Status and distribution of anthropogenic pressure in the buffer zone of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve in western Himalaya, India
Author: Shekhar Silori, C.
Source: Biodiversity and Conservation, Volume 10, Number 7, July 2001 , pp. 1113-1130(18)
Abstract:Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve (NDBR) (2236.74 km^2), extending over three civil districts viz, Chamoli, Pithoragarh and Almora of the state of Uttar Pradesh, is an important protected area of the western Himalaya owing to its rich biological and cultural diversity. The human (n = 1856) and livestock population (n = 7785) of 19 settlements in the buffer zone as well as seasonal grazing by 15 000–20 000 migratory sheep and goats were the major sources of anthropogenic pressure in the reserve. The intensity of wood-cutting and lopping of a total of 35 sampled woody species was assessed in the buffer zone as parameters of anthropogenic pressure. Anthropogenic pressure showed restricted distribution due to the sparse location of human settlements and seasonal use of biomass resources by majority of the inhabitants, who live a trans-humane lifestyle. Intensive wood-cutting was limited to within 2 km radius of human settlements while tree lopping was mainly done by the migratory shepherds around timber-line (3600–3800 m). Of the total cut trees, the proportion of 20–60 cm girth class cut trees was recorded more. The regeneration percentage of tree species was higher in Chamoli and Pithoragarh sectors as compared to the Almora sector of the buffer zone. Fuelwood plantation in the degraded lands around villages through peoples participation, introduction of alternate fuel devices and employment opportunities have been suggested to minimize the dependence of local people on biomass resources and ensure the biodiversity conservation in the NDBR.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: Wildlife Institute of India, P.B. No. 18, Chandrabani, Dehradun 248 001, India; Present address: Gujarat Institute of Desert Ecology, 106 GSFC Township, Fertilizer Nagar, Vadodara 391 750, Gujarat India. (fax: +91-265-274590; email@example.com)
Publication date: July 2001