IMPACT OF TOURISM AND HUMAN INTERFERENCE ON PTERIDOPHYTE – DIVERSITY IN SIKKIM, INDIA
GAUTAM GANGULI *
Department of Botany, Chandernagore Govt. College, Chandernagore, Hooghly, West Bengal
RADHANATH MUKHOPADHYAY *
CAS, Department of Botany, The University of Burdwan, Burdwan, 713 104, India
*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sikkim is a small hilly state and is part of the hot spots of biodiversity in the Eastern Himalayas. This state has luxuriant growth of ferns and fern allies. Due to its geographical position and scenic beauty it attracts tourists from all over the world. Influence of large number of tourists, lack of well-organized tourist guide's organization, pollution generated by various means and human interference are causing the depletion of pteridophytes at an alarming rate. To conserve diversity of pteridophytes some conservational approaches like - development of ecotourism in a scientific way, formation of pteridophyte sanctuaries by in situ conservation of pteridophyte-rich areas and ex situ conservation via biotechnological approaches need to be established. Additionally, general awareness among local as well as visitors regarding importance of biodiversity conservation has to be repeatedly ensured.
Keywords: Tourist activities, Human interference, Pteridophyte diversity, Sikkim,, Ferns.