Study on the impacts of LULC change on the wildlife habitat and the livelihood of people in and around Dampa Tiger Reserve, Mizoram, India

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Sushanto Gouda
Janmejay Sethy
Netrapal Singh Chauhan
Harendra Singh Bargali


Anthropogenic activities are a matter of serious concern in the Indian Himalayan region due to adverse impacts on wildlife and habitats. This study examines resource use patterns by local people in relation to the habitat of Malayan Sun Bear in and around Dampa Tiger Reserve in Mizoram. Standard questionnaire surveys and vegetation sampling methods were used for data collection and analysis. It was found that 221.3 km2 (33.3%) of the forested areas have high human interference in the form of logging, indiscriminate tree falling and fuel wood collection, while 26% was moderately affected and 18% of the reserve had no impact. Among vegetation resources, fuel wood was used in the highest quantity (28%) followed by bamboo and edible plants (21%) and (11%), respectively. Ethno-zoological usage comprises of parts of animals like snake, bear, monitor lizard, and porcupine. Sun bears were considered pests that feed on maize, cucumber, sweet potato and pumpkins grown in ‘jhum’ crop fields. Anthropogenic pressures from farm-bush hunting, monoculture, and unplanned roads have contributed to severe biodiversity loss, and must be constrained for the conservation of sun bear and their habitat

in the region.  The Land Use/ Land Cover on human built-up, jhum land (current and abandoned jhum/shifting cultivation), forests (dense and open), bamboo forest, plantation etc. were used to develop maps for each village. The land use pattern for the eight villages studied. Information obtained from MIRSAC and its mapping in Arcview shows that highest number of agricultural land was in villages of West Phaileng (319sq.ha) and Damparengpui (283.8sq.ha). Closed or dense forest was in highest proportion in Phuldungsei and least in Tuipuibari (120sq.ha). Grazing activities was relatively low or absent in most part of DTR. Abandoned jhum fields were in largest number in Damparengpui (939.60sq.ha) followed by Silsuri (881.17sq.ha) and Serhmun (880.99sq.ha).

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