Threats to the grasslands

The region where the terai grasslands are found is becoming increasingly populated and the pressures associated with human encroachment are having an increasing impact on the range and quality of grassland habitats. Now almost entirely restricted to protected areas and national parks, the grasslands of Assam are becoming one of the most threatened habitat types in the world.

Although the grassland habitats have evolved alongside a moderate level of disturbance from natural fires, grazing from native herbivores such as elephants and buffalo, the intense and repeated burning of areas on a large scale during the driest time of year to provide suitable land for grazing cattle, farming crops and forestry practices is having a devastating impact on the persistence of the grasslands which are struggling to recover from such intense disturbance. Every year intensive burning is destroying vast areas of suitable habitat for the pygmy hogs keeping the species at very low levels and limiting their recovery.