304 pages, 35 pages with colour photos; colour illustrations, colour maps
This book on the flora of Tumkur District, Karnataka, reports 918 taxa including 26 infra-specific taxa falling under 504 genera and 139 families, encompassing 13 fern and 1 gymnosperm families. Among the major findings include discovery of a new saprophytic land orchid, Aphyllorchis tumkurensis. This is apart from 3 epiphytic and 5 land orchids reported by the authors from the district. Authors have reported a new ‘oblong’ or ‘oval’-shaped wood apple with heavy bearing from Manchaldore State Forest which seems a very promising variety to bring under cultivation. The Family Stylidiaceae with its member, Sylidium tenellum Swartz., is reported by the authors as the first record for South India. In addition, explorations have yielded a number of wild species having great potential to be brought under cultivation as crops in agriculture, horticulture and forestry in the dry land region.
Interestingly, Sidderabetta is found to shelter the highest number of plant species in the whole district with over 360 species, of which 102 are collected exclusively from this hill. Sidderabetta is also popularly known as the ‘treasure house’ of medicinal plants and this is amply proved by the authors’ report of over 150 species from this hill alone having medicinal values. The authors were instrumental in protecting shorea grove in Sidderabetta as the forest department also took up sincere steps to carry out enumeration of trees and posting a forest guard. In view of the rich plant diversity with the large number of medicinal plants, the authors recommend to declare Sidderabetta as a ‘Medicinal Plant Heritage Site’.
Furthermore, their suggestion to renovate an old forest rest house established by Britishers inside Thimmalapura forest and to establish a Black buck Sanctuary in Mydenahalli were also rnaterialised through prompt actions by the Forest Department. Besides several endangered wild animals in the District, the authors have located a rare land turtle in Thimmalapura forest and suggest that a first-ever ‘Land Turtle Sanctuary’ is established to save this species from extinction from this area. This book will be useful to diverse users like students, researchers, forest managers, line departments, crop plant breeders, trekkers and wildlife enthusiasts.
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