ETHNO-BOTANICAL APPROACH FOR CONTROLLING SOME SELECTED INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES (IAS) IN SOUTHERN COASTAL AREA OF SRI LANKA: GLOBALLY WORTH MANAGEMENT STRATEGYAuthors: K.A.S.Kodikara,S.K.Madarasinghe,D.D.N.Sripali,P.Ranasinghe,L.P. Jayatissa
Invasive plant species have aggressively invaded the southern coastal area of Sri Lanka, making menaces to both the environment and human health. Success of invasive plant management attempts at the country level is evidently low. Therefore, this study was aimed at discussing an ethno-botanical approach to control some of the worst introduced invaders in the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Among these, Casuarina. equisetifolia shows a patchy distribution and abundant in Hambantota and Weligama coastal region while Annona glabra and Typha angustifolia are commonly found in the abandoned wetlands including paddy lands, lagoons, and marshes in the southern coastal area. Nevertheless, Acacia auriculiformis and Prosopis juliflora have invaded almost everywhere in Hambantota region and some areas in Matara. As compared to Matara and Galle, coastal region of Hambantota is badly infested by many invasive species.In Sri Lankan context, the most common practice of invasive plant control has been the mechanized methods like uprooting, cutting, burning and rarely chemical methods are applied. In contrast, we propose to popularize the “economic exploitation” of the invasive plants, based on the theory that eradication is easier when the resources are over-exploited. Therefore, Acacia, Casuarina, Prosopis plants can be promoted as firewood for the dwellers since these species have dense wood with higher calorific value. Also, these species can be used for furniture, tools and poles for fencing. Pods of Prosopis is a well-known raw material for flour production in many part of the world and such introduction in Sri Lanka would be economically and environmentally beneficial. Leaves of Casuarina as a good adsorbent for textile dyes may be useful for the industries to disarm the effect of various hazardous chemicals. Interestingly, A. glabra can readily be used as a tolerant root stock for demanding Annona muricata fruit production while T. angustifolia can be promoted for handicraft industry. Ethno-botanical management approach can therefore be introduced as a “win-win” attempt. National institutional body, however, should be established in close cooperation with the local communities in order to initiate the aforementioned propositions providing the required technical guidance.
Keywords: Invaders, southern coast, impacts, economic exploitation, Sri Lanka
How to Cite: Kodikara,K.A.S,Madarasinghe,S.K,Sripali,D.D.N,Ranasinghe,P, Jayatissa,L.P, (2018). ETHNO-BOTANICAL APPROACH FOR CONTROLLING SOME SELECTED INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES (IAS) IN SOUTHERN COASTAL AREA OF SRI LANKA: GLOBALLY WORTH MANAGEMENT STRATEGY.WILDLANKA, 6(2):Pages 053-065
Department of Wildlife Conservation,
No: 811/A, Jayanthipura,