Trees for Sloth Bears
Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary, Rajasthan, India
Available for Adoption: 40,000 Trees
15,000 Trees supported by Amulyamica (Purbanchal Laminates Pvt. Ltd.)
Trees for Forests & Wildlife
Plantation of local tree species on the community lands at the Periphery of Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary, situated in Rajasthan, India.
- To protect the habitat of the IUCN listed vulnerable Sloth bears and other wildlife prominent in the region.
- To provide sustainable livelihood opportunities to the community by generating employment.
- To increase the agricultural output of the area, by recharging the surrounding water bodies and protecting the soil against erosion.
- To spread awareness about the importance of conserving the local flora and fauna among local communities.
- To provide aid in the reduction of man-animal conflict by enhancing the local habitat of the Sloth bears.
The sloth bear is a myrmecophagous bear species native to the Indian subcontinent, that feeds on fruits, ants, and termites. "Sloth bears manage to get natural and cultivated plant food from the ground as well as from trees. Some 22 natural plants and 18 cultivated plant species were observed to be consumed by sloth bears in different seasons in the sanctuary. The higher proportion of plant food in the diet of sloth bear indicates that it is predominantly vegetarian as indicated in some previous studies (Prater, 1971; Johnsingh, 1986; Baskaran, 1990)". [Source: Anil Kumar Chhangani's article "Food and Feeding of Sloth Bear (Melursus Ursinus) in Aravalli Hills of Rajasthan”]
It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, mainly because of habitat loss and degradation. In India, their distribution is patchy and mostly occurs in areas of forest cover. According to The Livemint’s article - ‘Scientists map sloth bear hotspots in India’, “Due to loss of habitat and poaching, their population has declined by 30-49% over the past 30 years. The authors proposed that the sloth bear could be considered a potential ‘umbrella species’, a species whose conservation allows for the preservation of a much larger spectrum of biodiversity in their habitats. Although no reliable large-scale population estimates exist for sloth bears, guesstimates hint there are 20,000 or fewer sloth bears, and thus less than 10,000 adults, according to the IUCN.” The sloth bear is listed in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, which provides for the legal protection of sloth bears. The population of sloth bears grows when they live in high-profile reserves that protect species. Directly managed reserves and surrounding buffer zones could help in the conservation of the sloth bear, hence, such areas must be maintained.
The report by the Foundation for Ecological Security, ‘Assessment of Biodiversity in Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary: A Conservation Perspective’ states the presence of the floral and faunal species in Kumbhalgarh forest and their vulnerability. The report also mentions the importance of the community’s awareness regarding the importance of trees and sustainable development in order to eradicate poverty. Importance of tree plantation especially in the arid areas is mentioned by Eduardo Rojas, FAO's Assistant Director-General, to BBC News, where he mentioned the role of trees in halting desertification, contributing to the livelihood of the local community and the ecology of the area. In a developing country like ours, with enormous population pressure, the effects of desertification are far-reaching, leading to great losses evident in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Thus, plantation of trees is a major factor to protect natural resources and ensure sustainable development.
The local tree species to be planted include Bamboo (Dendrocalamus strictus), Khair (Acacia catechu), Khirni (Manilkara hexandra), Baheda (Terminalia bellirica), Ber (Zyziphus spp.), Amla (Emblica officinalis), Mahua (Madhuca indica), Kanji (Holoptelia integrefolia), Kikar (Acacia nilotica), Kaliya (Albizzia lebbek), Hawan (Ficus racemosa), and Sal (Shorea robusta).
The primary aim is to protect the habitat of the sloth bears by preventing the fragmentation of the forest to aid their conservation. The plantation at the periphery will make the buffer zone robust allowing the community to extract forest products to support their livelihood, eliminating encroachment into forest lands and prevent the bears from venturing into human settlements, which in turn will prevent human-animal conflict. The trees will generate over employment for the community during nurturing and plantation of the sapling and then after maturity will provide the beneficiaries with forest products and fodder for cattle, and thus will prevent their involvement in poaching activities. They will also improve the soil and water quality, improving agriculture and will improve the overall environment by absorbing carbon and generating oxygen.
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