Ecological Restoration

Habitat Creation and Restoration

A Participatory Conservation Model

Nature Mates promotes Urban Biodiversity Gardening as a measure to empower conservation efforts. To achieve this, we use butterflies as our ambassador species for such gardening. A butterfly garden is nothing but creating a habitat consisting of various indigenous floras selected with certain inputs from the already existing biodiversity of the place. By planting native plant species which provide food for everyone: fresh green leaves for caterpillars, and floral resources (pollen and nectar) for pollinators and many more. After the plantation is over, regular monitoring of the place becomes essential to improve it to the next stage. Working with nature is a slow and continuous process. One can only wait and watch to see the result of their intervention over a period of time.

Urban Green Corners

Due to habitat loss and de-fragmentation, urban areas have lost most of its fauna as well as flora. Urban parks are that green corner which acts as oxygen cylinders for the congested urban concrete Jungles, where you can still find some birds singing in the morning, squirrels rattling throughout the sunny days. You can still feel how it feels to walk on the grass? Children learn how spotted owlet looks like or how a Garden lizard grabs its prey? The urban parks are the pockets where some biodiversity is still surviving, and we need to be very careful to protect them. We work on documentation of the bio-diversity of urban parks and help the respective authority to conserve their resources accordingly.
We also create specialized gardens with focal theme like Aroma Garden, Medicinal Plant Garden, Dessert Garden, Aquatic Gardens and gardens with special requirements. All our gardens are mostly gardens of indigenous plants and with plants of foreign origin but have been well adopted by local fauna by now.
Actually, we creates habitat in the disguise of a garden!!
Why not start nature conservation in your backyard?

Wetland Restoration and Creation

Wetlands are the most vulnerable habitat across the globe and they are very crucial form of habitat. Hence, Nature Mates have always tried to restore various wetlands around the urban settlement to allow the biodiversity dependent on them to thrive well. The Idea of restoration is simple; it is done with respect to the various species inhabiting the place. Restoration is not at all a process of developing aesthetics, it is a process of facilitating the inhabitants in a way that they feel comfortable and stay back in the habitat. So depending on the flora and fauna available and the historical records of the place with us we have done restoration of Santragacchi Jheel, Purbasthali Lake, Bikramgarh Jheel and many other ponds in the city.

We have also created wetlands within developmental projects with native flora and fauna so that wetland dependent species around that place can find some refuge and increase in number.

Santragacchi Jheel Restoration

We have cleaned and restored the Santragachhi Jheel during September – November 2011. It was a huge success then. Various media covered our work with a lot of praise. It was one of the major crowd-funded projected executed by Nature Mates at that point of time. Since then we have maintained the Jheel during 2018, again with crowd funding. In 2019, West Bengal Biodiversity Board, funded the entire process of vegetation management. This year, the board has again appointed us for the vegetation management of Santragachhi Jheel. Howrah Municipal Corporation is also helping us in this regards.

Purbasthali Lake Restoration

In the year 2012, we have partially cleaned the Purbasthali Oxbow Lake, as well as in the year 2013. The lake was badly blocked due to uncontrolled growth of water hyacinth. Those were manually cleaned and a navigable route was created to monitor the migratory birds.

Bikramgarh Lake Restoration

We have cleaned the restored the Bikramgarh Jheel during April 2012. The work was supported by various people and organizations. Media has given us good coverage.
We have also cleaned and restored the Sahid Nagar Bankplot Jheel during March 2013. The Jheel was restored to its original state.

Tree Transplantation and Restoration

We often face the challenge of development vs. environment. Though, tree transplantation is not an answer to this but definitely a tool to minimize the damage. We have introduced this in West Bengal during 2012. In cases where a tree got damaged or there were no other alternative available for a tree from being logged, due to various reasons, we went for transplantation.

Loads of trees were restored after every storm since then. This year post Amphan, many people as well as government body came forward and appointed us for restoring trees of private premises, housing complexes, trees of Rabindra Sarovar, Subhash Sarovar, Jadavpur University and Calcutta Zoo.

So far we have restored more than 230 trees during post Amphan period. As a whole we have restored more than 700 trees with an average of 70% success rate.