Multi-taxa Approach for Better Conservation Strategy: A Case Study from Villages Located on the Periphery of STR, Maharashtra, India.
Mes Abasaheb Garware College, Pune
Multiple taxa diversity studies provide better insights than studies focusing on single taxa to comment on landscape level conservation problems. During 2011-2013, we studied diversity of woody plants, birds, butterflies and odonates (dragonflies and damselflies) of Pophali-Sonapatra villages located on the periphery of STR, Maharashtra, India, formerly a part of buffer area of Sahyadri Tiger Reserve (STR).
Study area was mapped using Google Earth Pro and manually digitized into different land-use. We counted species on belt transects laid at 7 locations across the study area. Species-sample curves were fitted to Michaelis-Menten equation to estimate
maximum number of species. Observations recorded off transect were also considered.
Study area shows presence of various endemic and globally threatened species despite being under human influenced land-use. We recorded total 97 woody plant species, 149 bird species, 82 butterfly species and 46 Odonata species in total. Three new distributional records for Jerdon’s Nightjar, Isabelline Shrike and Rufous-fronted Prinia were recorded.
Majority of the times boundaries of PAs are designed as per administrative convenience. Present case study highlights importance of ecological understandings in designing of boundaries of PA in the wake of growing anthropogenic disturbance and calls for its legal protection.