A local non-governmental organization (NGO) has proposed planting large-scale exotic trees in Eucalyptus

Nilgiri Hills

A local non-governmental organization (NGO) has proposed the planting of large scale exotic trees in Eucalyptus.

Nilgiri Hills key points

  • An exotic plant is a plant that is purposefully or accidentally introduced into the outer region of its native range.
  • Conservationists argue that the planting of foreign trees will have a negative impact on soil chemical composition and wildlife and will prove harmful to the environment in the long run.
  • When foreign plants are planted in a particular area, this increases the demand for water in that area, which will affect not only eucalypts but also other districts which are basically dependent on the rivers originating from the particular hills in that area. Thus the wildlife of the region will also be negatively affected.
  • Regarding the planting of exotic trees, it is being argued that if they are planted on hill slopes, they will increase the soil stability of the slopes.
  • Although conservationists argue that the roots of exotic trees are very shallow, often this type of tree is uprooted in high-velocity winds and heavy rain, while this type of weather is a prominent feature of the Eucalyptus monsoon.
  • Therefore, the government should formulate a policy in this regard that can decide that only trees with ecological importance (keeping in view the geographical features and bio-diversity of the region) should be planted in public places in the Nilgiris.

Nilgiri Hills

The Western Ghats are locally known as Sahyadri in Maharashtra, Nilgiri in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and Annamalai and Cardamom / Cardamom hills in Kerala.
The temperate forests in the Nilgiri, Anamalai and Palani hills are called ‘Shola’.
Shola one

  • The temperate forests found on the Nilgiris, Annamalai and Palani hills are locally known as ‘Sholas’.
  • The word ‘shola’ is an abrasive form of the Tamil word ‘cholai’, which means – cold place or forest.
  • Among the trees found in these forests, Magnolia, Larrell, Cinchona and Vettel are of economic importance.
  • The natural vegetation also changes due to the decrease in temperature with increasing altitude in the mountainous areas. Here temperate tropical vegetation is found in higher altitudes and subtropical natural vegetation in lower areas.
  • The mountain ranges of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka province lie in the tropics and are about 1500 m above sea level.