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Mr. Joystu Dutta and Dr. Pramod Kumar Ecology and Environment Division

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1 Mr. Joystu Dutta and Dr. Pramod Kumar Ecology and Environment Division
National Conference on "Wetland Conservation for Sustainable Development" Saving Wetlands for People and Wildlife Feb 17, Feb 18, Bhuj- India Status Survey of Jhilmil Jheel Conservation Reserve :: Case Study Mr. Joystu Dutta and Dr. Pramod Kumar Ecology and Environment Division Forest Research Institute Dehradun


3 Wetland :: Ramsar Definition
Under the Ramsar international wetland conservation treaty, an international agreement signed by 160 countries, wetlands are defined as follows: Article 1.1: "...wetlands are areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six metres.“ Article 2.1: "[Wetlands] may incorporate riparian and coastal zones adjacent to the wetlands, and islands or bodies of marine water deeper than six metres at low tide lying within the wetlands".

4 Ramsar Convention The Ramsar Convention (The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat) is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands. It is named after the town of the convention was developed and adopted by participating nations at a meeting in Ramsar, Mazandaran, Iran on February 2, (1971), hosted by the Iranian Department of Environment, and came into force on December, 21 (1975). The Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance now includes 1,950 sites (known as Ramsar Sites) covering around 1,900,000 km2 (730,000 sq mi),up from 1,021 sites in 2000. Presently,there are 161 contracting parties, up from 119 in 1999 and from 21 initial signatory nations in Signatories meet every three years as the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP), the first held in Cagliari, Italy in Amendments to the original convention have been agreed to in Paris (in 1982) and Regina (in 1987). There is a standing committee, a scientific review panel, and a secretariat. The headquarters is located in Gland, Switzerland, shared with the IUCN.


6 Why Jhilmil Jheel ? To conserve the integrity of the fragile ecosystem through protection of physical and biological attributes and ecological functions viz., soil conservation, maintenance of water resources and gene pool. To conserve the known range of biodiversity with special emphasis on threatened species of flora and fauna. To protect and manage the habitat of Swamp deer as flagship species and for scientific management of Swamp deer populations in its north western limits of distribution in a manner to prevent conflicts with local inhabitants. To rehabilitate remaining Gujjar population along with their livestock to minimize grazing pressure on Jhilmil Jheel. To carry out long term research and to implement the finding in the management of the area.In the second phase prioroty based research is to be carried out. To identify the scopes of Eco-tourism and carry out eco-developmental activities to reduce the traditional dependency of local populations on forest resources.through evoloving sustainable land use patterns, alternative vocations, development of inherent and transferable skills and identify alternative employment opportunities.

7 Jhilmil Jheel Conservation Reserve
Location :: Situated between N 29 32’ to 29 50’ and E 78 to 78 15’. It is located between the Haridwar- Najibabad Highway NH 74 and the natural course of Ganga to the south of it in Haridwar Forest Division, Uttarakhand. Area :: ha Core zone: ha Buffer zone : ha Altitude :: 200 to 250 metres above MSL Source of water :: Wetland is connected to River Ganga and is surrounded by Chiriyapur Range on east and Southern side. Shyampur range on the northern side and Lakshar range on the western side. Features :: Jhilmil Jheel is a saucershaped wetland situated on the left bank of River Ganga. The habitat is located at the junction of the Bhabar and terai formations representing a very unique and species rich ecosystem which encompasses spectacular landscapes, tall grasslands and tropical moist deciduous forests. The area is rich in faunal and floral diversity with large number of resident and winter migratory birds.

8 Features : Jhilmil Jheel
Hydrology, rock and soil : Bhabar and Terai formations are predominant. Flood plains of the ganga are characterized by deep sandy loam soils containing corse sand and stone in shallow patches. Texture varies from sandy to clayey loam. Terrain : Area comes under Bhabar- Terai zone with undulating terrain and mixed woodland habitat. Climate : Sub Tropical climate with January being the coldest month and temperatures go below 1 c Humidity : Hot and Humid with monsoon temperatures between 21c to 34c Water sources : A number of small rivulets emerge from the woodland and discharge into Jhilmil Jheel, and finally drain into the Ganges. Hence, most of the land is cultivable for more than 6-7 months. Water is also available from the aquifers of northerly formations of the Shivaliks of Chidiyapur range or even further beyond as underground streams or ‘Chhoyas’ as well as from the flood of River Ganga.

