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Ecology and Management of Grasslands in Valmiki Tiger Reserve in the Himalayan Foothills, India

Authors:
114
Ecology and
Management of
Grasslands in
Valmiki Tiger
Reserve in the
Himalayan
Foothills, India
Abstract
Grasslands represent an important habitat in Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) occupying about 5% of its geographical area.
Prior to inclusion of this area under Project Tiger, this area was managed largely for commercial forestry leading to
degradation and decline of grasslands. Excessive anthropogenic pressures and erosion also affected the extent and
quality of grasslands in this reserve in the past. We conducted an ecological study on the grasslands of this reserve
during 2011-14 with a view to establish baseline data and to provide insights for better management so as to maintain
biodiversity and enhance carrying capacity of wild ungulates. This study found that the grasslands are spread over about
44 km2 in the reserve and can be categorized into three broad categories based on the habitat features. A total of 114
species of graminoids (grasses and sedges) were recorded from the reserve which is higher than many protected areas in
terai-duar landscape in the Himalayan foothills. Average above ground net primary productivity of the grasslands
-2 -1 -2 -1
ranged from 0.91 kg m yr in hilly terrain to 3.56 kg m yr along the flood banks of streams. In the recent years the
management of tiger reserve has brought grassland management in its priority, although the practice is in nascent
stage. We encapsulate findings of grassland management practices in similar habitats in India and Nepal, which will
help the tiger reserve management in adopting appropriate methods. Use of fire as a tool for management should be used
cautiously. Based on experiences elsewhere, we suggest maintaining patchiness and creating mosaic of treated and
untreated grassy areas. We suggest streamlining the role of local villagers in management of grasslands with habitat
management imperatives of the reserve. Also, adequate funds should be made available on time to the VTR
management for treatment, protection and monitoring of grasslands.
Keywords: Biomass; Fire; Grassland; Productivity; Species Richness.
Introduction
2 o
Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) in West Champaran district of Bihar is spread across 899 km area, located between 83 50'
o o o
and 84 10' E longitudes and between 27 10' and 27 03' N latitudes. The reserve is divisible into two zones, viz., 'bhabar'
characterized by a hilly terrain with coarse alluvium and boulders, and 'terai', in the flat, low-lying area with fine alluvium
and clay rich swamps. Both the belts represent a rich mixture of tall grasslands and sal (Shorea robusta) forests
(Johnsingh et al., 2004).The reserve forms the Indian part of Terai-Duar Savanna Eco-region adjacent to Himalayan foot-
hills.This area is listed among the 200 globally important eco-regions for its unique large mammal assemblage (Olson
and Dinerstein,1998). Also, the terai riverine grasslands in the Himalayan foothills are among the tallest and most
productive in the world (Lehmkuhl, 1989; Johnsingh et al., 2004).The eco-region is also most threatened due to rapid
changes in the landuse and agricultural expansion (Olson and Dinerstein,1998).
In contiguity with Chitwan National Park and Parsa Wildlife Reserve in Nepal, VTR is also considered a part of the
Chitwan Tiger Conservation Landscape (Dinerstein et al., 2006). Success of Chitawan and adjacent areas as tiger
landscape can be largely ascribed to well-managed grasslands which ensure abundance of prey-base. Though, several
studies have been conducted on the ecology, management and community uses of grasslands in Chitwan National Park
(Lehmkuhl, 1989, 1992, 1994; Lehmkuhl, Upreti and Sharma, 1988; Peet et al., 1997, Peet, 2000; Dhungel and O'Gara,
1991; Joshi and Jha, 1995), scientific information on grassland ecosystem in VTR is scanty and limited to a few mentions
in the working plans of the area and old shikar literature (Jha, 1971; Verma, 1982). According to Champion and Seth,
(1968) the grasslands of VTR fall under the category of Eastern wet alluvial grassland (4D/2S2) which is considered as a
seral stage of various forests found in the area, viz., Bhabar-Dun Sal Forest 3C/c2/b(i), Dry Siwalik Sal Forest 5B/c1/a,
West Gangetic Moist Mixed Deciduous Forest 3C/c3/a, Khair-Sissoo Forest 1S/2, Cane Brakes 1B/e1, and Barringtonia
09
09
envis bulletin
Ecology and Management of Grassland Habitats in India
*Email: samir@wti.org.in
115
*1, 2 2
Samir Kumar Sinha , Subrat Kumar Behera ,
2 2 2
Smita Bodhankar , B. C. Choudhury and Rahul Kaul
1Valmiki Tiger Reserve, Valmikinagar, West
Champaran (Bihar) – 845107
2Wildlife Trust of India, F-13, Sector – 8,
Noida (NCR)-201301
© Samir Kumar Sinha
114
Ecology and
Management of
Grasslands in
Valmiki Tiger
Reserve in the
Himalayan
Foothills, India
Abstract
Grasslands represent an important habitat in Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) occupying about 5% of its geographical area.
Prior to inclusion of this area under Project Tiger, this area was managed largely for commercial forestry leading to
degradation and decline of grasslands. Excessive anthropogenic pressures and erosion also affected the extent and
quality of grasslands in this reserve in the past. We conducted an ecological study on the grasslands of this reserve
during 2011-14 with a view to establish baseline data and to provide insights for better management so as to maintain
biodiversity and enhance carrying capacity of wild ungulates. This study found that the grasslands are spread over about
44 km2 in the reserve and can be categorized into three broad categories based on the habitat features. A total of 114
species of graminoids (grasses and sedges) were recorded from the reserve which is higher than many protected areas in
terai-duar landscape in the Himalayan foothills. Average above ground net primary productivity of the grasslands
-2 -1 -2 -1
ranged from 0.91 kg m yr in hilly terrain to 3.56 kg m yr along the flood banks of streams. In the recent years the
management of tiger reserve has brought grassland management in its priority, although the practice is in nascent
stage. We encapsulate findings of grassland management practices in similar habitats in India and Nepal, which will
help the tiger reserve management in adopting appropriate methods. Use of fire as a tool for management should be used
cautiously. Based on experiences elsewhere, we suggest maintaining patchiness and creating mosaic of treated and
untreated grassy areas. We suggest streamlining the role of local villagers in management of grasslands with habitat
management imperatives of the reserve. Also, adequate funds should be made available on time to the VTR
management for treatment, protection and monitoring of grasslands.
Keywords: Biomass; Fire; Grassland; Productivity; Species Richness.
Introduction
2 o
Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) in West Champaran district of Bihar is spread across 899 km area, located between 83 50'
o o o
and 84 10' E longitudes and between 27 10' and 27 03' N latitudes. The reserve is divisible into two zones, viz., 'bhabar'
characterized by a hilly terrain with coarse alluvium and boulders, and 'terai', in the flat, low-lying area with fine alluvium
and clay rich swamps. Both the belts represent a rich mixture of tall grasslands and sal (Shorea robusta) forests
(Johnsingh et al., 2004).The reserve forms the Indian part of Terai-Duar Savanna Eco-region adjacent to Himalayan foot-
hills.This area is listed among the 200 globally important eco-regions for its unique large mammal assemblage (Olson
and Dinerstein,1998). Also, the terai riverine grasslands in the Himalayan foothills are among the tallest and most
productive in the world (Lehmkuhl, 1989; Johnsingh et al., 2004).The eco-region is also most threatened due to rapid
changes in the landuse and agricultural expansion (Olson and Dinerstein,1998).
In contiguity with Chitwan National Park and Parsa Wildlife Reserve in Nepal, VTR is also considered a part of the
Chitwan Tiger Conservation Landscape (Dinerstein et al., 2006). Success of Chitawan and adjacent areas as tiger
landscape can be largely ascribed to well-managed grasslands which ensure abundance of prey-base. Though, several
studies have been conducted on the ecology, management and community uses of grasslands in Chitwan National Park
(Lehmkuhl, 1989, 1992, 1994; Lehmkuhl, Upreti and Sharma, 1988; Peet et al., 1997, Peet, 2000; Dhungel and O'Gara,
1991; Joshi and Jha, 1995), scientific information on grassland ecosystem in VTR is scanty and limited to a few mentions
in the working plans of the area and old shikar literature (Jha, 1971; Verma, 1982). According to Champion and Seth,
(1968) the grasslands of VTR fall under the category of Eastern wet alluvial grassland (4D/2S2) which is considered as a
seral stage of various forests found in the area, viz., Bhabar-Dun Sal Forest 3C/c2/b(i), Dry Siwalik Sal Forest 5B/c1/a,
West Gangetic Moist Mixed Deciduous Forest 3C/c3/a, Khair-Sissoo Forest 1S/2, Cane Brakes 1B/e1, and Barringtonia
09
09
envis bulletin
Ecology and Management of Grassland Habitats in India
*Email: samir@wti.org.in
115
*1, 2 2
Samir Kumar Sinha , Subrat Kumar Behera ,
2 2 2
Smita Bodhankar , B. C. Choudhury and Rahul Kaul
1Valmiki Tiger Reserve, Valmikinagar, West
Champaran (Bihar) – 845107
2Wildlife Trust of India, F-13, Sector – 8,
Noida (NCR)-201301
© Samir Kumar Sinha
Swamp Forest 4D/SS2. Based on the classification by Whyte (1957), grasslands of VTR may be broadly grouped under the
Phragmites-Saccharum and Arundinella types dominated by Phragmites karka, Saccharum spontaneum, Imperata
cylindrica, Arundinella spp., and Chrysopogon spp. Zoological Survey of India (1998) conducted a detailed faunal survey
in the reserve. Based on this survey, fifty three species of mammals and 145 species of birds have been listed from the
reserve (Chakraborty, De 1998).Major mammalian fauna from the reserve are tiger (Panthera tigris), common leopard
(Panthera pardus), dhole or Indian wild dog (Cuon alpinus), sambar (Rusa unicolor), chital (Axis axis), hog deer (Axis
porcinus), barking deer (Muntiacus muntjak), nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus), and Indian wild pig (Sus scrofa).
However, abundance of these species and their relative use of grassland habitat have not been assessed.
The Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) conducted detailed studies on the habitat features of the VTR and generated information
on density, abundance and diversity of trees, shrubs, and herbs and grasses (Sinha et al., 2004). Further, to understand
the ecological status of the grasslands, specific studies emphasizing distribution, species richness and productivity of
grasslands was conducted during 2011-14. Major goal of the study was to facilitate scientific management of grassland
habitats and to enhance ecological understanding of these grasslands for long term conservation. Specific objectives of
the study were: (i) to estimate the spatial extent and recent changes in the grassland habitat, (ii) to study the species
richness and composition of grasslands, and (iii) to estimate the productivity of grasslands in VTR. This paper
summarizes the broad findings of the study and suggests management recommendations.
Grassland types and survey methods
Stratification of grassland habitats: The grasslands of VTR can be broadly stratified into following categories:
I. Grasslands on dry alluvial banks: These grasslands are found on the dry stream beds with freshly deposited sand,
boulders and pebbles. The streams flow mostly in north-south direction, viz., Manor, Bhapsa, Harha, Dhunghi, Ganguli,
Dhodram, and Pandai. Sonha and Pachnad streams flow in east to west direction. These grasslands are dominated by
Saccharum spontaneum, Imperata cylindrica, Cymbopogon spp., Arundinella spp., and Themeda spp, reaching a height
of up to 3 meters. These grasslands, except in Madanpur block, are primarily surrounded by sal forests and support three
major prey species viz., spotted deer, sambar and Indian bison.
II. Riverine grasslands in seasonally inundated banks: These grasslands are restricted to Gandak floodplains in
Madanpur forest area. Floodwater reaches up to 2-3 meters in some parts of these grasslands annually and water table is
very high throughout the year. These grasslands typically represent the Tall savannah vegetation characterized by
scattered silk cotton trees (Bombax ceiba).Grasses are very tall and may reachup to 6 meters in height. Common species
of grasses include Saccharum ravennae, S. bengalense, Typha angustifolia, Phragmites karka, Arundo donax and
Imperata cylindrica. Desmostachya bipinnata and Vetiveria zizanioides are also found in some parts. These grasslands
are primarily used by endangered hog deer (Axis porcinus). These grasslands also support a small population of greater
one-horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis), which migrate back and forth between Chitawan National Park and
Madanpur grasslands along Gandak river (Sinha, 2011).
