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What are sacred groves? What is their role in conservation?

7. What are sacred groves? What is their role in conservation?

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S Sonika

Sacred groves are the traditionally protected patches of forests around places of worship where local tribal communities actively participate to protect these regions and do not allow to cut even a single branch of the tree because of religious reasons. Sacred groves in India are found in Western Ghats of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Khasi and Jaintia hills in Meghalaya, Aravali hills in Rajasthan and Sarguja, Chanda and Bastar areas of Madhya Pradesh.

Role of sacred groves on the conservation of biodiversity

1. Sacred groves help in the protection of a number of rare, endangered and endemic species.

2. In these regions, deforestation is strictly prohibited and thus they are biodiversity-rich areas. 

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