Habitat Management

Within the core area the riverine grasslands account for nearly 10% of the PA area. Even these small patches of grasslands are in varying conditions of degradation/deterioration due to woodland encroachment and proliferation of invasive weed species.

(Burning of grasslands to arrest ecological succession)

Grassland Management
In case of grasslands the following management interventions are used:
1.Cutting of tree seedlings in grasslands during November and completing the task before grassland burning.
2. Girdling of species such as Albizzia odoratisima, Salmalia malabarica during November.
3. Uprooting / cutting of weeds.
4. Burning of grassland patches present in the western and north western part of the PA during January. Depending upon the soil moisture condition, in wet areas burning may proceed up to March.

Invasive Species

Few of the prominent invasive species found in Nameri are the Mikania micrantha, Chromolaena odorata, Ageratum conyzoids and Lantana camera.

Mikania, a perennial creeping climber is a major invasive weed affecting forest and grassland alike. Forest trees and grass species get killed by this weed as it rapidly covers them and cuts all source of light by forming a thick mat of weed.

Chromolaena is a fast growing perennial shrub from Central & South America, due to its allelopathic effects this weed is known to suppress growth of other species. Mainly observed in forest openings and grassland patches.

(Chromolaena(left), Mikania (central), Lantana (right))

Ageratum conyzoids, an invasive herb well known for reducing total biomass and numbers of other species by changing the vegetation structure and soil regime. Being an annual weed it occurs in forests and grasslands and it is difficult to control.

Lantana is another weed that is making presence felt mostly in open grasslands of Potasali and Upper Dikri areas of the park. This weed typically forms dense thickets and dominates other understorey species. Its allelopathic effect prevents growth of nearby native species.

Management of Invasive Species

The control measures prescribed for containing these weeds are either physical/mechanical removal, chemical or biological means. Considering the legal status of NTR, the only permissible means of weed control is physical removal but this approach requires substantial amount of manpower and funds. As of now in NTR, lack of financial and physical resources coupled with paucity of information on the extent of invasive species extent are main constraints faced by the park management in undertaking invasive species management.