III. Hill side grasslands: These grasslands are found on open south facing slopes which are largely governed by
frequent fires and dry and compact, skeletal soil (Jha, 1971). Chrysopogon fulvus, Desmostachya bipinnata,
Cymbopogan spp., Heteropogon contortus and Eragrostis bifaria are common grasses in such areas. One of the
characteristic grasses on steeper slopes is the Bhabbar grass (Eulaliopsis binata). General height of the grasses here is up
1.5 m. The forests have been divided into 6 forest blocks under administration of 8 forest ranges (Figure 9.1).
envis bulletin
Ecology and Management of Grassland Habitats in India
Ecology and Management of Grasslands in
Valmiki Tiger Reserve in the Himalayan Foothills, India
Table 9.1. Specific grassland sites for ecological study in VTR
S. No. Site ID Place GPS Location Grassland type
1 Site 1 Motor Adda N27025.446' Grasslands on dry alluvial bank
E83057.614'
2 Site 2 Khiribari Hillock N27025.696' Hill side grassland
E83057.821'
3 Site 3 Hathiyabiyan N27025.527' Grasslands on dry alluvial bank
E83058.832'
4 Site 4 Naurangia N27016.415' Riverine grasslands in seasonally
E83056.384 inundated banks
Geo-spatial analysis of grasslands
Extent of grassland habitat in VTR was estimated using remote sensing and GIS tools. Forest Range was considered as
unit for analysis. The analysis has been done for 8 forest ranges (Madanpur, Valmikinagar, Gonauli, Harnatanr, Chiutaha,
Raghia, Gobardhana and Manguraha).High resolution LISS IV Satellite images were procured from National Remote
Sensing Centre (http://nrsc.gov.in/) and archived Landsat images were downloaded from www.landsat.org for the
purpose of geospatial analysis (Table 9.2).
Unsupervised classification of the satellite images was done with Geographic Resources Analysis Support System
(GRASS) (http://grass.osgeo.org/) using Isocluster algorithm which determines the characteristics of the natural
groupings of cells in multidimensional attribute space and gives the output in raster format. Broad habitats were
classified in 8 classes; viz. Dense forest, Open forest, Grassland, Scrub, Water, Agriculture, Swamp and Riverbed (Figure
9.2). The LISS IV classified images were re-sampled to 30m for change detection analysis.Land-use change during 1989
and 2008-09 was assessed using the satellite imageries.
Table 9.2. Details of satellite imageries used for habitat mapping of VTR
Sl. No. Satellite sensor Path Row Resolution (in meters) Year
1 IRS P6 - LISS IV 101 19 5.8 2009
2 IRS P6 - LISS IV 102 4 5.8 2009
3 IRS P6 - LISS IV 101 20 5.8 2009
4 IRS P6 - LISS IV 102 25 5.8 2008
5 IRS P6 - LISS IV 102 26 5.8 2008
6 LANDSAT TM 141 41 30 1989
7 LANDSAT TM 142 41 30 1989
8 LANDSAT TM 142 41 30 2009
116 117
Figure 9.1 Map showing location of Valmiki Tiger Reserve and its Forest Blocks
Swamp Forest 4D/SS2. Based on the classification by Whyte (1957), grasslands of VTR may be broadly grouped under the
Phragmites-Saccharum and Arundinella types dominated by Phragmites karka, Saccharum spontaneum, Imperata
cylindrica, Arundinella spp., and Chrysopogon spp. Zoological Survey of India (1998) conducted a detailed faunal survey
in the reserve. Based on this survey, fifty three species of mammals and 145 species of birds have been listed from the
reserve (Chakraborty, De 1998).Major mammalian fauna from the reserve are tiger (Panthera tigris), common leopard
(Panthera pardus), dhole or Indian wild dog (Cuon alpinus), sambar (Rusa unicolor), chital (Axis axis), hog deer (Axis
porcinus), barking deer (Muntiacus muntjak), nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus), and Indian wild pig (Sus scrofa).
However, abundance of these species and their relative use of grassland habitat have not been assessed.
The Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) conducted detailed studies on the habitat features of the VTR and generated information
on density, abundance and diversity of trees, shrubs, and herbs and grasses (Sinha et al., 2004). Further, to understand
the ecological status of the grasslands, specific studies emphasizing distribution, species richness and productivity of
grasslands was conducted during 2011-14. Major goal of the study was to facilitate scientific management of grassland
habitats and to enhance ecological understanding of these grasslands for long term conservation. Specific objectives of
the study were: (i) to estimate the spatial extent and recent changes in the grassland habitat, (ii) to study the species
richness and composition of grasslands, and (iii) to estimate the productivity of grasslands in VTR. This paper
summarizes the broad findings of the study and suggests management recommendations.
Grassland types and survey methods
Stratification of grassland habitats: The grasslands of VTR can be broadly stratified into following categories:
I. Grasslands on dry alluvial banks: These grasslands are found on the dry stream beds with freshly deposited sand,
boulders and pebbles. The streams flow mostly in north-south direction, viz., Manor, Bhapsa, Harha, Dhunghi, Ganguli,
Dhodram, and Pandai. Sonha and Pachnad streams flow in east to west direction. These grasslands are dominated by
Saccharum spontaneum, Imperata cylindrica, Cymbopogon spp., Arundinella spp., and Themeda spp, reaching a height
of up to 3 meters. These grasslands, except in Madanpur block, are primarily surrounded by sal forests and support three
major prey species viz., spotted deer, sambar and Indian bison.
II. Riverine grasslands in seasonally inundated banks: These grasslands are restricted to Gandak floodplains in
Madanpur forest area. Floodwater reaches up to 2-3 meters in some parts of these grasslands annually and water table is
very high throughout the year. These grasslands typically represent the Tall savannah vegetation characterized by
scattered silk cotton trees (Bombax ceiba).Grasses are very tall and may reachup to 6 meters in height. Common species
of grasses include Saccharum ravennae, S. bengalense, Typha angustifolia, Phragmites karka, Arundo donax and
Imperata cylindrica. Desmostachya bipinnata and Vetiveria zizanioides are also found in some parts. These grasslands
are primarily used by endangered hog deer (Axis porcinus). These grasslands also support a small population of greater
one-horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis), which migrate back and forth between Chitawan National Park and
Madanpur grasslands along Gandak river (Sinha, 2011).
III. Hill side grasslands: These grasslands are found on open south facing slopes which are largely governed by
frequent fires and dry and compact, skeletal soil (Jha, 1971). Chrysopogon fulvus, Desmostachya bipinnata,
Cymbopogan spp., Heteropogon contortus and Eragrostis bifaria are common grasses in such areas. One of the
characteristic grasses on steeper slopes is the Bhabbar grass (Eulaliopsis binata). General height of the grasses here is up
1.5 m. The forests have been divided into 6 forest blocks under administration of 8 forest ranges (Figure 9.1).
envis bulletin
Ecology and Management of Grassland Habitats in India
Ecology and Management of Grasslands in
Valmiki Tiger Reserve in the Himalayan Foothills, India
Table 9.1. Specific grassland sites for ecological study in VTR
S. No. Site ID Place GPS Location Grassland type
1 Site 1 Motor Adda N27025.446' Grasslands on dry alluvial bank
E83057.614'
2 Site 2 Khiribari Hillock N27025.696' Hill side grassland
E83057.821'
3 Site 3 Hathiyabiyan N27025.527' Grasslands on dry alluvial bank
E83058.832'
4 Site 4 Naurangia N27016.415' Riverine grasslands in seasonally
E83056.384 inundated banks
Geo-spatial analysis of grasslands
Extent of grassland habitat in VTR was estimated using remote sensing and GIS tools. Forest Range was considered as
unit for analysis. The analysis has been done for 8 forest ranges (Madanpur, Valmikinagar, Gonauli, Harnatanr, Chiutaha,
Raghia, Gobardhana and Manguraha).High resolution LISS IV Satellite images were procured from National Remote
Sensing Centre (http://nrsc.gov.in/) and archived Landsat images were downloaded from www.landsat.org for the
purpose of geospatial analysis (Table 9.2).
Unsupervised classification of the satellite images was done with Geographic Resources Analysis Support System
(GRASS) (http://grass.osgeo.org/) using Isocluster algorithm which determines the characteristics of the natural
groupings of cells in multidimensional attribute space and gives the output in raster format. Broad habitats were
classified in 8 classes; viz. Dense forest, Open forest, Grassland, Scrub, Water, Agriculture, Swamp and Riverbed (Figure
9.2). The LISS IV classified images were re-sampled to 30m for change detection analysis.Land-use change during 1989
and 2008-09 was assessed using the satellite imageries.
Table 9.2. Details of satellite imageries used for habitat mapping of VTR
Sl. No. Satellite sensor Path Row Resolution (in meters) Year
1 IRS P6 - LISS IV 101 19 5.8 2009
2 IRS P6 - LISS IV 102 4 5.8 2009
3 IRS P6 - LISS IV 101 20 5.8 2009
4 IRS P6 - LISS IV 102 25 5.8 2008
5 IRS P6 - LISS IV 102 26 5.8 2008
6 LANDSAT TM 141 41 30 1989
7 LANDSAT TM 142 41 30 1989
8 LANDSAT TM 142 41 30 2009
116 117
Figure 9.1 Map showing location of Valmiki Tiger Reserve and its Forest Blocks
Assessment of Species Composition and Richness: Documentation of grass and sedge flora in VTR was done during
August 2012 and August 2013. Flowering stage specimens were collected on monthly basis during 17-19th of every
month from four sites (Table 9.1) of the three types of grasslands mentioned in earlier section. Herbaria of the grass
specimen were prepared for identification. The grass samples were identified at the Wildlife Institute of India (WII),
Dehradun. Index of similarity between the sites was calculated using Sorensen Index, a widely used method to measure
similarity in species composition for two sites (Magurran 2004). The Index, regarded as one of the most effective
presence/absence similarity measures (Southwoodand Henderson, 2000), was calculated comparing pair wise for two
sites as per the equation given below. Plates 9.1 - 9.9 gives an overview of different grassland habitat in the study area.
Figure 9.2 Land-use Land-cover of Valmiki Tiger Reserve in 1989 (above) and 2008-09 (below).
Cs = 2c
a+b
Where,
c= the total number of species present in both the samples (sites)
a= the number of species present in sample 1
b= the number of species present in sample 2.
Biomass productivity
Aboveground (primary) production of grasslands was estimated following the Harvest Method (Milner and Huges 1968).
Size of the sample plot was 50 x 50 cm. Minimum number of plots required for sampling was statistically calculated for a
minimum precision level of 10% (Milner and Huges 1968). Sampling was done in the three types of grasslands and four
study sites mentioned in the previous section (Table 9.1). All grasses within the plot were clipped closed to the base
using sharp steel sickle (five plots at each site) on monthly basis, at an interval of 4 weeks during March 2011-January
2012.
Cut samples were transported to field camp for weighing. Harvested biomass was weighed immediately after arrival at
camp. The biomass was segregated into standing dead and green parts and weighed separately using a digital scale.
The green biomass was air dried until constant weight was obtained.
Calculation of net primary production: If B1 is the aboveground biomass measured at the first sampling period (time t1)
and B2 is the biomass at the second sampling period (time t2) and Bn is the biomass at the nth sampling period at the end
of the growing season (time tn). Then, total annual net primary aerial production was calculated as follows;
(B2 - B1) + (B3 - B2) + ------------ + (Bn - Bn-1)
viz. Sum of n to 1 (Bn - Bn-1), and the mean daily net primary production: (B2 - B1) / (t2 - t1) or (Bn - Bn-1) / (tn - tn-1).
Following Milner and Hughes (1968), where biomass between successive samples decreased or remained the same,
production was assumed as zero.
Results
Spatial extent and recent changes
2
It was found that grasslands occupy nearly 44.45 km area in VTR. There has been very negligible increase in the extent
of grassland in the reserve since1989 when the area of grasslands was 43 sq. km. Although, the extent of grasslands has
remained nearly same, there has been conversion of forest into grasslands in some areas, and in other parts grassland
also has given way to forests, keeping the total area of grassland almost same, but registering spatial shift in some
patches. T
able 9.3 shows different habitat categories in VTR in 2009. Highest cover of grassland was observed in
Madanpur Range (Table 9.4).
2 2
Change detection analysis reflected an increase in riverbed, from 8 km in 1989 to 12 km in 2009, and reduction in
2 2
grassland from 34 km to 25 km in Madanpur range during the period. The range lies along the left bank of the Gandak
River which keeps on eroding the forest areas of Madanpur. In other ranges, there was a gain in extent of grasslands in
the newly deposited substrate as a result of bank erosion. In the easternmost part of Someshwar block in Manguraha
Range, increase in grassland area has been recorded during 1989 and 2009 due to reclamation of boulder and pebble
mined areas in the Pandai River bed. Mining in the river bed was stopped after prohibition of mining activities in
Protected Areas by an order passed by Honourable Supreme Court in 2002. This resulted into significant increase in
grassland cover along the Pandai River.