9 Floral Distribution The vegetation of the area , as per as study (Rachna Tewari 2009), can be categorized into following Physiognomic types: 1. Moist (mixed) deciduous forest (5.18%) 2. Riverine forest 3. Secondary scrub 4. Grassland. Moist (mixed) deciduous forest : Principal species: Alangium salvifolium, Albizia lebbeck, A. procera, Bauhinia malabarica, Butea monosperma, Ficus benghalensis, Terminalia belerica. Middle storey contains Cassia fistula, Cordia dichotoma, Emblica officinalis, Ficus racemosa, Pongamia pinnata. Common Shrubs: Calotropis procera, Cassia occidentalis, Clerodendron viscosum, Limonia acidissima Common grasses: Oplisminus compositus, Brachiaria bipinnata Common herbs: Curcuma aromatica, Dicliptera roxburghiana, Hemigraphis rupestris, Perilepta auriculata, Climbers include : Abrus precatorius, Cissampelos pareira, Ipomoea nil, Vallaris solancaea. Riverine forest : This type of forest occupies mainly the nallas and along the river beds of Rawasan and R. Ganga. Common species include : Acacia catechu, Ficus palmate. Common climbers include Tinospora cordifolia and Zehneria scabra. Some parts are occupied by plantations of Eucalyptus and Dalbergia sissoo.

10 Floral Distribution Secondary scrub: These are formed at the edge of swamp, where soil is poor, thin ,wet for bigger trees to grow. The main species found are Acacia nilotica,Psidium guajava, Zizyphus mauritiana. Common shrubs include Lantana camara (invasive species), Rubus ellipticus. Undergrowths include grasses like Apluda mutica, Chrysopogon fulvus, Cymbopogon sp. Herbs include Cannabis sativa, Desmodium gangeticum, Medicago lupulina, Urena lobata. Climbers include Coccinia grandis and Thelipteris dentate. Grasslands : Grasslands in Jhilmil Jheel Conservation reserve is spread over one square kms.and also present in small patches in other parts of the reserve. Frequent grasses include Eragrostis stenophylla, Phragmites karka, Cynodon dactylon, Paspalum conjugatum, Polypogon fugax, Sedges comprise of Carex myosurus, Cyperus bervifolius, C.kyllingia. Climbers include Momordica dioica, Vicia sativa and Vigna vexillata are main climbers of the area. This marshy land is one of the prime favourite habitat of the swamp deer (Barasingha) and there hydrophytes play a pivotal role such as Ceratophyllum demersum, Hydrilla verticillata, Hygrophila polysperma, Najas graminea, Nymphoides cristata, Typha augustifolia, Utricularia sp. The Pteridophytes reported is Equisetum ramosissimum. Grasslands interspersed with trees like Celtis tetranda, Salix tetrasperma. Herbs like Xanthium indicum,Hemigraphis latebrosa, Mosla dianthera, Oxalis corniculata.

11 Faunal biodiversity @Jhilmil Jheel
Typical Terai habitat island

12 Reptilian Records Reptiles are represented by Indian python (Python molurus), Common Krait (Bungarus caeruleus), Indian cobra (Naja naja), Checkered keelback (Xenochrophis piscator) and the monitor lizard(Varanus bengalensis). Marsh crocodile is found in the riverine zone while six species of tortoise and two species of turtles are found in the seasonally waterlogged areas.

13 Avifaunal Diversity A total of 160 different types of birds were observed on different occasion when area was 1st visited from September 2004 to June 2006. These observations are random and chances of more species residing or visiting the area is bright. Major types include Cormorants, Herons, Egrets, Bitterns, Storks, Ducks, Hawks, Eagles, Vultures, Patridges, Quails, Painted snipes, Terns, Sandpipers, Rails, Nightjars, Cuckoos, Parakeets, Doves, Barbets, Larks, Kingfishers, Woodpeckers, Warblers, Thrush, Warblers, Babblers, Buntings, Weaver birds, White-eyes, Wagtails, Sunbirds, Pipits, Sparrows and Finches among others. Among butterflies Common Mormons and Yellow Costars are common. Detailed study of insects and butterflies are further needed.

14 People of Jhilmil Jheel
Tantwala village, earlier known as Dudhiya dayalwala is the only habitation adjacent to Jhilmil Jheel consisting about 150 households. The local inhabitants are people from various communities like Banjaras, Gujjars, Sainis, Himachalis, Punjabis, Garhwalis. Immigration to the area is active since 1950’s. Local livelihood depends on agriculture and livestock raising. Agroforestry and JFM are also viable livelihood options supported by the govt.

