Sahyadri Conservation Series: 24 ENVIS Technical Report: 54,  April 2013
Kumaradhara River Basin, Karnataka Western Ghats: Need for Conservation and Sustainable Use
1Energy and Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore – 560012, India.
2Member, Western Ghats Task Force, Government of Karnataka, 3Member, Karnataka Biodiversity Board, Government of Karnataka
4Member, Tree Authority  Mangalore (Rural),  Government of Karnataka
*Corresponding author:

Kumaradhara and Gundia river basins are situated along the narrow belt of evergreen and semi-evergreen climax and potentially related forests (Figure 8), which is of two categories according to Pascal (1982).  The first category is Dipterocarpus indicusKingiodendron pinnatum- Humboldia brunonis type of low elevation (0-850 m elevation).  The second type is Mesua ferrea – Palacuim ellipticum type of medium elevation (650-1400 m).

Figure 8: Evergreen and semi-evergreen climax and potentially related forests of Gundia and Kumaradhara basins

Netravathi River and Kumaradhara Rivers of Central Western Ghats, Karnataka are two west flowing rivers. The river systems with numerous perennial streams with typical tropical evergreen forested catchment areas are the regions of high conservation value. Highlights of the riparian vegetation are the naturally grown Vateria indica trees in the upper Ghat region and the presence of Gymnacranthera canarica in the lower reaches of the Ghats. Over 5000 mm of annual rainfall complement to the ecological rich habitats. 

The study areas covered mainly forests and landscapes associated with Kumaradhara River  flowing through Puttur and Sullya taluks of Dakshina Kannada district where the mini-hydel projects (Kukke Stage I and II) are proposed. Line transects of 50 m length and 3 m breadth were used for the study of riverbed vegetation (very adjacent to river). Transects of 100 m long and 3 m breadth were used for study of upper banks. The smaller length transects are to adjust the sampling efforts to the discontinuity of vegetation in the river bed, caused by annual episodes of flooding. All the trees (woody plants with minimum 30 cm gbh) within transects were measured for GBH and height. Additional information regarding phenology, lopping, disturbances etc., was collected. A total of 12 transects were laid, 10 of them in the river floodplains and two along the upper banks of the river (Table 6).  Opportunistic studies were also carried out for recording mainly the plant vegetation, in the study area. The fresh specimens of the plants were identified in the field using regional floras, monographs and other suitable references. The photographs were taken and geographical co-ordinates noted using global positioning system (GPS).

Table 6: Details of the study locations

Sr.No. Location Transect No. Vegetation type
1 T1-Koodige-Gundia river 1 Riverbed-50 m
2 T2-Koodige-Gundia river 2 Riverbed-50 m
3 T3-Koodige-Gundia river 3 Riverbed-50 m
4 T4-Koodige-Gundia river 4 Riverbed-50 m
5 T5-Kemmadakutir-Kuntur 5 Sacred grove-Riverine-100m
6 T6-Kemmadakutir-Kuntur 6 Riverbed-50 m
7 T7-Kemmadakutir-Kuntur 7 Riverbed-50 m
8 T8-Dolpaadi 8 Riverbed-100 m
9 T9-Dolpaadi 9 Riverbed-50 m
10 T10-Dolpaadi 10 Riverine-50m
11 T11-Palechar-Kutrapadi 11 Riverbed-50 m
12 T12-Palechar-Kutrapadi 12 Riverbed-50 m


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