Status and Distribution of Malabar Giant Squirrel Ratufa indica in Western Ghats of Maharashtra, India



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Status of R. indica in Bhimashankar

Giant squirrels are present throughout the Sanctuary. Best locations to locate them are around the temple, Bhatti che Raan, Bhakadevi, Forests around Kondwal village, Forest of Bhorgiri, Malewadi,Yelwale, and Nigdale village. Other areas such as Patan, Malewadi, Rajpur to Pimpri, Padarwadi, Mhasobacha Padar and Bhomale are also good. Being a Protected Area, giant squirrels are better secured here but some people mentioned hunting of herbivores and squirrels still go on in some areas. Thakers and Agri communities used to regularly hunt giant squirrels for meat but since many years that practice has stopped. Towards Kokan side (Bhima 2), groups of people come from Mumbai with guns for shooting herbivores like sambar and barking deer and also hunt squirrels if they come across any. Several traps and snares were found for killing birds, wild boar, mouse deer and barking deer. In Kondhwal and Nigdale village, traps for wild pigs were set up under the mango trees as pigs feed on mango seed. Net traps called (wagur) are used to catch small game, deer, and pigs. Local people from Khandas village make local guns made spare parts of vehicles called as Thasanichi Banduk and use it with gun powder to shoot animals. The villagers also use trained dogs for hunting small mammals. The dogs are also used for hunting giant squirrels. .Signs of lopping and firewood collections is visible everywhere. Local people are allowed to take dead trees and bamboos for their house maintenance after taking the permission from forest staff. However, on many instances it was observed that people cut big live trees, allow it die and then carry it home. At some places, people saw the tree and make in to planks for ease in carrying them home. We found several signs of forest fires in Kondwal, Bhorgiri and Nigdale villages. During April-May the people start preparing their fields by burning the wood in their fields to enrich the soil. This practice called Raab burning is risky as sometimes the fire spreads to the forests and damage the understory and trees. This can affect the habitat of giant squirrel.


Wire snares for catching hare and small mammals


Grey Jungel Fowl caught in the trap

Tushar Pawar

Bhimashankar being a famous religious shrine is visited by thousands of tourists during festivals. This causes severe disturbance and pollution in the sanctuary. Firewood extraction is at peak at this time because hotels provide food for thousands of tourists and some tourists cook in the forests by themselves. There is considerable extraction of medicinal plants from the sanctuary almost throughout the year. Garbage deposition is another issue of major concern in the sanctuary. The fruit of Terminalia chebula are eaten by giant squirrels (Borges 1989) and is also collected in large numbers by the local villagers as an NTFP. Uncontrolled and large scale extraction of Hirda fruits can create a negative impact on foraging resources of giant squirrel. Construction of roads for windmills has caused concerns for biodiversity of Bhimashankar. The windmills are installed on flat plateau 3 km from the southern boundary of Bhimashankar. A 13 m wide road has been made through the forests to carry heavy machinery and cranes. These forests are continuous with the sanctuary forests and giant squirrel nests were observed near the windmill sites in Kharpude and Wandre village. About 28,000 trees have been cut to make the approach road however a few villagers said the figure was around 80,000.



W
Hide made for poaching
indmills on the boundary of Bhimashankar




Tushar Pawar

Table 6.9: Count of R. indica in Bhimashankar WLS in 1992 and 2012





Total Effort (km)

Sightings

Calls

Nest (Old + New)

Borges et al (1998)

NA

NA

NA

NA

This survey

209

105

250

3202


Table 6.10: Encounter Rates of R. indica in Bhimashankar Sanctuary


Ranges

Sighting

Calls

New Nest

Old Nests

Bhima 1

0.29 (0.05)

1.10 (0.27)

6.35 (0.49)

3.26(0.45)

Bhima 2

0.24 (0.12)

0.17 (0.15)

3.01(1.63)

1.26(0.66)

Figure in parentheses represent standard error.


