The Environmentalist

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 101–110 | Cite as

Role of traditional conservation practice: highlighting the importance of Shivbari sacred grove in biodiversity conservation

  • Vikrant Jaryan
  • Sanjay Kr. UniyalEmail author
  • Gopichand
  • R. D. Singh
  • Brij Lal
  • Amit Kumar
  • Varun Sharma


Recognizing the importance of sacred groves in biodiversity conservation and management, and the recent threats to them, the present study was conducted in Shivbari sacred grove of Himachal Pradesh. The study aimed at documenting the floral wealth of Shivbari and promoting plantation of indigenous species in participation with local people. For this, systematic field surveys in different seasons were conducted in Shivbari from April 2005 to November 2009, and liaison was maintained with the local community and temple management authority for gaining insight into the history and problems of Shivbari and initiating plantation activities. A total of 69 flowering plant species were identified inside the grove, which include 14 trees, 9 shrubs, 3 lianas and 43 herbs. This represents almost 2% of the total flowering plant species occurring in the state of Himachal Pradesh. Mallotus philippensis followed by Putranjiva roxburghii was the most dominant tree species. Adhatoda zeylanica was the most common shrub species, while Achyranthes aspera was the most common herb species. The grove harbours 23 plants species that are in high demand in the market, and at the same time also influences the microclimate of the area. The temperature inside the grove was significantly lower than the temperature outside the grove. The recent changes in socio-economic status of the local people and a shift towards market-oriented economy have threatened the survival of Shivbari. However, the deeply held beliefs of the pilgrims, local people and priest offer a ray of hope. During the course of the study, 3,000 plants were planted inside the grove out of which 60% have survived.


Biodiversity Conservation Himachal Pradesh Sacred grove Shivbari 



Authors are grateful to the Director, Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology, Palampur, for facilities and encouragement. Special thanks are due to Mr. Om Parkash for his help in the field. Help and support of the staff of IHBT herbarium is duly acknowledged. The authors also thank Ministry of Environment and Forests for financial support through the IER Programme at GBPIHED, Almora.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vikrant Jaryan
    • 1
  • Sanjay Kr. Uniyal
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gopichand
    • 1
  • R. D. Singh
    • 1
  • Brij Lal
    • 1
  • Amit Kumar
    • 1
  • Varun Sharma
    • 1
  1. 1.Biodiversity DivisionInstitute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology, CSIRPalampurIndia

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