TDEF Conservation – Sacred groves survey, TDEF browser and research papers

The Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest (TDEF) of South India is a unique ecosystem which hosts over 1000 flora species, over 400 of these being woody in nature. The composition of the forest is a dense evergreen canopy of approximately 12 metres in height which is made up of a complex balance of trees, shrubs and lianas, with occasional emergent tree species.

It is estimated that only 0.2% of its potential range now exists as a TDEF ecosystem, making it a rare forest type. The last remnants of the TDEF which indicate the profile of the forest mainly exist in sacred groves that are found around temples. These shrines, situated outside villages, have a religious cultural belief system surrounding the deity, which means historically pockets of forest around the temple were protected and held sacred. This stands in comparison to the Reserve Forests of the area having some level of disturbance due to historical land management. The AVBG team are presently running a multi-pronged TDEF conservation project against this backdrop which covers further study into its present ecological status, education, plantation, and establishment of conservation resources such as the Virtual Herbarium, data websites and publications.