Feb 08, 2021

Sole surviving Sri Lankan Legume saved (Video)

The only surviving tree of the Sri Lankan Legume or Crudia zeylanica was saved in the nick of time on Sunday (07) by Gampaha Division Wildlife Officer Devani Jayathilaka.

The Sri Lanka legume (Crudia zeylanica) was discovered and named a new species in 1868.

Since then, however, there is no record of it even being seen, and it was eventually presumed to be extinct.

The IUCN Red List of 2006 categorizes it as extinct, as does the National Red List of 2012, prepared by Sri Lanka’s ministry of environment.

It was known only from the herbarium specimens collected more than a century ago, and drawings, since there were no photographs of a living plant until its rediscovery in 2019 by three young research scientists.

The plant did not have a photograph of it till it was rediscovered; even Sri Lanka’s National Herbarium only had a sketch.
The only surviving tree of the Sri Lankan Legume or Crudia zeylanica was rediscovered in a small plot of forest land located close to the Daraluwa Railway Station in Gampaha and according to environmentalist the treee is located on the very plot of land allocated for the construction of the expressway from Kadawatha to Meerigama.

According to reports, an agreement was reached to ensure no harm would be done to the tree, which is at Critically Endangered Level.

However, on Sunday (07) it was evident that no regard was given whatsoever to the concerns raised to protect the tree, as many trees surrounding the Sri Lankan Legume were uprooted.

Gampaha Division Wildlife Officer Devani Jayathilaka visited the site just in time to prevent the workers from destroying the Critically Endangered Level Crudia zeylanica.

“If I did not turn up, the tree would be no more,” she said, adding the entire eco-system in the area was destroyed by those who do not understand the importance of the environment.

“We cannot recreate such an ecosystem,” she warned.

Director General of Wild Life Chandana Sooriyabandara said no decision was reached to cause harm to the tree, adding, however there was an agreement with the Road Development Authority to relocate the tree.

Minister of Environment Mahinda Amaraweera said an official was appointed to look into the matter as soon as he was notified of the issue.

He confirmed all necessary steps to will be taken to ensure the only surviving tree of the Sri Lankan Legume or Crudia zeylanica is protected.

(Story & video : newsfirst.lk)