J. Bio. Env. Sci.21(1), 108-125, July 2022
Biodiversity conservation is a need of a day, when deforestation has reached its peak of destruction. Sacred groves (SGs) are such areas of forest which serve as tool for in-situ conservation by means of religious and cultural belief system of locals. Several plant species are conserved in SGs which are ecologically, economically and medicinally valuable. Study was carried out to investigate ethno-botanical significance of SGs in Valsad district. Primary data collection was done by taking interviews, using questionnaires from ‘Bhagat’ (traditional healer), and local tribes living around these groves. There are 480 SGs documented in Valsad district, which harbors valuable plant diversity. Among them, 48 SGs were large in size, more than 100 years old, were selected for ethno-botanical documentation. 182 species have been enumerated as valuable ethno-botanical sp. from these SGs. Plant details such as local name, scientific name, parts used for ethno medicine in various ailments like jaundice, piles, dysentery, diarrhea, fever, piles, conjunctivitis, ulcer, and kidney stone etc. were recorded. In District areas, due to high level of development, anthropogenic activities, modernization and erosion in traditional and civic values (corruption), the conservation of ethnomedicinally important species is affected largely. Existence of SGs & conservation of them has led the SGs be richer in diversity, many conserved species is available abundantly in natural conditions from SGs. Traditional knowledge from such conserved areas is needed to be preserved and should be documented in form of books or People Biodiversity Register (PBR) before SGs and/or traditional practices are destroyed.
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