Nets and traps set for catching small mammals


Tushar Pawar
6.6 Raigad District


Location

180 05’N-190 10’ N;720 55’E- 730 40’E

Areas

Alibaug and Roha Divisions

Average Elevation

100 -755 m

Forest Type

Coastal semi-evergreen, subtropical broadleaved, evergreen in foothills, Moist Deciduous everywhere

Protected Status

Except Phansad Sanctuary all Reserved Forests



Alibaug Division
Topography and vegetation: Alibaug region is marked with plains interspersed with hills. Towards Alibaug the forests are coastal semi-evergreen, subtropical- broadleaved in Matheran side. Vegetation comprises mainly of moist deciduous forests in the hills with species such Syzygium, Olea indica, M.umbellatum, T.belerica, T.tomentosa. There are seven ranges within Alibaug Division, namely Alibaug, Wadkhal, Panvel, Karjat, Matheran-Khalapur, Sudhagad-Pali and Pen.

Status of R. indica in Alibaug Division: Giant squirrels are absent from Sudhagadh-Pali, Alibaug, Wadkhal, Pen and Karjat Ranges. Within Sudhagad-Pali, Nagshet beat, Sudhagad, South Sudhagarh beat, Medist beat, Pimpololi, Khandsande beat, Pachapur, Siddheswar beat, Thanale were surveyed. Moist deciduous to semi-evergreen patches are found in Pachapur Round. Dominant tree species include teak, Mangifera and Terminalia species. There are extensive plantations of Acacia, Eucalyptus and Cashew in this region. Most of the areas are dominated by secondary scrub and forest patches. Signs of cattle grazing and presence of domestic dogs were frequent in the surveyed patches. Tree lopping or felling is pronounced in Nagshet and Sudhagarh patches.

Many areas in the region support dense and tall forests, especially around Sudhagarh-Pali, Karjat and Pen areas but giant squirrels were missing from the forests. Earlier survey by Mali et al. (1998) have reported hunting of giant squirrels from these areas by slicing the nests and hunting by use of catapult, sickle, gun and stoning animals, especially round Matheran, Alibaug, Murud and Mahad. Local communities including Katkari, Dhangari, Thakur, Agri and Maratha inhabit these forests. A few villages practice cultivation but also indulge in hunting of mammals and birds. Though agriculture is their primary source of income, frequent selling of lands to other companies or private people has increased in recent years. In Pachpur road, practice of shifting cultivation is still being continued by the Thakur community. Hunting by local Thakur communities for wild boar, barking deer and hare is prevalent in these areas. Disturbance due to shifting cultivation has added to the loss of habitat in the area. After 20 years, the forests appear to be devoid of squirrels and hunting could be one of the possible causes.


Open canopy forests in Sudhagad-Pali and Malshej Ghats


Ranjit Sahoo and Evangeline Arulmalar
Matheran is part of the Tawli hill Range of Western Ghats located westwards from the main Western Ghats ridge. It is a small plateau and because of its pleasant climate, is a popular hill-station mainly among trekkers and youngsters. It has semi-evergreen forests with stunted trees and closed canopy. The area is declared as eco-sensitive zone but tourism activity is high here. Squirrel presence was recorded in areas with tall trees. Matheran is frequented by people and there is presence of forest staff here because of which hunting is under control. Because of this, squirrels could be seen near public places also.
Prabalgarh is also a plateau located further west of Matheran plateau. The area has tall semi-evergreen to moist deciduous patches with the average of 20 m tree height. As per the local information, the youngster had not seen squirrels on the plateau but the older generation reported seeing them. The nests were seen in the lower areas of Prabal Machi. Locals informed that the abundance of squirrels has declined in the area due to forest degradation and presence of people in the area
Patchy forests in Matheran and Prabalgad


Ranjit Sahoo
Table 6.11: Count of R. indica in Matheran and Alibaug Division in 1992 and 2012





Total Effort (km)

Sightings

Calls

Nest (Old + New)

Matheran (1998)

NA

7

NA

16

Matheran (2012)

24

2

10

14

Karjat (1998)




5




49

Karjat (2012)




0

0

0


Table 6.12: Encounter Rates of Squirrel Presence in Alibaug Division


Ranges

Sighting

Calls

New Nest

Old Nests

Panvel

0

0

0.62

0.93

Matheran- Khalapur

0.05(0.04)

0.57(0.21)

0.48(0.15)

0.23(0.08)

Figures in parentheses represent standard error.

