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SACRED LANDSCAPES AS REPOSITORIES OF BIODIVERSITY. A CASE STUDY FROM THE HARIYALI DEVI SACRED LANDSCAPE, UTTARAKHAND

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Author(s): Yogesh GOKHALE | Nazir A. PALA | Ajeet K. NEGI | Jahangeer A. BHAT | Nagendra P. TODARIA

Journal: International Journal of Conservation Science
ISSN 2067-533X

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 37;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Sacred landscape | Himalaya | Conservation | Biodiversity.

ABSTRACT
The present study was carried out in the Hariyali Devi sacred landscape of Garhwal Himalaya in Uttarakhand State of India. The study area falls under the jurisdiction of the Forest Department, having the status of reserve forest. The land scape is dedicated to the deity “Hariyali Devi” and that plays a major role in conserving the biodiversity of this land scape. Taboos, rituals and socio-cultural practices are associated with conservation practices. The study recorded 98 plant species, representing 88 genera and 46 families with different economic values. The dominant family was Rosaceae, which recorded the highest (10) number of species. Out of 98 plant species the dominant life form contribution was of herbs (52), shrubs (26) and tree species (21). Almost 82 plants species in the landscape are of medicinal importance, 15 species are used for timber and construction purposes, 19 species with different edible plant parts, such as fruits, flowers, seeds and rhizomes. The information about the uses/economic value of different plant species was gathered directly by interviewing knowledgeable elderly local villagers (including women).
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