Intersectoral Approach for Mitigation of Threats and Pressures on Lakhari Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, Odisha, India

Priyanka Jena, Bishal Kumar Majhi, B Anjan Kumar Prusty

Abstract


The Lakhari Valley Wildlife Sanctuary (LVWS) in Odisha, an abode for many life forms in its dense mixed deciduous forests, have been undergoing degradation in the last three to four decades primarily due to anthropogenic activities. The sanctuary has been prone to various pressures, viz., timber/wood logging, poaching, and hunting of animals, habitat destruction, agricultural intensification, construction activities, slash and burn cultivation and natural hazards. On account of this, the present study on the LVWS was attempted to i) review  the reports and articles documented, ii) analyze the forest cover change, iii) enlist the prevailing threats, iv) suggest various measures for threat mitigation, and v) list out possible conservation strategies for LVWS on a short and long term basis. The data sets and literature (published and unpublished reports) on LVWS availed from the online portals, news reports, and personal communication with different stakeholders including officials from the forest department and non-government organizations were collected and compiled. Maps of Land Use Land Cover (LULC) and Normalised Difference in Vegetation Index (NDVI) were prepared using satellite imageries. The LVWS witnessed about a 28% (50 km2) decrease in vegetation cover from 1990 to 2000 itself, an overall reduction of 20 km2 vegetation cover from 1990 to 2010. During the last decade (2013-2020), the LVWS recorded a 10% reduction in forest cover, 140% upsurge of barren land, 12% increase of shrub/ agriculture land. Based on the natural and anthropogenic threats observed in the LVWS, threat mitigation measures, and intersectoral conservation strategies, ecosystem models for habitat management were compiled.


Keywords


Afforestation, Biodiversity, Conservation, Deforestation, Ecology, Sanctuary, Technology

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