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Over the past 7 years of its existence, Vindhyan Ecology and Natural History Foundation (VENHF) has been actively pursuing the cause of wildlife protection in the District Mirzapur which is facing an immense threat from land use land cover change owing to mining, encroachment and other human-induced activities. The Vindhya Bachao campaign has gathered enough traction in recent years due to its clear stand and success in saving some of the critical wildlife habitats using strong and credible scientific research and legal efforts. However, at every step, we felt that the major challenge in the protection of this landscape is the unawareness of wildlife diversity and lack of reliable inventory of faunal diversity found in this area.

In the year 2017, VENHF in association with WWF-India published a research report on Sloth Bears in Mirzapur, which for the first time mapped the distribution of Sloth Bears in the district and identified five forest ranges as critical wildlife habitats. It was suggested that such areas are highly vulnerable and require legal protection as ‘Protected Area’ to prevent the extinction of wildlife.  The report was widely acclaimed by wildlife fraternity and for the first time, the forest of Mirzapur came to be recognized for its wildlife. The report was also acknowledged by Dr Harsh Vardhan, the then Minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change in July 2017 who assured positive deliberation.

In the year 2018, VENHF, in collaboration with the Mirzapur Forest Division and with the funding support of Wildlife Trust of India-David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, Earth Matters Foundation and crowdfunding platform Bitgiving- conducted the first-ever camera trap survey in three contiguous forest ranges (Marihan, Sukrit and Chunar) to prepare an inventory of wildlife animals never recorded in the past.

We are glad to share the long-awaited publication based on the survey which is titled as "Wildlife Inventory and Proposal for Sloth Bear Conservation Reserve in Marihan-Sukrit-Chunar Landscape of Mirzapur Forest Division, Uttar Pradesh" and is authored by Debadityo Sinha (Managing Trustee-VENHFand Rakesh Chaudhary (DFO-Mirzapur Forest Division)Avinash KushwahaSudhanshu Kumar and Mohit Chauhan were part of the research team and are also the contributing authors of this report. The camera trap survey was undertaken in the months of May-July 2018.

The Schedule I (WPA, 1972) animals recorded from these forest ranges are Sloth Bear, Leopard, Asiatic Wild Cat, Rusty Spotted Cat, Indian Wolf, Indian Gazelle, Blackbuck, Peafowl, Bengal Monitor and Mugger Crocodile.

Other important species recorded here are Striped Hyena, Jungle Cat, Red Fox, Golden Jackal, Sambar Deer, Spotted Deer, Ruddy Mongoose, Grey Mongoose , Palm Civet, Small Indian Civet, Bluebull, Wild Boar, Indian Crested Porcupine, Indian Hare, Five-striped Palm Squirrel, Hanuman Langur, Rhesus Macaque, Painted Spurfowl, Red Junglefowl and many other birds. Several species are recorded for the first time in the district as well as in the State. 

The report has been acknowledged by leading wildlife experts like Mike Pandey (Ambassador-Govt. Of U.P., Wildlife & Environment), Prerna Bindra (Former Member-NBWL), Dr H.S. Bargali and Dr Nishith Dharaiya (IUCN Co-Chair, Sloth Bear Expert Team), Dr Faiyaz Khudsar (Scientist In-Charge, Yamuna Biodiversity Park) and Ananda Banerjee (Conservationist & Author).

The Foreword to the report is written by well-known wildlife scientist and Former Director of Bombay Natural History Society- Dr Asad Rahmani.


Asad Rahmani

 The report proves the presence of rich biodiversity in this neglected region. I hope the concern authorities will take appropriate measures, as suggested in the report, and make Marihan-Sukrit-Chunar Landscape of Mirzapur Forest Division as Sloth Bear Conservation Reserve. (Excerpt from the Foreword)

~ Dr Asad R. Rahmani



What the Experts are Saying about the Report?



Proposed Conservation Reserve in Marihan-Sukrit-Chunar Forest Ranges in Mirzapur Forest Division

The report claims that the forest ranges proposed for Conservation Reserve (CR) are an ideal wildlife habitat of Vindhya landscape and are of extreme significance as it connects Eastern Kaimoor landscape (consisting of Ranipur WLS in U.P. and Son Gharial WLS, Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve and Bagdhara WLS in M.P). with Western Kaimoor landscape (consisting of Chandraprabha WLS of U.P. and Kaimur WLS of Bihar). With the help of this inventory, the authors have proposed for declaration of Conservation Reserve of approx 400 in the Forest Division. Some of the selected images from the camera trap survey are shared below. For more details on the landscape, wildlife history and the threats to the wildlife of Mirzapur, we urge our readers to download the report.

The report and its contents are published under open access license and can be downloaded from the link below.

Front Cover-Wildlife Inventory and Proposal for Sloth Bear Conservation Reserve in Marihan-Sukrit-Chunar Landscape of Mirzapur Forest Division, Uttar Pradesh



News Coverage
Declare UP’s Mirzapur forests as a conservation reserve, says study | Mongabay India (06 August 2019)
Sloth bear surprise for experts in Mirzapur forests- The Times of India (27 July 2019)
दुर्लभ प्रजाति के वन्य जीवों की मौजूदगी के प्रमाण | हिंदुस्तान (24 July 2019)
मड़िहान- सुकृत, चुनार रेंज में मिले दुर्लभ वन्यजीव | अमर भारती (22 July 2019)
समर्पित संरक्षण रिजर्व बनाने का प्रस्ताव तैयार | दैनिक जागरण (22 July 2019)
For amazing videos of wildlife from the jungles of Mirzapur follow our hashtag #MirzapurWildlife on Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and Facebook.
Vindhya Bachao Desk
Author: Vindhya Bachao DeskEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Established in the year 2012, Vindhyan Ecology & Natural History Foundation is a research based voluntary organization working for protection of nature and nature dependent people in Mirzapur region of Uttar Pradesh.

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​Vindhyan Ecology & Natural History Foundation is an independent, self-financed, and voluntary organization working towards the protection of nature and nature dependent communities since the year 2012. We do not have funding from any government, corporate, or foreign-based organization and we are largely dependent on our members and individual donations to meet our expenses. Please help us sustain by donating online as little as Rs 50. Every contribution counts!

Inventory of Traditional/Medicinal Plants in Mirzapur