Species richness and composition
Altogether, 58 genera comprising of 114 species of graminoids were recorded from all the grasslands. These species are
distributed in three families (Cyperaceae-35 species; Poaceae-78 species; and Typhaceae-1 species). Eight specimens
were identified up to genus level, while rest of the specimens were identified up to species level. Highest number of
species belong to genus Cyperus (11 species), followed by Fimbristylis (10), Panicum (8), Eragrostis (6), Digitaria (6) and
Scleria (4).Thirty eight genera were represented by one species, eight were represented by 2 species, and 5 were
represented by three species each (Table 9.5). Species richness was highest at Site 4 (53 species), followed by Site 3 (48
species), Site 1 (43 species) and Site 2 (28 species). Grass species recorded in the present study in VTR is considerably
higher as compared to available information on grass flora in other protected areas in the Terai-Duar landscape (Table
9.6). Similarity in species composition was highest between Site 3 and Site 4, while Site 2 is least similar to other sites,
envis bulletin
Ecology and Management of Grassland Habitats in India
Ecology and Management of Grasslands in
Valmiki Tiger Reserve in the Himalayan Foothills, India
N
1989
N
2008-09
118 119
Assessment of Species Composition and Richness: Documentation of grass and sedge flora in VTR was done during
August 2012 and August 2013. Flowering stage specimens were collected on monthly basis during 17-19th of every
month from four sites (Table 9.1) of the three types of grasslands mentioned in earlier section. Herbaria of the grass
specimen were prepared for identification. The grass samples were identified at the Wildlife Institute of India (WII),
Dehradun. Index of similarity between the sites was calculated using Sorensen Index, a widely used method to measure
similarity in species composition for two sites (Magurran 2004). The Index, regarded as one of the most effective
presence/absence similarity measures (Southwoodand Henderson, 2000), was calculated comparing pair wise for two
sites as per the equation given below. Plates 9.1 - 9.9 gives an overview of different grassland habitat in the study area.
Figure 9.2 Land-use Land-cover of Valmiki Tiger Reserve in 1989 (above) and 2008-09 (below).
Cs = 2c
a+b
Where,
c= the total number of species present in both the samples (sites)
a= the number of species present in sample 1
b= the number of species present in sample 2.
Biomass productivity
Aboveground (primary) production of grasslands was estimated following the Harvest Method (Milner and Huges 1968).
Size of the sample plot was 50 x 50 cm. Minimum number of plots required for sampling was statistically calculated for a
minimum precision level of 10% (Milner and Huges 1968). Sampling was done in the three types of grasslands and four
study sites mentioned in the previous section (Table 9.1). All grasses within the plot were clipped closed to the base
using sharp steel sickle (five plots at each site) on monthly basis, at an interval of 4 weeks during March 2011-January
2012.
Cut samples were transported to field camp for weighing. Harvested biomass was weighed immediately after arrival at
camp. The biomass was segregated into standing dead and green parts and weighed separately using a digital scale.
The green biomass was air dried until constant weight was obtained.
Calculation of net primary production: If B1 is the aboveground biomass measured at the first sampling period (time t1)
and B2 is the biomass at the second sampling period (time t2) and Bn is the biomass at the nth sampling period at the end
of the growing season (time tn). Then, total annual net primary aerial production was calculated as follows;
(B2 - B1) + (B3 - B2) + ------------ + (Bn - Bn-1)
viz. Sum of n to 1 (Bn - Bn-1), and the mean daily net primary production: (B2 - B1) / (t2 - t1) or (Bn - Bn-1) / (tn - tn-1).
Following Milner and Hughes (1968), where biomass between successive samples decreased or remained the same,
production was assumed as zero.
Results
Spatial extent and recent changes
2
It was found that grasslands occupy nearly 44.45 km area in VTR. There has been very negligible increase in the extent
of grassland in the reserve since1989 when the area of grasslands was 43 sq. km. Although, the extent of grasslands has
remained nearly same, there has been conversion of forest into grasslands in some areas, and in other parts grassland
also has given way to forests, keeping the total area of grassland almost same, but registering spatial shift in some
patches. Table 9.3 shows different habitat categories in VTR in 2009. Highest cover of grassland was observed in
Madanpur Range (Table 9.4).
2 2
Change detection analysis reflected an increase in riverbed, from 8 km in 1989 to 12 km in 2009, and reduction in
2 2
grassland from 34 km to 25 km in Madanpur range during the period. The range lies along the left bank of the Gandak
River which keeps on eroding the forest areas of Madanpur. In other ranges, there was a gain in extent of grasslands in
the newly deposited substrate as a result of bank erosion. In the easternmost part of Someshwar block in Manguraha
Range, increase in grassland area has been recorded during 1989 and 2009 due to reclamation of boulder and pebble
mined areas in the Pandai River bed. Mining in the river bed was stopped after prohibition of mining activities in
Protected Areas by an order passed by Honourable Supreme Court in 2002. This resulted into significant increase in
grassland cover along the Pandai River.
Species richness and composition
Altogether, 58 genera comprising of 114 species of graminoids were recorded from all the grasslands. These species are
distributed in three families (Cyperaceae-35 species; Poaceae-78 species; and Typhaceae-1 species). Eight specimens
were identified up to genus level, while rest of the specimens were identified up to species level. Highest number of
species belong to genus Cyperus (11 species), followed by Fimbristylis (10), Panicum (8), Eragrostis (6), Digitaria (6) and
Scleria (4).Thirty eight genera were represented by one species, eight were represented by 2 species, and 5 were
represented by three species each (Table 9.5). Species richness was highest at Site 4 (53 species), followed by Site 3 (48
species), Site 1 (43 species) and Site 2 (28 species). Grass species recorded in the present study in VTR is considerably
higher as compared to available information on grass flora in other protected areas in the Terai-Duar landscape (Table
9.6). Similarity in species composition was highest between Site 3 and Site 4, while Site 2 is least similar to other sites,
envis bulletin
Ecology and Management of Grassland Habitats in India
Ecology and Management of Grasslands in
Valmiki Tiger Reserve in the Himalayan Foothills, India
N
1989
N
2008-09
118 119
Plate 9.1: Grassland after treatment
envis bulletin
Ecology and Management of Grassland Habitats in India
Ecology and Management of Grasslands in
Valmiki Tiger Reserve in the Himalayan Foothills, India
120 121
thus dissimilarity in the grass species composition between plain and hilly areas is evident (Table 9.7).
Biomass production
-2
Biomass production was high in the grasslands on dry alluvial banks i.e. Site 1(2.49 ± 0.59 kg m ) and Site 3 (2.87 ± 0.86
-2
kg m ), while lowest biomass production was on the hill side grassland (Table 9.8). Peak biomass production in all types
of grasslands in VTR is during rainy months - July and September. Biomass production gradually reduces after
September and gets lowest during May-June. Proportion of dry grasses was high during March to May; however during
these months green biomass availability was higher in the grasslands on dry alluvial banks of streams compared to other
two types of grasslands (Figure 9.3). Inhill side grasslands, proportion of dry biomass was highest among all grassland
types. Since Site 4 was under influence of domestic cattle grazing, biomass was found lower than other sites. Proportion
of green grasses was consistently high throughout the year in this grassland. This may be the possible reason why
domestic livestock (cattle) preferred this area.
Figure 9.3 Monthly variation in proportion of green and dry biomass in different grassland types.
Analysis of variance results show that the studied variables significantly differed across the sampling sites (biomass: F=
35.817, p<0.001; moisture content: F=28.584, p<0.001, and moisture percent: F=2.670, p= 0.048).
-2 -1
The estimated above-ground NPP in the grassland along stream beds i.e. Site 1 and Site 3 was 3.56 kg m yr and 3.39 kg
-2 -1 -2 -1 -1 -1 -2 - -1 -1
m yr (Average: 3.48 kg m yr ~ 34.78 tons ha yr ). Among the four sites, lowest NPP (0.91 kg m yr 1 ~9.13 tons ha yr )
-2 -1
was estimated at Site 2.The NPP in grazed grassland in alluvial plain (Site 4) was estimated to be 1.88 kg m yr (18.84
-1 -1
tons ha yr ). It is expected that grazing by domestic and wild ungulates would reduce standing biomass and annual
productivity (e.g., Younger, 1972; Heady, 1975; Crawley, 1983); however, in such highly productive grasslands it may also
increase species diversity (Rusch and Oesterheld, 1997). It was observed that at Site 4 species richness was highest
among all the sites, but productivity was lower than Sites 1 and 3. High productivity in Sites 1 and 3 can be attributed to
high year round soil-moisture availability due to location along streams.
Table 9.3. Area under different land use land cover (LULC) category in VTR
LULC category Area (sq. km.)%
Dense forest 711.1 (81.0)
Open forest 56.64 (6.4)
Scrub 17.6 (2.0)
Agriculture 12.84 (1.5)
Riverbed 25.81 (2.9)
Water 9.74 (1.1)
Grassland 44.45 (5.1)
Swamp 0.96 (0.1)
Table 9.4. . Forest Range wise area of grasslands in VTR (2008-09)
Forest Range Area (sq. km.)%
Madanpur 25.00
Gonauli 2.00
Gobardhana 2.00
Manguraha 5.00
Raghia 5.00
Chiutaha 3.00
Harnatanr 2.00
Plate 9.2: Colonization of Phoenix in open forests
Prpoportion (%)
-2
Biomass Production kg m
% Green biomass % Dry matter Biomass production
Plate 9.1: Grassland after treatment
envis bulletin
Ecology and Management of Grassland Habitats in India
Ecology and Management of Grasslands in
Valmiki Tiger Reserve in the Himalayan Foothills, India
120 121
thus dissimilarity in the grass species composition between plain and hilly areas is evident (Table 9.7).
Biomass production
-2
Biomass production was high in the grasslands on dry alluvial banks i.e. Site 1(2.49 ± 0.59 kg m ) and Site 3 (2.87 ± 0.86
-2
kg m ), while lowest biomass production was on the hill side grassland (Table 9.8). Peak biomass production in all types
of grasslands in VTR is during rainy months - July and September. Biomass production gradually reduces after
September and gets lowest during May-June. Proportion of dry grasses was high during March to May; however during
these months green biomass availability was higher in the grasslands on dry alluvial banks of streams compared to other
two types of grasslands (Figure 9.3). Inhill side grasslands, proportion of dry biomass was highest among all grassland
types. Since Site 4 was under influence of domestic cattle grazing, biomass was found lower than other sites. Proportion
of green grasses was consistently high throughout the year in this grassland. This may be the possible reason why
domestic livestock (cattle) preferred this area.
Figure 9.3 Monthly variation in proportion of green and dry biomass in different grassland types.
Analysis of variance results show that the studied variables significantly differed across the sampling sites (biomass: F=
35.817, p<0.001; moisture content: F=28.584, p<0.001, and moisture percent: F=2.670, p= 0.048).
-2 -1
The estimated above-ground NPP in the grassland along stream beds i.e. Site 1 and Site 3 was 3.56 kg m yr and 3.39 kg
-2 -1 -2 -1 -1 -1 -2 - -1 -1
m yr (Average: 3.48 kg m yr ~ 34.78 tons ha yr ). Among the four sites, lowest NPP (0.91 kg m yr 1 ~9.13 tons ha yr )
-2 -1
was estimated at Site 2.The NPP in grazed grassland in alluvial plain (Site 4) was estimated to be 1.88 kg m yr (18.84
-1 -1
tons ha yr ). It is expected that grazing by domestic and wild ungulates would reduce standing biomass and annual
productivity (e.g., Younger, 1972; Heady, 1975; Crawley, 1983); however, in such highly productive grasslands it may also
increase species diversity (Rusch and Oesterheld, 1997). It was observed that at Site 4 species richness was highest
among all the sites, but productivity was lower than Sites 1 and 3. High productivity in Sites 1 and 3 can be attributed to
high year round soil-moisture availability due to location along streams.
