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India’s First Moss Garden comes up at Khurpatal, Nainital District of Uttarakhand

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India's first moss gardenOn November 20, 2020 India’s First Moss Garden was inaugurated at Khurpatal, Nainital District of Uttarakhand by renowned Water Conservation Activist of India, Rajendra Singh (also known as Water Man of India).

Objective:

i.The Garden has been set up for the purpose of conservation of different species of moss.

ii.It will also serve the purpose of generating awareness among people regarding the importance of Moss in the environment.

iii.It has also been developed as a recreation centre for tourists.

CAMPA Scheme:

The park was approved by the Research Advisory Committee of Uttarakhand Forest Department under the CAMPA (Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority) scheme in July, 2019.

Key points:

i.The Garden is spread over 10 hectares and houses 30 different species of moss and other bryophyte species.

ii.Two moss species found in the park – Hyophila Involuta (Cement Moss) & Brachythecium Buchanani are listed under in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List.

iii.The garden has a moss trail of 1.2 Kms.

iv.The Garden houses an interpretation centre which contains different aspects of moss displayed through models.

v.In Uttarakhand alone around 339 species of Moss varieties are found. India has around 2, 300 species of Moss.

Moss & their Importance:

Moss (Bryophyta division) are small flowerless plants, they are amongst one of the most ancient Flora on the planet. They have existed since the Jurassic era.

i.They play a vital role in the development and maintenance of the ecosystem.

ii.They assist in soil formation, water retention, checking erosion and also act as nutrient sink.

Existential Threats:

They are facing threats due to increasing urbanization, destruction of their habitat, deforestation and pollution.

Recent Related News:

i.The Himalayan butterfly named “Golden Birdwing (Troides aeacus)” has surpassed the “Southern Birdwing (Troides minos)” after 88 years to become the largest butterfly in India.

About Uttarakhand:
Chief Minister – Trivendra Singh Rawat
Capital – Dehradun (Winter), Gairsain (Summer)