Roha Division



Topography and vegetation: Low-lying coastal forests near the Arabian Sea forming creeks near Mhasala region Major tree species include teak, Terminalia species, Ficus species, Lagerstromia microcarpa and associated species. There are four ranges in Roha Division, namely Roha, Murud, Mhasala and Mahad. Giant squirrels are not present in Mahad Range so the survey was carried out in Mhasala (Devgarh, Talwa), Srivardhan (Nivale, Borli R), Murud (Sudkoli, Temgarh RF, Chanera R, Garambi RF), Roha (Gopan R, Kathenjali), Mangaon (Shirwadi beat). The forest type varies from range to range. The forests in Srivardhan and Murud range represent coastal semi-evergreen,. Roha range is dominated by very dry deciduous forests including scrub forests. Mhasala and Mangaon range is dominated by secondary patches with not-so-tall trees.

Status of R. indica in Roha Division: Giant squirrels were recorded only from Roha (Gopan Round and Kathenjali village) and Murud ranges (Sudkoli, Temgarh, Channera, Garambhi). Kanthejalli is a small settlement of Katkari tribes. They are presently living inside the forests in Gopan round. They regularly hunt squirrels for meat with catapults. Signs of biotic pressures such as livestock grazing, presence of domestic dogs in the forest, firewood collection and lopping was observed everywhere. In Srivardhan, there are patches of primary forests but they are isolated and not connected to each other. Deforestation and firewood collection is prominent in Murud range. A dam is under progress in Sudkoli of Murud range which is likely to submerge the adjacent forest patch where few new nests of giant squirrel were found. In Roha Range, there is extensive lopping and cattle grazing in the forest areas. Involvement of locals in alcohol brewing in the forest areas was a major problem. The locals indulge in hunting of giant squirrels for food in this region.


Evergreen forests of Kathenjali and patchy forests of Murud, Roha


Evangeline Arulmalar
Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary
Phansad Sanctuary is located in Tehsil Murud and Roha of Raigad district. Phansad is located slightly to the western side of Western Ghats. Of the total area of 54.08 km2, 45.04 km2 are un-classed forests in Murud range and 8.46 km2 are reserved forests from Roha range. The sanctuary used to be the hunting ground of local Nawabs but has been converted in to a Protected Area now. There are a few temples and Sacred Groves within the sanctuary that is visited by the tourists. A few villages around the Sanctuary depend on the forests for meeting their local needs. Phansad Sanctuary is located away from the main crest line of Western Ghats, yet it has some unique floral elements that are found mainly in the higher altitude. Different types of forest encountered here are (a) Southern moist teak bearing forests where teak grows to a height of above 25 m in most suitable areas. Teak is the dominant species here along with associate species such as Terminalia tomentosa, T. paniculata, Garuga pinnata, Dalbergia latifolia, and Pterocarpus masupium. These forests have thick undergrowth as well as grass cover, b) Southern mixed Moist deciduous forests where teak is present occasionally and species such as Terminalia belerica, Mangifera indica etc are common. Average tree height in this forest type is around 20 m. c) Tropical Riparian fringe forests are confined to stream banks and water holes, This type has typical riparian tree composition. The typical mesic tree species such Mangifera indica, Tetrameters nudiflora, Holigarna grahamii, are abundant in riparian forests. Phansad has unique forests as such forests types are rare to be found above 16o N in the Northern Western Ghats now as most of them are disturbed and exists in small patches (Ghate et al 1994, Mehta and Kulkarni 2010). Supegaon beat, Ghunyechamal, Chikalghan (Kashiol Beat), Belastha (Dakshin Phansad), Savrat Road were surveyed in Phansad.
Nest of giant squirrel in evergreen forest in Phansad


