Dipcadi reidii Deb & S.Dasgupta, J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 75: 69 1978 ;
Images by D.S.Rawat






We have good news on this day when a lot of environmental problems are discussed including extinction of species.
Last year’s toil have fruited now. After a natural disaster (I call it natural because we are also apart of nature’s creation) in June 2013 in Utttarakhand Himalaya, we (I with my student Satish) dared to venture into the anterior Kali Valley on a trail leading to Kailash & Mansarovar, in July 2014. Hills were severely bleeding with scars of active landslides and after Pithoragarh we changed vehicles several times to reach Jauljibi for night stay.
Next day, once again, after changing vehicles few times reached Dobat beyond which no vehicles were available. Consequently, we trekked for about 25 kms to reach Pangla, a village motorable in normal summer seasons. This trekking was adventurous (see pics) and even the local people were not moving from their villages. After Pangla there were numerous landslides and road was covered with sliding mantle of earth; it is yet not repaired today. We trekked for nearly 15 km negotiating ups and downs in the remote Himalayan terrain and reached Malpa, a place remembered for a natural disaster in August 1998 in which entire Malpa (Malipa) village and pilgrims to Kailash- Mansarovar were killed. Now this place has a deserted look and Mahakali (as Kali river known in the area) roars in a deep gorge hundred meters below old Malipa village site.
Despite of all troubles in 40-45 km track we were rewarded by the collection of a presumed Extinct species Dipcadi reidii (Asparagaceae). Way back, in 1886, J.F. Duthie and J.R. Reid collected plants here and on the basis of these specimens a new species D. reidii was published by Deb and S. Dasgupta in 1978. The species was never collected or seen by any other after 1886 and this led to the assumption that it has become extinct (in Red Data Book of Indian Plants and 1997 IUCN Redlist of threatened Plants). The locality of D. reidii was, in fact, not clear in scientific literature and general plant collection in the area didn’t collect it.
It was fortunate for us that our intentional botanical exploration in this remote locality succeeded in rediscovery of it.
Our scientific publication will appear in June issue of Rheedea and I received the proof of it today.

Wah! Wonderful! Thanks for this thrilling re-discovery, …
And no one can surpass you in its narration.
Congratulations, Rawat ji & Satish ji.

Great job done!! Entire team deserves applause…your narration created an atmosphere as if I (and anyone reading) was present there..
Really a great news to hear on such a day…

Hats off to you and your team!
Heartiest congratulations for the discovery!!

Congrats on the great discovery, …! Your such success stories inspire us a lot!

Wow! Congratulations Dr Rawat & Satish ji for the great find, and thanks for sharing this exciting account of your adventurous exploration.

Congrats Rawat Sir & Satish.. Keep up and Keep progressing Hard work pay reward ..

Risk is a progressive factor Still take care ..
Narration shows word power ..everything become alive
Thanks for sharing success story 🙂

Great Rawat ji. It indeed is a great news!! Congrats for rediscovery of a plant assumingly extinct in the wild. 

What a wonderful narrative Rawat ji.

I would love it if you would allow me to share the story with our followers on Facebook. I’m sure it’s a story that they would enjoy greatly. In such times we have, where people are talking about so much negativity in relation to the environment, it’s a small but strong message of hope.

Thank you all for showing interest in this rediscovery and showering nice words on me. I believe these words will inspire me to continue this quest to search other little known plants. It is the good wishes that give strength to a person in field work, away from home, without cell phones, hiding under a rock shelter, crossing glacial crevices with little basic safety equipment, or crossing a river hanging on a wire!I have many such experiences of trekking in Uttarakhand and words of appreciations and good wishes really helps.

Attaching the recently published paper on this rediscovery. Attachments (1)- 1. Dipcadi reidii.pdf

Wonderful… You must write a natural history note for sanctuary asia apart for your upcoming scientific publication.

Very nice work indeed.

Thank you … Your appreciation really matters for me. Long back in in my research days I wrote few articles in news papers (Indian Express, Amar Ujala, Dainik Jagran, Rashtriya Sahara, The Sunday Observer, Employment News), magazines (Namaskar, Kadambini, Rashtriya Sahara Magazine, Momentum) and one also in Sanctuary. But later became lazy; though wrote my trekking story of Sunderdhunga Glacier in Times of India in 2012.

Will try to write more as suggested by you.

People think that running after animals and refinding them is big thing, but being a field botanist I can feel how exciting it gets even to find some very interesting known plant. But this plant was extinct and it was rediscovered and it definitely deserves more readers than Rheedea. General natural history notes really helps more and if it comes in Sanctuary Asia then it would be wonderful. I went through your article and I realised you have more such discoveries from Himalaya. This is really a big achievement. I am really proud to be a part of the group of which you are also a valuable member.

Thanks, … We were never of this aspect of your personality.