Planning and implementation of ecotourism in Valmiki Tiger Reserve

Kumar R, Sinha SK. LAP LAMBERT Publishing. 2016

Tourism in Valmiki Tiger Reserve is in very nascent stage. However, there is occasional congregation of pilgrims at Valmikinagar, a small township at the westernmost side of the tiger reserve. In the light of recent initiatives taken by state government to promote eco-tourism in the reserve, inflow of tourists is bound to increase in the coming years. It is high time to assess the potential of promoting community based ecotourism since majority of people around the reserve are poor and very limited options for livelihood and employment are available to them. After declaration of the forest as tiger reserve, legal extraction of forest resources has been banned. It is important to compensate the loss to villagers through some other way so that they could continue their support to conservation. Here, ecotourism can play an important role in generating benefits for the villagers. Keeping in mind the above situation, the present study broadly focused on exploring the community based tourism potentials of the reserve and assesing the impacts that could be on the local environment and resources as a result of increased tourism.

Ecology and Management of Grasslands in Valmiki Tiger Reserve in the Himalayan Foothills, India

Sinha SK, Behera SK, Bodhankar S, Choudhury BC, Kaul R. 2015

Grasslands represent an important habitat in Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) occupying about 5% of its geographical area. Prior to inclusion of this area under Project Tiger, this area was managed largely for commercial forestry leading to degradation and decline of grasslands. Excessive anthropogenic pressures and erosion also affected the extent and quality of grasslands in this reserve in the past. We conducted an ecological study on the grasslands of this reserve during 2011-14 with a view to establish baseline data and to provide insights for better management so as to maintain biodiversity and enhance carrying capacity of wild ungulates. This study found that the grasslands are spread over about 44 km2 in the reserve and can be categorized into three broad categories based on the habitat features. A total of 114 species of graminoids (grasses and sedges) were recorded from the reserve which is higher than many protected areas in terai-duar landscape in the Himalayan foothills. Average above ground net primary productivity of the grasslands ranged from 0.91 kg m-2 yr-1 in hilly terrain to 3.56 kg m-2 yr-1 along the flood banks of streams. In the recent years the management of tiger reserve has brought grassland management in its priority, although the practice is in nascent stage. We encapsulate findings of grassland management practices in similar habitats in India and Nepal, which will help the tiger reserve management in adopting appropriate methods. Use of fire as a tool for management should be used cautiously. Based on experiences elsewhere, we suggest maintaining patchiness and creating mosaic of treated and untreated grassy areas. We suggest streamlining the role of local villagers in management of grasslands with habitat management imperatives of the reserve. Also, adequate funds should be made available on time to the VTR management for treatment, protection and monitoring of grasslands. ke the action you want.To make this item your own, click here > Add & Manage Items.

Survey of Potential IBA's in Bihar

Mishra A, IBCN, BNHS. 2015

This project work was aimed at exploring the areas which were not properly studied earlier or have remained ignored by the workers. Out of 38 districts of Bihar state, 17 districts were covered bordering Bangladesh, Nepal and Uttar Pradesh like Bhagalpur, Araria, Kishanganj, Purnea, Katihar, Begusarai, Nalanda, Nawada, Gaya, Jamui, Vaishali, Patna, West Champaran, East Champaran, Samastipur, Darbhanga and Siwan. Despite many potential sites (most of them are the wetlands) existing and probably qualifying the IBA criteria in the state of Bihar. 

Report on Asian Waterbird Cenus, Jharkhand

Wetland International, Forest & Environment Department, Govt. of Jharkhand, IBCN-Jharkhand, Neo Human Foundation. 2015

The Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) forms part of the International Waterbird Census  (IWC), a global programme coordinated by Wetland International since 1967. In India, it is coordinated by Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS). Asian Waterbird Census 2015 (AWC) was conducted in 25 selected water bodies in the different district of Jharkhand. Among this, 11 water bodies were major wetland according to National Wetland Atlas: Jharkhand (2010)

Nagi Dam & Nakti Dam Bird Sanctuary Management Plan : Primary data on water quality and plankton

Jamui Forest Department, Choudhary SK, Kumar BN, Mishra RK, Dey Subhasis, Kumari K, Kumar A. 2015

Generation of primary data on water quality and plankton (both phyto- and zoo- plankton) composition of Nagi and Nakti Dam Bird Sanctuary

Identifying Stakeholders in the Ganges Basin to Reconcile Conservation and Competing Land Uses and Processes in the Landscape

Sinha SK. 2014

The Ganges basin is the largest river basin in India. It is a source of surface water and other bio-physical resources and ecosystem services for socio-economic well-being in the basin.