Table 9.3. Area under different land use land cover (LULC) category in VTR
LULC category Area (sq. km.)%
Dense forest 711.1 (81.0)
Open forest 56.64 (6.4)
Scrub 17.6 (2.0)
Agriculture 12.84 (1.5)
Riverbed 25.81 (2.9)
Water 9.74 (1.1)
Grassland 44.45 (5.1)
Swamp 0.96 (0.1)
Table 9.4. . Forest Range wise area of grasslands in VTR (2008-09)
Forest Range Area (sq. km.)%
Madanpur 25.00
Gonauli 2.00
Gobardhana 2.00
Manguraha 5.00
Raghia 5.00
Chiutaha 3.00
Harnatanr 2.00
Plate 9.2: Colonization of Phoenix in open forests
Prpoportion (%)
-2
Biomass Production kg m
% Green biomass % Dry matter Biomass production
S. No. Species Name Family Site 1 Site 2 Site 3 Site 4
45 Digitaria sp. Poaceae + - - -
46 Digitaria stricta Poaceae - + + -
47 Digitaria timorensis Poaceae - - + -
48 Echinochloacolona Poaceae + - - +
49 Echinochloa crus-galli Poaceae - - - +
50 Eleusine indica Poaceae + - - -
51 Eragrostis bifaria Poaceae - + - -
52 Eragrostis cilianensis Poaceae - - + +
53 Eragrostis gangetica Poaceae - - + +
54 Eragrostis sp. Poaceae - - - +
55 Eragrostis stenophylla Poaceae - - - +
56 Eragrostis tenella Poaceae + - - -
57 Erianthus rufipilus Poaceae - - + -
58 Eriophorum comosum Cyperaceae - + - -
59 Eulalia leschenaultiana Poaceae - - - +
60 Eulaliopsis binata Poaceae - + - -
61 Fimbristylis acicularis Cyperaceae + - - -
62 Fimbristylis complanata Cyperaceae - - - +
63 Fimbristylis corynocarya Cyperaceae - - - +
64 Fimbristylis dichotoma Cyperaceae + + + +
65 Fimbristylis ferruginea Cyperaceae + - - -
66 Fimbristylis littoralis Cyperaceae + - - -
67 Fimbristylis miliacea Cyperaceae + - - +
68 Fimbristylis ovata Cyperaceae - + - -
69 Fimbristylis schoenoides Cyperaceae + - - -
70 Fimbristylis sp. Cyperaceae - + - -
71 Fuirena pumila Cyperaceae - - + -
72 Fuirena umbellata Cyperaceae + - - -
73 Hemarthria compressa Poaceae + + + +
74 Heteropogon contortus Poaceae + + - -
75 Imperata cylindrica Poaceae - - + +
76 Ischaemum indicum Poaceae - - + +
77 Kyllinga brevifolia Cyperaceae + - - +
78 Leersia hexandra Poaceae - - + +
79 Lipocarpha chinensis Cyperaceae - - + -
80 Microstegium ciliatum Poaceae - - - +
81 Neyraudia arundinacea Poaceae - + - -
82 Oplismenus compositus Poaceae - - + -
83 Panicum antidotale Poaceae - - + -
84 Panicum capillare Poaceae - + - -
85 Panicum dichotomiflorum Poaceae - - - +
86 Panicum miliare Poaceae + - + +
87 Panicum paludosum Poaceae - - - +
88 Panicumrepens Poaceae - - - +
89 Panicum sp. Poaceae - - + +
90 Panicum virgatum Poaceae - + - -
91 Paspalidium flavidum Poaceae + - - +
Table 9.5. Checklist and distribution [Presence (+), Absence (-)] of grass species in different grasslands in Valmiki
Tiger Reserve, Bihar
S. No. Species Name Family Site 1 Site 2 Site 3 Site 4
1 Alloteropsis cimicina Poaceae + - - -
2 Alopecurus nepalensis Poaceae - - - +
3 Apluda mutica Poaceae + + + +
4 Arthraxon sp. Poaceae - - - +
5 Arundinella bengalensis Poaceae + - + -
6 Arundinella nepalensis Poaceae - - + -
7 Arundinella setosa Poaceae - + + -
8 Arundo donax Poaceae - - + +
9 Bothriochloa pertusa Poaceae - - - +
10 Brachiaria ramosa Poaceae + - + +
11 Brachiaria sp. Poaceae + - + -
12 Brachiaria villosa Poaceae + - - -
13 Bulbostylis barbata Cyperaceae - - + -
14 Bulbostylis densa Cyperaceae - + - -
15 Capillipedium assimile Poaceae + - - -
16 Carex cruciata Cyperaceae - + - -
17 Carex vesicaria Cyperaceae + - - +
18 Chloris dolichostachya Poaceae - + + -
19 Chrysopogon fulvus Poaceae - + - +
20 Chrysopogon serrulatus Poaceae + - - -
21 Cymbopogon martinii Poaceae + - - -
22 Cymbopogon nardus Poaceae - - + +
23 Cymbopogon distans Poaceae + + - -
24 Cynodon arcuatus Poaceae + - - +
25 Cynodon dactylon Poaceae - - - +
26 Cyperus alulatus Cyperaceae - - - +
27 Cyperus brevifolius Cyperaceae - - - +
28 Cyperus cyperoides Cyperaceae - - + -
29 Cyperus laxus Cyperaceae - + - -
30 Cyperus niveus Cyperaceae + - + -
31 Cyperus nutans Cyperaceae - - + -
32 Cyperus pangorei Cyperaceae + + - -
33 Cyperus paniceus Cyperaceae + - + -
34 Cyperus pumilus Cyperaceae - - + +
35 Cyperus rotundus Cyperaceae - - + -
36 Cyperus sp. Cyperaceae + - + +
37 Cyrtococcum accrescens Poaceae + - - -
38 Dactyloctenium aegyptium Poaceae + - - -
39 Desmostachya bipinnata Poaceae - + - +
40 Dichanthelium oligosanthes Poaceae - - - +
41 Dichanthium annulatum Poaceae - + - +
42 Digitaria abludens Poaceae - - + +
43 Digitaria ciliaris Poaceae + - + -
44 Digitaria setigera Poaceae + - - -
envis bulletin
Ecology and Management of Grassland Habitats in India
Ecology and Management of Grasslands in
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122 123
S. No. Species Name Family Site 1 Site 2 Site 3 Site 4
45 Digitaria sp. Poaceae + - - -
46 Digitaria stricta Poaceae - + + -
47 Digitaria timorensis Poaceae - - + -
48 Echinochloacolona Poaceae + - - +
49 Echinochloa crus-galli Poaceae - - - +
50 Eleusine indica Poaceae + - - -
51 Eragrostis bifaria Poaceae - + - -
52 Eragrostis cilianensis Poaceae - - + +
53 Eragrostis gangetica Poaceae - - + +
54 Eragrostis sp. Poaceae - - - +
55 Eragrostis stenophylla Poaceae - - - +
56 Eragrostis tenella Poaceae + - - -
57 Erianthus rufipilus Poaceae - - + -
58 Eriophorum comosum Cyperaceae - + - -
59 Eulalia leschenaultiana Poaceae - - - +
60 Eulaliopsis binata Poaceae - + - -
61 Fimbristylis acicularis Cyperaceae + - - -
62 Fimbristylis complanata Cyperaceae - - - +
63 Fimbristylis corynocarya Cyperaceae - - - +
64 Fimbristylis dichotoma Cyperaceae + + + +
65 Fimbristylis ferruginea Cyperaceae + - - -
66 Fimbristylis littoralis Cyperaceae + - - -
67 Fimbristylis miliacea Cyperaceae + - - +
68 Fimbristylis ovata Cyperaceae - + - -
69 Fimbristylis schoenoides Cyperaceae + - - -
70 Fimbristylis sp. Cyperaceae - + - -
71 Fuirena pumila Cyperaceae - - + -
72 Fuirena umbellata Cyperaceae + - - -
73 Hemarthria compressa Poaceae + + + +
74 Heteropogon contortus Poaceae + + - -
75 Imperata cylindrica Poaceae - - + +
76 Ischaemum indicum Poaceae - - + +
77 Kyllinga brevifolia Cyperaceae + - - +
78 Leersia hexandra Poaceae - - + +
79 Lipocarpha chinensis Cyperaceae - - + -
80 Microstegium ciliatum Poaceae - - - +
81 Neyraudia arundinacea Poaceae - + - -
82 Oplismenus compositus Poaceae - - + -
83 Panicum antidotale Poaceae - - + -
84 Panicum capillare Poaceae - + - -
85 Panicum dichotomiflorum Poaceae - - - +
86 Panicum miliare Poaceae + - + +
87 Panicum paludosum Poaceae - - - +
88 Panicumrepens Poaceae - - - +
89 Panicum sp. Poaceae - - + +
90 Panicum virgatum Poaceae - + - -
91 Paspalidium flavidum Poaceae + - - +
Table 9.5. Checklist and distribution [Presence (+), Absence (-)] of grass species in different grasslands in Valmiki
Tiger Reserve, Bihar
S. No. Species Name Family Site 1 Site 2 Site 3 Site 4
1 Alloteropsis cimicina Poaceae + - - -
2 Alopecurus nepalensis Poaceae - - - +
3 Apluda mutica Poaceae + + + +
4 Arthraxon sp. Poaceae - - - +
5 Arundinella bengalensis Poaceae + - + -
6 Arundinella nepalensis Poaceae - - + -
7 Arundinella setosa Poaceae - + + -
8 Arundo donax Poaceae - - + +
9 Bothriochloa pertusa Poaceae - - - +
10 Brachiaria ramosa Poaceae + - + +
11 Brachiaria sp. Poaceae + - + -
12 Brachiaria villosa Poaceae + - - -
13 Bulbostylis barbata Cyperaceae - - + -
14 Bulbostylis densa Cyperaceae - + - -
15 Capillipedium assimile Poaceae + - - -
16 Carex cruciata Cyperaceae - + - -
17 Carex vesicaria Cyperaceae + - - +
18 Chloris dolichostachya Poaceae - + + -
19 Chrysopogon fulvus Poaceae - + - +
20 Chrysopogon serrulatus Poaceae + - - -
21 Cymbopogon martinii Poaceae + - - -
22 Cymbopogon nardus Poaceae - - + +
23 Cymbopogon distans Poaceae + + - -
24 Cynodon arcuatus Poaceae + - - +
25 Cynodon dactylon Poaceae - - - +
26 Cyperus alulatus Cyperaceae - - - +
27 Cyperus brevifolius Cyperaceae - - - +
28 Cyperus cyperoides Cyperaceae - - + -
29 Cyperus laxus Cyperaceae - + - -
30 Cyperus niveus Cyperaceae + - + -
31 Cyperus nutans Cyperaceae - - + -
32 Cyperus pangorei Cyperaceae + + - -
33 Cyperus paniceus Cyperaceae + - + -
34 Cyperus pumilus Cyperaceae - - + +
35 Cyperus rotundus Cyperaceae - - + -
36 Cyperus sp. Cyperaceae + - + +
37 Cyrtococcum accrescens Poaceae + - - -
38 Dactyloctenium aegyptium Poaceae + - - -
39 Desmostachya bipinnata Poaceae - + - +
40 Dichanthelium oligosanthes Poaceae - - - +
41 Dichanthium annulatum Poaceae - + - +
42 Digitaria abludens Poaceae - - + +
43 Digitaria ciliaris Poaceae + - + -
44 Digitaria setigera Poaceae + - - -
envis bulletin
Ecology and Management of Grassland Habitats in India
Ecology and Management of Grasslands in
Valmiki Tiger Reserve in the Himalayan Foothills, India
122 123
Table 9.6. Grass species richness in some protected areas in Terai-Duar landscape
Location No. of grass Reference Remarks
species
Corbett Tiger Reserve, Uttarakhand 84 Datt et al., 2004 Study includes only Poaceae
family.
Rajaji National Park, Uttarakhand 43 Kumar and Subudhi Study includes grasses in
2013 Gujjar rehabilitation site.
Chitwan National Park, Nepal 46 CNP 2015
Dudhwa National Park, Uttar Pradesh 25 Kumar et al., 2002
Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh 21 Kumar et al., 2002
Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh 101 Kumar et al., 2015 Study includes Poaceae,
Cyperaceae and Typhaceae
families
Gorumara NP, West Bengal 43 Ghosh, 2012 Study includes fodder
species of Poaceae family.
Valmiki Tiger Reserve, Bihar 114 Present Study
Table 9.7. Similarity matrix for the sampling sites
Site 1 Site 2 Site 3 Site 4
Site 1 1.00 0.14 0.28 0.24
Site 2 0.14 1.00 0.14 0.13
Site 3 0.28 0.14 1.00 0.30
Site 4 0.24 0.13 0.30 1.00
Plate 9.4: Grassland in a valley
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Ecology and Management of Grassland Habitats in India
Ecology and Management of Grasslands in
Valmiki Tiger Reserve in the Himalayan Foothills, India
S. No. Species Name Family Site 1 Site 2 Site 3 Site 4
92 Paspalumdistichum Poaceae - - + +
93 Paspalum scrobiculatum Poaceae - - + +
94 Perotis indica Poaceae + - + -
95 Phragmites karka Poaceae - - + -
96 Pogonatherum crinitum Poaceae - + - -
97 Pseudosorghum fasciculare Poaceae + - + -
98 Rottboellia exaltata Poaceae + - + +
99 Saccharum arundinaceum Poaceae - - - +
100 Saccharum ravennae Poaceae - - - +
101 Saccharum spontaneum Poaceae + - + +
102 Schoenoplectus mucronatus Cyperaceae - - + -
103 Scleria lacustris Cyperaceae - + - -
104 Scleria levis Cyperaceae - + - -
105 Scleria lithosperma Cyperaceae - + - -
106 Scleria sumatrensis Cyperaceae - + - -
107 Setaria glauca Poaceae - - + +
108 Setaria sp. Poaceae + - + -
109 Setaria verticillata Poaceae + - + +
110 Sporobolus diander Poaceae - - - +
111 Sporobolus piliferus Poaceae + - + -
112 Themeda arundinacea Poaceae - - + -
113 Typha angustifolia Typhaceae - - - +
114 Vetiveria zizanioides Poaceae - - - +
Total species 20 16 27 32
Plate 9.3: Grassland along a stream in Bhabar tract
124 125
Table 9.6. Grass species richness in some protected areas in Terai-Duar landscape
Location No. of grass Reference Remarks
species
Corbett Tiger Reserve, Uttarakhand 84 Datt et al., 2004 Study includes only Poaceae
family.
