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Arunachal Wildlife Board approves Red Panda conservation plan

By The Assam Tribune

ITANAGAR, April 29 - Arunachal Pradesh State Board for Wildlife (SBWL) has approved the proposal for a comprehensive Red Panda Conservation Plan in the State.

The Board in a meeting under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Thursday also approved to celebrate the Pakke-Paga Hornbill Festival at Seijosa in East Kameng district, in the vicinity of the Pakke Tiger Reserve, as an annual event.

The State boasts of the largest amount of potential Red Panda habitat in India and therefore a conservation plan is being pushed by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) India to preserve the endangered species, an official release said.

WWF (India) has proposed to develop a State-level management plan for Red Panda based on advanced habitat analysis and stakeholder consultation and ensure its implementation through the State Environment and Forest department.

The plan will be first of its kind in the country and shall set a benchmark for all future conservation efforts for securing Red Pandas on a long term basis.

The Pakke-Paga Hornbill Festival touted as the only wildlife conservation based festival of the State, which was being celebrated through community participation, will now be taken over by the state government.

Khandu directed the Environment amd Forest department to ensure establishment of required infrastructure for celebration of the festival annually and make it a global event.

Arunachal Pradesh is home to various endangered faunal species like high altitude pheasants � Peacock, Monal and Tragopan. The Board approved a proposal for establishment of a High Altitude Breeding Centre cum Aviary at a select location. The Chief Minister directed the Home department to study the menace of illegal use of gun licenses and submit a plan to deal with it to the Cabinet. � PTI

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