Bio-Diversity

A Majestic abode for Wildlife………..

Posted by Himani Kala on December 12, 2012

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A Majestic abode for Wildlife………..

Sitamata Wildlife Sanctuary is a beautiful abode for the birds of different regions. It is supposed to believe that Goddess 'Sita' had spent her few years of exile in this area, hence this sanctuary named as Sitamata WLS with three perennial rivers in its account. This sanctuary has its immense importance in Southern Rajasthan mainly because it forms the northwestern limit of Teak-bamboo forests and the fauna occurring there in. It is exceptional for diversity and interspersion of habitats, which includes area of teak stands, wetlands, perennial streams, gentle undulating mountains, natural deep gorges and fine grooves of mixed woodlands. The location of this sanctuary being at the inter junction of the Aravalli, Vindyan hill ranges, and Malwa Plateau makes it zoo-geographically important and more unique as floral and faunal elements of both ranges could occur.
This majestic Wildlife Sanctuary (SWLS) lies in the districts of Chittaurgarh, Udaipur and newly formed Pratapgarh district in the southwest region of Rajasthan State extending upto 422.95 km2. Three perennial river i.e. Jakham, karmoi and Sitamata wet the sanctuary through out the year. General topography presents a picture of tangled wilderness of ridges, plateaus, valleys with network of streams and at places fairly wide plains.
The climate is characterized by distinct winter, summer and monsoon season.The winter commences from November and becomes cold in December –January with the minimum temperature of 6oC. Summer starts from mid March and the heat become intense in April with the maximum temperature of 45oC. Rain showers from mid June and continues up to mid September. Sometimes winter showers also occur in January-February. 
Bauhinia racemosa
Bolssom
Peristylis spp.
  When talk about Rajasthan, only scene comes in mind is vast sand dunes, desert, dry areas but seeing this sanctuary would surely surprise everyone by seeing network of three rivers Jakham, the Karmoi and the Sitamata and accompanied lush green riparian vegetation is main characteristic of this sanctuary.All this have resulted in diverse micro and macro habitats that are home to quite a few conservation significant floral species like Sterculia urens,Dendrocalamus strictus, Chlorophytum tuberosum, Buchanania lanzan, Desmostachya bipinnata, Gloriosa superba and Orchid like Vanda and Peristylis.
 

 
With so many characteristics, this sanctuary is interspersed with about 26 villages and their agriculture field that creates a typical mosaic; while along the periphery there are nearly 20 villages. The agricultural activities coupled with the heavy biotic pressure of domestic livestock, illicit cutting of wood, timber and bamboo and other MFP collection, encroachments, both inside and the periphery exerts enormous pressure on the PA.
Indian Peafowl
This entire geographic feature makes this sanctuary perfect abode for more then 300 species of birds including Indian Pitta, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Black-naped Monarch, Verditer Flycatcher, Ultramarine Flycatcher, three type of Kingfisher and major attraction is Stroke-billed Kingfisher in the riverine, Tit species like Black-lored Tit, Great Tit, small birds like munias and winter visitors like warblers, and even can see dancing Indian Peafowls everywhere in the monsoon season. 
Peacock Pansy
Butterflies like Lime butterflies, Mormon, Blue Tigers, Grey, blue, peacock and chocolate pansy can be seen feeding on many flowering species.                                                                           
Tiny spiders are of course can bring joy of being in the forest.
Mammals like Palm and Small Indian Civet are an attraction in the night feeding on some fruiting trees. Jungle Cat and smallest Rusty-spotted Cat is also a feature of attraction in the sanctuary along with endangered Four-horned Antelope. 



Indian Rock Python
Reptiles like Fan-throated Lizard, to poisonous Kobra, Krait to Python, even crocodiles can be seen at the bank of Jakham Dam.






