The Corbett Foundation (TCF) with the help of Azuram Village community has found a rare and endangered species of wild orange (Citrus Indica) from the forest of Azuram village in Manipur’s Tamenglong district.
The wild orange which is smaller (half the size of normal orange) than the normal orange size, was spotted on the first day of their survey in the forest of Azuram Village which hosts the first community reserve forest.
Though the Azuram forest is said to be small it has rich biodiversity of flora and fauna.
The whole range of Barak River from Namtiram Village to Chingkao Village will have wild orange in the forest, a TCF functionary said.
The said species of wild orange was also found at Chingkao village forest by the team, during a nationwide tiger survey which was conducted in recent times, the Director Mordecai of Rainforest Club Tamenglong said. The initiative to conserve this species should be taken up.
The discovery of the wild orange at Azuram village forest indicates that the wild orange species is found in almost all Tamenglong forests.
In 2016, a team of researchers had reported the same Wild Orange from Dailong village in the district during their week-long Biodiversity Assessment and Research Programme for declaring Dailong village as one of the key Biodiversity Heritage Site of Manipur under Manipur Biodiversity Board. There are also reports of spotting the same orange species from Chaengdai forest.
Another informed source also claimed that similar wild orange species was also spotted in few hill pockets of Churachandpur district in the state.
According to reports available here, the collection of citrus genetic diversity from North-eastern part of India was taken up intensively by a noted Japanese plant taxonomist Chozaburo Tanaka during early part of 1928-1937.
Experts in Manipur when contacted expressed the need to conduct proper study of the wild orange considering its potential in diverse area.