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Bio-Diversity > Ways to dialogue
Posted by Himani Kala on December 12, 2012

Ways to Dialogue..........

Annual river in Kumbhalgarh WLS
I do not know how to express my view today….I was in the field “Kumbhalgarh WLS” to share our research findings with local community called “Raika”. Raika is a community whose main occupation is livestock rearing especially sheep and goat rearing and they are traditionally dependent on the forest for their need.


View of Aravalli Hills


Garasia Tribal

Raika community









                            This workshop cum field visit was organized by an NGO called “Lok-hit Pashu Palak Sansthan (LPPS) that is working with Raikas for the welfare of this community in the vicinity of Kumbhalgarh WLS. Then being with Foundation for Ecological Security (FES) (presently with Green Future Foundation, GFF) my colleague and I was asked to share our research as well as “what we are doing inside and outside the protected areas for the benefit of local communities and on conservation aspect”.  Other participants were from Kalpvriksh (NGO from Pune) and Sahjeevan (NGO from BHuj-Kachchh) along with few members of Maldhari community from Banni Grassland (Kachchh- Gujarat). This Maldhari community was invited to share their views about the conservation of grasslands in extreme western part of country. Apart from this they did share their notion about Forest Right Act (2006) and how they are managing their resources in sustainable manner.  
Grass potential of Kumbhalgarh WLS
Known person from Kalpvriksh was very clear in telling about the Forest Right Act, Individual Property Right (IPR) and Community Property Right (CPR).  Many things are very much clearly mentioned in the Act but some of the NGOs are trying to misinterpret the information available and the local community vivaciously grasping this information. It is so disheartening to see how the real facts are getting distorted!!!!! I wanted to tell many things but I didn’t find it as a suitable platform. Though, it was very difficult for me to keep myself quiet, and I did communicate with local community but in a different perspective. One thing which came up, was the management aspect, it’s not that local community cannot manage their resources but lack of collective efforts or you can say lack of UNITY is becoming a major problem.  Most of my friends think that these tribal and local communities are innocent people but increased impact of technology and politics has grown its root deeper at the village level and that is where their innocence is paying interest. Literate people are taking advantage of their innocence and lack of accord to earn their bread. It’s so ridiculous!


I am a wildlife biologist, I do care about the forest and practically I am against any type of developmental activities inside the forest, I do believe in natural flow of nutrient and natural regeneration of forest but on the other hand I do aware of the rights which are being asked by local community. Here comes my concern of transient the information, passing on the right information and in precise way should be the criteria in engaging these people with us. Dialogue with respective department and local community should be in agenda. If government has brought some Act for the welfare of the tribal community, then we all should join hands together towards the sustainable management and conservation of our resources.
Some of the NGOs are behaving like a rival of forest department. In this way the differences and clashes between the forest department and local community cannot be filled.  These NGOs should work like cement instead of working like a negative catalyst.  Overall these resources are all ours and it’s our duty to conserve these resources in sustainable manner. If economic growth is necessary for the country then same thing should apply for the tribal also and I don’t think anyone will deny this fact of economic and social uplifting of local and tribal community but in this social and economic uplifting one should never forget our environment and sustainable use of natural resources.  
Bio-Diversity > A Majestic abode for Wildlife………..
Posted by Himani Kala on December 12, 2012

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
save animals and trees and always believe in the words "live and let live".
Any other > snakes
Posted by kaivalya on November 11, 2012
https://www.facebook.com/snakesconservation
Man Animal Conflict > The Blackbucks of Koppal District
Posted by Krishna Kulkarni on November 01, 2012

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
http://stofferhall.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/proteins-sweeter-than-sugars/
Environmental Education > IIM Ahmedabad News letter
Posted by Susan Sharma on October 11, 2012
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
Indian Forest

Anthropomorphism > Wild Life
Posted by Jasoprakas Debdas on September 08, 2012
http://www.youtube.com/user/jasoprakas?feature=mhee
Bio-Diversity > Mangarbani
Posted by Susan Sharma on September 05, 2012

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. ......







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