JONAI, Aug 7 - Observing the gradual destruction of forest cover and consequent degradation of bird habitat, the Dhemaji territorial forest division has taken steps to preserve the wetlands in Jonai and their scientific management.
The Dhemaji forest division has identified a vast area wetland at Rayang-Bijoypur area as suitable habitat for local aquatic birds. Located at located 9 km south-west from Jonai town, the wetland with numerous water bodies is known as fish breeding site and many winter migratory birds come to this site every year.
The forest officials have already conducted hydrological survey with GPS on the wetlands at Rayang-Bijoypur area which is surrounded by Rohitpur Deorigaon, Kerker, Bholukaguri, Kutumchuk, Haripur Deori and Madhya-Lakhipur (sawmill) villages and have identified the area as suitable habitat of aquatic birds, reptiles and insects besides breeding of local fish species. The department is all set to implement schemes under National Wetland Conservation Programme (NWCP) for efficient management of wetlands in the district.
�We have conducted survey covering 600 hectares of wetland with GPS. We have a comprehensive plan to implement integrated scheme for fishery development and animal farming to enhance rural economy of the area�, informed Deputy Forest Ranger of Jonai, Hiren Medok.
Medok informed that honorary Wildlife Warden Dr Anupam Sarma and Divisional Commissioner (ornithologist) Anuwaruddin Choudhury visited the wetland sites in Jonai and have supported its feasibility to conserve the local birds and other aquatic species there.
The Forest Department conducted a meeting with the local villagers and asked them to protect the wetlands from over-exploitation and encroachment and provide livelihood options for rural people dependent solely on fishing in the wetlands. The Department also submitted a proposal to develop the wetland as �Bird Sanctuary� for conservation of the resident birds and also to attract more of winged guests.