Evaluation of tall grassland habitat and its diversity in Pabitora Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam.
Tall grasslands of Indian sub-continent, once widely distributed, are now restricted only to protected areas of northern India and Nepal. In Assam, Pabitora Wildlife Sanctuary is one of such grassland sanctuary where grassland covers 72.25% of the total area. The grasslands were studied according to the relative abundance of different dominant tall grass species. Highly disturbed and grazing areas were dominated by Imperata cylindrica. Erianthus ravennae prefers seasonally inundated sites. Saccharum sp. was dominant in wet sites. Phragmites karka preferred watershed area. Seasonal flood, unplanned fire, cutting and grazing affect the distribution of grasslands in Pabitora. It is a mainly Imperata dominated grassland covering 40% of the total area while Saccharum, Erianthus and Phragmites cover 20, 30, and 10%, respectively. Immediate conservation strategies are required to save the grassland habitat of the sanctuary, which is the major habitat for one horned Rhinoceros, wild buffalo, wild pig etc.