Distribution and Population Status of Critically Endangered Aquilaria Malaccensis Lamk. In The Forests of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, India
Aquilaria malaccensis Lamk. is an endangered but highly demanded tree species of sub-tropical rain forests of northeastern India. It has profound impact on socio-economic status of rural people owing to its highly priced resinous wood and wood oil valued for medicinal & aromatic properties. The species has come to the risk of extinction due to pressures for utilization. As a result, it has been included in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and considered „critically endangered, in India. Population ecology of this important species was investigated as a basis for its conservation. This paper presents results of survey conducted at thirty nine Aquilaria growing sites of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. The present study records the existence of natural populations of A. malaccensis Lamk. but in very less numbers with alarming current population density. The species is mainly surviving in plantations. Urgent biotechnological interventions may be employed to conserve remaining natural genetic pool of Aquilaria malaccensis in natural state in this north eastern most state of India.