Goal: The main objectives of the project are:
(i) To document wild and cultivated flora and fauna of Chithera Gram Panchayat, including campus of Shiv Nadar University with Illustrations and identify biodiversity richness areas to be conserved.
(ii) To document traditional knowledge with respect to cure of diseases/ailments of human beings and domesticated animals with illustrations.
(iii) To document Folk knowledge with respect to dance form, songs, story, rituals/traditions, etc.
(iv) To organize Biodiversity “Mela” in Chithera Village to bring awareness on conservation and sustainable utilization of local biodiversity.
(v) To bring out an illustrated document/ Manual on Biodiversity of Chithera Gram Panchayat.
As a part of flora studies till now a total of 272 vascular plant species belonging to 202 genera under 69 plant families have been recorded from Chithera Village Panchayat, including quite a few new species records for the region. Even though the SNU Campus (115.74 ha) is much smaller in area as compared to Chithara Village (770.78 ha) it recorded proportionately higher species diversity possibly due to its proximity to wetlands and agriculture fields. Very unique and prominent feature of Chithara flora is the presence of numerous date palm trees, Phoenix sylvestris (L.) Roxb., dotted in agricultural fields, wetlands and road sides, either individually or as a grove usually, associated with some other tree species, herbs and shrubs. The largest date palm grove was found in the SNU Campus and second largest in Chithara Village in the middle of agricultural fields. Further details about date palms are given under SNU flora. Emex spinosa (L.) Campd., was collected from the Botanic Garden and identified as a new record for this region. This is common weed belonging to the family Polygonaceae.
A total of 515 plant specimens were processed for herbarium preparation of which 266 specimens were mounted on sheets with labels as a part of SNU Herbarium.
Handbook on Flora of SNU Campus: A handbook on ‘Flora of Shiv Nadar University Campus’ is being prepared with coloured illustrations and taxonomic description of all individual plant species recorded in the SNU campus. The book will also include the vernacular names and medicinal properties of each species.
GPS Record of all Natural Trees and Palms of SNU Campus: The GPS reading of each individual natural tree and palm of the whole campus were recorded. Altogether 20 species of natural trees viz; Azadirachta indica, Butea monosperma, Cordia dichotoma, Crateva adansonii subsp. odora, Dalbergia sissoo, Diospyros montana, Ficus religiosa, Holoptelea integrifolia, Leucaena leucocephala, Melia azedarach, Mitragyna parvifolia, Morus alba, Phoenix sylvestris, Prosopis juliflora, Prosopis cineraria, Ricinus communis, Sesbania sesban, Syzygium cumini, Tamarix aphylla, Ziziphus jujuba were found in the campus. The total number of individuals for all these species were also enumerated.
Enlisting and Identification of Horticultural Plants of SNU Campus: All the horticultural perennial plants of the campus were enlisted and taxonomically identified. Approximately, 95 different types of horticultural perennial plants have been established in the Campus.
Socio-Economics, Biodiversity and Folk/Traditional Knowledge Survey: For the collection of socio-economic data, the proforma prepared earlier were updated. The elder/old people of the village were interviewed for the collection of socio-economic data and folk/traditional knowledge. Till date, a total of 85 house hold’s socio-economic data have been collected from Chithera Gram Panchayat.
Village Workshops organised: Two workshops were organised in Chithara Village to interact with people to gather information on traditional knowledge on herbal plants, folklore songs, etc.