Western and northern distribution limits of many peninsular species end in this zone.
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Many of these species are generally not present in distribution north of N latitude. Abu and the surrounding area. The Orange-headed Thrush is also seen in wet, cool, and shady pockets of Phulwari and Sitamata Sanctuaries. Vindhyan Gorges scrapland has edaphic climax of Anogeissus pendula on its vast tract and comprises of Rock Bee.
The Wild Ass was not seen in Rajasthan for the last decade until a few were sighted in in areas adjoining Gujarat from where these animals had actually moved or rather sneaked. Except for Chinkara Gazella bennettii and in some areas Blackbuck Antilope cervicapra, the status of all the larger mammals is unsatisfactory and a few such as Caracal Caracal caracal is threatened. Of the 68 species, 29 species are listed in the Indian Wildlife Protection Amendment Act, and hence, need protection, though to a varying degree.
Chinkara and Blackbuck are considered sacred by the Bishnoi community and are present in large numbers around the Bishnoi villages. The Nilgai Boselephus tragocamelus has a wide distribution in Rajasthan, but in the Thar Desert, unlike the Chinkara, it is not seen in the extreme arid areas where surface water is not available for most part of the year. Among bats, 12 species and subspecies are found in the Thar Desert. Khichan in Jodhpur district is known for a large congregation of the winter visitor Demoiselle Crane Anthropoides virgo ; a separate chapter has been dedicated to this species.
Since effective ecological barriers are absent in Rajasthan, isolation is not effective and endemism is not so prominently seen. Presence of gorges locally called Khoh is a typical feature of Vindhyas, and they make an important tiger habitat. The population of Sloth Bear Melursus ursinus, an important species of the state confined to southern Aravallis and southeastern parts, is also decreasing.
The religious beliefs and sociocultural traditions of the people of Rajasthan have contributed a great deal to the preservation of wildlife. Temples dedicated to various animals are a strong testimony to this, indicating the faunal linkages of the people, whereas birds such as Kurjan Demoiselle Crane , Parakeet, Indian Peafowl, and House Crow are favorite themes of the Rajasthani folk music since time immemorial. Bishnois of Rajasthan stand apart from countless other sects and communities in India for their commitment to protect wild plants and animals. Amrita Devi, a Bishnoi lady who along with villagers was martyred in the year while trying to stop tree- cutting by men of the then-ruler at the Khejadi village near Jodhpur district, is a burning example of the passion of Bishnois toward biodiversity conservation.
This film is based on the true story of Amrita Devi a Bishnoi woman who fought with and revolted against the Deewan Chief Minister of the Ruler of the then Jodhana realm and his men to save Mother Nature and to particularly protect the ambient flora and fauna in her locale, Khejarli Village near Jodhpur. Planned to be shot in Rajasthan, the movie has the famous Bollywood actress Gracy Singh as the main lead and is expected to release in December The story is about a fearless woman s trials and tribulations to save the environment, a topic so relevant in the present times.
The makers of the movie who belong to the Bishnoi Community have added a special clause in the film agreement whereby the cast and crew have been asked to abstain from non-vegetarian food and alcohol till the shooting is completed. The ethics of conservation nurtured by saints and spiritual teachers such as Guru Jambheshwarji, the great environmentalist of the fifteenth century, are deep-rooted in the religions and culture of Rajasthan.
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Unfortunately, the current generation seems to have been distancing from religious ethos and values regarding zoolatry. Meena is the second largest tribe. In fact, the southern belt of the state including whole of the Mewar and partly Marwar Sirohi district is together known as the tribal belt. Unfortunately, hunting continues to be an integral part of the socioeconomic life of tribes such as Mogiya, Bawaria, and Pardhi. They were recently held responsible for the killing of hundreds of tigers and panthers in the protected areas PAs and wilderness of Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh states during the current decade.
In addition, Pardhi tribe hailing from Gujarat is the most skilled of poachers and frequently operates in the neighboring states of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and even in the far eastern states.
Tribal rehabilitation programmes especially for. They have also introduced young men to tourism, antipoaching activities, and cultivation of medicinal plants. Oil India Limited s discovery of natural gas in the year in Jaisalmer basin has made Rajasthan into one of India s major revenue-producing states. The Mangla oil field of Barmer would be the largest hydrocarbon zone in India and an industrial hub for India s petrochemical sector. Commercial production via this project is likely to begin from January, Currently, the income from crude oil is 50, million rupees, which is likely to increase by 3,, million rupees per annum after the refinery is established.
The tentative name given to this mega project is Rajasthan Refinery Pariyojna. At present, in Rajasthan, Cairn is producing , barrels of crude oil per day. There are a total of 25 oil refineries in the country, which have a total processing capacity of million tons of crude oil. The 9 million ton refinery, to come up in the Barmer-Sanchore basin, has been a long-pending demand of Rajasthan.
About half of the crude oil processed at the refinery would come from Barmer s Mangala, Bhagyam, and Aishwarya oilfields operated by Cairn India, while the balance would be imported. At present, Cairn produces , barrels of oil per day 8. The project would pave the way for setting up other ancillary industries, generating employment opportunities for about , people.
The proposed complex would be the first such one specifically designed to produce petrochemicals from indigenous crude oil. On June 24, the Government of Rajasthan has finalized Pachpadra in Barmer district of western Rajasthan as the location for setting up a refinery worth 37,00, million Indian rupees.
