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OIL's role in preservation of hoolock gibbon hailed

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Aug 10 - The Nature�s Beckon today thanked the Oil India Limited (OIL) for its role in preservation of hoolock gibbon and demanded that the Government of India launch a special project for the protection and preservation of the species, which has been included in Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act.

Addressing a press conference here today, director of Nature�s Beckon, Soumyadeep Dutta said that hoolock gibbon is found only in India and the concentration of the animal is located in the southern bank of the Brahmaputra in Assam and parts of Arunachal Pradesh. But unfortunately, the government has not taken any effective step for protection of the animal.

The Nature�s Beckon had appealed to all the companies in Assam to come forward to play their part in protection and preservation of wildlife in the State and in response to the appeal, the Oil India Limited came forward to play a major role in protection of hoolock gibbon. Dutta said that in collaboration with OIL, the Nature�s Beckon launched an awareness drive near the hoolock gibbon habitats to make the villagers aware of the need for protection of the animal.

Dutta pointed out that the government can launch a special eco-tourism plan in the hoolock gibbon habitats. He said that such an effort would also lead to protection of the forests of the State. The OIL, on its part, is also planning such a move, he said.

The Nature�s Beckon also said that so far, the government has not even carried out a census to ascertain the number of hoolock gibbons and only if a special scheme for the protection of the animal is launched, such a census will be feasible.

Dutta alleged that the Coal India, with its open cast mining in the Patkai area, has been destroying the habitats of hoolock gibbons and demanded that such destructions be stopped immediately. �We are not against extraction of coal, but the habitats of wildlife should not be destroyed,� he added. He also said that the Nature�s Beckon would launch a Statewide movement from November if the government fails to come up with a scheme for the protection of hoolock gibbons.

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