32 medicinal plants on the verge of extinction in Jhajjar: Investigation: The Tribune India

Ravinder Saini

Tribune press service

Jhajjar, November 30

As many as 32 rare species of angiosperm plants found in the Matanhel forest area are on the brink of extinction, posing a serious threat to biodiversity, reveals a survey report prepared by a team of scientists led by Dr. Saurabh Panday from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee recently. Plants are used as medicines for the treatment of cancer, respiratory and heart diseases, ulcers, liver and kidney infections. The report will soon be submitted to the state government for further action to protect these plants.

Overexploitation of natural resources

Overexploitation of natural resources, urbanization, habitat loss, extreme hunting, pollution and climate change are the main reasons pushing these 32 rare plants on the road to extinction. Dr Saurabh Panday, Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee


3 species of butterflies could disappear

Three important species of butterflies – the blue argus, the danaus chrysippus and the polluted butterflies – are also close to extinction due to the destruction of their milkweed habitats, urbanization, the use of insecticides and climate change. Dr. Kavita Saini, entomologist and member of the investigation team

“Overexploitation of natural resources, urbanization, habitat loss, extreme hunting, pollution and climate change are the main reasons pushing these 32 rare plants to the path of extinction. These plants include indigofera cordifolia, physalis angulata, senna occidentalis, senegalia catechu, Tinospora cordifolia and Sida cordifolia etc. said Dr. Panday, who is also the former Principal Investigator of the International Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, New Delhi.

He argued that the leaves, stems, roots, seeds and bark of these 32 species belonging to 21 families have been used for medicinal purposes since ancient times. There is an urgent need to take vital measures for their protection as well as to deal with climate change which is not good for the ecosystem and biodiversity, he added.

Dr Kavita Saini, entomologist and senior member of the survey team, said: “The threat to biodiversity not only affects flora and fauna, but also environmental conditions. Butterflies are considered a bio-indicator of the ecosystem, but our survey revealed that three important species of butterflies – the blue argus, the danaus chrysippus and the papillo pollue – are also close to extinction due to the destruction of their milkweed habitats as urbanization, insecticide use and climate change.”

Alvin J. Chase