~ By Satvik Parashar
India is a hotspot for residue burning, which is driven by the limited time the farmers have to plant the next crop and a lack of feasible alternatives to handle the crop residue. Not only is this responsible for increased carbon emissions, but the crop residue once burnt also produces radiatively active gases and particulate matter, causing additional contributions to climate change and a public health hazard forhumans.
It is essential to map the agriculture burned areas (ABAs) to analyze and mitigate emissions in the agricultural systems. While global fire emission inventories provide valuable information on the time and location of fires, they underestimate the small and fragmented fires. The smallholder systems have smaller field sizes (< 1.5 ha) and a short duration of fire (~30 minutes). The use of sentinel-2 data, which provide improved spatial (10 m) and temporal resolution could help capture these small and short-lived fires, and the study we summarize here attempts to test its efficacy in doing so. The study was conducted in the state of Madhya Pradesh, which has the majority of its land cover under crop area (Fig. 1) and is one of the most significant wheat-producing regions in Central India.
~ Pakhi Das
As part of the Coalition for Wildlife Corridors (CWC), some of my work at the NCCI is to create rich profiles of a few corridors for the tiger movement in central India. That said – I had never been to one until June this year when colleagues from WWF India and I travelled through the beautiful Sal forests in the Kanha - Achanakmar Corridor (KAC) in the Central Indian Landscape. The purpose of this field trip was to have those collating information and writing corridor profiles get a chance to co-write with the field teams and learn about ground realities from the varied stakeholders. While secondary research had been extremely useful in laying the foundation of the corridor profile, this trip would allow me to interact with experts who had been working on the ground in the corridor area for years and learn new information first-hand, making the profile robust, relevant, and up to date.
The Boundaries That Wildlife Doesn’t Recognize
The KAC spans two forest divisions of Madhya Pradesh (East Mandla and Dindori) and three forest divisions of Chhattisgarh (Kawardha, Bilaspur and Mungeli). The corridor provides extensive habitats for various wild-animal species, including tigers, leopards, hyenas, jackals, and multiple species of deer. However, during the first nationwide lockdown due to the pandemic, herds of elephants also walked from Orrisa and Eastern Chattisgarh and found their home in the forests of this corridor. Tigers and elephants have always fascinated me, and though very slim, the possibility of sighting one or both during the trip was extremely exciting.
~ By Satvik Parashar
Cropping intensity is defined as the number of seasons in which crops are planted in a single year. An increase in tubewell construction since the 1960s has largely increased cropping intensity across India, but this has caused intense extraction of water, which has resulted in the rapid depletion of aquifers across much of India. A recent study by an interdisciplinary group of researchers estimates the association between groundwater use, crop production and groundwater depletion. This would be crucial to assess the potential production losses that may occur due to overexploitation of groundwater. The focus of the study is on winter cropped areas because winter agriculture is primarily dependent on groundwater for irrigation. The analyses is at the national level with important take-aways for central India.
Figure 1 in study: Mean winter cropped area from 2000–2001 to 2015–2016 Cropped area is shown (A) across India, (B) in a highly cropped region in Punjab, and (C) in a medium-intensity cropped region in Bihar. Pixels that were never cropped are highlighted in white, pixels that were 100% cropped across all 16 years are highlighted in dark green, and pixels for which cropped area information was not found are highlighted in gray.
How Bio-Climatic Factors and Climate Change Govern the Distribution of Major NTFP Species Distribution in Central India?
~ By Satvik Parashar
Species occurrence and their distributions are not random phenomenon but governed by a number of factors. Identifying these factors would help in predicting possible species ranges. A recent study (Yadav et al., 2021) discusses how such factors and climate change affects few of the floral species in the Central Indian Landscape that are important for Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs). The six tree species considered were - Mahua (M. longifolia), Achar (B. lanzan), Aonla (E. officinalis), Behera (T. bellirica), Harad (T. chebula) and Bhutya/ Kullu (S. urens).
The study site lies in the Central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, where the species occurrence records were collected through field surveys from the districts of Hoshangabad and Mandla, between 2013 and 2017.
Predictive vegetation modelling was used to predict suitable habitats for these species under future climate scenarios for the years - 2050 and 2080. The objective of the study was to help management planning for the long-term resilience of these species.
Ecotourism as an opportunity for many challenges in lesser-known protected areas of central India landscape
~ By Pakhi Das
India has an established network of protected areas spread across the length and breadth of the country. Every year, the government proposes demarcation of more areas for creating national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, yet conservation of endangered species continues to be a national challenge. This begs the question- is the full potential of the existing protected areas in terms of conservation or tourism being utilized? A recent paper examines six lesser-known protected areas (PAs) in the state of Madhya Pradesh and determines certain site-specific challenges and potential solutions for their smooth management.
The study spans protected areas across central Indian landscape- the Dinosaur Fossil National Park, Sardarpur wildlife sanctuary, Gandhi Sagar wildlife sanctuary, Ralamandal wildlife sanctuary, Kheoni wildlife sanctuary and Sanjay-Dubri Tiger Reserve. Key informant interviews and focused group discussions were conducted with multiple stakeholders including local community members, forest department officials and industrialists with operations in the region.
Project Spotlight highlights our members' work in Central India.
|Network for Conserving Central India||