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�Limited grasslands, erosion, siltation affecting KNP�

By Debasish Baruah
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KAZIRANGA, July 5 - The biggest worries concerning Kaziranga National Park are the limited grasslands to shelter the ever-increasing population of the one-horned Indian rhinoceros, erosion which has caused the loss of 80 sq km area of Kaziranga National Park till date since the last 40 years and the siltation in the water bodies which has led to less water retention capacity. This was observed by the Chief Conservator of Forests and Director, Kaziranga National Park Satyendra Singh in his address at the two-day national level conference on �Emerging Issues of Biodiversity and its Conservation� organised by the Kaziranga Study Centre ,at JDSG college of Bokakhat in association with Kaziranga National Park authority and collaborated by Aaranyak, The Corbett Foundation and Wildlife Trust of India , which ended recently.

CCF Singh said even though there is a problem of rhino poaching in Kaziranga, but managing the park to sustain the existing ecological balance had become the biggest challenge for the park managers since some portion of grassland is being occupied by wooden forests and there are limitations of food and shelter for the wild herbivores of Kaziranga National Park including the rhinos whose population is increasing day by day. He added that effective measures had already been taken to control poaching in Kaziranga. The Director said that during annual floods there is heavy siltation leading to silt accumulation in water bodies which has resulted in less water retention capacity.

Delivering his keynote address Prof Parimal Bhattacharya, trustee of Wildlife Trust of India ( WTI), said one needs to conserve nature to have a liveable conditions in mother earth, adding that conservation of rich biodiversity is very important for the overall survival of varied species including humans. He said that deforestation of dense forest in parts of the country and Assam had led to extinction of some small living organisms like insects, microbes and even amphibians which play important role in maintenance of balanced ecosystem.

Prof Bhattacharya also informed the distinguished gathering that rural people whose livelihood depends on the nature for fishing, cultivation of crops with organic manure have maintained a healthy life having exceptionally high percentage of haemoglobin in their body against urban people having unhealthy life adding that about more than 60 per cent of people depend on nature for their livelihood. He said that even though much of the Government and NGOs efforts had been concentrated on the safety of big wild mammals but less importance was being given to smaller organisms staying in wild forests which play an important role in our rich biodiversity. He also spelt out the importance of 3,500 wetlands of Assam. He said there are two biodiversity hotspots in Assam. One is on the northern side of the Brahmaputra and other is on the southern side.

Altogether 25 scientific papers were presented in the national seminar.

Prof Bhattacharya appreciated the Principal of the college Dr Jayanta Gogoi for his initiative in organising this national-level seminar at the JDSG College which helped the student community a lot. An exhibition on wildlife and others was also organised at the College by Aaranyak, to showcase the nature and forest and wildlife.

Earlier, the Principal of the College, Dr Jayanta Gogoi welcomed all the participants which was attended by the president of the college governing body Prof Akhil Baruah, Dr Bibhav Talukdar of Aaranyak, Dr Navin Pandey of the Corbett Foundation. The vote of thanks was given by Sasanka Saikia.

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�Limited grasslands, erosion, siltation affecting KNP�

KAZIRANGA, July 5 - The biggest worries concerning Kaziranga National Park are the limited grasslands to shelter the ever-increasing population of the one-horned Indian rhinoceros, erosion which has caused the loss of 80 sq km area of Kaziranga National Park till date since the last 40 years and the siltation in the water bodies which has led to less water retention capacity. This was observed by the Chief Conservator of Forests and Director, Kaziranga National Park Satyendra Singh in his address at the two-day national level conference on �Emerging Issues of Biodiversity and its Conservation� organised by the Kaziranga Study Centre ,at JDSG college of Bokakhat in association with Kaziranga National Park authority and collaborated by Aaranyak, The Corbett Foundation and Wildlife Trust of India , which ended recently.

CCF Singh said even though there is a problem of rhino poaching in Kaziranga, but managing the park to sustain the existing ecological balance had become the biggest challenge for the park managers since some portion of grassland is being occupied by wooden forests and there are limitations of food and shelter for the wild herbivores of Kaziranga National Park including the rhinos whose population is increasing day by day. He added that effective measures had already been taken to control poaching in Kaziranga. The Director said that during annual floods there is heavy siltation leading to silt accumulation in water bodies which has resulted in less water retention capacity.

Delivering his keynote address Prof Parimal Bhattacharya, trustee of Wildlife Trust of India ( WTI), said one needs to conserve nature to have a liveable conditions in mother earth, adding that conservation of rich biodiversity is very important for the overall survival of varied species including humans. He said that deforestation of dense forest in parts of the country and Assam had led to extinction of some small living organisms like insects, microbes and even amphibians which play important role in maintenance of balanced ecosystem.

Prof Bhattacharya also informed the distinguished gathering that rural people whose livelihood depends on the nature for fishing, cultivation of crops with organic manure have maintained a healthy life having exceptionally high percentage of haemoglobin in their body against urban people having unhealthy life adding that about more than 60 per cent of people depend on nature for their livelihood. He said that even though much of the Government and NGOs efforts had been concentrated on the safety of big wild mammals but less importance was being given to smaller organisms staying in wild forests which play an important role in our rich biodiversity. He also spelt out the importance of 3,500 wetlands of Assam. He said there are two biodiversity hotspots in Assam. One is on the northern side of the Brahmaputra and other is on the southern side.

Altogether 25 scientific papers were presented in the national seminar.

Prof Bhattacharya appreciated the Principal of the college Dr Jayanta Gogoi for his initiative in organising this national-level seminar at the JDSG College which helped the student community a lot. An exhibition on wildlife and others was also organised at the College by Aaranyak, to showcase the nature and forest and wildlife.

Earlier, the Principal of the College, Dr Jayanta Gogoi welcomed all the participants which was attended by the president of the college governing body Prof Akhil Baruah, Dr Bibhav Talukdar of Aaranyak, Dr Navin Pandey of the Corbett Foundation. The vote of thanks was given by Sasanka Saikia.