Impact of mining on herbaceous ground cover and wild fauna in Birsha- Damoh forest range a buffer zone of Malanjkhand Copper mines of India
Mining is known to demolish the natural ecosystem adjacent to mining sites all over world and it generates massive volumes of wastes which are dumped adjacent to mining areas resulting in damage to the natural ecosystem, reducing herbaceous ground cover and wildlife. Hinustan Copper Mines (HCM) is the Asia’s largest open cast copper mines and produces 70 % copper for the Indian market.
A study was carried out at buffer zone of HCM in 31 forest sites of Birsha-Damoh forest range area of Balaghat district of Madhya Pradesh in India. The herbaceous ground cover (HGC) was estimated by line transect method. Results indicated that the total average herbaceous ground cover ranged from 11.2 - 77.44%, indicating least wildlife movement at site 14 and maximum at site 29. The dominant herbaceous plants were Cynodon dactylon followed by Lantana camara, Thysanolaena maxima covering across most of the sites. The rest of the herbaceous species were Vallaris heyne, Achyranthes aspera, Eragrostis tenella, Waltheria indica and Ocimum Gratissimum, found as casual constituents of the community. The maximum number (7) of wild animals presence in day was observed at Cynodon dactylon and Thysanolena maxima dominated sites and minimum number (1) was observed at Lantana camera dominated forest sites.