Eco panels in the Nilgiris restore native habitats

The Eco Development Committees(EDCs) are tasked with providing environmentally sustainable livelihoods to tribal residents in the Nilgiris. These eco panels are restoring native Shola habitats in places over-run by invasive species in Pagalkodu, near Udhagamandalam.

"The spread of Cestrum nocturnum is a threat to all Shola and grassland habitats, as it does not allow any native flora to thrive",Northey Kuttan,the president of the Pagalkodu Mund EDC.

The Cestrum plants unless completely removed along with their roots will keep sprouting and taking over Shola and native grasslands. The Todas are growing their own saplings and have set up a nursery, which will have more than 7000 saplings of native Shola

trees, ready to be planted in coming years.

The Forest Department has been encouraging local EDCs to carry out afforestation of native flora at a time when tourism is banned in the Nilgiris.

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