Assam Northeast

Nature’s Beckon Submits Proposal To Assam Govt For Two New Sanctuaries In Assam

Nature’s Beckon, an environmental activists’ group of Northeastern India has appealed to the government of Assam to constitute two different wildlife sanctuaries in Goalpara district, viz. Pancharatna Wildlife Sanctuary and Ajagar Wildlife Sanctuary to protect the rich wildlife and natural habitat of these two forests for posterity.

Recently, Soumyadeep Datta, Director, Nature’s Beckon has submitted a formal proposal to Chief Minister of Assam, Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma on behalf of all members of Nature’s Beckon.

The proposal appeals to the Chief Minister to create two separate protected areas in the Goalpara district, the Pancharatna WLS and the Ajagar WLS.

On 30th June 2021, the formal proposal for the proposed Pancharatna WLS and Ajagar WLS has been handed over to the Forest minister of Assam Parimal Suklabaidya.

Talking to this correspondent, Soumyadeep Datta said, “Various important points regarding elephant conservation and other issues related to environment protection and biodiversity conservation were also discussed. Forest minister of Assam showed a very encouraging outlook towards wildlife conservation in Assam,”.

He further said, “The forest minister said that the wildlife conservation goals in Assam will be fulfilled in a very progressive course under the able leadership of present Chief Minister of Assam,”.

Datta said, “I had an exhaustive discussion with the Political Secretary to the Chief Minister of Assam, Jayanta Malla Barua regarding the forests and wildlife of Assam. We have complete faith in the leadership of Chief Minister, Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma and we remain hopeful that under his able leadership, Assam will set an example in the field of biodiversity conservation,”.

“The ongoing field investigations conducted by Nature’s Beckon has enlisted 168 species of wild birds in the Pancharatna forest and 196 species of wild birds in Ajagar forest so far. Nature’s Beckon’s field investigation team has enlisted a total of 36 species of mammals in Ajagar and Pancharatna forests till date,” Datta said.

Datta further added, “These two forests in Goalpara district still harbours very rich biodiversity of rare flora and fauna despite the imminent threats. The immediate protection of these forests in the form of wildlife sanctuary is of utmost importance. The Ajagar forest must get protected as Ajagar Wildlife Sanctuary and Pancharatna forest as Pancharatna Widlife Sanctuary,”.

It is noteworthy that the proposed Pancharatna Widlife Sanctuary constitutes an approximate forest area of 976.08 hectares and the proposed Ajagar Wildlife Sanctuary constitutes an approximate forest area of 4240.0 hectares.

The forest of Pancharatna WLS continues into the Garo hills towards its southern border. This enables the free movement of Asian Elephants between Assam and Meghalaya across this forest area. On the other hand, the proposed Ajagar Wildlife Sanctuary provides a home to a very large resident population of Asian Elephants in this forest.

The proposed Pancharatna WLS is significant for another reason, this is related to wild Asian Elephants. Kripa Lochan Das, an environmentalist working with Nature’s Beckon, has been studying the behaviour, habitat and movements of the Asian Elephants of Goalpara region for more than 10 years.

“The rampant devastation of elephant habitats has destroyed most of such breeding grounds of Asian Elephants in Assam and India, which is posing a big question on the breeding and survival of Asian Elephants in future,” Datta said.

He said, ” The Pancharatna forest constitutes one of such rare ‘elephant birth-giving forest’. The wild elephants are still giving birth to their young ones in this forest. From the elephant conservation perspective, this Pancharatna forest of Goalpara is exceptionally significant in being a breeding ground for Asian Elephants,”.

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