Workshop highlights conservation issues on Deccan Plateau

Written By Unknown on Selasa, 10 Maret 2015 | 22.23

MUMBAI: As a part of its ongoing study of the grassland ecosystem, BNHS recently organized a two-day workshop on "Conservation of wildlife in Deccan Plateau of Maharashtra - a neglected ecosystem", in association with National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and Maharashtra Forest Department.

The Deccan Plateau is one of the most distinct features of the biodiversity rich Indian subcontinent. Spanning across the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, the Deccan Plateau has always been a focus area of research for BNHS. The knowledge partners for the workshop were Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology & Environment (ATREE), Corbett Foundation, Watershed Organization Trust (WOTR), University of Helsinki, University of Kent, Ovitla Landga Project, Rufford Foundation, Wildlife Conservation Society and Anthra.

The workshop was held on March 3 and 4 in Solapur on the occasion of World Wildlife Day. It discussed a variety of inter-linked issues pertaining to the conservation of the flora, fauna and habitats of the Deccan Plateau. The workshop was inaugurated by sprinkling water on a potted grass sapling to emphasize on importance of grasslands.

The prominent speakers included Sunil Limaye, Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), Pune; Sai Prakash, Chief Conservator of Forests, Kolhapur, and Director, Sahyadri Tiger Reserve; J Pattabhiraman, Assistant General Manager (Environment), NTPC, Solapur; Ninad Shah, Honorary Wildlife Warden, Solapur; Subhash Badve, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Solapur; Ashok Patil, Deputy Director, Social Forestry Division, Solapur; Dr Abi Tamim Vanak, ATREE, Bengaluru; Bharat Chheda, Nature Conservation Circle, Solapur and Dr Mahesh Gaikwad, Nisarg Jagar Prathishthan.

Experts from BNHS and other NGOs, academicians, researchers, forest department officials, media representatives and NTPC officials expressed their views covering the following topics.

Biodiversity and importance of grassland ecosystem inside and outside protected areas; Conservation issues including habitat loss and poaching; Inter-linkages between wildlife and various livelihood options such as farming and sheep rearing; Eco-system services derived from grassland habitats and sustainable developmen; and Role of education, advocacy, law, media and communication in conservation.

Three short films were released during the workshop; viz. "Spare the Space" on the wildlife found in the 200 hectare man made ecosystem of Siddheshwar Van Vihar by Shri Sanjay Bhoite, a peon from Social Forestry Division, Solapur; "Pre-roosting behavior of Rosy Starling" by Shri Amol Lokhande, a PhD student of Solapur University and a third film by Shri Subhash Badve on grassland development.

The workshop provided a platform to develop a network, discuss and chalk out the way forward to conserve the fragile grassland ecosystem and the changing landscape of the Deccan Plateau, including various grass species, tree species from the thorn and dry deciduous forests (including medicinal plants), insect and reptile species, bat species, Great Indian Bustard, Lesser Florican, Indian Wolf, Blackbuck, Chinkara, Indian Fox and Golden Jackal. The following areas are of importance going forward. Thermal Power Corporation,Deccan Plateau,conservation of wildlife

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