Prachi Mehta
Status of R. indica in Phansad WLS: Phansad sanctuary is well known for its giant squirrel population as it is easily visible in these forests. About 10 new nests of giant squirrels were observed on a small patch of Eucalyptus plantations. On the southern side of the sanctuary, a new is being built that is likely to submerge the forest patch adjacent to it. We recorded 17 old and nests from this area.
Phansad is a Protected Area but there were many signs of human pressures. Signs of cattle grazing were s found in most places. Signs of tree lopping was observed around Ghunyachamal, Kashiol beat and Dakshin Phansad and in low intense in Supegaon beat. Local people with domestic dogs were observed near Ghunyechamal. These people had possibly come for hunting wild boar and barking deer around the sacred groove in Supegaon beat. Signs of firewood collection, littering by tourists were observed near many waterholes.
Table 6.13: Count of R. indica in Raigad Division in 1992 and 2012





Total Effort (km)

Sightings

Calls

Nest (Old + New)

Borges et al (1998)

NA

-

NA

61

This survey

57.76

2




237



Table 6.14: Encounter Rates of R. indica in Roha Division


Ranges

Sighting

Calls

New Nest

Old Nests

Phansad

0.03(0.02)

0.03(0.02)

14.67(4.38)

2.10(0.31)

Mahasala

0.13(0.10)

0

4.77(1.33)

1.59(0.48)

Roha

0

0

1.58(0.26)

0.34(0.24)

Figures in parentheses represent standard error.

    1. Satara District




Location

180 05’N-190 10’ N;720 55’E- 730 40’E

Areas

Koyna WLS, Mahabaleshwar and Satara Division

Average Elevation

700 -1400 m

Forest Type

Crestline semi-evergreen, subtropical broadleaved, evergreen in foothills, Moist Deciduous everywhere

Protected Status

Except Koyna all are Reserved Forests


Topography and Vegetation: Satara Division has Mahabaleshwar, Wai, Jawdi-Medha, Patan and Dhebewadi ranges. Areas surveyed include Dhebewadi (Satara, Umbaranay, Huduki, Humberne), Patan (Ghatmatha, Nechal, Goare, Roatghi, Bhathodi malzhi, Gawar), Medha (Kas, Kakarwadi, Kargoan), and Mahabaleshwar (Parpar, Wilson point road, Pratapghad, Chatturbeat, Makarandhghad, Dubedabigarh, Panchagini road, Hirda Rest house, Pratapsingh garden, Lingamala road, Kate’s point, Van-bhuvan, Rosmond road, Robber’s cave, Gaolani point, Arthur’s seat point, Coolie path, Lodwick point, Tiger path). Giant squirrels are absent from Wai Range.
Mahabaleshwar plateau lies on the Sahyadri Crestline with its ridges running in 5 different directions on the crest-line. There are deep valleys located below these ridges. The valleys are created by erosion of five main rivers originating from Mahabaleshwar namely Krishna, Koyna, Venna, Solshi, and Savithri. The typical vegetation is of secondary origin with few evergreen species. Domicarpus longan, Elaecarpus tectorius, Neolitsea zeylonica are seen seldom while most common species are of Actinodaphne angustifolia, Memecylon umbellatum, Olea dioica and Syzygium cumini. (Ghate et al 1994). Mahabaleshwar plateau is inhabited by local people as well as tribal who are now working for the tourism industry in various ways. From 1984 to 1994, 10 % of the area was deforested in Mahabaleshwar to meet the firewood demand of tourists (Ghate et al 1994). This deforestation rate must have increased in last 10 years with increased flow of tourists in the area.
In Patan and Dhewewadi, semi-evergreen to moist and dry deciduous forests are present with a matrix of dense forest cover surrounded by secondary forests. In many areas, the forests patches were isolated without any connectivity. The area also has extensive private forests interspersed between forest lands that are cleared on short rotation cycles. Few regions had mixed forests. No Plantations were recorded in Patan whereas Eucalyptus plantations dominated in Dhebewadi Range. Medha is dominated by secondary patches dry deciduous and scrubby in nature. Kakarewadi areas overlooking Chandoli had semi-evergreen to moist deciduous forests in good condition.
Status of R.indica: In Dhebewadi, signs of forest fires, felling and lopping were observed in many locations in Umbarny, Satara and Humberni. In Humberne an electric gridding line is proposed. This will certainly result in fragmentation of good primary forests in that area. Renovation of Valmiki temple Umbarney has caused considerable disturbance in the area and now primary forest exists only in the sacred groove around the temple. In Patan, forests around Gawar and Nechal are highly fragmented. The proposed clearing of electric grid lines is likely to cause further fragmentation of the forests. Some parts of Roatghi forest of Patan had good primary forest with trees as tall as 45ft on an average but these forests did not have any signs of squirrels. In Nechal, lopping and tree felling by locals were observed in many places.
Opportunistically 3 New nests, 1 old nest and 2 sightings were observed in Ghatmatha of Patan.
Medha Range has similar problems of forest degradation due to excessive lopping and livestock grazing. Mahableshwar being a hill station, the tall forests are preserved in public gardens, government rest houses, and near estates of the original residents. In all other areas, forests are facing a lot of pressure from lopping, fire-wood collection and human presence. The current trend is to cultivate strawberries and flower nurseries in place of privately owned land. This is leading to fragmentation by clearing vegetation around the forests. Lopping of trees for acquiring wooden supports for strawberry orchards and use of fertilizers to increase the output is another issue of concern. Construction of roads for tourists has also led to dividing the forests patches and opening up of canopy. Impact of uncontrolled tourism is visible everywhere in the form of large number of vehicles, littering of plastic and sound pollution.
Closed canopy forests of western and stunted forests of eastern Mahableshwar


