Thursday, 3 March 2011

Bangladesh has succeeded to save the world’s last one wild Tali Palm tree

Corypha taliera is a species of palm, native to Bangladesh region of South Asia. It is known as Tali Palm in Bangladesh. There was one last plant left of this extinct species, which was protected and grew in the scrub jungal on the Dhaka University campus, Bangladesh. The Tali Palm plant was discovered in the 1950s growing in the scrub jungle on the Dhaka University campus, Bangladesh. Professor Md. Salar Khan from the Department of Botany,Dhaka University, was first to identify a Tali Palm at the premises of the Dhaka University in 1950. He failed to identify in which species group  belongs to this palm tree. But he could understand that the plant may be a rare species. He took steps and appealed to the higher authority to save that plant and then subsequently protected in what became the enclosure of the residential quarters of the Pro Vice-Chancellor. In addition this species of tree was originally discovered in 1919 by William Roxburgh and considered endemic to Bangladesh.  
Corypha taliera or Tali Palm plant disappeared as it only flowers and bears fruit once its life and then dies.Tali Palm grows for say 80 years without producing a flower, then upon coming of age the flower grows out of the top of the tree, the leaves die and fall off leaving a massive terminal panicle flower atop the massive trunk. Corypha taliara or Tali Palm holds two world records which it shares with Corypha umbraculifera, the largest flower structure among flowering plants and the largest palmate leaf which is 6 meter(20 ft)wide.
The International Union for Conservation of Natural Resources(IUCN) classified Tali Palm plant on its Red List, as being ‘’extinct in the wild’’. No other specimen of Corypha taliera or Tali Palm Tree has been found in the wild in almost 30 years. In 1979, a Tali Palm tree , located in the Birbhum district of West Bengal in a village near Shantiniketan, had begun flowering. The locals fearing that it was a ‘’ghost palm tree’’ due to its horn-like flowers. Botanist Shamal Kumar Basu tried to motivate local people but failed. Local fearful people chopped it down before the flower could set seed. Then when he visited Bangladesh in 2001, he saw the Tali Palm treein the Dhaka University campus and identified it as the last one wild Tali Palm species.

When the 10 meter high Tali Palm tree at Dhaka University flowered in January 2010, students and academics stepped up their efforts to preserve the species with Arboriculture Department, collected seeds and produced  up to 500 samplings. University authorities had already distributed some plants aged over three months, in July 2010, among forest and arboriculture department of the government and other institutions.
Now we have good hopes of increasing the population and re-planting back of the Tali Palm plant into the wild.
S :The Khaleej Times, July 2010 ;The Daily Star, July 20,2010;Daily Prothom Alo, November 10 ,2008;,October 21,2010; ; ;

1 comment:

  1. William Roxburg died in 1815, but his work was published by his son with the support of the Botanist's friend William Carey in 1819, As such it is being said that the taliera palm was first describe by Roxb.(1819).