The Forest Way

THT Conservation Grant 2022

Project Name:

Hilly Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest - Species and Habitat - Conservation, at Arunachala Hill, Tamil Nadu

Project Brief:

This project aims to scale-up the restoration efforts (a 19-year project) on the Arunachala hill that has developed a pioneer canopy and is ready for introduction of deeper forest evergreen species. The Forest Way also intends to begin restoration efforts in the neighbouring large, though degraded, forest of Kavuthi Mountain RF that is being ravaged by fires every year. These can be restored by replicating the work on the Arunachala hill such as making firebreaks, grazing protection and restoration planting — challenges that The Forest Way experienced and overcame on the Arunachala 20 years ago. Efforts to nurture vegetation and wildlife with improved soil, canopy cover and increased tree diversity will create a micro-habitat for endangered/endemic species. The return of the forest has encouraged new species of vulnerable bird, butterfly and mammalian species to make their home here. The restored lands could serve as habitats and seed banks of threatened/endangered species. The organisation hopes this restoration will create fragmented forest corridors between old growth forests, a web of bio-diverse hubs aiding vegetation propagation and wildlife migration.

Project objectives:
  • Protecting the land from grazing and fires by making fire breaks, thorn fencing
  • Ensuring seed acquisition and raising saplings of all species in required numbers
  • Maximising diversity by ensuring propagation of all possible diversity in the landscape at appropriate locations and providing the required care
  • Propagating all possible endangered/vulnerable saplings to appropriate habitats in various locations and have a nursery stock to supply to other afforestation projects
  • Monitoring saplings and documenting after planting and recording survival and growth to understand preferred growing conditions(shade, moisture, soil etc)
Highlights from field:
  • This project is ongoing.