The Western Ghats has many species of bamboo and in many places, there’s a continuous cover. The giant bamboo grows to a height of around 100 feet over a period of 50 to 60 years. In this period, the bamboo flowers and dies setting in motion a seeding process that rejuvenates into new bamboo. But in the intervening period, there’s no bamboo for animals that depend on it for their fodder. Elephant, gaur, deer and other animals are deprived of one of their sources of food leading to a demand supply gap.
The other issue that crops up is the removal of dead bamboo by interest groups for commercial exploitation. The ostensible reason given is that they are fire hazard. This removal causes a gap in the natural eco system, as dead bamboo is a means of protecting the new bamboo shoots where they act as a barrier preventing animals from eating or stamping out the regeneration. This is an efficient system that nature has devised to ensure regeneration, which we only need to understand. Also, in the bargain, a lot of illegal cutting of live bamboo clumps occur.
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