Overall this sanctuary is a must visit place in southern Aravallis. Even Sitamata temple is located at the heart of the sanctuary midst of lush green forest with riverine all along. 
Ravines
Waterfall near Sitamata Temple
One could ever imagine a walk in the forest listening chirping birds all over, fishes and even small crabs in the river, water is so clear that one can even see river-bed full of small pebbles, deep gorges and valley and after that a small water fall. It’s so comforting to be in this protected area. I would advise to all my friends to take some time off from their busy life and visit this place at least once in their life.

2 comments:

Wildlife

bishnoi

Posted by vinay kumar on December 11, 2012

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save animals and trees and always believe in the words "live and let live".

Any other

snakes

Posted by kaivalya on November 11, 2012

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Man Animal Conflict

The Blackbucks of Koppal District

Posted by Krishna Kulkarni on November 01, 2012

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In this blog its about the Blackbucks (a species of antilopes) in and around the Koppal district of Karnataka, the place where I hail from.

A Blackbuck in dry grasses.

    Now these Blackbucks (Antilope cervicapra) are a species of Antilopes native to the Indian sub-continent. These have been classified as endangered by IUCN since 2003. Blackbuck is the only living species of genus Antilope. Today, the blackbuck population is confined to areas in Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, with a few small pockets in central India.

Female ones can be identified without horns.

 

         There are about a few thousands of blackbucks found in Koppal and Yelburga taluqs(sub-districts) about 15km away from Koppal district. These herd of blackbucks graze in a group of 5 to 20 individuals in the dry grasses near Koppal. Though these are prohibited against hunting and poaching, occasionally these are hunted down for their flesh and skin. The only natural predators of these blackbucks are wolves other than man. The main food of these animals is the leaves of thorny shrub, Prosopis juliflora found abundant through out the district.

         The most of area in which these animals graze is black soil. These herds are found nearby small streams and more often graze into the crops of nearby villagers. The people have found it tough to avoid them from grazing into the fields. There has been a loss of Rs. 1 crore to the farmers in the year 2010. However the farmers do no harm to these antilopes instead they request the Forest Dept. Officials to shift these herbivores to nearby sanctuaries and save their crops.

         However, since there is no or very less forest land in the Koppal district, it is not possible to shift them. Also the blackbucks are sensitive animals and they may die of shock if they are tranquilized and physically shift them to nearby sanctuaries. Since there is no forest land in Koppal district, the department may require around 400-500 acres to set up a blackbuck sanctuary. However there are no plans to setup a sanctuary as it involves a long process like huge funds to buy agriculture land from farmers and taking permission from the state and union governments.

 

        However the union and state governments are not in a mood to take a positive step.

General

Proteins sweeter than Carbohydrates!

Posted by Kumarasamy on October 23, 2012

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Environmental Education

IIM Ahmedabad News letter

Posted by Susan Sharma on October 11, 2012

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My article which appeared in the Newsletter of IIM, Ahmedabad.  The article is based on our Community , IndianWildlifeclub.com.  You can read it online at the link
http://www.iimahd.ernet.in/egov/ifip/jul2012/sharma.htm

Wildlife

India Wildlife

Posted by Gajanan Bapat on September 25, 2012

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Indian Forest

Anthropomorphism

Wild Life

Posted by Jasoprakas Debdas on September 08, 2012

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Bio-Diversity

Mangarbani

Posted by Susan Sharma on September 05, 2012

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Read the interesting piece about Mangarbani at the link
http://forbesindia.com/printcontent/32350


.... The spry-at-78 Arthur F. Bentley professor of political science at Indiana University, however, backs Mangar villagers and conservationists because she does believe in the durability of traditional community-based models of preserving and judiciously using common resources such as water, fisheries and forests. ......

Ostrom’s research is particularly important for India which is struggling to manage its commons, be it forests or water. Flashpoints are becoming frequent as demands of a burgeoning population and its development needs put pressure on common property. The 600-acre Mangarbani, for instance, falls within Faridabad’s new 20-year development plan that would allow construction and other projects in eco-sensitive areas. But what they fail to grasp is that the forests are crucial to the maintenance of an ecosystem that helps recharge the aquifers beneath the Aravalli hills. ......







