New Species of Plants and Animals Discovered

Species in news: Chenkurinji


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Chenkurinji

Mains level: Not Much

This newscard is an excerpt from the original article published in The Hindu.


  • Chenkurinji (Gluta travancorica) is a species endemic to the Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve.
  • Belonging to the Anacardiaceae family, the tree was once abundant in the hills on the southern parts of the Aryankavu Pass in Kerala’s Kollam district.
  • The Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary derives its name Chenkurinji (Gluta travancorica), a species endemic to the Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve.

Why in news?

  • It is very susceptible to climate change and the present condition of the species is quite bad with low regeneration performance.
  • Though there are seemingly enough number of the tree, most are not productive, generating a negative trend in its population.
  • The majority of the trees is old with poor flowering and fruiting rates.
  • Though the flowering usually happens in January, of late, the species has reported a tendency to extend the process due to climate change.

Significance of Chenkurinji

  • It is reported to have medicinal properties and is used to lower blood pressure and treat arthritis.


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