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Studies on faunal diversity of the sacred groves of Tamil Nadu with special reference to endemic and endangered vertebrates

Project title Studies on faunal diversity of the sacred groves of Tamil Nadu with special reference to endemic and endangered vertebrates 
CHENNAI 600 018
Country(ies) INDIA
Abstract Sacred groves are tracts of virgin forests, replicates of evergreen forests, harbouring varying biodiversity and extending all the benefits that forests offer to mankind.  This study envisages a detailed survey on the fauna of sacred groves with special reference to endemic and endangered species. Intensive and extensive field surveys will be carried in the different sacred groves of Tamil Nadu. Currently only the lists of the sacred groves are available in Tamil Nadu state. The present study will generate detailed information on faunal diversity of sacred groves. 
Project Description Documentation and restoration of sacred groves in the state of Tamil Nadu were carried out by CPREEC since 1994. A book titled “Sacred Groves of Tamil Nadu” was published in 1998.  The location of the sacred groves, area of spread, major flora and details deities are mentioned in the book. CPREEC through its ENVIS Centre on Conservation of Ecological Heritage and Sacred Sites of India has collected information on the sacred groves from different states of India using a network of researchers, institutes and civil society organisations. Based on these studies, basic information for about 7500 sacred groves across India have been collected and a database created.  About 1250 sacred groves have been reported in Tamil Nadu state by Amirthalingam in 2013.  But there is no detailed information available on the fauna of these groves.  In view of this fact, the aim of this proposed project is to study the following objectives.
Project Objectives and expected Achievables The following objectives have been formulated to address the lack of information about this resource in order to: 

1. assess the faunal diversity (Insects - Butterflies, Odonates, Amphibians, Reptiles, Fishes, Birds and Mammals) in the Sacred Groves

2. prepare the distribution maps using ecological and GIS information

3. identify threats to the fauna of this region

4. suggest suitable management recommendations for the conservation of the fauna of the sacred groves

Timeframe 3 years
Geographic Scale Sub-national
Seeking Resources for: Project implementation
Type of Resources/Support needed: Financial