PASIGHAT ( By Maksam Tayeng )- While giving away the winner prizes to the students winning 1st, 2nd and 3rd position in the recently conducted Essay writing competition on theme “Conservation of Bengal Florican in Arunachal Pradesh” by Wildlife Division of D. Ering Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary on the occasion of 67th Wildlife Week, Ninong Ering, MLA Pasighat West said that anyone hunting or killing Bengal Florican bird (a schedule-I species) from in and around the D. Ering WL Sanctuary will be given severe punishment.
Ering, who attended the prize distribution ceremony of the essay writing competition as Chief Guest along with Dy. Commissioner, East Siang District, Pasighat, Dr. Kinny Singh in the division office of DEWS on Monday laid emphasis on ground level conservation and protection of Bengal Florican which is a rare and critically endangered bird largely found in the island sanctuary of D. Ering WL Sanctuary.
While appreciating the management of DEWS in the conservation effort of the Bengal Florican, Ering said that the present DFO, Tasang Taga and team are sincerely and dedicatedly protecting the sanctuary due to which numbers of this rare bird have considerably increased in the last couple of years.
He said that by organizing such awareness programmes for students of Secondary and Higher Secondary school level of East Siang District conservation message to save Bengal Florican birds are reaching out to maximum people. Ering also congratulated the winning students who beautifully wrote in their essays to conserve the rare birds which are found in DEWS, as D. Ering WL Sanctuary is the last safe refuge for Bengal Florican. He assured all possible help and assistance to the wildlife department for conservation of these rare and critically endangered birds.
While Dr. Kinny Singh, Dy. Commissioner also batted for stronger and larger initiatives from the wildlife department to protect the Bengal Florican. “I am happy to know that the populations of Bengal Floricans in DEWS are increasing after present management of the Sanctuary stopped much in controlling hunting activities inside the sanctuary. I also assure all possible help from the District Administration’s side in conservation of these rare birds”, added Dr. Singh.
Earlier, Tasang Taga, DFO, D. Ering WL Sanctuary put a brief speech on the conservation initiative of the wildlife department by acting tough against any hunting attempts by hunters from fringe villages without showing any leniency toward hunters who will fully carried out hunting attempts inside the sanctuary in the past.
“Due to full protection of hunting and regular human tress-passing inside the sanctuary, the number of Bengal Florican in D. Ering WL Sanctuary has increased considerably”, added Taga while quoting the latest survey report of Scientists from Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai in support of ZSL EDGE and Segre Foundation based at England wherein approximately 40 male were recorded and its female ration with male of 1:1 makes it around 80 numbers of Bengal Florican in the DEWS. Taga also said that NSS students of Jawaharlal Nehru College, Pasighat were also given awareness on conservation of Bengal Florican while taking them to the sanctuary on Nature Camp.
Winners of the Essay Competition on the theme ‘Conservation of Bengal Florican in Arunachal Pradesh’ were Jane Yomso, Class-X from D. Ering Memorial Govt. Hr. Sec. School, Ome Neyi Borang, Class-XI from Independent Golden Jubilee Govt. Hr. Sec. School and Nyabi Riba, Class IX from Siang Model School, Pasighat as 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Bengal Florican (Houbaropsis Bengalensis) is one of the most threatened bustard species of the world. Since 2008, BirdLife International and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) have listed it as Critically Endangered due to its very small and declining population and as per report; fewer than 1,000 individuals were estimated to be alive globally as of 2017. It is also listed under Schedule-I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.
As Dr. Asad Rahmani, former Director, Bombay Natural History Society and Dr. Biswajit Chakdar, Scientist-A who made a routine survey of the Bengal Florican population here, D. Ering WL Sanctuary has the best habitat for these rare birds in entire North-East and South-East Asia.