The Ecosystem  

Sultanpur (U.P.)


         In former days a major part of the district was covered with forests of dhak  and thorny  bushes forming a valuable site of refuge in troubles times of the nawabi rule. At the begining of the 19th century, it is stated, one large tract of dense forest extended in an  unbroken stretch near Ramnagar in tehsil Amethi. The jungles of Bhadaiyya covered an area of more that 404 hectares even after the freedom struggle of 1857 when portions of jungle tracts were cleared off by the british forces. During the period of the 2nd world war and thereafter, in furtherance of the grow more food compaign, the jungles were recklessly cut down. At present small patches of jungles are seen near Unchgaon and to the west of Musafirkhana in the western part of the district. In the eastern part of the district the remnants of extensive wood are found near the villages of Kathaura, Rampur, Bargawan, Navgavan, Mahadeo and between Dulhapur and Bhavanipur. Small portions of land between Bhumi and Tikarmafi and the south of Islampur, all in tehsil Amethi are covered with natural vegetative growth. Small tract of jungle are also seen on the ravine lands of the banks of the Gomti river and Kadhu Nala. The area covered with timber and other trees and shrubs which comes under the control of the forest department is about 1600 hectares of which an area of about 1253 hectares lies in tehsil Musafirkhana and 347 hectares in tehsil Sultanpur. In addition to the above, the roadside avenues , controlled by the forest department are about 74 kms in tehsil Musafirkhana, 80 kms in tehsil Kadipur, 132 kms in tehsil Sultanpur and 60 kms in tehsil Amethi. The jungle area in the district under the control of the gaon sabhas in about 3847 hectares of which 1852 hectares are covered with timber trees and the remaining with other species of trees and shrubs. Of the timber jungles, tehsil Amethi contains 740 hectares, tehsil Sultanpur contains 680 hectares, tehsil Musafirkhana 394 hectares and tehsil Kadipur 38 hectares. The forest areas under other trees and shrubs cover 917 hectares in tehsil Sultanpur, 527 hectares in tehsil Musafirkhana, 325 hectares in tehsil Amethi and 226 hectares in tehsil Kadipur. These, however, can not be called forests, of which they lack the stateliness and density; seen in the twilight at the season of the year their leaves are gatehered for fuel, their crooked trunks and branches present the appearance of a number of gaunt, weired figures in all sorts of grotesque and fantastic shapes.
            The chief species of the trees found in these  jungles are dhak, shisham, neem, babool, bel, pipal, bargad, goolar, kakar and mahua. Among the species which have been introduced recently mango, khair, safed siris, kala siris, kachnar, amaltas, jamun, sagaun, semal, arjun, bahera and Zezyphus are commonly seen in the area under the forest department and along the roadside.

              The wild life of the district has greatly decreased in number and variety since the middle of the 19th century due to the clearance of jungles, and the reclamation of wild tracts and groves for cultivation. Though the wild animals have become quite unimportant, yet considerable species of birds, reptiles and fish are found in the district.

Animals: The stray leopard which was occasionally seen in the jungles of Kadhu Nala has now become stinct. The wolf has become scarce. The nilgai is seen in the jungles near Ramnagar and few other places. Besides, the monkey, jackal, fox and hare are common throughout the district.

Birds: The Birds of the district are similar to those of the adjoining districts. The chief game birds found in the district are of several varieties of wild goose, duck, quail and partridge which are fairly plentiful during the winter. The large egret which is found throughout district is shot for the sake of its plumage. Among other birds, generally seen in the district are parrot, peacock, red jungle fowl, nightingale and sparrow. A large number of migratory birds come to the swamps and jhils in the southern portion of the district.  

   Reptiles: Different varieties of snakes and other reptiles are found everywhere in the district specially in the rural areas. Some snakes are harmless but some are deadly, e.g., the cobra. The russel's viper which is viviparous and nocturnal in its habits is commonly found in the district. Though the majority of the snakes are nonpoisonous, a few people die of snake bite almost every year.
           The other reptiles found in the district are chamaleon and monitor lizard, the later which was fast becoming extinct due to netting, shooting, has been declared protected species.

Fish: Fish are found in the rivers, lakes, ponds, canals and artificial reservoirs of the district. The chief species of fish found here are bata, rohu, karuanch, singhi, nain, raia, bhakur and belgagra.


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