ENVIS Technical Report 97,   July 2015
Conservation Of Fragmented Forests In Banavasi Range, Sirsi Forest Division, Kanara Circle
Energy and Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore – 560012, India.
*Corresponding author: cestvr@ces.iisc.ernet.in

Survey no                  : 217; 
Area                           : 27.83 ha;
Type of forest                    : Proper Forest
Protection required          : CPT for 3 km length
Village Forest Committee: Yes
Description of forest: The forest is in thoroughly degraded condition. The basal area of trees/hectare is in the range of 5-10 sq.m only. The forest is densely infested with weeds, prominently Eupatorium. The forest was formerly a kan forest dedicated to the deity ‘Guthamma’. A large pond/tank downside of the hill was more or less in dried state. When the forest was in good condition, perhaps the watershed value was much greater than today. The tank no more serves the purpose of irrigation in the command area as the water level was far below the sluice gate.
The forest is today a dense scrub with distantly distributed small trees. Most are coppice growths of older larger trees. Several stumps and mutilated remains of trees are found. Among the trees noted are Aegle marmelos (near the temple on the hill top only),  Alstonia scholaris, Anogeissus latifolia, Bauhinia racemosa, Careya arborea,  Diospyros melanoxylon, Lagerstroemia microcarpa, Mallotus phillippensis, Mitragyna parviflora, Terminalia paniculata, T. tomenosa, Xantolis tomentosa,  Xylia xylocarpa. Among the climbers noted were Calycopteris floribunda, Hemidesmus indicus, Ichnocarpus frutescens, Ipomoea spp. etc. Saplings of sandal (Santalum album) were noticeable. Carissa carandas was frequent in the undergrowth and clumps of bamboo were dispersed in the forest.
Threats: Deforestation of serious kind; forests being encroached and also trees hacked heavily. Forest is densely infested with weeds
Future management suggested

  1. Requirement of cattle-proof trench (CPT): CPT required for 3 km (see figure). CPT will be the immediate solution for preventing further encroachments
  2. Minimum basal area to be targeted: Considering the good condition of soil, under proper protection and management the basal area of trees should be raised to a minimum of 35 sq.m/ha. through replanting, natural regeneration and protection through the involvement of VFC
  3. Species recommended for planting/natural regeneration: To be chosen from the indicative list
  4. Revival of VFC: Rangapur has VFC, but seems to be in dormant state. The VFC to be revived for forest restoration and co-management
  5. Awareness programmes: To be conducted periodically in the village
  6. NTFP rights: To be given to the VFC
  7. Meeting fuelwood crisis: 10 out of 27.83 ha to be used for fuelwood species. The remaining to be earmarked as conservation area and no biomass/NTFP to be harvested till forest recovery. Fast growing species and wood gasifier recommended. Assistance required for installing gobargas plants in households with adequate number of cattle. Astra stoves and solar devices (particularly for hot water) recommended to save use of fuelwood from forest.
  8. Water body maintenance: Water scarcity seems to be severe. The water bodies downside of the forested hill to be maintained through appropriate government programmes


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