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Inter- and intra-village diversity among forest dependent households in Ranthambhore National Park, India

Vikram Dayal

Abstract


The extraction of forest biomass – through fodder and fuelwood collection, and grazing – is one of the key sources of conflict between villagers and the managers of such protected areas as Ranthambhore National Park in India. Differences among households across and within villages with respect to indicators of livestock, wealth, and biomass extraction (grazing, and fuelwood and fodder collection) are studied using non-parametric methods, using data from a survey of 227 households in 4 different villages in, and near Ranthambhore National Park. There are substantial, statistically significant differences among the four differently located villages with respect to indicators of livestock, wealth, and biomass extraction. The interior village has the greatest livestock holding and the greatest percentage of households using the park. The resettled village also has a substantial dependence. Within one of the villages, differences among households of different castes are also substantial. While Brahmin households have low dependence on the park, Gujjar and Koli households have a high dependence for both grazing and fuelwood, and Berwa households have a high dependence for fuelwood. In addition, social, economic and physical correlates of biomass (grazing, and fuelwood and fodder collection) user categories are studied, using an econometric analysis in a multinomial logit framework. About two-thirds of the households surveyed used the park. Caste and distance from the park are found to have high substantive significance.

Keywords


forest, fuelwood, grazing, fodder, caste, Ranthambhore

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