Rapid assessment of sacred groves: a biodiversity assessment tool for ground level practitioners

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Shivam Trivedi
Erach Bharucha
Rahul Mungikar


Sacred groves in the Western Ghats are culturally preserved patches of forests that are rich in diversity owing to protection by several generations of local people, providing excellent examples of community based conservation.  Sacred groves harbour local populations, preserve genetic resources and serve as reference sites and corridors between protected areas.  They are considered to be cornerstones of biodiversity conservation, but are insufficient in scale and number to significantly address many aspects of the management of landscapes and biodiversity.  We studied 13 sacred groves in Pune District that are at present outside the protected areas of the northern Western Ghats, where we employed a simple and rapid biodiversity assessment technique that can be replicated by frontline foresters, local residents and Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs).  Integrating these sacred sites into the conservation network through local support can improve the efficiency for the existing protected area network in this ecologically fragile region.

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Author Biographies

Shivam Trivedi, Research Scholar, Bharati Vidyapeeth Institute of Environment Education and Research, Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Dhankawadi, Pune, Maharashtra 411043, India

Mr. Shivam Trivedi,

Research Scholar,

Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Institute of Environment Education and Research

Erach Bharucha, Director, Bharati Vidyapeeth Institute of Environment Education and Research, Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Dhankawadi, Pune, Maharashtra 411043, India

Dr. Erach Bharucha,


Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Institute of Environment Education and Research

Rahul Mungikar, Senior Research Consultant, Bombay Natural History Society, Hornbill House, Dr. Salim Ali Chowk, Opposite Lion Gate, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Road, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001, India

Dr. Rahul Mungikar,

Senior Research Consultant,
Maharashtra State Biodiversity Board


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