Trees for Forests & Wildlife
Plantation of 350,000 trees in a cluster of 300 hamlets located at the Periphery of Sariska Tiger Reserve, Alwar, Rajasthan, India.
The area around the Sariska Reserve is rich in mineral reserves and thus illegal mining have been continued in spite of the ban on such activities, which has proved to be a major threat to the endemic tiger population (TNN, 2003). Abhishek Harihar, a tiger scientist for Panthera, a global wild cat conservation organization, states that poaching and infrastructure development act as the greatest threat to our forests and wildlife. Humongous conservation efforts are failing due to the prevalence of poaching.
(Venkat, 2016)points to the importance of tiger conservation due to their ecological value as well as their economic value. They form a very important part of the cultural heritage of India. Their habitat in the dry deciduous forests of Rajasthan enables them to hunt, reproduce, and camouflage from potential threats. The consequences of habitat loss to tigers, as said by (al, 2016) has been addressed here, and their requirement is mentioned by (Meyer, 2013). Thus trees are essential to tiger conservation.
Trees are also essential to the rural communities, for their survival, as well as their economy. The importance is spoken about by (Pant, 1980), that includes providing firewood as well as mitigating against flood and disasters. A cost-benefit analysis is provided by (al., 2016) of the illegal wildlife trade, stating the importance of protecting wildlife and their habitat for the benefit of rural communities as well.
The tree species planted here include Indian plum(Ziziphus mauritiana), neem(Azadirachta indica), salai(Boswellia serrata), sahajan(Moringa oleifera), sasbania spp.(Sesbania grandiflora), babul(Vachellia nilotica), sheesham(Dalbergia sissoo), lemon(Citrus limon), papaya(Carica papaya), aonla(Phyllanthus emblica).
Some of the wildlife found in the Sariska Tiger Reserve includes the tiger, leopard, hyena, jungle cat, wild dog, chinkara (Indian gazelle), chital, sambar, nilgai, common langur, wild boar, small Indian civet, palm civet, giant fruit bat, porcupine, sloth bear, common cobra, marsh crocodile, Asian rock python, rat snake, soft-shelled turtle, crested serpent eagle, black-rumped flameback, great Indian horned owl, yellow-footed green pigeon, grey francolin, painted stork, ibis, pheasant-tailed jacana, pied kingfisher, white-throated kingfisher, quail, red-wattled lapwing and the ring dove.
The communities have together participated in all activities that are imperative for the rejuvenation of the lands and wildlife such as planting trees, setting up a seed bank, building and maintaining ponds, water harvesting. Many local species which include fruit trees and medicinal plants have been reintroduced in the areas and people are encouraged to use these resources judiciously, a step that will help preserve the biodiversity of the area and enable the local community to utilize the forest produce to generate revenue.
Due to the project, 24,558 workdays of jobs mainly in the nursery raising and planting activities have been created. Major beneficiaries of such employment opportunities are rural women who gain an additional source of income from these activities. Fully mature trees are already providing the communities with various forest resources. According to the forest department, the tigers ST6 and T10 have been sighted in the project area along with an increase in the peacock and deer population due to the restoration of their habitat. Enhancing and strengthening faunal diversity will be contributed to the inflow of tourists in the area boosting nature-based tourism.
The lack of tree cover in Rajasthan makes certain sections of the state prone to flooding from moderate to heavy rainfall as seen in the flash floods in Alwar in the year 2005 (TNN, 6 dead in Alwar flash floods, 2005). Trees intercept rainfall, reducing the erosive effect of the rainwater on soil and slowing down the accumulation of water in low lying areas. Loss due to landslides and soil erosion is triggered by the floods (Bengwayan, 2018). The trees planted thus not only contribute to the conservation of wildlife, but also provide safety against natural disasters.
|Name of the Company||Number of Trees Adopted||Year|
|Hero Moto Corp||15,000 trees||FY 2017-18|
|Ingenico Group||15,000 trees||FY 2017-18|
|TATA Capital||50,000 trees||FY 2016-17|
|TATA Capital||50,000 trees||FY 2015-16|