Krishnagiri: In an effort to protect the world's most trafficked commodity, the forest department staff here have intensified vigil to save ‘Indian rose wood’, a timber wood tree facing extinction.
This is in the backdrop of some recent arrests. Mr. A. Erappa (38) and M. Veerabathiran (33) of the forest fringe Doddamanju village coming under the Kullatti reserved forest limits, were arrested and remanded in judicial custody on Saturday.
The duo was arrested by the forest staff during a combing operation on charges of robbing a’dead’ rose wood tree from the Kullatti east beat range of Denkannikottai taluk in Krishnagiri.
“Kullatti forest was called as ‘eeti vanam’ (forest having full of rose wood trees). Now, there are only 2,000 rose wood trees in our forest. We are in constant vigil to save the trees also called as 'ivory of forests,’” D. Sukumar said. Sukumar, the range officer for Denkannikottai added “rose wood, a slow-growing hard wood tree and protected under the Indian Forest Act-1927. It was the most sought-after forest commodity in the world after elephant ivory, rhino horn, pangolin scales and hides of wild animals including leopard and others”.
The mission to protect the rose wood came after the ‘UN convention on International trade in endangered species (CITES)’ have listed the ‘D Latifolia’ (Indian rose wood) as vulnerable.
“We have forest committee (FC) having local villagers as its members. The FC members received training under the trainers programme to protect the wildlife and other forest produce.
This helps us in controlling the number of forest crime,” Sukumar said....