Rajaji National Park, Uttarakhand 43 Kumar and Subudhi Study includes grasses in
2013 Gujjar rehabilitation site.
Chitwan National Park, Nepal 46 CNP 2015
Dudhwa National Park, Uttar Pradesh 25 Kumar et al., 2002
Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh 21 Kumar et al., 2002
Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, Uttar Pradesh 101 Kumar et al., 2015 Study includes Poaceae,
Cyperaceae and Typhaceae
families
Gorumara NP, West Bengal 43 Ghosh, 2012 Study includes fodder
species of Poaceae family.
Valmiki Tiger Reserve, Bihar 114 Present Study
Table 9.7. Similarity matrix for the sampling sites
Site 1 Site 2 Site 3 Site 4
Site 1 1.00 0.14 0.28 0.24
Site 2 0.14 1.00 0.14 0.13
Site 3 0.28 0.14 1.00 0.30
Site 4 0.24 0.13 0.30 1.00
Plate 9.4: Grassland in a valley
envis bulletin
Ecology and Management of Grassland Habitats in India
Ecology and Management of Grasslands in
Valmiki Tiger Reserve in the Himalayan Foothills, India
S. No. Species Name Family Site 1 Site 2 Site 3 Site 4
92 Paspalumdistichum Poaceae - - + +
93 Paspalum scrobiculatum Poaceae - - + +
94 Perotis indica Poaceae + - + -
95 Phragmites karka Poaceae - - + -
96 Pogonatherum crinitum Poaceae - + - -
97 Pseudosorghum fasciculare Poaceae + - + -
98 Rottboellia exaltata Poaceae + - + +
99 Saccharum arundinaceum Poaceae - - - +
100 Saccharum ravennae Poaceae - - - +
101 Saccharum spontaneum Poaceae + - + +
102 Schoenoplectus mucronatus Cyperaceae - - + -
103 Scleria lacustris Cyperaceae - + - -
104 Scleria levis Cyperaceae - + - -
105 Scleria lithosperma Cyperaceae - + - -
106 Scleria sumatrensis Cyperaceae - + - -
107 Setaria glauca Poaceae - - + +
108 Setaria sp. Poaceae + - + -
109 Setaria verticillata Poaceae + - + +
110 Sporobolus diander Poaceae - - - +
111 Sporobolus piliferus Poaceae + - + -
112 Themeda arundinacea Poaceae - - + -
113 Typha angustifolia Typhaceae - - - +
114 Vetiveria zizanioides Poaceae - - - +
Total species 20 16 27 32
Plate 9.3: Grassland along a stream in Bhabar tract
124 125
Table 9.8. Biomass production and NPP at different sites
-2 -2 -1
Sites Biomass (Mean ± SD)(kg m ) NPP(kg m Yr )
Site 1 2.49±0.59 3.57
Site 2 0.65 ±0.22 0.91
Site 3 2.87 ± 0.86 3.39
Site 4 1.26 ± 0.33 1.88
Management practices and issues
Past Management in VTR
Valmiki Tiger Reserve was declared in 1994. During 1974 to 1994 this area was managed by the Bihar State Forest
Development Corporation. Mandate during this period was plantation and exploitation of economically important trees
and forests were worked as per different Working Plans, primarily emphasizing protection; improvement and
maintenance of forest cover; conservation of soil and moisture and prevention of soil erosion; and sustained supply of
good quality timber.
During 1971-82 emphasis was given on plantations of economically viable species on blanks, grasslands and areas
covered with inferior miscellaneous forests to increase the productivity of the forests (Jha, 1971). The eastern wet alluvial
grassland (4D/ 2S2) in almost all compartments of Madanpur block as extensive savanna grasslands, the grassy blanks
along valley beds of Someshwar block and a few compartments of Triveni block were converted into monoculture of
timber plantations leading to reduction in grasslands and meadows, which are crucial for herbivores. Conversion of
grasslands into woodlands led to local extirpation of blackbuck (Antelope cervicapra) which was seen in Madanpur block
till mid-1960s (Late R.B. Singh Per. comm.). Though present in adjoining Chitwan National Park, Bengal florican
(Houbaropsis bengalensis) has become locally extinct from VTR (Islam and Rahmani 2000). The species was last
reported from the area in 1980 (Mukherjee, 1986). Abundance of hog deer is also very low, though it is better in the
grasslands along the Gandak River outside the protected area. Changing the suitable grasslands into woodlands could
be the main reason of local extirpation of this species. After 1994, conversion of grasslands into woodlands came to a halt,
but it remained neglected without any management interventions till recent past.
During different management regimes, the grasslands in VTR were primarily maintained by periodic inundation during
the monsoon, and by fire and grazing besides collection of thatch by villagers, as in case of other terai areas (Dinerstein
1979 a). Not all the grasslands get inundated during the monsoon, and the grasslands on the stabilized soil are subjected
to natural succession leading to gradual development of Khair (Acacia catechu), Sissoo (Dalbergia sissoo), and Semal
(Bombax ceiba) in Madanpur block and forest in poorly drained soil and Sal (Shorea robusta) in well-drained soil.
The anthropogenic and natural influences operation in VTR grasslands can be summarized below:
i. Natural succession leading to conversion into woodland
ii. Recurrence of uncontrolled anthropogenic fire leading to change in species composition
iii. Cattle grazing and collection of thatch by locals
iv. Plantation of trees in grasslands
v. Colonization of invasive, exotic, unpalatable and fire resistant floral species such as Mikania micrantha in open
moist grasslands along streams, Phoenix humilis in openings in hilly areas, Eupatorium, Chromolaena spp. in the
blanks along roads.
In the open hill forests colonization of dwarf palm (Phoenix humilis) reflects recurrence of fire and resultant decline in soil
moisture. Highest density of P. humilis was recorded in Manguraha Range, while in Madanpur the density was lowest
(Sinha et al., 2004). Frequency of occurrence of P. humilis was highest in Raghia, where the species was present in 89% of
the area (Table 9.9).
Current management practices: Grassland management interventions in VTR effectively started from 2011-12 onwards.
Grasslands in the alluvial plains of Gandak River and along the streams in Bhabar areas in VTR are being managed
primarily by manual cutting followed by burning before the onset of summer. Harrowing is also done in Madanpur's
Saccharum ravennae dominated tall grasslands. To facilitate growth of grasses in open hilly areas colonized by dwarf
palm, manual removal of the species is done in strategic areas. The current Tiger Conservation Plan (TCP, 2014) of the
reserve prescribes use of fire as a tool for grassland management; identification of assemblages of grass species and their
associates; management of grassland according to faunal diversity present therein; eradication of alien invasive plants;
envis bulletin
Ecology and Management of Grassland Habitats in India
Ecology and Management of Grasslands in
Valmiki Tiger Reserve in the Himalayan Foothills, India
no plantation in the grasslands; and protection of grasslands against uncontrolled fire.
We monitored habitat use by wild ungulates in a 'Cut and Burned' grasslands along a stream bed (Sonha River) for one
year. The grassland (area: 20 ha) was treated in March 2013 by the VTR management. A strip transect of 100 x 4 m was
marked in the treated plot and ungulate pellet groups/dung were counted on monthly basis. After counting, the
pellets/dung was removed from the plot. Pellets of sambar and barking deer and dung of Indian bison were recorded in
the sampled area. Use of the treated grassland by herbivores was highest after emergence of tender shoots immediately
after the treatment (Figure 9.4). It is noteworthy that after grassland management intervention, population of Indian
bison remained within VTR, while in earlier years they used to migrate towards suitable habitats in the adjoining
Chitwan National Park (Sinha, 2012).
Table 9.9. Density and frequency of occurrence of Phoenix humilis in the Forest Ranges* of VTR
Forest Range Density / ha Frequency of Occurrence (%)
Gonauli 2928 26.3
Harnatanr 4264 79.9
Madanpur 400 1.3
Chiutaha 4748 80.7
Raghia 9256 88.5
Gobardhana 4764 61.8
Manguraha 9952 78.8
* A new forest range Valmikinagar has been carved out from Gonauli and Madanpur Ranges.
Source: Sinha et al., , 2004
Figure 9.4 Habitat use by ungulates in treated grassland (cut and burned)
126 127
Table 9.8. Biomass production and NPP at different sites
-2 -2 -1
Sites Biomass (Mean ± SD)(kg m ) NPP(kg m Yr )
Site 1 2.49±0.59 3.57
Site 2 0.65 ±0.22 0.91
Site 3 2.87 ± 0.86 3.39
Site 4 1.26 ± 0.33 1.88
Management practices and issues
Past Management in VTR
Valmiki Tiger Reserve was declared in 1994. During 1974 to 1994 this area was managed by the Bihar State Forest
Development Corporation. Mandate during this period was plantation and exploitation of economically important trees
and forests were worked as per different Working Plans, primarily emphasizing protection; improvement and
maintenance of forest cover; conservation of soil and moisture and prevention of soil erosion; and sustained supply of
good quality timber.
During 1971-82 emphasis was given on plantations of economically viable species on blanks, grasslands and areas
covered with inferior miscellaneous forests to increase the productivity of the forests (Jha, 1971). The eastern wet alluvial
grassland (4D/ 2S2) in almost all compartments of Madanpur block as extensive savanna grasslands, the grassy blanks
along valley beds of Someshwar block and a few compartments of Triveni block were converted into monoculture of
timber plantations leading to reduction in grasslands and meadows, which are crucial for herbivores. Conversion of
grasslands into woodlands led to local extirpation of blackbuck (Antelope cervicapra) which was seen in Madanpur block
till mid-1960s (Late R.B. Singh Per. comm.). Though present in adjoining Chitwan National Park, Bengal florican
(Houbaropsis bengalensis) has become locally extinct from VTR (Islam and Rahmani 2000). The species was last
reported from the area in 1980 (Mukherjee, 1986). Abundance of hog deer is also very low, though it is better in the
grasslands along the Gandak River outside the protected area. Changing the suitable grasslands into woodlands could
be the main reason of local extirpation of this species. After 1994, conversion of grasslands into woodlands came to a halt,
but it remained neglected without any management interventions till recent past.
During different management regimes, the grasslands in VTR were primarily maintained by periodic inundation during
the monsoon, and by fire and grazing besides collection of thatch by villagers, as in case of other terai areas (Dinerstein
1979 a). Not all the grasslands get inundated during the monsoon, and the grasslands on the stabilized soil are subjected
to natural succession leading to gradual development of Khair (Acacia catechu), Sissoo (Dalbergia sissoo), and Semal
(Bombax ceiba) in Madanpur block and forest in poorly drained soil and Sal (Shorea robusta) in well-drained soil.
The anthropogenic and natural influences operation in VTR grasslands can be summarized below:
i. Natural succession leading to conversion into woodland
ii. Recurrence of uncontrolled anthropogenic fire leading to change in species composition
iii. Cattle grazing and collection of thatch by locals
iv. Plantation of trees in grasslands
v. Colonization of invasive, exotic, unpalatable and fire resistant floral species such as Mikania micrantha in open
moist grasslands along streams, Phoenix humilis in openings in hilly areas, Eupatorium, Chromolaena spp. in the
blanks along roads.
In the open hill forests colonization of dwarf palm (Phoenix humilis) reflects recurrence of fire and resultant decline in soil
moisture. Highest density of P. humilis was recorded in Manguraha Range, while in Madanpur the density was lowest
(Sinha et al., 2004). Frequency of occurrence of P. humilis was highest in Raghia, where the species was present in 89% of
the area (Table 9.9).
Current management practices: Grassland management interventions in VTR effectively started from 2011-12 onwards.
Grasslands in the alluvial plains of Gandak River and along the streams in Bhabar areas in VTR are being managed
primarily by manual cutting followed by burning before the onset of summer. Harrowing is also done in Madanpur's
Saccharum ravennae dominated tall grasslands. To facilitate growth of grasses in open hilly areas colonized by dwarf
palm, manual removal of the species is done in strategic areas. The current Tiger Conservation Plan (TCP, 2014) of the
reserve prescribes use of fire as a tool for grassland management; identification of assemblages of grass species and their
associates; management of grassland according to faunal diversity present therein; eradication of alien invasive plants;
envis bulletin
Ecology and Management of Grassland Habitats in India
Ecology and Management of Grasslands in
Valmiki Tiger Reserve in the Himalayan Foothills, India
no plantation in the grasslands; and protection of grasslands against uncontrolled fire.
