Small sacred groves in local landscape: are they really worthy for conservation?

Sacred groves are communally-protected forest fragments with significant religious connotations. These community lands attain significance due to biodiversity conservation and provide ecological services in local landscapes. However, it has often been found that interests related to sacred groves are often concentrated towards the groves with conspicuous presence, i.e. in terms of expanse, economic importance or presence of charismatic species, etc. This undermines the role played by the small groves (mostly < 1 ha) and also lead to degradation over time. This commentary analyses the role and need for conservation of small groves in local landscape scenario.

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