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Parasitic Creeper preys on Chengalpet Forests, Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary


Prelims: Environment (Invasive Species)

Mains: General Studies III – Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.

 Why in News 

An invasive weed, Cuscuta Dodder native to North America, is slowly choking the Chengalpet forests and Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary, threatening the local vegetation, ecology and habitat of migratory birds.

Cuscuta Dodder


Cuscuta Dodder :  

  • Parasitic Nature: It is a parasitic vine devoid of roots, already infesting acres of trees in reserve forests and beginning to spread within India’s oldest bird sanctuary.
  • Originated from Native North America.

 Key Facts 🗝️

Other Invasive species :

  • Senna spectabilis
  • Lantana camara
  • Wattle
  • Eucalyptus
  • Water Hyacinth
  • It is holoparasitic plant, it forms a canopy on the host plant and extends thousands of tendrils, eventually forming a dense spectacle before strangling and killing the host.
  • It is listed as a declared noxious weed in 25 countries, with seeds and plant material restricted from entry. In the United States, it is the only weed seed whose movement is prohibited in every state.
  • The seeds of Cuscuta are noted for their durability, surviving up to 50 years in dry storage and at least 10 years in the field. Unlike root parasites, Cuscuta seeds do not require a specific stimulant to induce germination.

Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary

  • Oldest bird sanctuary in India, located in Kanchipuram district, Tamil Nadu. 
  • It was established in 1798 by the Nawab of Carnatic and officially declared a bird sanctuary in 1930.
  • Common birds in the sactuary – painted storks, spot-billed pelicans, cormorants, darters, egrets, herons, ibises, spoonbills
  • The Palar River passes near the sanctuary and provides a source of water for the lake.

UPSC CSE Exams Corner

Prelims: PYQ related to Topic

Q . Invasive Species Specialist Group’ (that develops Global Invasive Species Database) belongs to which one of the following organizations?

(a) The International Union for Conservation of Nature

(b) The United Nations Environment Programme

(c) The United Nations World Commission for Environment and Development

(d) The World Wide Fund for Nature

Ans : a. The International Union for Conservation of Nature

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