JONAI, Nov 16 � Like in earlier years, the waterbodies of Daying Ering Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary (WLS) and adjoining areas of the mighty Siang river have come alive in recent days with the twittering of several species of migratory aquatic birds with the onset of the winter season.
The sanctuary, having adequate waterbodies and grassland, is witnessing the arrival of migratory birds in recent times. As the mercury drops, more winged visitors are expected to arrive on the river sites. Many of them have travelled thousands of kms from their summer roosts, which are beginning to freeze and where food has become scarce at this time of the year.
Located along the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border about 15 kms east of Jonai, the sanctuary is located in the midst of numerous islands as the tributaries of the mighty Siang and Sibya rivers flow down from the north and provide a model habitat for the wildlife to thrive on. It is considered a significant factor in restoring the ecological balance of the region, besides providing security to the denizens of Dibru Saikhowa Wildlife Sanctuary and Poba Reserve Forest at Jonai.
The wildlife sanctuary covers an area of 190 sq kms. The erstwhile Lali Reserved Forest was declared as Lali Wildlife Sanctuary. The same was renamed as D�Ering Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary after Dr Daying Ering, a politician and social reformer of Arunachal Pradesh. It was established in 1976 and renamed D�Ering WLS in 1986. The sanctuary lies sandwiched between the Siang and Sibya rivers in East Siang district.
The physiography of the area comprises of riverine plains and the floristic composition is mainly of thatch and various types of grasses. There are river plains of both the Siang and Sibya in the sanctuary. The rich flora and fauna of the wildlife sanctuary provides quality habitat for some globally threatened species of birds like the endangered vultures and Bengal Florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis). The wildlife sanctuary is also home to more than 16 mammalian species, including some rare and endangered animals, besides several other birds.
It may be mentioned that migratory birds, including Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea), great cormonant (Phalacrocorax carbo), and many other colourful water birds were spotted in the waterbodies of D�Ering Wildlife Sanctuary during the first week of this month, attracting special attention of the wildlife officials and the nature lover as well.
Wildlife officials annually witness arrival of more avian visitors to the numerous waterbodies during the month of January or early February each year.
The sanctuary, which once had been bearing the brunt of encroachment and poaching activities, has reportedly developed during the last three years. The wildlife officials have claimed that the department with limited staff has chalked out strategies to protect the wildlife flocking the sanctuary and nearby areas.
A well-defined Eco Development Committee (EDC) has also been constituted as per Central Government guidelines, including the gaonburhas and PRI members of the fringe villages, who assist the department in guarding the sanctuary.
It may be mentioned here that a large number of researchers, students and tourists from different parts of the country and abroad flock to the wildlife sanctuary to see the rich birdlife during the winter season.