Noida Police Commissionerate. (ANI)

    Tyagi used car sticker from ‘old colleague’ Swami Prasad Maurya, probe on: Cops

    Absconding politician Shrikant Tyagi was brought to the Noida Police Commissionerate on Tuesday hours after Tyagi was arrested from Meerut. Noida police commissioner Alok Singh said Tyagi has an 'MLA' sticker on one of his vehicles he said was given to him by his “old political colleague” Swami Prasad Maurya. “We're verifying this information. His driver had painted the UP government emblem on the car number plate. Probe underway under Gangster Act,” Singh said.

  • Picture for representation. This is not the Shivananda circle steel bridge. 

    Bengaluru gets a new steel bridge: 5 things to know about it

    The much-awaited Shivananda circle steel bridge is likely to be opened this Independence Day. This steel bridge is expected to decongest the traffic at Shivananda circle signal which is usually packed with the commuters of Malleshwaram, Majestic and Chalukya circle. Here are five things to know about the steel bride: The steel bridge is reportedly 493-metre-long and it is supported by 16 pillars throughout the road.

  • HT Image

    Man held for duping Delhi ‘granthi’ on pretext of ‘kirtan’ opportunity in US

    New Delhi A 51-year-old man was arrested for allegedly duping a Sikh priest of over ₹1 lakh on the pretext of providing 'kirtan' opportunity in America, police said on Tuesday. The accused has been identified as a resident of Indore in Madhya Pradesh, Sanjay Yadav, they said, adding that he was previously involved in two cases of cheating in Delhi and Mumbai.

  • After the complainant agreed, the accused asked him to install the application ‘Any Desk’ on his mobile phone and fill an online form giving details of his consumer number, credit card details, etc (HT File)

    Senior citizen loses 2.4L to ‘electricity bill’ fraud

    Mumbai A 62-year-old local resident allegedly lost ₹2.44 lakh to cyber frauds who posed as executives from the electricity company and threatened to disconnect supply to his house due to non-payment of the bill. Police said that the victim, a real estate agent, received a message on his phone on Monday which said that his electricity supply would be disconnected due to the non-payment of power bill.

  • In the last 24 hours, India reported 12,751 new coronavirus infections, bringing the caseload to 4,41,74,650.

    Delhi's Covid cases on rise, but no need to panic, says CM Arvind Kejriwal

    Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said there is no need to panic over the latest rise in Covid-19 cases and necessary action will be taken to bring the situation under control. According to data released by the health department, the capital witnessed the highest positivity rate since January 21 with 17.85 per cent on August 7. The number of active Covid-19 cases in Delhi stands at 7,484.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, August 09, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now