Prachi Mehta
In Makarandgad, the Forest Department initiated a biogas project in Biramani village but it is in dysfunctional state. The forests near Kate’s point are totally degraded and has extensive grasslands now. Local communities such as Maratha, Dhangar, Mahadev and Koli live in Mahabaleshwar. Recently Katkaris from Chiplun have put up temporary tents to collect honey near Goare village in Patan. The Katkaris and local people from Kathrewadi indulge in hunting of wild boar, deer, peacock and hare in the forests. They used to hunt giant squirrels for meat also they say they have stopped it now. In Patan and Medha, the squirrel abundance has declined compared to previous years as reported by the forest staff.
Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary
Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Satara District under Kolhapur Wildlife Division. The sanctuary forms the northern portion of the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve. The Sanctuary is located in the Tehsil of Jawali and Patan in Satara district and extends westward till Ratnagiri district. Koyna WLS includes the eastern and western catchments of Koyna Dam, which is a major hydro-electric project in Western Maharashtra. The Shivasagar Reservoir generates about 2200 MW electricity and offers very important protection to the sanctuary in the eastern side while the steep slopes makes the area inaccessible from the western boundary. The ruins of famous Vasota fort constructed during 1178-1193, is located in the center of the sanctuary. Vasota is a popular destination for the trekkers.

The Sanctuary has Southern Tropical Evergreen Forests and Southern Moist Mixed Deciduous Forests (Champion and Seth 1968). The threatened tree Narkya Mappia foetida is seen here. The vegetation is evergreen throughout, except in eastern fringes where the composition becomes semi-evergreen. At higher elevation, species such as Garcina latbotii, Litsea stocksii, and Drypetes venusta were present. The re-colonized forests at many sites had evergreen species such as Memecylon umbellatum, Olea dioica and Syzygium cumini. Western Ghats endemic tree such as Turpunia malabarica and Harpulia arborea are also seen here (Ghate 1993, Islam and Rahmani 2004). Koyna and Chandoli WLS together now constitute the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve. Surveyed areas include Karanjode, Shirshinga and Navaja. Survey could not be completed in other areas of the sanctuary due to onset of rains.


Status of R. indica in Koyna WLS: Giant squirrel are present in good numbers in Koyna WLS. In recent years, many windmill projects, tourist resorts, and plantations have come up near the fringes of the sanctuary and near the Koyna Dam. The entire area is fragmented due to presence of private forests interspersed with reserved forests. Many villages have been relocated from the Sanctuary and proposal is on to relocate the remaining ones. The natural barriers in the form of Shivasagar reservoir and steep slopes of the Western Ghats on both the sides provide offers great protection to the biodiversity of Koyna Sanctuary.
Table 6.15: Count of R. indica in Satara Division





Total Effort (km)

Sightings

Calls

Nest (Old + New)

Borges et al (1998)