Due to intensive agriculture and habitation use, and reduction in forest cover and water coverage, water, land and bio-resources are under tremendous pressure; biodiversity conservation and maintenance of ecological integrity in the basin has become a challenge. Fish resources are depleting and many wild animal species are under threat.

Landscape approach is considered as a suitable means to achieve conservation goals and meet the arduous task of feeding the population. The approach requires identi cation and analysis of stakeholders for a workable level of agreement among them.

The paper attempts to identify and analyse the stakeholders in the basin to achieve the goal of biodiversity and environment conservation in a multi-stakeholder scenario. 

Studies on Terrestrial & Aquatic Ecology around NTPC Ltd. Kahalgaon

Choudhary SK. 2014

The present study was assigned to the University Department of Botany, T. M. Bhagalpur University as part of the post-operation Environmental Monitoring Programme. The objective of the study was to monitor the terrestrial & aquatic ecology of the surrounding areas of Kahalgaon STPP, particularly in 3-villages (Nandlalpur, Lagma & Ogri) & in Kahalgaon urban & peri-urban area, all within 10 km periphery of the plant site, and also of the main channel & side channel of the River Ganga near Kahalgaon. The present report is segmented into seven Chapters.

Tigers of the Transboundary Terai Arc Landscape: Status, distribution and movement in the Terai of India and Nepal. National Tiger Conservation Authority, Government of India, and Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation, Government of Nepal

Chanchani P., Lamichhane B. R., Malla S., Maurya K., Bista A., Warrier R., Nair S., Almeida M., Ravi R., Sharma R., Dhakal M., Yadav S. P., Thapa M., Jnawali S. R., Pradhan N. M. B., Subedi N., Thapa G. J., Yadav H., Jhala Y. V., Qureshi Q., Vattakaven J. and Borah J. 2014.

While the conservation of tigers is emphasized in protected areas throughout their range countries, the species continues to be distributed in forests of varying protection status, and in habitats that span international borders. Although India and Nepal share a long border in the Terai belt, this area that was once forested is

now largely agricultural, and wildlife is restricted to

remnant forest patches. This study details the status of tiger and ungulate prey species populations in around 5300 km2 transboundary Terai Arc Landscape (TAL), documents the movement of tigers between forests in

India and Nepal based on camera trap data and makes specific recommendations for the conservation of tigers and their prey in Transboundary TAL. Notable protected area within the study area includes Chitwan and Bardia National Parks in Nepal and Dudhwa and Valmiki Tiger reserves in India.

This study was carried out in 7 protected areas and reserve forests in India, and 5 protected areas, three biological corridors (protected forests) and adjoining forest patches in Nepal. Occupancy surveys for animal signs involved 4496 kilometres of
foot surveys in Nepal and India. Between November 2012 and June 2013, these sites were sampled with a total of 1860 camera trap stations, with a total sampling effort of 36,266 trap nights. Nearly 9000 km2 of tiger habitat was sampled with camera traps. 3370 kilometres of line transects (n=239) were sampled in the landscape. Cumulatively, this sampling exercise is the largest survey effort of its kind in the Terai Arc Landscape to date, and involved partnerships between National and State government agencies, research institutions, non-governmental organizations and members of local communities who participated in the research. 

Nature-assisted re-establishment of Greater one-horned rhinoceros, Rhinoceros unicornis in its historical distribution

Sinha SK. Current Science. 2011

During 2001–02, a few rhinos from Chitwan National Park drifted down in the floodwater of the Gandak and crossed the barrage through its gates raised due to high water level. The rhinos floated downstream and took refuge in the Madanpur Forest on the left bank of the river. 

