p7 by xiaopangnv


									                 The Island      Features                                                            Wednesday 28th September, 2011

                                             Text and pictures by            and economic problem in many          duced a large number of seed
                                          DR. LALITH GUNASEKERA              countries where it has been intro-    pods. I couldn’t believe my eyes
                                             Invasive Plants Specialist      duced (accidentally or deliberate-    when I saw “Yoda Nidikumba” in
                                               Melbourne - Australia         ly). Mimosa has invaded thou-         Colombo opposite the CEA of all
                                                                             sands of hectares in Northern         places? I stopped my vehicle and

                                            oda Nidikumba (Mimosa            Australia and the government          took several photos of the invasive
                                            pigra) was first found in Sri    there has been spending large         plants. I am sure that there was a
                                            Lanka in 1997. The species is    sums of money to control the inva-    big public awareness campaign on
                                      mainly confined to the Central and     sion over the past several years.     this plant species in the past as it
                                      North Western Provinces of Sri             When I came to Sri Lanka          was new to Sri Lanka and a threat
                                      Lanka. This species is one of the      sometime ago, as I do every year,     to our environment.
                                      worst alien invasive plants in the     to observe the unique environ-            I do hope that the relevant
Yoda Nidikumba                        world. It has spread along the         ment of Sri Lanka, I started my       authorities will inspect this area
Flowering                             Mahaweli Ganga and its tributar-       journey from Malambe. First I         and take steps to remove those
                                      ies covering approximately 200 ha      entered the Denzil Kobbakaduwa        plants and burn them together
                                      reducing the flow of water and         Road from the Koswatta side and       with seed pods. It is very impor-
                                      chocking water movement in the         travelled towards the Central         tant to monitor this site for several
                                          connected reservoirs, signifi-     Environmental Authority (CEA).        years to see whether any more
                                             cantly affecting the biodi-     When I approached the CEA, I          seedlings or new plants will
                                              versity of Sri Lanka.          found several number of Yoda          emerge from the seed-bank in the
                                                  Yoda Nidikumba, a          Nidikumba plants growing very         soil. Please keep our capital city
                                                  native plant of Central    happily on the opposite side of the   free from alien invasive plants.
                                                   America, has become       CEA along the wetland. Most of        Try to grow and promote our
                                                     a serious environ-      the plants were flowering and         endemic plants.
                                                      mental, agricultural   some of them had already pro-

                       Yoda Nidikumba growing along the
                       Denzil Kobbakaduwa Mawatha –
                       Battaramulla close to the CEA

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