Mapping Landuse Landcover patterns in Aravallis Haryana with special reference to key wildlife species
The Aravallis, most distinctive and ancient mountain chain of peninsular India, mark the site of one of the oldest geological formations in the world. The forests of Aravallis range in Haryana are now the most degraded forests in India. The rapid deforestation and developmental activities are destroying the unique landscape leading to its desertification. These vulnerable areas are biologically rich and support several unique elements of flora and fauna. Hence proper assessment and monitoring is necessary for restoration of the biological diversity because lack of information leads to mismanagement. This is the first study in terms of detailed ecological information within this landscape that provides baseline ecological information, mainly on its mammalian status and distribution to identify priority based conservation regions.
Priority conservation areas for species were identified on the basis of occupancy estimates and kernel density (intensity of use). Area under different Landuse/landcover (LULC 2016) categories was estimated for all priority conservation areas. The kernel density maps were divided into core zone, buffer zone and transition zone. Opportunistic camera trapping stated first record of Sambar ( Rusa unicolor) for this landscape.
Identified priority areas will help conserve this unique and neglected landscape.
Funding agency: Haryana forest department
Researchers: Paridhi Jain, Anchal Bhasin