Trees for Sloth Bears

The Periphery of Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

Available for Adoption: 30,000 Trees

Project Purpose
Trees for the benefit of Sloth Bears

Location
Plantation of trees in the community lands, at the Periphery of Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary, Rajasthan, India. 

Aim

  • Conserve the habitat of the sloth bears.
  • Provide livelihood opportunities to the community.
  • Increase the agricultural output of the area, by recharging the surrounding water bodies and protecting the soil against erosion.
  • Contribute in carbon sequestration and oxygen release.
  • Make the community aware of the importance of conserving the local flora and fauna and include them in the process.

Why trees?
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 status. The report also mentions the importance of community awareness regarding the importance of trees and sustainable development in order to eradicate their poverty and make the plantation programme sustainable. Importance of tree plantation especially in the arid areas is mentioned by Eduardo Rojas, FAO's assistant director general, to BBC news. He mentions the role of the 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 and leads to great losses, about 2.54 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2014-15, a new study commissioned by the environment ministry has found, says the article “Desertification, land degradation, drought cost India 2.54% of its GDP: Study”, dated Apr 27, 2018. Thus, plantation of trees is a major factor to protect the natural resources and ensure sustainable development. They are indispensable to the lives of the local fauna and the sloth bears, an important animal species of the area and categorised as vulnerable by IUCN benefits immensely due to the plantation of the local trees.

Sloth Bears
In India, their distribution is patchy and mostly occurs in areas of forest cover. Sloth bears supplement their diet with fruit and plant matter.
IUCN' s Red List of Threatened Species has classified sloth bears as 'vulnerable", estimates that less than 20,000 sloth bears survive in the wild of the Indian subcontinent and Sri Lanka, and highlighted that on the Indian subcontinent, "habitat loss has been severe". The sloth bear is listed in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, which provides for legal protection of sloth bears.
To address the human-bear conflict, apart from creating awareness amongst locals about conservation, the basic issue of deteriorating habitat, which is the reason for the conflict between people and bears, needs to be addressed. Improvements through government or community-based reforestation programmes are required.
The population of sloth bears grows when they live in high-profile reserves that protect species. Directly managed reserves and surrounding buffer zones could conserve the sloth bear and hence such areas must be supported.
"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 bear in different seasons in the sanctuary. These 40 plant species were consumed in the form of young and mature leaves, flower buds, flowers, unripe/ripe fruits and also their seeds, bark, ariel roots and young stem shoots. Plant parts of different species are consumed around the year. 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, FAO's TigerPaper Apr-Jun 2002, based on fieldwork in Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary between 1994 and 2000)

Flora

The tree species include Bamboo (Dendrocalamus strictus), Khair (Acacia catechu), Khirni (Manilkara hexandra), Baheda (Terminalia bellirica), Ber (Zyziphus spp), Aonla (Emblica officinalis), Mahua (Madhuca indica), Kanji (Holoptelia integrefolia), Kikar (Acacia nilotica), Kaliya (Albizzia lebbek), Hawan (Ficus racemosa), sal (Shorea robusta).

 Fauna
The various faunal species found in the area are Sterculia urens, Schrebera swietenioides, Toona ciliata, Caesalpinia decapetala, Starred Tortoise, Marsh Crocodile or Mugger, Long-billed Vulture, White-rumped Vulture, Grey Junglefowl, Aravalli Red Spurfowl, Pangolin, Sloth Bear and the Leopard.

Social Impact
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 animals conflict. The trees will generate 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.

Sub-Project Adoption

Name of the Company Number of Trees Adopted Year
Croma 30,000 trees FY 2018-19
Avery Dennison Pvt Ltd 25,000 trees FY 2017-18
Chinubhai Kalidass & Bros 25,000 trees FY 2016-17
Pepperfry.com 40,000 trees FY 2015-16
  • 60,000
  • 30,000
  • 30,000

Audit for Kumbhalgarh, Rajasthan

Total saplings planned to be planted were 25,000 in three villages in 2017-18. The planting has been carried out as per the plan and the approximate number of saplings physically verified is in agreement with the number of saplings planted (as per the report of our planting partner). The success ratio of planting works to be 97.57%
We are of the opinion that looking to the steps taken by the planting partner i.e. location of the site, encouragement to planting and positive response from the village to save the planting, the result of the activity will be affirmative

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