In news– Recently, a team of scientists from the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) has discovered a new gin berry species named Glycosmis albicarpa from the Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu.
About Glycosmis albicarpa-
- This new species with a distinct large white fruit, is endemic to the southern Western Ghats.
- The species belongs to the Orange family, Rutaceae.
- Many of the related plants of these taxonomic groups are being utilized for their medicinal values and food.
- Berries of Glycosmis species have the unique characteristic of ‘gin aroma’ and have gained in popularity as an edible fruit.
- The species is also a larval host plant for butterflies like other species of Glycosmis.
- The species, an evergreen small tree, was found as undergrowth in Tirunelveli semi-evergreen forests at the Panagudi forest section of the wildlife sanctuary as a single population that covers an area of approximately 2 sq.km.
- Habitat modification causes a major threat to the survival of this species.
Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary-
- It is a 402.4 km² protected area in Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu declared in February 2008.
- The area is a tiger habitat.
- Seven rivers originate in the forest including the Thamirabarani River and Pahruli River.
- It is home to the tiger, Indian bison, elephant, Indian rock python, lion-tailed macaque, mouse deer, Nilgiri tahr and sambar deer.
Botanical Survey of India(BSI)-
- BSI is Government of India Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change’s organization for survey, research and conservation of plant wealth of India, flora and endangered species of India, including by collecting and maintaining germplasm and gene bank of endangered, patent and vulnerable plant species.
- It was formally instituted by the British East India Company (EIC) on 13 February 1890 under the direction of Sir George King who became first ex-officio director, earlier he had been superintendent of Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta since 1871.
- It publishes Flora of India series books, states floras, flora of Protected regions and Red Data Book of Indian Plants and Plant Discoveries.