Ecological Status of three Micro Watersheds in Western


T.V. Ramachandra, Joshi N.V, Rao G. R, Dhanpal G, Gururaja K.V, Amit S. Yadav

Energy and Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences,
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore - 560012, India
*Corresponding author:

Citation : Ramachandra T.V., Joshi N.V., Rao G. R., Dhanpal G., Gururaja K.V,  Amit S. Yadav. Ecological Status of three Micro Watersheds in Western Himalaya, Indian Forester, 140(4):331-347,2014


Ecological status of a particular region is determined by assessing its biodiversity, prevailing conditions of the environment and their interactions. Biodiversity assessments in micro watershed across altitudinal gradients of Western Himalaya reveal that phytodiversity includes a total of 2276 individuals from 75 woody species belonging to 38 families. Among these families, Fabaceae was species rich (7 species) followed by Rosaceae (5), Pinaceae (5) and Moraceae (5). Quercus leucotriphora had highest individuals (811) followed by Q. glauca (394), Acacia catechu (157), Myrica esculenta (73), Pinus roxbhurghii (72),  Abies pindrow (70) and Flacourtia indica (68). Among the three micro watersheds, Mandhala was species rich with 43 species followed by Moolbari (39) and MeGad (9). In Mandala most of the species are thorny shrubs and rarely attain tree forms due to severe anthropogenic disturbances, which also yielded very low basal area. Moolbari had the highest basal area, which had dominant species Quercus leucotricophora and Q. glauca. MeGad, a high altitude area was mostly dominated by Abies pindrow, Picea smithiana, and Pinus wallichiana.

Faunal investigations enumerated 115 butterfly species, 14 amphibian and 136 bird species. Butterflies in the region were oriental and palaearctic in origin representing nine families. Nympahlidae is dominant (32 sp.) followed by Pieridae (19 sp.), Lycaenidae (16 sp.), Satyridae and Papilionidae (12 sp. each) and Hesperridae (10 sp.). Similarly, 14 species amphibians belonging to 5 families were sighted during the field investigations. Paa minica is vulnerable and Amolops chakrataensis is data deficient according to IUCN status and these two are endemics of Himalayan foot hills. Among the three watersheds, Mandhala, lying in Shivaliks has higher diversity followed by Moolbari. Amphibians were not encountered in MeGad microwatershed during Aug-Sept 07. In total 136 bird species were recorded from three watersheds, the maximum number of bird species occurred in Mandhala region (104) followed by Moolbari (57) and Me Gad (35). Eight species were found in all three watersheds, ranging from an altitude of 400 m to 4000 m.

Keywords: Biodiversity, Ecological status, Floral and faunal diversity, watershed, altitudinal gradients, Western Himalaya


* Corresponding Author :
  Dr. T.V. Ramachandra
Energy & Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore – 560 012, INDIA.
  Tel : 91-80-23600985 / 22932506 / 22933099,
Fax : 91-80-23601428 / 23600085 / 23600683 [CES-TVR]
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