Distribution of Syzygium travancoricum Gamble (Myrtaceae), a Critically Endangered tree species from Kerala part of Western Ghats, India

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V.B. Sreekumar
K.A. Sreejith
M.S. Sanil
M.K. Harinarayanan
M.P. Prejith
R.V. Varma


Syzygium travancoricum Gamble is an endemic, Critically Endangered tree species found in marshy swamps of the Western Ghats. An assessment was conducted on existing distribution pattern and population structure of this species in Kerala. Most of the existing populations are mainly located in sacred groves and this tree is an ideal example on role of sacred groves in conserving biodiversity especially IUCN red listed species. A total of 465 individuals were recorded in which maximum number of sapling density was recorded in Kalasamala Sacred grove followed by patches of Myristica swamps in Kulathupuzha. Fragmentation of populations, habitat modification, over exploitation, pollution and invasion of exotics are major threats to S. travancoricum. Hence urgent intervention is required for restoration programmes, management of habitat and subsequently delisting this species from IUCN red list of threatened species.

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