Anthropogenic pressures in tropical forest ecosystem in Western Ghats, India: are they sustainable?

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Several million of humans still thrive in the forest of tropics and use resources therein for their livelihood. It is believed that their harvesting patterns could represent a good model for sustainable use of forest resources. This paper reports the impact of Soligas indigenous community on the structure and composition of the forest ecosystem using indicator species birds, butterflies (kremen, 1992, 1994) and vegetation of a wildlife sanctuary in South India. The impact of disturbance did not show any discernible pattern for birds and butterfly diversity. However, within scrub jungle and dry deciduous forest, less disturbed sites showed high diversity for butterflies. The study suggests that the pattern of resource use by Soligas affects the forest in and arround their settlements and the impact decreases with the distance from the settlements. (YS)

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