Flowering of Bamboo in Wayanad

News: The gregarious flowering of bamboo inside the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (WWS) and the nearby Mudumalai Tiger Reserve and Gudalur forest division in Tamil Nadu.

Details:

  • Bamboo groves in the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, have fully bloomed marking the mass destruction of bamboo groves.
  • The bamboo groves in the Wayanad forest are the mainstay of herbivores like elephants, wild gaur in the Nilgiri biosphere during summer. Nilgiri biosphere is a major tiger and elephant habitat.
  • With the advent of the season, migration of wild animals starts from the adjacent sanctuaries in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to Wayanad due to shortage of fodder and water.

Concerns:

  • The gregarious flowering may adversely affect migration in the Nilgiri biosphere.
  • The mass destruction of the bamboo groves by affecting the food chain may pose a threat to wildlife and ecology of the region. The seeds could germinate into new shoots provided they have a favourable environment. Forest fires and grazing could disturb the germination process.

About Bamboo:

  • Thorny bamboo (Bamboosa bambos) is a monocarpic (flowering occurs only once in the life cycle)plant belonging to the Poaceae family (grass family), and its flowering cycle varies from 40 to 60 years. The Bamboo flower and die.
  • Profuse natural regeneration occurs from seeds after gregarious flowering. Seeds have no dormancy, and they can undergo germination under favourable conditions soon after seed fall. Protection from fire and grazing is essential for proper establishment of seedlings.