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Uttarakhand Develops India’s First Lichen Park to Conserve Jurassic Era Plant in Munsiyar

India’s ‘first’ lichen park in Uttarakhand's MunsiyariThe Forest Department of Uttarakhand has developed India’s First Lichen Park in Munsyari(Munsiyari), Pithoragarh district, Uttarakhand as a research centre with over 150 Lichen species – Jurassic Era plant which was inaugurated on 27th June 2020, The development process of the 1.5 acres park began in 2019.

Aim:

The park is developed with an aim

  • To protect, conserve and cultivate the lichen
  • To provide employment to the locals
  • To educate the importance of lichens 

Lichen:

i.Lichen is a composite organism.

ii.They grow on the surface of the trees, walls, rocks and soil due to the symbiotic relationship between Algae or Cyanobacteria with fungi species.

iii.The lichens have the ability to erode rocks and separate the minerals in them.

iv.They require clean air to grow, which serves as an bio-indicator to scale the air pollution in a particular area.

v.The species is widely found in the extreme conditions like  arctic, tundra, hot dry desert rocky coasts 

Note:

More than 20,000 species of lichens are found in the world out of which 2,714 are found in India among which around 600 species are found in Uttarakhand region followed by 503 in Himachal Pradesh and 386 in J&K.

In Uttarakhand lichens are found in Chamoli, Champawat, Pithoragarh, Nainital, Dehradun region. Some lichen species found in the state include Parmotrema pertatum, Usnea lognissima, Lecanora subfuseescens, Sarcogyne privigna, Arthonia impolitella, Acarospora fusca, Acarospora oxytona, Polysporina dubia and so on.

Uses of Lichen:

i.Jhula Ghas, Lichen species is used as a spice in cooking.

ii.Lichens are used as an ingredient in preparation of perfumes in Kannauj for its aromatic properties.

iii.They are used in the production of sunscreen creams, dyes, medicines etc.

Key Points:

i.Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic the park is opened with limited public entry.

ii.The Uttarakhand forest department opened the biggest biodiversity park (around 18 acres) in Haldwani with around 500 floral species.

About Uttarakhand:
Chief Minister– Trivendra Singh Rawat
Governor– Baby Rani Maurya
Capital– Dehradun (winter capital), Gairsain (summer capital).