Economy of the state rests largely on monsoon-dependent agriculture, mining, stone-cutting and polishing, cement, zinc, textiles, and tourism. Livestock of the state includes the highest population of camels in India. Apart from threats to biodiversity conservation, frequent drought, illiteracy, female foeticide, child marriage, unemployment, population pressure, water scarcity, and poverty are key issues to be seriously handled if Rajasthan has to become one of the leading states of India.
Conservation landmarks of the state cover 2. It is interesting to note that majority of PAs of Rajasthan initially came into existence as hunting reserves and private zoos of former kings and royals. Shikar hunting was a favorite sport of the erstwhile rulers which always found a place in the itinerary of visiting viceroys and British officers in the Pre-Independence era.
Royal families in Rajasthan also owned private zoos, most of which were taken up by the government following Independence and later developed as wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. Following a ruling by the Supreme Court of India and subsequent orders issued by the Central Government, tourism activities will now be shifted from core areas of National Parks to buffer areas. To keep the readers abreast with the overall view of the subject, relevant appendices have also been included.
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One of the appendices describes the names of different faunal species in local Rajasthani dialect. I would like to reiterate here that the desert is only a small part of the state of Rajasthan.
Contrary to popular belief, Rajasthan has lush green fields, grasslands and cultivated lands, rocky protrusions, hilly terrains, jungles, and extensive wetlands too, strewn along and around the desert. Interestingly, the desert makes the state both famous and infamous due to its extremity of harsh climates and hardships faced by the human and animal inhabitants through various seasons round the year. It is also true that some of the oldest civilizations have emerged in these areas which are by definition called as the zones of scarcity and hardships. On the whole, the state of Rajasthan has remained an amphitheater of zoogeography.
The present and past distribution of animals indicates that the state has witnessed many climatic upheavals. Two chapters have been wholly dedicated to understand the retrospective picture of the faunal diversity, geological scenario over a longstanding past including the Akal. Through these introductory chapters, the authors have tried to convey a galaxy of important facts and information.
It is not an exaggeration to mention here that there is no such publication currently available either in the Indian or the international market which exclusively deals with the scientific account of the vertebrate faunal diversity. I had been very keen to make it a unique and monumental work on Rajasthan s faunal wealth with well-elaborated and relevant contents and assemblage of varied titles.
I have tried hard to give this book a strong scaffolding to carry on the commensurate weight of scientific contents, without losing elegance. The present edited volume has attempted to cover the pattern of distribution of vertebrate inhabitants and wildlife of Rajasthan many of them finding a mention in the IUCN Red List of threatened species. The untiring efforts in the direction of compiling this information brought an altogether fresh vision and insight into the present status of vertebrates in Rajasthan.
One of the opening chapters deals with an interesting account of the fauna in retrospect, especially large mammals which gradually vanished over the years. The killing of the last Asiatic Lion in , the disappearance of the last Cheetah, the last sighting of the Siberian Crane migratory at Keoladeo National Park KNP in , the White-naped Tit which vanished in the arid zone after , many vanished species of vultures, the extinction of the Wild Ass, and the doubtful presence of Dhole Wild Dog indicate the gradually changing environment and anthropogenic pressures in the state.
The underlying theme of this mega volume along an evolutionary gradient is self-evident while simultaneously indicating that vertebrate ecology and conservation are two inseparable aspects closely linked in the patterns that have been determined by the course of events in the remote past. In this volume, we have managed to select topics that will serve as a guide and stimulus for synthesis of knowledge that ought to flow from this work on the faunal diversity of Rajasthan mainly focusing the ecology of vertebrates.
Contributors of this volume include both seasoned and young scholars, experienced ecologists, forest officials, teachers, social scientists, and life scientists. Sharma B. It may seem illogical that a book on faunal diversity does not include invertebrates, but their inclusion would have made the book unwieldy and hefty.
I am fully aware that a few faunal groups, especially the invertebrates, were left to be covered in the present endeavor since there are significant gaps in research and also the information received did not appear scientifically up to date despite collection of over 11 chapters.
If feasible, attempts will be made to include these thoroughly revised and updated manuscripts and additional chapters on invertebrate faunal diversity of Rajasthan in a subsequent volume titled Faunal Heritage of Rajasthan, India: Ecology and Conservation of Invertebrates. The need of an efficient database center for providing updates on the current status of existing faunal species, their population and distribution has long been felt. In a recent development on May 12, , the forest department, Government of Rajasthan has proposed to set up a training institute in the state where appropriate training in connection with wildlife, forests, and related aspects would be given by experts from India and abroad.
A branch of this institute of excellence would be opened at Ranthambhore National Park in Sawai Madhopur. A near total absence of relevant scientific information about the present status of vertebrate fauna and the poor state of efforts towards conservation and management of biodiversity in this part of the world has in fact propelled the Chief Editor to compile this edited volume.
It was a Herculean task to present the vertebrate fauna of Rajasthan in a systematic yet scientifically designed and tightly edited volume. A serious effort has been made to structure the manuscripts starting from lower to higher forms while placing them in a format comprising various faunal forms along with chapters focusing on the general biodiversity.
For the ease of understanding by the reader, the entire manuscript has been split into four major sections. It was indeed tricky to provide appropriate headings to cover a wide variety of chapters under these heads. Last but not the least, the present edited volume is an earnest attempt towards the scientific documentation of existing vertebrate fauna of Rajasthan.