NA

NA

NA

NA

Satara Division

53.75

7




154

Mahabaleshwar

58.6

10

2

240

Koyna WLS

39.2

0

1

42


Table 6.16: Encounter Rates of R. indica in Satara Division


Ranges

Sighting

Calls

New Nest

Old Nests

Mahableshwar

0.15(0.05)

0.03(0.02)

2.96(0.99)

1.17(0.33)

Dhebewadi

0

0.11(0.07)

1.61(0.91)

0.30(0.15)

Medha

0

0

1.29(1.12)

1.66(0.63)

Patan

0.28(0.11)

0.3(0.15)

4.46(1.14)

1.17(0.05)

Koyna WLS

0

0.15(0.050

5.5 (1.7)

0.5 (0.14)

Figures in parentheses represent standard error.
6.8 Sangli District


Location

180 05’N-190 10’ N;720 55’E- 730 40’E

Areas

Chandoli WLS

Average Elevation

500 -1400 m

Forest Type

Crestline semi-evergreen, subtropical broadleaved, evergreen in foothills, Moist Deciduous everywhere

Protected Status

Chandoli is a Protected Area


Chandoli National Park
Topography and vegetation: Chandoli Sanctuary is located at the crest of North Sahyadri Range of Western Ghats forming a catchment of Warana Dam Reservoir. The reservoir offers good protection to the Sanctuary. The terrain of the entire Protected Area is undulating, with steep escarpments, often with exposed basalt. A most distinct feature of the Sanctuary is the presence of numerous barren rocky and lateritic plateaus, locally called “Saddas” with less perennial vegetation and have over hanging cliffs on the edges and numerous fallen boulders with dense thorny vegetation and small caves.
Chandoli is classified in biogeographic province 5 b of Western Ghats along the crest of Sahyadri Range. Most common floral species found here are Memecylon umbellatum, Syzigium cumini and Actinodaphaone angustifolia. The revenue west land and Malki lands included in the Protected Area have scattered bushy tree growth in between and along nalla banks. Only on the flat lands on the east of Zolambi and Tanali the deciduous species like Bombax ceiba, Butea monosperma, Careya arborea, Cassia fistula, Terminalia tomentosa, Cordia dichotoma, and Lagerstromia microcarpa are seen. Giant climbers such as Garambi, Bauhinia vahilii etc. are the characteristic of Rundhiv forest. Bamboo species like Kalak and chiva are mainly grown along the banks of stream, cane is mainly found in the Shidheshwar and Rundhiv areas near Prachitgad (Ghate et al. 1994). There were 32 villages inside the Sanctuary. Of these 29 have been relocated outside and the process for the remaining 3 village is ongoing.
Surveyed area include the following beats namely Nivale, Chandel, Talkaley, Nandoli, Zolumbe, Tambave, Gothane and Dhakale in Kolapur-Sangli districts and the entire portion that falls in Satara district till the Bhairavnath temple that overlooks Ratnagiri district.
Undisturbed Habitat in Chandoli National Park


Prachi Mehta and Tushar Pawar
Status of R. indica in Chandoli National Park: Giant squirrels are present in good population in Chandoli. Being a Protected Area, minimum biotic pressures were observed here. Because of village relocation, biotic pressures have reduced considerably. There are some feral cattle in the area and in some relocated village sites the forests are still in secondary stage with open or little canopy cover.
Table 6.17: Count of R. indica in Chandoli National Park





Total Effort (km)

Sightings

Calls

Nest (Old + New)

Borges et al (1998)

NA

NA

NA

NA

Chandoli NP

39.2

0

4

32


Table 6.18: Encounter Rates of R. indica in Chandoli National Park





Sighting

Calls

New Nest

Old Nests

Chandoli NP

0

0.06 (0.03)

1.12(0.4)

0.12(0.06)

Figures in parentheses represent standard error.


