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Move to conserve rhododendrons.

EVEN as India and China sparred over the Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh, botanists from China and India ( including those from Arunachal Pradesh) were busy working out a conservation plan for Rhododendrons , a genus which has its centre of diversity in the Sino- Himalayan region. Many rhododendrons are in danger because of excessive use of the flowering plants as fuel wood and habitat destruction due to human activity.

These plants are facing a change in flowering time possibly due to climate change impact in the Himalayan region.

At a three- day meeting in Delhi last week, experts from India, China and Nepal identified priority locations and discussed possible conservation strategies. The Indian participants categorised 14 of 45 priority Rhododendron species as ' critically endangered'. Winrock International India -- which organised the meeting -- is at present working on a landscape approach to conservation of rhododendrons in Tawang and West Kameng districts of Arunachal Pradesh, according to Sudipto Chatterjee who is coordinating the effort.

dineshc.sharma@mailtoday.in

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Nov 5, 2009
Words:181
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