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Trees for Himalayan Black Bear

Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary, Sikkim, India

Available for Adoption: 25,000 Trees

Project Purpose
Trees for Forests & Wildlife

Aim

Enhancement of

Biodiversity

Promotion of

Ecotourism

Reduction of

Man-Animal Conflict

Generation of

Rural Employment

Improvement of

Wildlife Habitats

Why Trees?
The identified project location is nestled in the Himalayan biodiversity hotspot within the Sikkim Himalaya. A wide variety of endemic and threatened species thrive here because of the variations in elevation, climatic, vegetation and habitat types. The area also forms a part which is listed among the world’s ten most critical centers for biodiversity and endemism, with a vast array of floral and faunal species. However, many parts of this natural treasures are under pressure from developmental projects, grazing and unregulated tourism. These have led to habitat loss for wildlife and at times have triggered more drastic manifestations of climate change.

Himalayan black bear (Ursus thibetanus) is known to have a significant ecological role in maintaining the forest dynamics and is often called as the ecosystem engineer. It is one of the largest carnivores of Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary (WLS). The sanctuary is known to have several villages along its periphery, making them more prone to incidents of human-wildlife conflict.

They are globally categorized as Vulnerable as per the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) and Schedule I in Indian Wildlife Protection (Act) 1972 due to innumerable forms of threats like rapid urbanisation, human population growth, habitat degradation, hunting and sometimes threats arising due to human-bear conflict. Recognizing its importance, we focus on the inextricable link between people and their environments and promote community participation in ecosystem management and resource governance, all the while helping to improve the livelihoods and resilience of communities. The National Bear Conservation and Welfare Action Plan for India stated recommendations to protect the bear habitats and prevent further habitat loss due to conversion for agriculture/horticulture and developmental projects; restore degraded bear habitats through various existing programs involving local communities and identifying and strengthening critical bear habitats and corridors.

Tree Species
The project involves plantation of mixed local species of ecological and economical significance like- wild avocado (Persea sp.), local cherry (Prunus sp.), Chanp (Magnolia sp.), and a variety of rhododendrons.

Social impact
The project has multi-faceted socio-environmental significance in the region. Most significantly, the planting of mixed-local tree species will improve the overall wildlife habitats with increased fruits and food availability in the forests which in turn is expected to curb the crop-depredation to the farmers’ field at the fringe of the sanctuary. Thus, the planted species have primary functions of warding off animals, fodder source, soil conservation, diversification of livelihoods, and biodiversity values.

Planting of economically viable trees would strengthen income opportunities for locals from the produce from trees and from facilitating ecotourism with the bird, wildlife, and nature-oriented tourism practices. The plantation will help to absorb about 500,000 kgs of atmospheric carbon annually as the trees mature, and create about 2,000 workdays of jobs for locals in the nursery and planting activity alone.

 

Tree Species


Planters

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