Bio-Diversity

Mangarbani Virgin Forest, Gurgaon

Posted by Susan Sharma on September 01, 2012

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5km to the side of Gurgaon -Faridabad four lane road, driving through a thick forest of Vilayati Kekar trees interpersed with construction sites, you enter Mangarbani village (wrongly spelt Manger at the direction board on the main road).




The Art and Craft Hotel raises a few eyebrows just before we enter the village.  Builders are already in possession of Dream plans to convert the ancient village of Mangarbani into a "Tourist Paradise", the Hotel is probably waiting for those Dreams to take wings.


 Entrance to Mangarbani


At this sleepy village of about 300 hamlets we ask our way to the Bani.  As we reach Bani, the three soldiers from Mangarbani village who started the fight to save Mangarbani against seemingly odd barriers,  greet us.  We, a few friends who learnt about Mangarbani through the film "The Lost Forest",  had decided to devote the Sunday Morning to see the forest for ourselves. 


"Heavenly'" " So cool'" "Longest tailed peacock" "Beautiful bird sounds"  remarks kept coming as we walked. The residents pitched in with their knowledge of the Bani.  The first and last rule of the Bani " Do not pluck or cut anything from the Bani.  If you graze your animals inside, you raise the wrath of  Gudanya Baba  whose Samadhi in a cave is worshipped by the villagers.


 Broken Kadamb branch-Remove it at your peril!


 Here is an excerpt from the magazine "Down To Earth"


---What sets the Bani apart from the surrounding vegetation is that 95 per cent of it comprises a slow growing tree called Dhau (Anogeissus pendula). The tree has a unique feature. If it is nibbled by cattle, it spreads out on the ground or over rocks like thick prostrate undergrowth. If left undisturbed, it grows into a middle-sized tree. The 13-meter-tall dhaus in Mangar Bani testify to the forest’s antiquity, points out Pradip Krishen, the author of Trees of Delhi. ......


Sacred grove of Dhau trees seen from temple top


We saw Desi papri trees, Vat  and Dhok trees , Seetaphal trees and Kadamb trees which were fruiting and Dhau, the endemic tree of the area which were sprouting all over after the rains.



 Fruit of Kadamb tree


Sweet fruit of Seeta Phal tree



Dhau sprouting through rocks



Take the Dhau outside Mangarbani and they refuse to grow.  The Dhau is believed to be one large organism in Managrbani which propagates through root grown saplings only.  Untouched by the British ( The British never discovered this village tucked away in the interior, according to locals) and the Forest Department, Vilayati Keekar is absent in the village.  No bougainvillas and no lantana bushes are seen anywhere.      The Forest has remained natural as it was 3000 years ago.  A Natural Museum worth presrving for the next generation!




Under the shade of ancient trees


Mangarbani, a serene forest



Besides the Bani being the Preserve of fauna and flora endemic to the Aravalis (probably the only patch in Rajasthan-Haryana-Delhi, where Aravalis have survived in their original glory), this unspoilt forest is most likely responsible for water recharging and safeguarding water veins underground.  Destroy this vegetation cover, build on it and we could end up blocking/destroying any number of water veins under those impenetrable rock-systems.  

Gurgaon and Faridabad have seen Surajkund, Badkhal and Dumdama lakes disappear within the last 25-30 years, once vegetation in Aravalis was destroyed and hilllsides dug up for minerals/stones for construction and/or levelled for putting up buildings. The ban by the Supreme Court on all mining cant restore those water bodies, they are gone for ever.

Will the Gurgaon-Faridabad-Delhi residents let the unspoilt Aravalis in and around Manger Bani disappear? They could be destroying the most important water-recharge System/Preserve that could have sustained the coming generations by providing much needed elixir of life 'WATER'

SAVE THE ARAVALIS THAT WE STILL HAVE------REHABILITATING THEM MAY BE BEYOND ALL OF US. AFTER ALL THESE MOUNTAINS TOOK MILLIONS OF YEARS TO BECOME OUR BENEFICIARIES------


Listen to the young men from Mangarbani making an appeal




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