Status and Distribution of Anthropogenic Pressure in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary in Western Himalaya, India

  • Shibaji Baghar
  • Abhishek Chandra
  • J S Chandrashekar


Biomass extractions, in the form of fuel wood and
fodder collection are the main source of anthropogenic
pressure in the Himalayan forest. The study aimed at
assessing the status of available forest resources, current
levels of pressure on them and sustainability of current
land use practices in selected villages in the fringe
of Kedarnaath Wildlife Sanctuary. Oak was the most
dominating species in this landscape, with Importance
Value Index (IVI) 63.19, 59.82 and 93.69 in three different
sites. Both Quercus leucotricophora and Quercus semecarpifolia
were most preferred fodder tree species. Out
of the total lopped trees Q. leucotricophora accounted
for 44.9% and 44.2% in the forest around village Giria
and Gadgu respectively, whereas Q. semecarpifolia contributed
39.3% to the total lopped trees in the forest
around the Khark. With increase population pressure
on the surrounding forest, repeated and heavy lopping
of different fodder tree species take place. This is evident
in the present study where 45-62% of the lopped
trees in the sampling site showed maximum damage
rating i.e. more than 75% of the main branches lopped.
Regeneration of tree species have been disturbed due
to the unsustainable harvesting and lack of awareness
mainly on slow growing and commercially important
species like Taxus baccata. Majority of cut/lopped trees
falling in the girth class (CBH < 30 cm) at the study site
shows harvesting of young regenerating trees to support
cash crop threatening the regeneration of forest ecosystem.
Fuelwood plantation in the degraded lands around
villages through people’s participation, introduction of
alternate fuel devices and employment opportunities
through promoting eco-tourism have been suggested to
minimize the dependence of local people on biomass
resources and ensure the biodiversity conservation in
the KedarnathWildlife Sanctuary.

How to Cite
BAGHAR, Shibaji; CHANDRA, Abhishek; CHANDRASHEKAR, J S. Status and Distribution of Anthropogenic Pressure in Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary in Western Himalaya, India. Bulletin of Environmental and Scientific Research, [S.l.], v. 3, n. 2-3, p. 8-15, aug. 2014. ISSN 2278-5205. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 20 feb. 2020.