IMPHAL, March 23 - The Corbett Foundation(TCF) with the help of Azuram village community has reported a very rare and endangered species of wild citrus fruit commonly known as Indian Wild Orange (Citrus Indica) from the forest of Azuram village in Manipur�s Tamenglong district, sources said.
The wild orange was spotted on the first day of their survey in the forest of Azuram village which is home to the first community reserve forest, according to sources from Tamenglong district.
Though the Azuram forest is said to be small in size, yet it has rich biodiversity of flora and fauna.
The entire area along Barak river from Namtiram village to Chingkao village has wild orange in the forest,TCF functionary Mordecai, who is also the director of Rainforest Club Tamenglong, stated.
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, he said. The initiative to conserve this species should be taken up, he felt.
The recent discovery of the wild orange at Azuram village forest indicates that the wild species of orange is found in almost all the forests of entire Tamenglong district.
In May 2016, a team of field biologists and researchers of Manipur-based Centre for Conservation of Nature and Cultivation of Science had reported presence of wild orange from Dailong village in the district.
The find was reported during their week-long Biodiversity Assessment and Research Programme for declaring Dailong village as a key Biodiversity Heritage Site of Manipur under Manipur Biodiversity Board. There are also reports of spotting the same wild orange at Chaengdai forest as well.
It may be noted that the collection of citrus genetic diversity from the north-eastern part of India was taken up seriously by a noted Japanese plant taxonomist Chozaburo Tanaka during the early part of 1928-1937. Subsequently, several new citrus species were identified and documented from the North East.