We monitored habitat use by wild ungulates in a 'Cut and Burned' grasslands along a stream bed (Sonha River) for one
year. The grassland (area: 20 ha) was treated in March 2013 by the VTR management. A strip transect of 100 x 4 m was
marked in the treated plot and ungulate pellet groups/dung were counted on monthly basis. After counting, the
pellets/dung was removed from the plot. Pellets of sambar and barking deer and dung of Indian bison were recorded in
the sampled area. Use of the treated grassland by herbivores was highest after emergence of tender shoots immediately
after the treatment (Figure 9.4). It is noteworthy that after grassland management intervention, population of Indian
bison remained within VTR, while in earlier years they used to migrate towards suitable habitats in the adjoining
Chitwan National Park (Sinha, 2012).
Table 9.9. Density and frequency of occurrence of Phoenix humilis in the Forest Ranges* of VTR
Forest Range Density / ha Frequency of Occurrence (%)
Gonauli 2928 26.3
Harnatanr 4264 79.9
Madanpur 400 1.3
Chiutaha 4748 80.7
Raghia 9256 88.5
Gobardhana 4764 61.8
Manguraha 9952 78.8
* A new forest range Valmikinagar has been carved out from Gonauli and Madanpur Ranges.
Source: Sinha et al., , 2004
Figure 9.4 Habitat use by ungulates in treated grassland (cut and burned)
126 127
envis bulletin
Ecology and Management of Grassland Habitats in India
Ecology and Management of Grasslands in
Valmiki Tiger Reserve in the Himalayan Foothills, India
Plate 9.5: Grassland management by VTR management
128 129
envis bulletin
Ecology and Management of Grassland Habitats in India
Ecology and Management of Grasslands in
Valmiki Tiger Reserve in the Himalayan Foothills, India
Plate 9.5: Grassland management by VTR management
128 129
Plate 9.6: Grasses in forest opening
Plate 9.8: Grassland in Pandai River after mining ban
Plate 9.7: Hill side grasslands with Phoenix
envis bulletin
Ecology and Management of Grassland Habitats in India
Ecology and Management of Grasslands in
Valmiki Tiger Reserve in the Himalayan Foothills, India
Plate 9.9: Ingression of woodland in grasslands
130 131
Plate 9.6: Grasses in forest opening
Plate 9.8: Grassland in Pandai River after mining ban
Plate 9.7: Hill side grasslands with Phoenix
envis bulletin
Ecology and Management of Grassland Habitats in India
Ecology and Management of Grasslands in
Valmiki Tiger Reserve in the Himalayan Foothills, India
Plate 9.9: Ingression of woodland in grasslands
130 131
envis bulletin
Ecology and Management of Grassland Habitats in India
Ecology and Management of Grasslands in
Valmiki Tiger Reserve in the Himalayan Foothills, India
References
Basnet, K. (1996).Biodiversity inventory of Royal Bardia National Park. Report No. 2. Kathmandu: BICP/WWF Nepal Program.
Bell, D.J. (1986). A study of the hispid hare Caprolagus hispidus in Royal Sukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve, Western Nepal: A Summary
Report.Dodo23: 24-31.
Bell, D.J., Oliver, W.L.R. and Ghose, R.K. (1990).The hispid hare Caprolagus hispidus. Rabbits, Hares and Pikas. Status Survey and Conservation
Action (eds J.A. Chapman and J.E.C. Flux), pp. 128-136. IUCN, Gland.
Bragg, T.B. and Hulbert, L. C. (1976). Woody plant invasion of unburned Kansas bluestem prairie. Journal of Range Management, 29: 19–24.
Chakraborty, S., Bhattacharyya, T.P. and De, J. K. (1998).Faunal Composition with special reference to Mammals. Fauna of Conservation Areas
No.10: Fauna of Valmiki Tiger Reserve (ed Director), pp. 1-41. Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta.
Champion, H.G. and Seth, S.K. (1968).A Revised Survey of the Forest Types of India, Government of India, Manager of Publications, Delhi,
India.
CNP. (2015).Chitwan National Park and its Buffer Zone Management Plan, 2013-17. Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation,
Government of Nepal.
Coe, M.J., Cumming, D. H. M. and Phillipson, J. (1976).Biomass and production of large African herbivores in relation to rainfall and primary
production.Oecologia, 22: 341-354.
Crawley, M. J. (1983).Herbivory: The dynamics of animal-plant interactions. University of California Press, California.
Datt, B., Rana, T.S., Hussain T., Pande, H.C. and Rao, R. R. (2004). Floristic diversity of Corbett Tiger Reserve, Uttaranchal: an overview,
Phytotaxonomy, 3, 24-31.
Dhungel, S. K. and O'Gara, B. W. (1991). Ecology of the hog deer in RCNP, Nepal. Wildlife monographs, 119: 1-40.
Dinerstein, E. (1979a). An ecological survey of the Royal Karnali-Bardia Wildlife Reserve, Nepal. Part 1: Vegetation, Modifying Factors, and
Successional Relationships. Biological Conservation, 15: 127-150.
Dinerstein, E. (1979 b). An ecological survey of the Royal Karnali-Bardia Wildlife Reserve, Nepal Part 2: Habitat / Animal Interactions.
Biological Conservation, 16: 265-300.
Dinerstein, E. (2003). The return of the unicorns: the natural history and conservation of the greater one-horned rhinoceros. Columbia
University Press, New York.
Dinerstein, E., Loucks, C., Heydlauff, A., Wikramanayake, E., Bryja, G., Forrest, J., Ginsberg, J., Klenzendorf, S., Leimgruber, P., O'Brien, T.,
Sanderson, E., Seidensticker, J. and Songer M. (2006).Setting Priorities for the Conservation and Recovery of Wild Tigers: 2005–2015. A
User's Guide.WWF, WCS, Smithsonian, and NFWF-STF, Washington DC, New York.
East, R. (1984). Rainfall, soil nutrients status and biomass of large African savanna mammals. African Journal of Ecology,22: 245-270.
Fritz, H.and Duncan, P. (1994).On the carrying capacity for large ungulates of African savanna ecosystem. Proceedings of Royal Society of
London-Biological Sciences, 256: 77-82.
Ghosh, S. B. (2012). Biodiversity and wild fodder of Gorumara National Park in West Bengal, India. Journal of Environment and Ecology, 3(1):
18-35.
Gibson, D. J. (2009).Grasses and Grassland Ecology, Oxford University Press, New York.
Heady, H. (1975).Rangeland Management. McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York.
Howe, H.F. (1995). Succession and fire season in experimental prairie plantings. Ecology, 76: 1917–1925.
Islam, M. Z. and Rahmani, A. R. (2000). Important Bird areas in India: Priority sites for conservation. Indian Bird Conservation Network:
Bombay Natural History Society and BirdLife International (UK).
Jha, Y. P. (1971).Revised working plan for the forests of Champaran forest division, Bihar, 1971-72 to 1980-81. Working Plan and Research
Circle, Ranchi, Bihar.
Jhala, Y. V., Qureshi, Q. and Gopal, R. (2015).The status of tigers in India 2014. National Tiger Conservation Authority, New Delhi and the
Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.
Johnsingh, A.J.T., Ramesh, K., Qureshi, Q., David, A., Goyal, S.P., Rawat, G.S., Rajapandian, K. and Prasad, S. (2004). Conser vation status of tiger
and associated species in the Terai Arc Landscape, India. RR – 04/001, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.
Joshi S, R. and Jha P. K. (1995).Biomass production in grasslands of RCNP, Nepal. Ecoprint, 2 (1):40-45.
Karki, J. B., Jhala, Y. V., and Khanna, P. P. (2000). Grazing lawns in terai grasslands, Royal Bardia National Park, Nepal. Biotropica ,32(3): 423-429.
Karki, J.B. (2000). Impacts of grassland management practices on grassland communities at Royal Bardia National Park, Nepal. Grassland
ecology and management in Protected Areas of Nepal: Proceeding of a workshop (Vol 1), Action summary (eds C. Richard, J.P. Sah, K.
Basnet, J. Karki, B. Subba, and Y. Raut), pp. 36-37. International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Kirilov, A., Vasilev, E. and Dimitrova, A. (2006). Assessment of palatability of different grass and legume species, and of their combinations. In:
Sustainable grassland productivity: Proceedings of the 21st General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation, Badajoz, Spain, pp.
363-365.
Kumar H., Mathur, P.K., Lehmkuhl, J.F., Khati, D.V.S., De R. and Longwah, W. (2002).Management of Forests in India for Biological Diversity and
Forest Productivity, A New Perspective - Volume VI: Terai Conservation Area (TCA). WII-USDA Forest Service Collaborative Project
Report, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.
Kumar, A., Bajpai, O., Mishra, A.K., Sahu, N., Behera, S.K., Bargali, S.S. and Chaudhary, L.B. (2015). A checklist of the flowering plants of
Katerniaghat Wildlife Santuary, Uttar Pradesh, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 7(7): 7309-7408.
Kumar, H. and Subudhi, S.P. (2013). Assessment of grass species diversity and wild animals occurrence in van gujjars relocated site of the Rajaji
National Park in Uttarakhand, Northern India. Cibtech Journal of Zoology, 2(1): 30-39.
Kumar, H. (2000). Effects of management practices on the grassland vegetation and the use by ungulates in Dudhwa National Park, Uttar
Pradesh, India. Grassland ecology and management in Protected Areas of Nepal: Proceeding of a workshop (Vol 2), Technical and status
papers on grasslands of Terai Protected Areas (eds C. Richard, K. Basnet, J.P. Sah and Y. Raut), pp. 74-83. International Centre for
Integrated Mountain Development, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Lambers, J.H.R., Harpole, W.S., Tilman, D., Knops, J. and Reich, P. B. (2004). Mechanisms responsible for the positive diversity–productivity
relationship in Minnesota grasslands. Ecology Letters,7: 661–668.
Lehmkuhl, J. (1992). Above ground production and response to defoliation on a native pasture in lowland Nepal. Tropical Grasslands,26:82-
88.
Lehmkuhl, J. (2000). The organization and human use of terai riverine grasslands in the Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal. Grassland
ecology and management in Protected Areas of Nepal: Proceeding of a workshop (Vol 2), Technical and status papers on grasslands of
Terai Protected Areas (eds C. Richard, K. Basnet, J.P. Sahand Y. Raut), pp. 37-49. International Centre for Integrated Mountain
Development, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Lehmkuhl, J. F. (1994). A classification of subtropical riverine grassland and forest in Chitwan National Park. Kathmandu, Nepal. Vegetatio,
111: 29-43.
Lehmkuhl, J. F., Upreti R. K. andSharma U. R. (1988). National Parks and Local Development: Grasses and People in Royal Chitwan National
Park, Nepal. Environmental Conservation, 15(2):143-148.
Lehmkuhl, J.F. (1989).The Ecology of a South-Asian Tall-grass Community. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Washington.
132 133
envis bulletin
Ecology and Management of Grassland Habitats in India
Ecology and Management of Grasslands in
Valmiki Tiger Reserve in the Himalayan Foothills, India
References
Basnet, K. (1996).Biodiversity inventory of Royal Bardia National Park. Report No. 2. Kathmandu: BICP/WWF Nepal Program.
Bell, D.J. (1986). A study of the hispid hare Caprolagus hispidus in Royal Sukla Phanta Wildlife Reserve, Western Nepal: A Summary
Report.Dodo23: 24-31.
Bell, D.J., Oliver, W.L.R. and Ghose, R.K. (1990).The hispid hare Caprolagus hispidus. Rabbits, Hares and Pikas. Status Survey and Conservation
Action (eds J.A. Chapman and J.E.C. Flux), pp. 128-136. IUCN, Gland.
Bragg, T.B. and Hulbert, L. C. (1976). Woody plant invasion of unburned Kansas bluestem prairie. Journal of Range Management, 29: 19–24.
Chakraborty, S., Bhattacharyya, T.P. and De, J. K. (1998).Faunal Composition with special reference to Mammals. Fauna of Conservation Areas
No.10: Fauna of Valmiki Tiger Reserve (ed Director), pp. 1-41. Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta.
Champion, H.G. and Seth, S.K. (1968).A Revised Survey of the Forest Types of India, Government of India, Manager of Publications, Delhi,
India.
CNP. (2015).Chitwan National Park and its Buffer Zone Management Plan, 2013-17. Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation,
Government of Nepal.
Coe, M.J., Cumming, D. H. M. and Phillipson, J. (1976).Biomass and production of large African herbivores in relation to rainfall and primary
production.Oecologia, 22: 341-354.
Crawley, M. J. (1983).Herbivory: The dynamics of animal-plant interactions. University of California Press, California.
Datt, B., Rana, T.S., Hussain T., Pande, H.C. and Rao, R. R. (2004). Floristic diversity of Corbett Tiger Reserve, Uttaranchal: an overview,
Phytotaxonomy, 3, 24-31.
Dhungel, S. K. and O'Gara, B. W. (1991). Ecology of the hog deer in RCNP, Nepal. Wildlife monographs, 119: 1-40.
