Karbi Anglong Takes Great Strides in Conservation of Biodiversity

Diphu- A holistic effort has been geared up with strong commitment for the conservation of biodiversity of Karbi Anglong district to combat the antisocial elements working against the natural resources and to tackle the organized criminals.

The forest is plagued with plundering the timber of the forest district which is serving the Bramhaputra plains as biosphere. This organized crime destroys the environment and slows down the economic growth of this autonomous region of Assam.

Karbi Anglong forest divided in three territorial divisions i.e. East, west and Hamren undertook some special drives against the tree choppers. The east division forest protection squad seized 27 an assortment of vehicles and arrested 42 persons and seized 125.06m3. Similarly the west division forest seized 37 mixed vehicles, 44 bicycles, 9 buffaloes, one elephant, 4 horses. This division has recorded in arrest of offenders, a total of 121 persons have been sent to judicial remand till May this year. A total of 605.92 cubic meter timber has also been seized.

Comparatively the Hamran division bordering Nagaon district in west and Meghalaya and Dima Hasao in north and south acted less drastically. 21 vehicles, two mechanized boat, 2 tractors, 20 buffaloes have been seized till May this year 31 persons has also been arrested without any significant seizer of timber.

For preservation and conservation of wildlife and natural resources the forest of this district has been divided into five wildlife sanctuaries and protected network. The two elephant reserves are Kaziranga- Karbi Anglong elephant reserve with an area of 3270sq kilometre and the Dhansiri – Lumding elephant reserve with an area of 2740 sq kilometres

In mid part of 2011, Indian army helped the west division forest to protect its territory and sort out problems of illegal logging and to combat the miscreants inside the reserve forest especially in border areas. Within a short span, the force captured armed smugglers and poachers. Thus sends a strong message to the wrongdoers.

Karbi Anglong is a part of the Indo- Burma biodiversity hot zone; it includes the oriental zoological region. The lofty Singhason with its highest peak 1357 meters, beside this numerous rivers and rivers and streams and other water bodies and luxuriant vegetation, it is the home of different mammals, aquatic animals, avifauna, reptiles, burrowing animals, and rare species of butterfly. It is the home land of Gaur, Tiger, Leopard, Sambar, Hog deer, Hoolock gibbon, Capped languor, Black bear, sloth bear, Civet.

The prized animal of Karbi Anglong after the great one horned rhino, is Black Panther, which was captured in live camera trapping of wild animals by WWF in the periphery of Kaziranga national park, inside Karbi Anglong, on December 26th 2011at 11. 46 PM. The other treasure of Karbi Anglongdiscovered by WWF is Royal Bengal tiger, the image of this magnificent creature was trapped in the same zone on December 30th 2011.

Eco tourism is the latest concept take up by Karbi Anglong forest to protect ecology and environment. The Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council is initiating this sector choosing some places rich in flora and fauna and having cultural heritage of ethnic tribes. A group of amateur trackers led by Chief Conservator Forest, Abajit Rabha scaled the height of Singhason peak to asses the possibility of trekking this area for the tourists. The department also explored the scope of water rafting in various fast flowing streams in west Karbi Anglong.

Standing of one person can never be ignored who has taken inventiveness in pumping new blood in the forest department functioning under Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council. He is Bhuban Chandra Terang, executive member KAAC holding the charge of forest department. Right from organizing bicycle rally to study tour to Kerela, planting seedling in the doorstep of villagers leading the forest protection force in special campaigning against the poachers and timber smugglers, even in rubber raft.

Sushanta Roy is a journalist in Assam, India, who photographs and writes about the people, animals and flora of Assam, and the things that affect them.