6.9 Kolhapur District


Location

16o 22’ N to 74o’ E

Areas

Kolhapur Division and Radhanagri WLS

Average Elevation

500 to 972 masl

Forest Type

Moist mixed deciduous with teak in the valleys, semi-evergreen, subtropical broad-leaved

Protected Status

Except Radhanagri WLS all Reserved Forests


Topography and Vegetation: Kolhapur Division consists largely of valleys, slopes and plain areas at higher altitudes. Main types of forests in Kolhapur district are sub-tropical evergreen, moist & dry deciduous & the semi-evergreen.
The typical species found include Canthium dicocum, Lagerstroemia microcarpa, Diospyros montana, Bridelia, S. cumini, S. hemisphericum, F. arnottiana, M. umbellatum, Cinnamomum, Diospyros candolleana, Lagerstroemia microcarpa, Syzigium cumini, Holigarna graham, Ficus tsjakela, Beilschmeidia dalzellii, Gnetum ula.
Kolhapur Division has eight ranges namely Ajara, Patne, Chandgad, Ganganbavda, Gargoti, Kadgaon, Malkapur and Panhala. After discussing with local staff, following areas were selected for the survey.


  • Gargoti Range: Kalgoan and Megoli.

  • Ajara Range: Aundi, Korwade, Ketwade, Dhangarmala and Parpoli

  • Patne Range: Jalugade, Mhalunge, Parle, Bandrai, Tilari, Kolik

  • Chandgad Range: Isapur, Wagothri, Bhogoli, Jambre

  • Radhanagri Range: Parale, Bhaivai Devarai, Sarade beat

  • Gaganbavda Range: Ramalinga forest, Wesruf village, Kodhey Bhudruk, Thaliyae, lakmapur, Narveli

  • Panhala Range: Kalzavade forest in Bazaar Bhogaav round, Thorala Ooda jungle and Pisadhri village in Manwad round, Pombre, Kaladunk, Goatney, Padasaley, Wasi, Pendhasala

  • Pendhakheda Range: Berki, Anuskura, Warki, Hiruda, Tapira, Matherpet, Gajapur and Manzare jungle in Gaydawaday

  • Malkapur Range: Satekamal, Iyamavedi, etc. of Manoli, Amba and Udgiri in Malkapur.

Vegetation composition in each range as given:



  • Pendhakheda Range has predominantly secondary forest with a mix of semi-evergreen, moist and dry deciduous patches observed in Kalgoan, Pombre of Panhala, Berki and Anuskara

  • A mix of primary and secondary forests were found in Parpoli of Ajara, Pattan, Isapur, Wagothri of Chandgad, Matherpet, Gajapur of Pendakale, Udgiri in Malkapur Range.

  • Forests were mostly primary in Tilari of Patane , Jambre and Bhogoli of Chandgad, Amba of Malkapur and Kaladunk, Goatney, Padasaley of Panhala.

  • Forests were predominantly secondary in Gaganbhavda, Megoli in Gargoti, Warki, Manzare jungle in Pendakale, Manoli of Malkapur, Aundi, Ketwade, of Ajara, Yeni jungle in Radhanagari RF. Secondary forests but tall trees in Parle beat of Pattane.

  • Dhangarmola round of Ajara has tall trees only on the riverine side.

  • In Parale & Bhaivai Devarai in Radhanagari, there were tall trees only around the temple in the sacred groove.

  • Understory was thorny in Gargoti, Ajara, Amba, Panhala and Gaganbhavda.

  • Understory as well as scrubby patches were chiefly Karvi dominated. Karvandh also was highly prevalent. Rameta and Lantana were observed in some regions as in Gaganbhavda and Radhanagari respectively.

  • High numbers of Memecylon recruits were observed in Gaganbhavda, kalgoan and in certain regions of Ajara and Pendakale.

  • Garambi and other lianas were common in most areas. Dhangarmola round of Ajara, Kodhey Bhudruk of Gaganbhavda, Wasi and Pendhasala in Panhala are areas where lianas were high.

  • Acacia plantations were found in all ranges especially at RF boundaries.

  • One entire round in Ajara is plantations with 32 tree species mainly of fast growing and exotic ones. Manwad round of Panhala were almost completely Acacia plantations

  • Casurina and Nilgiri plantations also were quite common in this division. Cashew and Bamboo plantations were rare and observed in Kalzavade forest in Bazaar Bhogaav round of Panhala Range and at Amba of Malkapur.

  • Canarium strictum which were heavily felled earlier for making incense sticks were artificially planted in the Manoli forests of Malkapur.
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