Dinerstein, E. (1979a). An ecological survey of the Royal Karnali-Bardia Wildlife Reserve, Nepal. Part 1: Vegetation, Modifying Factors, and
Successional Relationships. Biological Conservation, 15: 127-150.
Dinerstein, E. (1979 b). An ecological survey of the Royal Karnali-Bardia Wildlife Reserve, Nepal Part 2: Habitat / Animal Interactions.
Biological Conservation, 16: 265-300.
Dinerstein, E. (2003). The return of the unicorns: the natural history and conservation of the greater one-horned rhinoceros. Columbia
University Press, New York.
Dinerstein, E., Loucks, C., Heydlauff, A., Wikramanayake, E., Bryja, G., Forrest, J., Ginsberg, J., Klenzendorf, S., Leimgruber, P., O'Brien, T.,
Sanderson, E., Seidensticker, J. and Songer M. (2006).Setting Priorities for the Conservation and Recovery of Wild Tigers: 2005–2015. A
User's Guide.WWF, WCS, Smithsonian, and NFWF-STF, Washington DC, New York.
East, R. (1984). Rainfall, soil nutrients status and biomass of large African savanna mammals. African Journal of Ecology,22: 245-270.
Fritz, H.and Duncan, P. (1994).On the carrying capacity for large ungulates of African savanna ecosystem. Proceedings of Royal Society of
London-Biological Sciences, 256: 77-82.
Ghosh, S. B. (2012). Biodiversity and wild fodder of Gorumara National Park in West Bengal, India. Journal of Environment and Ecology, 3(1):
18-35.
Gibson, D. J. (2009).Grasses and Grassland Ecology, Oxford University Press, New York.
Heady, H. (1975).Rangeland Management. McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York.
Howe, H.F. (1995). Succession and fire season in experimental prairie plantings. Ecology, 76: 1917–1925.
Islam, M. Z. and Rahmani, A. R. (2000). Important Bird areas in India: Priority sites for conservation. Indian Bird Conservation Network:
Bombay Natural History Society and BirdLife International (UK).
Jha, Y. P. (1971).Revised working plan for the forests of Champaran forest division, Bihar, 1971-72 to 1980-81. Working Plan and Research
Circle, Ranchi, Bihar.
Jhala, Y. V., Qureshi, Q. and Gopal, R. (2015).The status of tigers in India 2014. National Tiger Conservation Authority, New Delhi and the
Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.
Johnsingh, A.J.T., Ramesh, K., Qureshi, Q., David, A., Goyal, S.P., Rawat, G.S., Rajapandian, K. and Prasad, S. (2004). Conser vation status of tiger
and associated species in the Terai Arc Landscape, India. RR – 04/001, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.
Joshi S, R. and Jha P. K. (1995).Biomass production in grasslands of RCNP, Nepal. Ecoprint, 2 (1):40-45.
Karki, J. B., Jhala, Y. V., and Khanna, P. P. (2000). Grazing lawns in terai grasslands, Royal Bardia National Park, Nepal. Biotropica ,32(3): 423-429.
Karki, J.B. (2000). Impacts of grassland management practices on grassland communities at Royal Bardia National Park, Nepal. Grassland
ecology and management in Protected Areas of Nepal: Proceeding of a workshop (Vol 1), Action summary (eds C. Richard, J.P. Sah, K.
Basnet, J. Karki, B. Subba, and Y. Raut), pp. 36-37. International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Kirilov, A., Vasilev, E. and Dimitrova, A. (2006). Assessment of palatability of different grass and legume species, and of their combinations. In:
Sustainable grassland productivity: Proceedings of the 21st General Meeting of the European Grassland Federation, Badajoz, Spain, pp.
363-365.
Kumar H., Mathur, P.K., Lehmkuhl, J.F., Khati, D.V.S., De R. and Longwah, W. (2002).Management of Forests in India for Biological Diversity and
Forest Productivity, A New Perspective - Volume VI: Terai Conservation Area (TCA). WII-USDA Forest Service Collaborative Project
Report, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.
Kumar, A., Bajpai, O., Mishra, A.K., Sahu, N., Behera, S.K., Bargali, S.S. and Chaudhary, L.B. (2015). A checklist of the flowering plants of
Katerniaghat Wildlife Santuary, Uttar Pradesh, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 7(7): 7309-7408.
Kumar, H. and Subudhi, S.P. (2013). Assessment of grass species diversity and wild animals occurrence in van gujjars relocated site of the Rajaji
National Park in Uttarakhand, Northern India. Cibtech Journal of Zoology, 2(1): 30-39.
Kumar, H. (2000). Effects of management practices on the grassland vegetation and the use by ungulates in Dudhwa National Park, Uttar
Pradesh, India. Grassland ecology and management in Protected Areas of Nepal: Proceeding of a workshop (Vol 2), Technical and status
papers on grasslands of Terai Protected Areas (eds C. Richard, K. Basnet, J.P. Sah and Y. Raut), pp. 74-83. International Centre for
Integrated Mountain Development, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Lambers, J.H.R., Harpole, W.S., Tilman, D., Knops, J. and Reich, P. B. (2004). Mechanisms responsible for the positive diversity–productivity
relationship in Minnesota grasslands. Ecology Letters,7: 661–668.
Lehmkuhl, J. (1992). Above ground production and response to defoliation on a native pasture in lowland Nepal. Tropical Grasslands,26:82-
88.
Lehmkuhl, J. (2000). The organization and human use of terai riverine grasslands in the Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal. Grassland
ecology and management in Protected Areas of Nepal: Proceeding of a workshop (Vol 2), Technical and status papers on grasslands of
Terai Protected Areas (eds C. Richard, K. Basnet, J.P. Sahand Y. Raut), pp. 37-49. International Centre for Integrated Mountain
Development, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Lehmkuhl, J. F. (1994). A classification of subtropical riverine grassland and forest in Chitwan National Park. Kathmandu, Nepal. Vegetatio,
111: 29-43.
Lehmkuhl, J. F., Upreti R. K. andSharma U. R. (1988). National Parks and Local Development: Grasses and People in Royal Chitwan National
Park, Nepal. Environmental Conservation, 15(2):143-148.
Lehmkuhl, J.F. (1989).The Ecology of a South-Asian Tall-grass Community. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Washington.
132 133
Magurran, A. (2004). Measuring biological diversity. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford.
Malone, C.R. (1968). Determination of peak standing crop biomass of herbaceous shoots by the har vest method. American Midland
Naturalist, 79: 429-435.
Mathur, P.K. and Midha, N. (2008).Mapping of National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries, Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, WII-NNRMS-MoEF Project,
Final Technical Report, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, India.
McNaughton, S.J., Oesterheld, M., Frank, D. A. and Williams, K. J. (1991). Primary and secondary production of ecosystems. Comparative
analysis of ecosystems. patterns, mechanisms and theories (eds J.J. Cole, G. M. Lovett and S. E. G. Lindsay), pp. 120-139. Springer, New
York.
Milner, C. and Hughes, R. E. (1968). Methods for the measurement of the primary production of grassland. IBP Handbook No. 6. International
Biological Program, Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford and Edinburgh.
Mishra, H. R. (1982) The ecology and behaviour of Chital (Axis axis) in the Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal. Ph.D. thesis, University of
Edinburgh.
Moe, S. R. (1994). Distribution and Movement Pattern of Deer in Response to Food Quality and Manipulation of Grassy Habitat: A Case Study
With Emphasis On Axis Deer (Axis axis) in Lowland Nepal. Ph.D. thesis, Agriculture University of Norway.
Moe, S.R. and Wegge, P. (1997). The effects of cutting and burning on grass quality and axis deer (Axis axis) use of grassland in lowland Nepal.
Journal of Tropical Ecology, 13, 279–292.
Mukherjee, A.K. (1986) The ecology and conservation of Bengal Florican Eupodotis bengalensis (Gmelin). Wildlife Wealth of India: Resources
and Management (ed. T.C. Majupuria), pp 305-311. Tecpress Service, Thailand.
Munthali, S.M. and Banda, H. M. (1992). Distribution and abundance of the common ungulates of Nyika National Park, Malawi. African
Journal of Ecology, 80, 203-212.
Oliver, W.L.R. and Deb Roy, S. (1993). The Pigmy Hog (Sus salvanius). Pigs, Peccaries and Hippos Status Survey and Action Plan (ed. W.L.R.
Oliver), pp. 121-129. IUCN, Gland.
Olson, D. and Dinerstein, E. (1998). The Global 200: A Representation Approach to Conserving the Earth's Distinctive Ecoregions.
Conservation Biology, 12 (3), 502-515.
Ovington, J.D., Heitkamp, D.and Lawrence, D.B. (1963) Plant biomass and productivity of prairie savannah, Oakwood and maize field
ecosystems in Central Minnesota. Ecology, 44, 52-63.
Pandey, A.N. (1988) Short-term study of recovery of Tropical Grassland following seasonal burning. Tropical Ecology, 29, 159-170.
Peet, N. B., Bell, D.J. and Watkinson, A.R. (2000). Managing the terai grasslands in Nepal: Recent research and future priorities. Grassland
ecology and management in Protected Areas of Nepal: Proceeding of a workshop (Vol 2), Technical and status papers on grasslands of
Terai Protected Areas (eds C. Richard, K. Basnet, J.P. Sahand Y. Raut), pp. 30-36. International Centre for Integrated Mountain
Development, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Peet, N. B., Watkinson, A. R., Bell, D. J. and Sharma, U. R. (1999). The conservation management of Imperata cylindrica grassland in Nepal with
fire and cutting: an experimental approach. Journal of Applied Ecology, 36, 374-387.
Peet, N.B. (1997). Biodiversity and management of tall grasslands in Nepal. Ph.D. thesis, University of East Anglia, Norwich.
Peet, N.B., Watkinson, A.R., Bell, D.J. and Brown, K. (1997).The management of Tall Grasslands for the Conservation of Biodiversity and
Sustainable Utilization. Research Report. Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Nepal and East Anglia.
Rahmani, A.R., Narayan, G., Rosalind, L., Sankaran, R. and Ganguli-Lachungpa, U. (1991). Status of Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis in
India. Journal of Bombay Natural History Society, 88, 349-375.
Redmann, R.E. (1992). Primary productivity. Ecosystems of the world: natural grasslands: introduction and western hemisphere, Vol. 8A (ed,
R.T. Coupland), pp. 75–94. Elsevier, Amsterdam.
Rusch, G. M. and Oesterheld, M. (1997). Relationship between productivity and species and functional group diversity in grazed and non-
grazed pampas grassland, Oikos, 78 (3): 519-526.
Shrestha, M.K. (2004).Relative Ungulate Abundance in fragmented landscape: Implications for tiger's conservation. Ph.D. thesis, University of
Minnesota.
Sinha, S. K. (2011). Nature assisted re-establishment of Greater one-horned rhinoceros, Rhinoceros unicornis in its historical distribution
range. Current Science, 100(12): 1765-1766.
Sinha, S.K. (2012). Indian bison Bos gaurus in the Shiwalik hills–Gangetic Plains landscape in India. Current Science, 103(5):466-67.
Sinha, S.K., Easa, P.S. and Kumar, A. (2004). Strengthening the protection and management of Valmiki Tiger Reserve, Bihar, India. Report
submitted to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Wildlife Trust of India, Delhi
Smith, J.L.D., McDougal, C., Ahearn, S.C., Joshi, A. and Conforti, K. (1999). Metapopulation structure of tigers in Nepal. Riding the tiger: tiger
conservation in human dominated landscapes (eds, J. Seidensticker, S. Christie and P. Jackson), pp. 176-189.Cambridge University
Press, Cambridge.
Southwood, R. and Henderson, P.A. (2000). Ecological Methods. Blackwell Science, Oxford.
envis bulletin
Ecology and Management of Grassland Habitats in India
Ecology and Management of Grasslands in
Valmiki Tiger Reserve in the Himalayan Foothills, India
Sweet, R. J. (1982). Bush control with fire in Acacia negrescens/ Combretum piculatum in savanna in Botswana. Proceedings of Grasslands
Society of South Africa, 17: 25-28.
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Tainton), pp. 115-147. Springer Verlag, Berlin.
TCP ( 2014). Tiger Conservation Plan of Valmiki Tiger Reserve, West Champaran, Bihar.
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Pieternmaritzburg.
Verma, U.(1982). Shikaraur Sanrakshan, Ashok Press, Patna.
Wegge, P., Janwali, R.S., Storaas, T. and Odden, M. (2000). Grasslands and large mammal conservation in the lowland terai: A preliminary
synthesis based on field research conducted in Royal Bardia National Park, Nepal. Grassland ecology and management in Protected
Areas of Nepal: Proceeding of a workshop (Vol 2), Technical and status papers on grasslands of Terai Protected Areas (eds C. Richard, K.
Basnet, J.P. Sah, and Y. Raut,), pp. 30-36. International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Whyte, R. O. (1957). The grassland and fodder resources of India, Monograph No. 22, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi.
