Threat Categorization and Conservation Prioritization of Medicinal Plants in the Surroundings of Different Hydro-electric Projects of Kullu District in Himachal Pradesh, India

Author(s): Pankaj Sharma*and S. S. Samant

The diversity of life exists on earth and each life form has its own needs for existence. Greater biodi-versity leads to greater productivity and greater nutrient retention in ecosystem which leads to greater ecosystem stability. Mountains are home to some of the world’s most threatened and endemic species (including medicinal plants), as well as to some of the poorest people, who are dependent on the biological resources. Keeping this in view, the present study has been conducted to study the threat categorization and conservation prioritization of medicinal plants in different hydro-electric projects of Kullu district in Himachal Pradesh, India. A total of 189 species (35 Trees; 38 Shrubs; 94 Herbs and 22 Ferns) of medicinal plants belonging to 139 genera and 83 families have been identified as threatened from the different Hydro-electric Projects (HEPs)areas. Highest medicinal plants were reported in the altitudinal zone, 1801-2800 and decreased with increasing or decreasing altitude in the study area. An area-specific threat categorization of speciesis very essential for squat or long term management planning. In present study such an effort in the study area, using information on different attributes was initiated. The over-exploitation, habitat degradation and changing environmental conditions may lead to the extinction within a few years. Therefore, regular monitoring of population and habitats, development of conventional protocol, establish-ment of species in-situ conditions and associated habitats and replication of this approach in other parts of Indian Himalayan Region have been recommended. So that the gene pool of this unique group of plants could be main-tained posterity.


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