Threat Categorization and Conservation Prioritization of Floristic Diversity in the Indian Himalayan Region: A state of Art Approach from Shimla Water Catchment Wildlife Sanctuary
Rana Dipika*, Masoodi U. R. Haseeb1
Himalayan Forest Research Institute, Panthaghati, Shimla-171009, H.P., India
1Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, Uttarakhand-248006
*Corresponding author E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Strategies have been suggested to conserve biodiversity which were mostly based on qualitative attributes. In the Himalayan region biodiversity varies considerably. In the present study an approach has been developed to prioritize species at local level using four conservation attributes. Threat categorization of the floristic diversity was undertaken based on Conservation Priority Index. Of the total 476 species of vascular plants recorded, a total of 119 species (15 Trees; 20 Shrubs; and 84 Herbs including 4 Ferns) belonging to 111 genera and 62 families have been found to be threatened from Shimla Water Catchment Sanctuary. Ten (10) species were identified as Critically Endangered, 31 species as Endangered; 48 species as Vulnerable and 30 species as Near Threatened. Maximum threatened species were found in altitudinal zones 1850-2350m. The two factors of over exploitation and habitat degradation have been identified as major threats to the floristic diversity. Therefore, monitoring of population and habitats, development of conventional protocol; establishment of species in-situ conditions and akin habitats in the parts of Indian Himalayan Region have been suggested.