While battling to save the forests of the Gadoli and Manda Khal Fee Simple Estates, understanding the biodiversity of the area is equally important. The Gadoli and Manda Khal Wildlife Conservation Trust sponsored my BSc Forestry dissertation work for assessing the Species Richness of these forests as part of the H.N.B. Garhwal University, Srinagar, Uttarakhand forestry degree requirements.
The study investigated the Alpha Diversity of the forest areas of these estates as compared to the areas used for mixed agriculture and I found various interesting facts during this time.
The Alpha Diversity in Forests was 59 species while in Mixed Agriculture there were 41 species with the Beta Diversity being 78 species. 30 species were found only in Mixed Agiculture systems while 48 species were found only in the forest areas with 11 species common to both systems.
Plant diversity was the highest with a Species Richness of 42 species followed by birds with 24 species and insects with 20 species. 3 species of Mammals were recorded during the study. The study which was titled "Assessment of Species Richness of Forests (predominantly Oak) and Mixed Agriculture of the Gadoli and Manda Khal Fee Simple Estates in relation to Alpha and Beta Diversity" received a valuable scoring of 88.88% during it's University evaluations.
I continue building up the knowledge of the wildlife in these forests and as I pursue my MSc Forestry Degree from the Doon (PG) College of Agriculture Science and Technology in Dehra Dun I have been busy establishing a photo database of the wildlife found in the area.
Obviously as the work to save these forests from destruction continues a better understanding of it's biodiversity goes hand in hand and with a Baseline of 78 species already recorded and growing in numbers as I continue surveys here the importance of these forests in providing refuge to wildlife in the area gains prominence.