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Mounting pressure on biodiversity evokes concern

By Kishore Talukdar

CHAKARDEO (RANI), May 21 � In spite of forests being protected by environmental legistations, the anthropogenic stress on the forest resources have been multiplying, threatening the terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity of East Kamrup forests.

The three reserve forests of Rani area - Kawashing, Jarasal and Rani which includes the Garbangha RF of South Guwahati Range are the treasure trove of both flora and fauna. But continuous exploitation of the terrestrial resources has impinged on the habitat health, causing depletion of green cover leading to the eventual man-animal conflict in the plains areas.

The forested hilly slopes of Chakardeo under Rani RF have been subjected to extreme pressure and the obvious lack of official protection is a matter of grave concern. The once thickly populated teak forests has paid heavily for the massive deforestation and the efforts to restore the degraded habitat for the past one decade have failed due to sheer lack of post plantation management.

�Post plantation management is the key to the success of a plantation drive�, Nripen Teron, a youth felt. Attributing weed infestation to be one of the causes of unproductive plantation, the local population of Chakardeo have blamed the official callousness who is alleged by the people believe in plantation for publicity�s sake.

To minimise the pressure on the degraded forest, the source of livelihood of the agri-dependant villagers must be keep undisturbed. Equally important is to stem the rate of erosion from the denuded hilly slope by planting trees whose roots run deep into the soil.

Endowed with rich faunal diversity such as leopard, barking deer, sambar, Indian bison, wild cat, wild boar, civet cats and the primate species - capped cangun and hoolock gibbon, the habitat should be brought under a well planned protective cover. Straying of wild animals- leopard and elephant in particular into the inhabited areas is should also be addressed seriously as the incidence of livestock falling prey to the wild animals is on the rise. �We take shelter in well-protected areas to avoid the attack of leopards� informed a women of Natun Rani.

The Maliata RF under Palasbari range once a resource rich hilly terrain is a glaring instance of human -triggered decimation. A stark victim of insatiable luman greed, this particular RF encompassing 354 hectares of land still boasts offwide reptilian diversity and it will be good if efforts are made to restore the degraded forest cover.

Recalling the frequent encounters with leopards, a few conservative-minded senior citizens living in the foothills area unanimously expressed the hope the lost habitat of this majetic wild creature of universal appeal and those of its prey would be restored.

The over riding importance of this hour is habitat restoration, because till the time demand for timber-based products does not cease, the race for plundering of valuable timber will continue, commented a source. Adequate protective cover will redress the balance somewhat.

Sustainable utilization, conservation, protection and rehabilitation of threatened species despite being the objectives of Biological Diversity Act 2002, the target group is yet to enjoy protection in the forest areas of East Kamrup Division. The success of any conservation effort which is the very basis of human survival lies in scientific management as well as sustainable and judicious use of resources.

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Mounting pressure on biodiversity evokes concern

CHAKARDEO (RANI), May 21 � In spite of forests being protected by environmental legistations, the anthropogenic stress on the forest resources have been multiplying, threatening the terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity of East Kamrup forests.

The three reserve forests of Rani area - Kawashing, Jarasal and Rani which includes the Garbangha RF of South Guwahati Range are the treasure trove of both flora and fauna. But continuous exploitation of the terrestrial resources has impinged on the habitat health, causing depletion of green cover leading to the eventual man-animal conflict in the plains areas.

The forested hilly slopes of Chakardeo under Rani RF have been subjected to extreme pressure and the obvious lack of official protection is a matter of grave concern. The once thickly populated teak forests has paid heavily for the massive deforestation and the efforts to restore the degraded habitat for the past one decade have failed due to sheer lack of post plantation management.

�Post plantation management is the key to the success of a plantation drive�, Nripen Teron, a youth felt. Attributing weed infestation to be one of the causes of unproductive plantation, the local population of Chakardeo have blamed the official callousness who is alleged by the people believe in plantation for publicity�s sake.

To minimise the pressure on the degraded forest, the source of livelihood of the agri-dependant villagers must be keep undisturbed. Equally important is to stem the rate of erosion from the denuded hilly slope by planting trees whose roots run deep into the soil.

Endowed with rich faunal diversity such as leopard, barking deer, sambar, Indian bison, wild cat, wild boar, civet cats and the primate species - capped cangun and hoolock gibbon, the habitat should be brought under a well planned protective cover. Straying of wild animals- leopard and elephant in particular into the inhabited areas is should also be addressed seriously as the incidence of livestock falling prey to the wild animals is on the rise. �We take shelter in well-protected areas to avoid the attack of leopards� informed a women of Natun Rani.

The Maliata RF under Palasbari range once a resource rich hilly terrain is a glaring instance of human -triggered decimation. A stark victim of insatiable luman greed, this particular RF encompassing 354 hectares of land still boasts offwide reptilian diversity and it will be good if efforts are made to restore the degraded forest cover.

Recalling the frequent encounters with leopards, a few conservative-minded senior citizens living in the foothills area unanimously expressed the hope the lost habitat of this majetic wild creature of universal appeal and those of its prey would be restored.

The over riding importance of this hour is habitat restoration, because till the time demand for timber-based products does not cease, the race for plundering of valuable timber will continue, commented a source. Adequate protective cover will redress the balance somewhat.

Sustainable utilization, conservation, protection and rehabilitation of threatened species despite being the objectives of Biological Diversity Act 2002, the target group is yet to enjoy protection in the forest areas of East Kamrup Division. The success of any conservation effort which is the very basis of human survival lies in scientific management as well as sustainable and judicious use of resources.