Cassia Tora spread across Ranthambore, crisis over food for herbivorous wildlife

​Cassia Tora Plant in Ranthambore – Photo Courtesy Wasim Akhtar

The forest of Ranthambore National Park is now facing the threat of Cassia Tora. Grassland is being destroyed for vegetarian wildlife due to growing cassia tora in Ranthambore. In such a situation, the wildlife of Ranthambore National Pak is facing problems. Efforts have been started by the Forest Department to stop this.

​Ranthambore Cassia Tora plants

About thirty percent of the area of ​​Ranthambore National Park is occupied by weeds. Of this, only 80 to 90 percent of the area is covered with Cassia Tora , which continues to be a problem for the herbivores of the forest. Due to the growth of Cassia tora, other grasses useful for cattle are not able to flourish. Due to this vegetarian animals have to wander in search of food. Ranthambore National Park is known for its flora and fauna not only in India but all over the world.

What is Cassia Tora?

Cassia Tora is a wild crop plants belonging to the Caesalpiniaceae plant family and genus Cassia. This wild plant is of the species of Sena Tora, originally described by Linnaeus as Cassia Tora. It belongs to the subfamily of Caesalpinioideae. It grows in most of the Tropical forests and is considered a weed in many places. The forest of Ranthambore National Park is also a tropical one.

The plant is commonly known as Sickle Senna in English. In other common names, this plant is known in different areas by the names of coffee pod, sickle pod, tovara, tora, thakara, chakvad, kunwaad etc. Cassia tora is a malodorous herb that grows every year. This plant is about 12–35 inches tall. It consists of pinnate leaves alternating with the leaves, which have three opposite pairs that are thick in shape with a rounded tip.

​Cassia Tora flower

This plant has yellow flowers of five petals. In India this plant grows as a weed during the rainy season and its normal flowering time is followed by the monsoon rains during the period October to February. This weed grows automatically in areas where there is excess sunlight. This plant is also used as a medicine.

Campaign to remove unused vegetation

Five weed cutter machines have been brought in to eliminate the problem of herbivorous animal feeding and the growing weeds of the forest, using which Cassia tora and other weeds are being destroyed. According to forest officials, to destroy the growing Cassia Tora in Ranthambore National Park, weeds are being harvested by workers and also uprooted by hand. So far this wild plant has been harvested in fifty hectares of forest area. Due to this weed, the grass which is useful for vegetarian animals does not thrive. In areas where cassia tora grows, natural green grass rarely grows.

Crisis on tigers: tigers are also going out behind herbivorous animals

Vegetarian organisms have not been able to get adequate food due to Cassia tora and other weeds. In the absence of this, vegetarian animals have to go elsewhere. At the same time, tigers of Ranthambore remain behind them due to hunting of herbivorous animals. In such a situation, tigers often chase herbivorous animals and migrate to populated areas adjacent to the forest area, increasing the likelihood of accident in areas with human populations. Cassia Tora is spread over 30% of the area of ​​Ranthambore, causing the migration of herbivores. It is also affecting the natural environment of the forest.

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Thursday, 01 October 2020