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The Role of Fire in the Management of Wildlife Habitats: A Review


This short review paper stresses both the complexity of the ecology of fire, and the range of the possible effects of fire on forest and grassland communities. It is pointed out that wildlife management is more than protecting tree cover, and in some places the ground layer is perhaps of greater importance. The manager may have to manipulate habitats 10 ensure adequate grass resources for grazing animals; fire is one tool for such manipuiation. The paper discusses some wildlife-habitat and fire studies from India and Nepal, and suggests that the objective of conservation of the protected area must dictate management's reaction 10 fire. The paper concludes that where fire is needed to manage habitats, then this must be a prescribed controlled burn On a patchwork basis, and not a wildfire.

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