Wiegert, R.C. and Evans, F.C. (1964). Primary production and the disappearance of dead vegetation on an old field of South Eastern
Michigan.Ecology,45: 49-63.
WTI (2010). Monitoring of tiger and its principal prey in Valmiki Tiger Reserve, Bihar, India. Report submitted to US Fish and Wildlife Services.
Wildlife Trust of India, Delhi.
WTI (2011). Conservation action for habitat and prey species recovery in Valmiki Tiger Reserve, Bihar, India. Wildlife Trust of India, New Delhi.
WTI (2012). Facilitating the recovery of tiger populations and their prey base in Valmiki Tiger Reserve through community support. Report
submitted to Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU). Wildlife Trust of India.
Younger, V.B. (1972). Physiology of defoliation and regrowth. The Biology and Utilization of Grasses (eds V.B Younger and C.M. McKell), pp.
292-303.Academic Press, New York.
ZSI (1998). Fauna of Conservation Areas No. 10: Fauna of Valmiki Tiger Reserve. Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta.
134 135
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Naturalist, 79: 429-435.
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Final Technical Report, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, India.
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analysis of ecosystems. patterns, mechanisms and theories (eds J.J. Cole, G. M. Lovett and S. E. G. Lindsay), pp. 120-139. Springer, New
York.
Milner, C. and Hughes, R. E. (1968). Methods for the measurement of the primary production of grassland. IBP Handbook No. 6. International
Biological Program, Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford and Edinburgh.
Mishra, H. R. (1982) The ecology and behaviour of Chital (Axis axis) in the Royal Chitwan National Park, Nepal. Ph.D. thesis, University of
Edinburgh.
Moe, S. R. (1994). Distribution and Movement Pattern of Deer in Response to Food Quality and Manipulation of Grassy Habitat: A Case Study
With Emphasis On Axis Deer (Axis axis) in Lowland Nepal. Ph.D. thesis, Agriculture University of Norway.
Moe, S.R. and Wegge, P. (1997). The effects of cutting and burning on grass quality and axis deer (Axis axis) use of grassland in lowland Nepal.
Journal of Tropical Ecology, 13, 279–292.
Mukherjee, A.K. (1986) The ecology and conservation of Bengal Florican Eupodotis bengalensis (Gmelin). Wildlife Wealth of India: Resources
and Management (ed. T.C. Majupuria), pp 305-311. Tecpress Service, Thailand.
Munthali, S.M. and Banda, H. M. (1992). Distribution and abundance of the common ungulates of Nyika National Park, Malawi. African
Journal of Ecology, 80, 203-212.
Oliver, W.L.R. and Deb Roy, S. (1993). The Pigmy Hog (Sus salvanius). Pigs, Peccaries and Hippos Status Survey and Action Plan (ed. W.L.R.
Oliver), pp. 121-129. IUCN, Gland.
Olson, D. and Dinerstein, E. (1998). The Global 200: A Representation Approach to Conserving the Earth's Distinctive Ecoregions.
Conservation Biology, 12 (3), 502-515.
Ovington, J.D., Heitkamp, D.and Lawrence, D.B. (1963) Plant biomass and productivity of prairie savannah, Oakwood and maize field
ecosystems in Central Minnesota. Ecology, 44, 52-63.
Pandey, A.N. (1988) Short-term study of recovery of Tropical Grassland following seasonal burning. Tropical Ecology, 29, 159-170.
Peet, N. B., Bell, D.J. and Watkinson, A.R. (2000). Managing the terai grasslands in Nepal: Recent research and future priorities. Grassland
ecology and management in Protected Areas of Nepal: Proceeding of a workshop (Vol 2), Technical and status papers on grasslands of
Terai Protected Areas (eds C. Richard, K. Basnet, J.P. Sahand Y. Raut), pp. 30-36. International Centre for Integrated Mountain
Development, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Peet, N. B., Watkinson, A. R., Bell, D. J. and Sharma, U. R. (1999). The conservation management of Imperata cylindrica grassland in Nepal with
fire and cutting: an experimental approach. Journal of Applied Ecology, 36, 374-387.
Peet, N.B. (1997). Biodiversity and management of tall grasslands in Nepal. Ph.D. thesis, University of East Anglia, Norwich.
Peet, N.B., Watkinson, A.R., Bell, D.J. and Brown, K. (1997).The management of Tall Grasslands for the Conservation of Biodiversity and
Sustainable Utilization. Research Report. Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Nepal and East Anglia.
Rahmani, A.R., Narayan, G., Rosalind, L., Sankaran, R. and Ganguli-Lachungpa, U. (1991). Status of Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis in
India. Journal of Bombay Natural History Society, 88, 349-375.
Redmann, R.E. (1992). Primary productivity. Ecosystems of the world: natural grasslands: introduction and western hemisphere, Vol. 8A (ed,
R.T. Coupland), pp. 75–94. Elsevier, Amsterdam.
Rusch, G. M. and Oesterheld, M. (1997). Relationship between productivity and species and functional group diversity in grazed and non-
grazed pampas grassland, Oikos, 78 (3): 519-526.
Shrestha, M.K. (2004).Relative Ungulate Abundance in fragmented landscape: Implications for tiger's conservation. Ph.D. thesis, University of
Minnesota.
Sinha, S. K. (2011). Nature assisted re-establishment of Greater one-horned rhinoceros, Rhinoceros unicornis in its historical distribution
range. Current Science, 100(12): 1765-1766.
Sinha, S.K. (2012). Indian bison Bos gaurus in the Shiwalik hills–Gangetic Plains landscape in India. Current Science, 103(5):466-67.
Sinha, S.K., Easa, P.S. and Kumar, A. (2004). Strengthening the protection and management of Valmiki Tiger Reserve, Bihar, India. Report
submitted to the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Wildlife Trust of India, Delhi
Smith, J.L.D., McDougal, C., Ahearn, S.C., Joshi, A. and Conforti, K. (1999). Metapopulation structure of tigers in Nepal. Riding the tiger: tiger
conservation in human dominated landscapes (eds, J. Seidensticker, S. Christie and P. Jackson), pp. 176-189.Cambridge University
Press, Cambridge.
Southwood, R. and Henderson, P.A. (2000). Ecological Methods. Blackwell Science, Oxford.
envis bulletin
Ecology and Management of Grassland Habitats in India
Ecology and Management of Grasslands in
Valmiki Tiger Reserve in the Himalayan Foothills, India
Sweet, R. J. (1982). Bush control with fire in Acacia negrescens/ Combretum piculatum in savanna in Botswana. Proceedings of Grasslands
Society of South Africa, 17: 25-28.
Tainton, N.M. and Mentis, M.T. (1984). Fire in grasslands. Ecological effects of fire in South African ecosystems (eds V. Booysenand N. M.
Tainton), pp. 115-147. Springer Verlag, Berlin.
TCP ( 2014). Tiger Conservation Plan of Valmiki Tiger Reserve, West Champaran, Bihar.
Trollope, W.S.W. (1999). Veld burning. Veld and pasture management in South Africa (ed N.M., Tainton), pp. 217-243, Shutter and Shooter,
Pieternmaritzburg.
Verma, U.(1982). Shikaraur Sanrakshan, Ashok Press, Patna.
Wegge, P., Janwali, R.S., Storaas, T. and Odden, M. (2000). Grasslands and large mammal conservation in the lowland terai: A preliminary
synthesis based on field research conducted in Royal Bardia National Park, Nepal. Grassland ecology and management in Protected
Areas of Nepal: Proceeding of a workshop (Vol 2), Technical and status papers on grasslands of Terai Protected Areas (eds C. Richard, K.
Basnet, J.P. Sah, and Y. Raut,), pp. 30-36. International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Whyte, R. O. (1957). The grassland and fodder resources of India, Monograph No. 22, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi.
Wiegert, R.C. and Evans, F.C. (1964). Primary production and the disappearance of dead vegetation on an old field of South Eastern
Michigan.Ecology,45: 49-63.
WTI (2010). Monitoring of tiger and its principal prey in Valmiki Tiger Reserve, Bihar, India. Report submitted to US Fish and Wildlife Services.
Wildlife Trust of India, Delhi.
WTI (2011). Conservation action for habitat and prey species recovery in Valmiki Tiger Reserve, Bihar, India. Wildlife Trust of India, New Delhi.
WTI (2012). Facilitating the recovery of tiger populations and their prey base in Valmiki Tiger Reserve through community support. Report
submitted to Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU). Wildlife Trust of India.
Younger, V.B. (1972). Physiology of defoliation and regrowth. The Biology and Utilization of Grasses (eds V.B Younger and C.M. McKell), pp.
292-303.Academic Press, New York.
ZSI (1998). Fauna of Conservation Areas No. 10: Fauna of Valmiki Tiger Reserve. Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta.
134 135
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Man-made grasslands dominated by Imperata cylindrica (L.) Beauv. in forested areas of lowland Nepal are commonly cut and/or burned annually. Changes in grass forage quality following different treatments of cutting and burning and axis deer (Axis axis) response to such habitat manipulations were investigated. Samples of matured grass were collected in December 1990, February and April 1991 from three experimental sites: cut, burned, cut-and-burned. Four locations on cut-and-burned grassland were repeatedly sampled at 12-d intervals from January to April 1992. Numbers of axis deer were recorded during the dry season of 1991/1992 on grassland plots receiving the following treatments: cut, cut-and-burned, and uncut/unburned (controls). Based on grass quality differences between December and February and between December and April, cut-and-burned treatments gave the greater increase in forage quality. N was significantly higher on cut-and-burned plots than on cut plots both in February and in April, while Na, K and P was significantly higher in February. On plots cut-and-burned in January, Ca concentrations were relatively low while the P content fell below required levels for domestic stock towards the end of the dry season in April. Na concentrations were below the minimum required levels for both domestic and wild ruminants during the whole period. When an entire grassland was cut, deer density increased gradually. When the same area was subsequently burned, the daily deer density increased much more rapidly. Axis deer preferred burned plots compared to plots neither cut nor burned and to cut plots. Plots burned in late February had higher densities of axis deer than plots burned 1.5 mo earlier. When nearby recently burned plots were available, deer density was reduced on plots burned earlier.
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Gorumara National Park (GNP) in Duars, West Bengal, India, has an amazing biodiversity. Understanding of interactive factors was felt necessary. The undertaken programme included flowering plant identification, diversity indices calculation, faecal excreta examination, estimation of salinity of water courses and measurement of pH of soil and water. The floral Shannon’s H at 6.38644 and Shannon’s EH at 0.9996, fodder species’ H and EH respectively at 2.6 - 4.06 and at 0.92 - 0.96, and mammalian species H and EH in the ranges of 2.7-3.02 and 0.79-0.86, presented a sustainable ratio of flora and fauna. During winter, with low salt concentration of the flowing water courses (TDS 100 ppm / L; EC 167 µS / cm2), the pachyderms tended to consume whole plant of grasses and herbs. During rains, with higher salt content of the same (450 TDS/750 EC), they were found to consume tender foliage. Seeds retrieved from faecal matters demonstrated higher rate (70 - 90%) of germination. Eastern Himalayan Submontane Terai in Indo - Malaya Ecozone, with coordinates at 26º 40′ N and 88º 08′ E, temperature ambience around 9º C - 30º C, average RH at about 80 - 90%, average monthly rainfall of 1985 mm, ever flowing rivers and fascinating post-monsoon ecesis had been found to be the architect of this biosphere. Presence of salt – licks and water holes, herbivore – carnivore ratio, sapling production with seeds from faecal matters, economic stability and education of forest bound populace should be the key to tropical forest management.
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This severely endangered species of bustard has been brought close to extinction by the indiscriminate conversion of grasslands into agricultural settlements with accompanying overgrazing. The results of a survey carried out in 1985-89 are reported for important florican areas, many of them wildlife santuaries. These were visited in the peak of the breeding season, and data are presented for each site or region. Territorial males were easily seen during their aerial display and although fewer hens were seen, population estimates are based on the assumption that the sex ratio is equal. Recommendations point to the need for protection of the natural grasslands of the terai belt and the Assam Valley, especially the Brahmaputra islands and flood plains. -J.W.Cooper
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Ecosystem-level values of net primary productivity and herbivore biomass, consumption, and secondary productivity in terrestrial ecosystems were assembled from the literature. Data on belowground processes and trophic levels higher than herbivores were too rare in the literature to warrant a comparative analysis. All herbivore trophic-level properties were positively correlated with net primary productivity. Different ecosystem types were located at different positions on a common line. However, rather than regarding herbivore-level properties as simple consequences of producer properties, we believe it is more appropriate to regard primary production as an integrative variable indicative of processes throughout the ecosystem. Although the data were limited for ecosystems where there are periodic herbivore “outbreaks,” the data available suggest that these pulsed ecosystems may be fundamentally different from ecosystems suffering chronic, consistent levels of herbivory.