RET plant species and promoting integrated conservation

A project was initiated in 2006 to mark the 80th birthday of Prof. M. S. Swaminathan and to accelerate the Center’s conservation efforts through a targeted number of 80 RET angiosperm plant species of Western Ghats. For the purpose, the Centre initiated a fellowship scheme for providing ample opportunity to meritorious candidates to prove their worth in conservation. This project helped to relocate 80 Rare, Endemic and Threatened (RET) species, which were said to be restricted to tiny pockets of type localities or they appeared as freaks or had vanished because of non-viable population strengths. The aim was to contribute the national efforts to conserve the critically endangered plant species through creation of species recovery and management plans. It was also to contribute the state level efforts in Kerala to enhance the connectivity of highly fragmented forests of Wayanad district through an envisaged tree planting campaign. The project helped in multiplication of large number of RET plants and establishing ex-situ gardens of them in many locations in the State. The project contributed in a notable way in providing a strategic leadership in the area of RET Plant Conservation in Kerala.