15 Community Based Conservation
It is estimated that prior to declaration of the Wetland as Conservation Reserve about cattle graze on daily basis. However, vide a declaration dated August 5th, 2005, Dehradun, the Govt. of Uttaranchal is of opinion that considering ecological, floral, geo-morphological, natural and zoological significance for the purpose of protecting, propagating and developing wildlife and its environment, the area mentioned in the schedule to be declared as a Conservation Reserve. Since then, villagers of Tantwala and nearby tribal communities are playing a crucial role in Conservation of Swamp deer (flagship species) of the area.

16 z Swamp Deer : Interesting Facts
The Barasingha or Swamp Deer (Cervus duvauceli duvauceli) is one of the most vulnerable species of deer, native to India and Nepal. The name is derived from its antlers and means 12 tined or horned deer in Hindi which is its most striking feature although mature stag has anywhere between tines, though some have been known to have up to 20. Barasingha are also known as swamp deer, they love to live in dry grasslands, wet swampy grasslands and reed beds bordering the major rivers. Their main diet is grass which is available from vast grassland of central and northern India and they also feed from the bed of wet swamps. Swamp deer is a medium sized deer, which grows to a height of 180 cm length, cm shoulder height and weighs around 170 – 280 kg and hinds upto cm(Schaller,1967, Prater, 1972). .

17 Swamp Deer : Interesting facts
It has thick brown coat, which becomes darker in color as the mating season approaches. In monsoon season the females start showing white spots as in Spotted deer but they are not very prominent. The drinking of water varies with season, twice in winter or monsoon, thrice or more in summer. Feeding happens throughout the day which peaks during 5 to 11 hrs and 15 to 20 hrs. Habitat use is largely influenced by food quality. The breeding season of the swamp deer is during the winter months of November and December when males long rutting calls can be heard. They have a long gestation period of 6 months.

18 Flagship species: Barasingha
Swamp deer (locally known as Barasingha) Cervus duvauceli duvauceli, a vulnerable species in IUCN SSC list using information from Cervid specialist group is authentically reported in the area by the foresters of Haridwar Forest Division. The binomial commemorates the French naturalist Alfred Duvaucel. Primary sightings indicate the presence of about 34 swamp deer populations (1st Feb, 2005). Nine adult stags with doe and 1st year fawn has been clearly observed at a distance near water canal. Barasingha is strikingly present in harmony with four other different deer populations like Spotted deer(Axis axis),Hog deer(Axis porcinus) and Barking deer(Muntiacus muntjac) A management committee was constituted in (2005) under CCF, Garhwal, Uttarakhandand a perspective plan oriented towards long term conservation planning of swamp deer population is being prepared for five years as per the management plan code which will be further extended as required.

19 More facts on Barasingha
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA CETARTIODACTYLA CERVIDAE Groves (1982) defined three subspecies with distributions (from Qureshi et al. 2004) as follows: C. duvaucelii (G. Cuvier, 1823) (Wetland Barasingha): Indo-Gangetic plain, north of the Ganges: Nepal, India, and, where extinct, Pakistan. C. branderi (Pocock, 1943 )(Hard-ground Barasingha): central India, between the rivers Ganges and Godavari. C. ranjitsinhi (Groves, 1982) (Eastern Barasingha): Brahmaputra plain; probably disjunct from the nominate for a very long time (Groves 1982): India and, where extinct, Bangladesh.

20 Habitat and Ecology Habitat use differs between Barasingha populations, and is reflected in hoof morphology. Central Indian animals (R. d. branderi) occupy open sal (Shorea robusta) forest with a grass understorey and grass glades; northern animals (R. d. duvaucelii and R. d. ranjitsinhi) are obligate grassland forms, true swamp deer, inhabiting flooded tall grassland (Dunbar Brander 1927; Pocock 1943; Johnsingh et al. 2004), and, in Bangladesh, formerly, around mangroves of the Sundarbans (Md Anwarul Islam in litt. 2008). Barasingha is predominantly a grazer (the main forage species are given in Qureshi et al. 2004), but at least R. d. duvaucelii is known to feed occasionally on aquatic plants (C.D. Schaaf pers. comm. 1990), and aquatic plants contribute significantly to the diet of R. d. ranjitsinhi during the monsoon and winter (Qureshi et al. 1994).

21 Behavioral Ecology Polygynous animals, males and females have linear hierarchy. Males tend to defend females in estrous. They usually move around in herds, consisting of ten to twenty members. However, the size of a herd keeps on changing, as the breeding or mating season comes, the number of members in a herd goes as high as sixty. The dominance over a herd of female deer is established by a fight amongst the male Barasingha. Mother Barasingha gives birth to single young one and for protection from predators they conceal them in tall grass. It has an acute sense of smell and hearing. Highly fidel in use of rutting grounds. Visit the areas even outside the feeding zones. Female behavior is very subtle and keep a definite track of males.

