What are Sacred Groves ?
- Sacred groves are forest fragments, size varying between 0.5-500 hectare (some groves are more than 500 hectare in size) which are protected by religious communities, and have a significant religious connotation for the protecting community.
- Sacred Groves are a fine example of In-situ conservation.
- Sacred Groves form important repositories of forest biodiversity and provide refuge to many plant and animal species of conservation significance.
- India has over 13,000 documented Sacred Groves.
- These forest patches protected for deities provide vital ecosystem services to local people.
- They are the cultural landmarks and are epicentre of many festivals and celebrations.
- Hunting and logging are usually prohibited in Sacred Groves as well as Developmental activities are also restricted within these patches.
Kaziranga National Park
- Formed in 1908 on the recommendation of Mary Curzon (wife of Lord Curzon), the Kaziranga national park is located in Assam.
- In the year 1985, the park was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
- Kaziranga was declared as Tiger Reserve in 2006 and it is also recognised as an Important Bird Area by Birdlife International for conservation of avifaunal organisms.
- In the park one can see four types of vegetation like alluvial inundated grasslands, alluvial savanna woodlands, tropical moist mixed deciduous forests, and tropical semi-evergreen forests.
- The park is famous for its One-horned Rhinoceros; about 2200 rhinoceros exist in this park, which is half of the world’s one-horned rhino population.
- The park also harbours significant populations of other threatened species including tigers, elephants, wild water buffalo and bears as well as aquatic species including the Ganges River dolphin.
- River Brahmaputra flows adjacent to the park. River fluctuations by the Brahmaputra system result in spectacular examples of riverine and fluvial processes.
Why in News ?
- Sacred Groves Community Interest Company (CIC) was willing to make a 10-year investment for restoration of forest lands near Kaziranga National Park with a view to increasing the habitat of the one horned rhino.
- It is the most effective way of Biodiversity conservation.
- It is onsite conservation of all species in their natural habitations.
- Eg: National Parks, Sanctuaries, Tiger reserves, Biosphere reserves, Reserve forests, Sacred groves etc.
- It refers to conservation of species outside of their natural habitats.
- Plants and animal species are conserved in botanical gardens and zoological gardens, seeds are conserved in seed banks (gene bank) or some other suitable forms by means of tissue culture techniques.
- Eg: Gene bank or Seed bank, Germ-plasm storage, live museum, Botanical gardens, Zoological gardens, Aquarium, Snake parks etc.