Rampara Wildlife Sanctuary
Rampara Wildlife Sanctuary is the wooded area in an arid zone otherwise devoid of any noteworthy tree growth. The shrubby land interspersed with patches of grasses, harbours large number of species of plants, birds and mammals. This was declared a sanctuary in November 1988. The terrain is plain in the middle of the sanctuary and rising and falling elsewhere. The hillocks on the fringes mark the boundary of the area. The sanctuary is an important area for the preservation of over 280 species of plants, over 130 species of birds and more than 20 species of mammals and equal number of birds species and many reptiles.
The watchtower on an elevated land area in the central part of the area provides the opportunity to the tourists to have full view of the sanctuary. One could see two streams with gushing water and quenching the thirst of the water-scarce land in the sanctuary.
Habitat diversity is not catchy for a lay-tourist. However, an eco-tourist with botanical insight would find ‘something different’ from habitat view-point. For him, this would be one of the little woodlands where ‘Gorad’ (Acacia senegal) thrives. In the middle of the Sanctuary, there is dense cover of ‘Gorad’ or mixed thorny forest. Peripheral zone of the Sanctuary has grassland and sparse bushes. On the whole woodlands, hillocks, undulating and plain areas, streams C nullah’) and grasslands contribute to the habitat diversity of the area. Vegetation growth is better in foothills and low lying area, than on slopes and tops of the hill.
Forest sub-types in Rampara Sanctuary are 5/DS1: Dry deciduous scrub, 5/DS2: Dry Savannah (Acacia nilotica forest); 5/DS2: Dry Savannah; 6/E2: Acacia senegal forests (Northern tropical thorn forests). As per a remote sensing based study carried out by the GEER Foundation (1998), different vegetation cover classes are as follows:
Dense tree cover 768
Sparse tree cover 337
Grassland/scrub forest 374
The Sanctuary has a biological spectrum closer to that of a tropical deciduous forest than to a semiarid forest. The area had mixed forests of ‘Saledi’, ‘Kadaya’, ‘Sadad’, ‘Timru’, ‘Sisam’, ‘Babul’, ‘Khakhra’, and ‘Gorad’ in the past, but it was destroyed two decades ago. About 9000 old trees were uprooted during the cyclone of 1976, which depleted the stock in original species in the area. Few scattered trees of ‘Saledi’, ‘Sadad’, ‘Timru’, ‘Sisham’ and ‘Kadaya’ still survive in the central part of the . Sanctuary, which are regularly lopped of by the local people.
Presently, Acacia senegal (Gorad), Acacia nilotica (Babul), Acacia leucophloea (Hermo), Zyziphus sp. (Bor), Acacia catechu (Khair), Boswellia serrata (Salad), Wrightia tinctoria (Kudi), Commiphora wightii (Gugal), Balanites aegyptica (Ingoriyo), Butea monosperma (Khakhro), and Sterculia urens (Kadaya) are the main plant species in the area. Scattered trees of Prosopis have been seen in the area, which is the result of plantation done in the past. Over 4 lakh trees of about 35 species have been recorded during a resource survey carried out in the past, but GEER Foundation has estimated 5.58 lakh trees during a recent study. Aristida adscensionis (42.2%), ‘Dodivalu Lapdu’ (12.8%), Tetrapogon tenellus (12.8%), Eremopogon foveolatus (12.8%) and Eragrostris tenella (7.6%) are the main grasses in the area.
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