Faunal Diversity of Chaurs of North Bihar

Sharma G. Wetland Ecosystem Series,14. Zoological Suvery of India. 2011

North Bihar (31°55' to 27°3Y lat and 83°20' to 88°17' long) is rich in floodplain wetlands which are locally called chaurs. Bowl shaped physiography of North Bi har coupled with a moderate to high rainfall cause water logging to an immense scale. The state of Bihar shares one sixth of the total flood inundations allover the country. This is despite the fact that 3500 kms long embankments have been raised to control floods in the post independence years. There has been a 2.5 times increase in the flood affected areas as compared with the situation when the embankments were not there. The state now has 9- lac hectare land area under permanent water logging of which 8 lac hectares lie in north Bi har. This tells about the agricultural productivity and there is no wonder the farmers are raisi ng there protest and are demandi ng drai nage of these inundated sites. It is si mply beyond the capacity of the state coffers to meet huge expenses on the exercise.

The lotic system forms a fi ne network of rivers, which are notorious for changi ng thei r courses over millennia. This has resulted into the formation of hundreds of ox-bow lakes (maun) and land depressions (Chaurs), which form the lifeline of the region. Besides, thousands of big and small ponds (pokhari) cater to the needs of irrigation and are also used for rearing fishes, which form a significant component of the dietary preference in this area. An obvious advantage with the prolonged water-Ioggings is in the form of recharging of ground water and the region escapes the deficiencies of surface and ground water as witnessed in the other parts of the country.

The region is known for its rich aquatic biodiversity e.g. fishes, molluscs, zooplankton, birds and reptiles. Earlier the quantum of fish production through capture fisheries was sufficient and the local fish were in high demand for their quality and taste.

The present study was carried out during 2005-2007 under the Zoological Survey of India, Gangetic Plains Regional Centre, Annual Action Plan in the entire stretch of North Bihar Chaurs (Small wetlands), IBAs sites (2004). Special emphasis was given on aquatic faunal diversity of Kawar Lake wetland near Manjhaul in Begusarai districts, (Bihar). Kawar Lake is internationally known as the migratory bird paradise especially in the winter season. 

Surfacing and diving behaviour of free-ranging Ganges river dolphin, Platanista gangetica gangetica

Sinha RK, Sinha SK, Sharma G, Kedia DK. Current Science. 2010

Swimming and breathing are the two most fundamental behaviours of cetaceans. Swimming is the only mode of locomotion and is a primary component of their time and energy budgets. While swimming, they forage, socialize, copulate and undergo parturition. Swimming is usually studied in patterns, as well as speeds for finding out the functions of different swimming patterns and the capability or intensity of cetacean movement and breathing represents the respiration rate - breathing frequency per unit time. Cetaceans breathe while surfacing and dive to perform underwater activities. Diving behavior of cetaceans is described mainly as the pattern of surfacing (i.e., dive durations without information on dive depths) and to describe surface behavior with information on depths as well as duration of dives.

Fauna of Valmiki Tiger Reserve

Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta. 1998

The Valmiki Tiger Reserve is located in the West Champaran district of Bihar. It represents a varied physiography like hills, bhabar and terai containing streams, nullahs, swamps and Inarshes. These diverse ecological features of the Reserve have resulted in rich floral and faunal diversity with tiger at the apex of the food chain. However, during recent years due to various anthropogenic factors, the ecosystem of the Reserve has become so fragile that the faunal diversity is now threatened. This has necessitated urgent remedial measures to restore the ecological condition of the Reserve in general and to conserve wildlife in particular. This requires a well drawn management programme for which basic prerequisites are the knowledge about the species composition, population dynamics of important species and the effects of fragmentation of natural habitats. The current state of knowledge on both, ecosystem and fauna of the Reserve is inadequate.

Realising the importance of the problem and pauciry of information, scientists of the Zoological Survey of India have conducted faunistic surveys in this Tiger Reserve from 1993 to 1996 to ascertain the current faunal composition with special reference to the status and distribution of important speCies and to identify' factors responsible for the

damage to the ecosystem and wildlife.

The present volume, which is the result of these studies, highlights the important faunal elements of the Reserve and, the socio-economic condition of the area. It is expected that the baseline information presented 'here will provide the background for formulating any rational management policy for conserving biodiversity in the Vahniki Tiger Reserve. 

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