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Steps to conserve Dibru-Saikhowa Nat�l Park

By STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI, Jan 4 � After a prolonged period of neglect, one of the country�s least explored Protected Areas is set to acquire the priority it deserves for conservation and management. Dibru Saikhowa National Park, in the extreme east of the State, will be provided with more human resource and improved infrastructure needed to protect its rich flora and fauna.

�The Park has long been ignored, but steps are being initiated to protect its biodiversity spread across land and water,� said a well placed source in the State Forest Department. Unlike many other Protected Areas, Dibru Saikhowa has expansive water bodies which contain some rare aquatic species, including the Gangetic dolphin. White winged wood duck � the state bird of Assam � is also among the rare species found within its confines.

Official sources told The Assam Tribune that around 118 forest personnel are likely to be deputed to protect the park and promote conservation efforts in the area situated on the south bank of the Brahmaputra. The move will fulfil a huge gap in managing the park that has a core area of 340 sq km. There have been occasions when it had to be managed by less than three dozen personnel.

A sizeable number of personnel from the Assam Forest Protection Force will also help monitor in the park, sources mentioned.

To better protect the wildlife and their habitat, two settled areas inside Dibru Saikhowa � Dadhia and Laika � will be relocated away from the park. The villagers have in principle agreed to vacate their lands and settle in other areas which are �degraded forestland.� This is considered an important development because the presence of people inside the park has been contrary to rules and regulations, and also because it impacted on wildlife.

Conservation workers have been calling for better protection measures for the park, and the recent moves have been described as �encouraging�. However, they have underlined the need for more floating camps manned by forest personnel to deter timber smugglers and poachers. At least a dozen such camps are required to keep an eye on the water bodies.

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Steps to conserve Dibru-Saikhowa Nat�l Park

GUWAHATI, Jan 4 � After a prolonged period of neglect, one of the country�s least explored Protected Areas is set to acquire the priority it deserves for conservation and management. Dibru Saikhowa National Park, in the extreme east of the State, will be provided with more human resource and improved infrastructure needed to protect its rich flora and fauna.

�The Park has long been ignored, but steps are being initiated to protect its biodiversity spread across land and water,� said a well placed source in the State Forest Department. Unlike many other Protected Areas, Dibru Saikhowa has expansive water bodies which contain some rare aquatic species, including the Gangetic dolphin. White winged wood duck � the state bird of Assam � is also among the rare species found within its confines.

Official sources told The Assam Tribune that around 118 forest personnel are likely to be deputed to protect the park and promote conservation efforts in the area situated on the south bank of the Brahmaputra. The move will fulfil a huge gap in managing the park that has a core area of 340 sq km. There have been occasions when it had to be managed by less than three dozen personnel.

A sizeable number of personnel from the Assam Forest Protection Force will also help monitor in the park, sources mentioned.

To better protect the wildlife and their habitat, two settled areas inside Dibru Saikhowa � Dadhia and Laika � will be relocated away from the park. The villagers have in principle agreed to vacate their lands and settle in other areas which are �degraded forestland.� This is considered an important development because the presence of people inside the park has been contrary to rules and regulations, and also because it impacted on wildlife.

Conservation workers have been calling for better protection measures for the park, and the recent moves have been described as �encouraging�. However, they have underlined the need for more floating camps manned by forest personnel to deter timber smugglers and poachers. At least a dozen such camps are required to keep an eye on the water bodies.

More in Entertainment
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