Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol.12, Issue 2, 2006; Page No.(235-248)

ASSESSMENT OF ANTHROPOGENIC INTERVENTIONS IN JAMBUGHODA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, GUJARAT, INDIA

Nirmal Kumar J.I. Hiren Soni and Rita N. Kumar

Abstract

The Jambughoda Wildlife Sanctuary OWLS) is an important Protected Area (PA) of Gujarat State, encompassing an area of 130.38 sq. km. along the north-eastern border of Panchinahal district. The area lies between 22° 22' N to 22° 28' N latitude and 73° 38' E to 73° 44' E longitude at 900 msl. The sanctuary supports mainly tropical dry deciduous floral elements with rich diversity of faunal species. The entire area experiences three seasons. Winter being the coldest with minimum of 7°C temperature, while the hottest summer with 46°C and monsoon experiences 800 mm average rainfall, Geologically, the basaltic rocks of the area belonging to Deccan trap interspersed with inter-montana valleys of upper cretaceous to lower Eocene age. In the present study, 18 villages were selected to investigate various anthropogenic interventions. Besides human (n= 17,260) and livestock population (n=7,995) of these villages, uncontrolled grazing by cattle, sheeps and goats were identified as the major sources of anthropogenic pressures in the sanctuaiy area. The local inhabitants reside within the PA zone are totally dependent upon the nature reserve for their livelihood. The paper mainly focuses on human generated threats like grazing, cutting, forest fire, hunting and poaching of animals and encroachment of forest areas for agricultural practices. Among the studied parameters, human and cattle population, grazing, cutting and encroachment go parallel to each other and was found maximum in Duma village, followed by Unchet, Narukot, Nathpari and Jabban villages. However, such pressures were low in Paniyara, Bhil Dungar and Malbar villages. Also collection of minor forest produce for earnings by local inhabitants follows the analogous trend in Duma village, followed by Unchet, Narukot and Nathpari villages. Hunting and poaching of animals by local people for food were noticeable in Duma, Samot and Narukot villages. The virgin forest cover of the area has been considerably reduced by clear-felling activities like human settlements, shifting agriculture and massive extraction of Minor Forest Produce (MIT). The quantification of each pressure and salient findings are discussed in the paper.

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