Delhi: Tilpath Valley Biodiversity Park
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2018: A revival
Nearly two years after a revival project was taken up, the once barren Tilpath Valley Biodiversity Park now dons a lush green look.
Inaugurated in January 2018 by lieutenant governor Anil Baijal, the valley is open to all interested in nature and wildlife. Scientists said that over the past two years, a number of jackals, rare birds and even leopards had been spotted by locals.
Faiyaz Khudsar, the scientist in charge of Yamuna Biodiversity Park, said the change in landscape and ecology had brought back a number of species, including leopards and jackals.
Khudsar, who also worked on the revival project, said animals were being mapped and tracked through pressure impression pads (PIP) set up to keep track of species arriving each month. “The park is close to Tughlaqabad and Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary where leopard pugmarks have been spotted in the past. It is possible that the animal had come from there.”
Using PIPs, it has been found that large numbers of jackals, mongooses and porcupines have visited the area. “The prey base is building in the form of nilgai, and chances are that predators like leopards will come again,” said Khudsar. However, no recent pugmark has been spotted, he added.
When the revival work began, the landscape was devoid of vegetation, barring a few trees of prosopis juliflora, known to reduce groundwater levels. Weeds such as lantana and parthenium had also invaded the area.
Through a series of plantation campaigns by both Delhi Development Authority and TOI as part of Hero-TOI Green Drive in 2015, over one lakh native saplings were planted, which have already grown 6-8 feet, scientists said. In 2016, TOI planted 20,000 more plants as part of the drive.
“A three-storey canopy has been developed at the valley and all native species have been used. The area has been completely revived and birds, butterflies and reptiles have all come back,” said C R Babu, the professor emeritus and head of Centre for Environmental Management of Degraded Ecosystems who was also the chief ecologist of the project. At present, there are 115 plant, 103 bird, 32 butterfly, 15 reptile and amphibian, and eight mammalian species in the park.