Natural regeneration is a biological process that can be assisted and managed to increase forest cover and associated ecosystem services. Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR) is a simple, low-cost restoration method that can effectively enhance the productivity and ecosystem functions of deforested or degraded lands. The method aims to accelerate, rather than replace, natural successional processes by removing or reducing barriers to natural regeneration such as soil degradation, competition with weedy species, and recurring disturbances.
Sanjay Gandhi National Park was selected for ANR interventions as the park is grappling with encroachment throughout its boundary which resulted in a loss of tree cover. The park is situated partly in Thane District and (59.24 Sq.Km.) and in Mumbai Suburban District (44.44 Sq.Km.) of Maharashtra State. Khindipada, the eastern end of SGNP for this project was chosen for the interventions.
The site is largely a dry deciduous habitat with undulating terrain. Its habitat is largely fragmented towards the boundary side which is surrounded by various hutment colonies. The habitat is largely dominated by Palmyra Palms which is intersected with various seasonal streams. Several open patches resulted in a fragmented canopy cover. Fragmented patches form numerous canopy gaps. Disturbed canopy cover impacts the understorey and affects the biota thriving on the forest floor.
The habitat is devoid of perennial undergrowth therefore the land is largely exposed. As the forest dept, is keen to increase the green cover throughout the park range, this could be a potential site where the ANR process could be utilised to improve the ground cover or understorey as well as the local biodiversity. Before initiation of the project, the potential sites were surveyed in the area wherein the plantation can carry out to enhance the local biodiversity.
Project Location: Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mulund, Mumbai, Maharashtra
Project Duration: April 2021 - March 2023
Project Partner: Borivali Forest Dept. and iNaturewatch Foundation
Funding Agency: DCB Bank Ltd.
Identifying the potential sites for plantation and connecting the canopies through ANR Method using Google Earth.