Community holds key to conservation of bio-resources: DFO Orang NP

Wildlife conservation leads to preservation or oxygen bank, water: Dr Talukdar

ORANG NATIONAL PARK (ASSAM): Conservation of bio-diversity and the forest cover sans cooperation and participation of the community as a whole is impossible as the forest department with limited resources and manpower can’t always live up to extremely challenging task.

Divisional Forest Officer of picturesque Orang National Park and Tiger Reserve of Assam, Ramesh Gogoi said, “Forest officials assigned for the job of conserving and protecting a bio-diversity hot spot come for a few years, but the community in the area remains for good with the bio resources of these parks. A sense of belonging and ownership has to be instilled in the heart of fringe villagers so that they remain the perennial protector of these resources.”

Students on Jeep Safari in Oranga National Park . ST photo

Motivating a small group of students who were participating in a programme titled ‘Friends of Rhino’ organised by Aaranyak in collaboration with authority of Rajiv Gandhi Organ National Park on Tuesday, the DFO said when the community remained very alert about protection of forest cover and resources, the agencies entrusted with the job were kept on toes.

“One of the most valuable fallouts of successful protection and conservation of wildlife species is preservation of oxygen bank in the atmosphere and water for all of us on the planet,” said globally reputed conservation expert, Dr Bibhab Kumar Talukdar.

Making a detailed presentation about rhino species available on the planet before a group of young students, police officials and forest staff  participating in the programme, Dr Talukdar, a global rhino conservation specialist, who  is Asia Coordinator of International Rhino Foundation (IRF) and Secretary General of Aaranyak, said protection of an animal species is possible only through  preservation  of its habitat and ecology.

“Once we succeed in protecting the habitat of the species under focus of conservation efforts, the trees are saved to keep supplying oxygen for our survival and conserving water for us. So human beings must strive to protect animal species in order to keep the planet livable for us,”  Dr Talukdar said adding a human being needs oxygen equivalent to three cylinders full of oxygen every day, which we get free from the nature. Market value of an oxygen cylinder ranges from  Rs 6000-7000 as on date.

Dr Talukdar urged the group of about  30 school children to carry the message of conservation of Indian One Horned rhino in Orang National Park to their friends and families after attending the programme that was exposing them to rhino sighting in the 78-square kilometer Park that has 115 one-horned rhinos, Royal Bengal Tigers and other species.

The students from the neighbourhood of the tiger reserve were taken out on a safari of the Park and were delighted to sight over 12 one-horned rhinos within a couple of hours. Orang National Park is described as a mini-Kaziranga National Park on the basis of its  faunal resources.

‘Friends of Rhino’ programmer has been conceived and executed by Aaranyak with support from State Forest Department  to create awareness on  one-horned rhino and its habitat among young students so that they get convinced about the need to conserve the animal and its habitat.

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