Title: Designing a protected area network for conservation planning in Jhum landscapes of Garo Hills, Meghalaya
Author: Kumar, A.; Marcot, Bruce; Talukdar, G.
Source: Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing. 38(3): 501-512
Description: We studied vegetation and land cover characteristics within the existing array of protected areas (PAs) in South Garo Hills of Meghalaya, northeast India and introduce the concept of protected area network (PAN) and methods to determine linkages of forests among existing PAs. We describe and analyze potential elements of a PAN, including PAs, reserved forests, surrounding buffers as zones of influence, and connecting forest corridors, which collectively can provide old-forest habitat for wildlife species linked across a landscape dominated by jhum (shifting cultivation) agriculture. ANOVA and Chi-square analyses of patch characteristics and forest tree diversity suggested the presence of equally species-rich and diverse old forest cover (tropical evergreen, semi-evergreen and deciduous forest types) in portions of unprotected private and community owned land, which could be designated as additions to, and network linkages among, existing PAs. Such additions and linkages would help provide for conservation of elephants and existing native forest biodiversity and would constitute a PAN in the region. Most (80%) of the total forest cover of the region belongs to private or community owned land. Therefore, such additions could be formally recognized under the aegis of the 2003 amendments of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, which include provisions to designate selected forest patches within private lands as Community Reserves.
Keywords: Garo Hills, northeast India, protected area network, wildlife corridors, zone of influence, shifting cultivation, jhum
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Kumar, A.; Marcot, B.G.; Talukdar, G. 2010. Designing a protected area network for conservation planning in jhum landscapes of Garo Hills, Meghalaya. Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing. 38(3): 501-512.
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