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Are Tigers denied Honourable Death?

  Should a wild tiger be allowed to die its natural death in the jungle when injured after aterritorial fight or in natural course  or it should be  given medical treatment  when found injured.For long, this question has baffled the wildlife managers, many of whom are of the opinion that a wild tiger should not be denied an honorable death. Let the law of the jungle prevail and there should be no interference with nature. Treat or Not to Treat: Dilemma Continues   So a tiger carrying an injury in its natural course of life in the jungle (not due toany human action) – should it be treated with medicines? Though this question has been raised for the past many years, NTCA guidelines prohibit such intervention(of medication). A one-word answer for the question seems to be difficult ,especially in the times when most of the people are concerned moreover thetiger numbers. India along with other 13 tiger range countries has been workingfor the past few years to double the number of the big c

Awesome Assam : Commitment to Conserve its Biodiversity

For the past few months, Assam has been buzzing with positive news stories of environment and wildlife conservation activities. Three months ago, two new national parks came into existence while burning of rhino horns has grabbed international headlines. Assam has set the agenda for the conservation of some of the most endangered species including the greater one -horn rhino and golden langur, one of the world’s most endangered primates endemic to northeast India and Bhutan. 

 Unique, Unmatched Transboundary  Biodiversity

Famous for golden langur, Raimona national park, became sixth national park of Assam on June 5 this year followed by Eastern Assam’s Dehing Patkai national park  and elephant reserve  on June 9 2021. The five national parks that existed prior to the 422 sq km Raimona are Kaziranga, Manas- both world heritage sites-, Nameri, Orang and Dibru-Saikhowa. Assam now stands third in the list of the states in India with the most national parks after 12 in Madhya Pradesh and nine in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands . With Phipsoo wildlife sanctuary in Bhutan to its north, Buxa tiger reserve in West Bengal to its west and Manas national park in Assam to its east, Raimona is located in a 2837 sq km Manas biosphere  reserve  and a trans-boundary landscape which is essential for long-ranging animals like elephants and tigers .  It is located in  Kokrajhar in Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) and includes the northern part of the notified Ripu Reserve Forest ,which forms the western-most buffer to the Manas national park that straddles the India-Bhutan border.

Also readBig Step Towards Conservation of Kaziranga Rhino

Raimona is bounded on the west by the Sonkosh river along the Assam-West Bengal border running southward from the India-Bhutan border and the Saralbhanga river on the east till it touched the India-Bhutan border on the north. The Pekua river defines Raimona’s southern boundary. Raimona also shares contiguous forest patches of the Phipsoo Wildlife Sanctuary and the Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park in Bhutan, total area of 1,999 sq. km .Such secured transboundary ecological landscape will ensure the long-term conservation of endemic species like the golden langur, the mascot of the BTR and also  the endangered Asian elephant and Bengal tigers among others.

Also readAre Lion Tailed Macaque More Fortunate than Panna Tigers: A Tale of Two Projects

Historically, the area was a part of the migratory route of variety of wildlife from Himalayan Mountain, Indo-Malayan and Indo-Chinese realms towards the west and peninsular Indian realm species to the east. Dehing Patkai National Park  is the latest national park of Assam notified by the government  on June 9 2021. Located in the Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts of Assam, it covers an area of 231.65 sq km rainforest .It is located in the Dehing Patkai landscape which is a dipterocarp-dominated (a tall forest tree from which are obtained resins and timber for the export trade, occurring mainly in SE Asia)  lowland rainforest. The Dehing Patkai forms the largest stretch of lowland rainforests in India. The Dehing Patkai wildlife sanctuary was declared as Dehing-Patkai Elephant Reserve under Project Elephant.

Surrender and Rehabilitation of Poachers

When the world was watching an unprecedented event of burning of  large number of rhino horns confiscated  over a period of time and stored in treasuries of Assam, poachers were surrendering  arms  near Raimona national park. As many as 57 poachers allegedly active  around Raimona national park surrendered to Assam's Bodoland Territorial Council  on the World Rhino Day  on September 22. Pramod Boro, chief executive member of BTR, Assam said , "57 poachers surrendered along with arms in a village near Raimona national park. They were given cheques of Rs 50,000 each. More financial support is to be given. We urge others to surrender.”  

Also readRhino Horns Consign to Flames but Will it Check Poaching?

“ Ever since Raimona was declared a national park, the poachers do not want to hunt anymore and are therefore surrendering. We also honoured the initiative and are committed to protect their livelihood. The government is planning to further give an amount of Rs 1.20 lakhs for setting up a new business," Pramod Boro said.  He also informed that two handloom companies would be established in the area to provide jobs. In August this year , environment and forest minister  of Assam ,Parimal Suklabaidya had informed  the state Vidhan Sabha that  poachers had killed at least 22 one-horned rhinoceros in the state in the last five years . He was replying to  a question raised by AIUDF MLA Sirajuddin Ajmal . The minister told the house that nine rhinos were killed in 2017, seven in 2018, three in 2019, two in 2020, and one in 2021. He added that 644 poachers had been apprehended as of June 1 and that 25 cases had been filed against them.  The initiatives taken  during the past few months- from new national parks to burning of rhino horns and surrender of poachers- will go a long way in conservation of the unique flora and fauna of Assam. 

Images: Courtsey  WWF and BTC

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