22 Conservation Status

23 Future !mperfect ?? Habitat Degradation by installation of Bailley Mineral Water Plant just outside the boundary. Illicit felling of timber and collections of fuel wood and NWFP’s by local villagers. Grazing by livestock from village communities. Diseases like FMD, Anthrax and Rinderpest etc. to wild animals. Man-Animal Conflict Confrontation between local people and forest staffs. Forest fires often intentional and instigated by locals. Limitation of knowledge. Villager Rehabilitation Programmes. Research Activities. Wildlife tourism and interpretation. Lack of eco-development planning and activities.

24 Concerns for Conservation !!
The two conservation reserves – Jhilmil Jheel in Haridwar and Asan Barrage in Dehra Dun districts – are being established under the 2003 parliamentary amendment made in the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 with a view to seek greater community involvement in protecting extremely critical wildlife.  FRI Dehradun is engaged in a Wetland Conservation project under Dr. Pramod Kumar, Scientist , Ecology and Environment Division and his group of researchers. A special project undertaken by ZSI Northern Regional Circle, Dehradun for conservation of Swamp Deer. WII Dehradun also played a pivotal role in Swamp Deer conservation under eminent wildlife scientist Dr. Satya Priya Sinha et,al.

25 The Way forward….. Practical Steps for Local Governments and Scientific Communities: Help Landowners Avoid Unauthorized Wetland Impacts Encourage Wetland Restoration Prioritize strategic wetland restoration as part of the municipal budget and annual work plan. Provide tax incentives for landowners who voluntary protect, restore and enhance wetlands. Request an analysis of existing codes and ordinances to determine if permitting barriers exist that prevent or delay private and government-sponsored wetland restoration projects.  Promote wetland restoration on private landsand include newest technologies like Biomanipulation-an effective lake restoration strategies Involve dynamic group of experts to carry out effective Wetland Management Plan (WMP) 

26 Conclusion All local decision makers, whether elected or appointed officials, volunteer committee members, or staff, face difficult questions about how to meet community needs for housing, public infrastructure, and economic development while also protecting sensitive natural resources. Land use conflicts are common, and in India’s wetland-rich landscape some of the most difficult cases involve wetlands. Politicians and influential landsharks encroach these vulnerable ecosystems for large scale unauthorised developmental projects for easy bucks. Though wetlands were once perceived as wastelands, today the natural functions and public benefits of wetlands are well understood by both scientists and land managers. Wetlands now receive special protections under both state law and public support for wetland preservation has increased tremendously in recent decades.

27 Conclusion Despite these gains, large gaps still exist in the public’s understanding of what and where wetlands are, why they matter, and how they are protected. These gaps fuel public controversies over wetland development proposals, and sometimes result in land use decisions being made without full or accurate information about the economic and ecological consequences of wetland loss. The purpose of this publication is to improve wetland conservation and reduce wetland controversies by providing town, village, city and county land use decision makers with basic information about a case study Jhilmil Jheel wetlands which is converted into the 1st Conservation Reserve of India.

28 References Perspective plan of Jhilmil Jheel Conservation Reserve ( to ) Haridwar Forest Division, Haridwar Forest Circle.Written and compiled by Mr. K.S.Rawat PFS, ACF, Haridwar Forest Division under the guidance of Sh. Gopal Singh Rana, IFS DFO Haridwar Forest Division and Sh. J. S. Suhag, IFS, CF Shivalik Circle Uttarakhand. Eco-restoration and Conservation Strategies by Dr.Satya Priya Sinha, Dr. Bitapi Sinha et, al. Senior Scientist, WII Dehradun Environment Management Plan: Jhilmil Jheel Conservation Reserve by Dr. Pramod Kumar, FRI Dehradun

29 Acknowledgements I extend my heartfelt gratitude to Organising Committee of this Seminar to allow me deliver a case study associated with the burning question of Wetland conservation. My special thanks to foresters of Haridwar forest Division who has been instrumental in compilation of the Perspective Plan of Jhilmil Jheel Conservation Reserve taking a holistic approach into consideration. My regards to Guide Dr. Pramod Kumar Aggarwal, Scientist, ecology and environment Division, FRI Dehradun. My special regards to family members and thanks to friends who has been a burning source of inspiration during the compilation of the project.


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