Forest Conservation Efforts – NFP, Western Ghats, etc.

New Study Unveils the Origins and Challenges of Baobab Trees


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Baobab Trees and its conservation status

Mains level: NA

Why in the News?

A recent study uncovers the origins and evolution of Baobabs, uniquely shaped trees in Madagascar, with species also native to Africa and Australia.

Do you know?

  • Mandu, in the Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh, is perhaps the only place in India where baobab trees are found in abundance, with an estimated 1,000 trees in the periphery of the town.
  • Madhya Pradesh state government has plans to apply for a GI (Geographical Indication) tag for the Khorasani Imli or the fruit of the baobab.
  • A Baobab tree near the Golconda Fort in Andhra Pradesh is believed to be more than 400 years old.
  • Aside from Mandu, baobab trees have been recorded in Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad) in Uttar Pradesh, Wai in Maharashtra, and some places in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.

About Baobab Trees

  • Baobabs are deciduous trees (that lose their leaves in autumn) belonging to the genus Adansonia. It comprises 8 distinct species:
    • Adansonia digitata in continental Africa.
    • Adansonia gregorii in Northwestern Australia.
    • 6 other species endemic to Madagascar.
  • Baobabs are known for:
    • Great heights, with some extending up to 50 metres.
    • Exceptionally long lifespans, going up to 2,000 years.
  • They have trunks with large circumferences; thin, spindly branches.
  • Nicknamed “upside down” trees because their tops resemble uprooted plants turned upside down.

Conservation Status:

  • Threatened’ with extinction according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
  • Least Concern’ category but still faces threats such as residential and commercial development and livestock farming and ranching.

Importance of Conservation:

  • The study emphasized the conservation of the baobab as a keystone species:
    • Keystone species provide essential resources, such as food or shelter, for a guild of animals.
    • In return, these animals provide essential services, such as pollination or diaspore dispersal.

Why Baobab tree is called the “Mother of Forests”?

  • They can store large amounts of fresh water in their extraordinary trunks.
  • It also allows the baobab tree to produce nutritious fruits even during the driest years.
  • This makes them true life savers during times when water is scarce.
  • In local cultures, they are revered for multiple uses:
    • Edible fruits and seeds.
    • Seed oil used for cooking.
    • Bark fibre used for clothing.



[2021] “Leaf litter decomposes faster than in any other biome and as a result the soil surface is often almost bare. Apart from trees, the vegetation is largely composed of plant forms that reach up into the canopy vicariously, by climbing the trees or growing as epiphytes, rooted on the upper branches of trees.” This is the most likely description of​-

(a) Coniferous forest

(b) Dry deciduous forest

(c) Mangrove forest

(d) Tropical rain forest

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