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Biodiversity Loss: 32 Medicinal Plants are on the verge of Extinction, as per a survey

Shivam Dwivedi
Shivam Dwivedi
Medicinal Plant

According to a survey report recently prepared by a team of scientists led by Dr. Saurabh Panday from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, as many as 32 rare species of angiospermic plants found in the Matanhel Forest Area, Jhajjar, Haryana are on the verge of extinction, posing a serious threat to biodiversity.

Biodiversity reflects the health of the planet and has a direct impact on every aspect of our lives. To put it simply, reduced biodiversity means that millions of people will face a future in which food supplies will be more vulnerable to pests and disease, and freshwater will be in irregular or short supply.

Medicinal Plants are at Risk:

Medicinal plants are used in the treatment of cancer, respiratory and cardiac diseases, ulcers, liver and kidney infections, and other diseases. The report will be submitted to the state government soon in order for further action to be taken to protect these plants.

"Overexploitation of natural resources, urbanization, habitat loss, extreme hunting, pollution, and climate change are the primary causes of these 32 rare plants' extinction. 

These plants include indigofera cordifolia, physalis angulata, senna occidentalis, senegalia catechu, Tinospora cordifolia, and Sida Cordifolia, among others," said Dr. Panday, a former principal investigator at the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in New Delhi.

He claimed that the leaves, stems, roots, seeds, and barks of all 32 species from 21 families had been used for medicinal purposes since ancient times.

He added that there was an urgent need to take critical steps for their protection as well as for dealing with climate change, which was detrimental to the ecosystem and biodiversity.

"The threat to biodiversity affects not only the flora and fauna but also the environmental conditions," said Dr. Kavita Saini, an entomologist and prominent member of the survey team. “Butterflies are considered a bio-indicator of the ecosystem, but our survey found that three prominent butterfly species- blue argus, danaus chrysippus, and papillo pollutes- are also on the verge of extinction due to destruction of their milkweed habitats caused by urbanization, insecticide use, and climate change.”

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