Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Four Sangais in mid-pregnancy stage at breeding centre

Good News for Sangai Lovers

Probably one of the best news for a long, long time. This time the endangered Sangai or Brow Antlered Deer, the only one of its kind in the world, is today in the news for the right reasons. According to a senior Manipur State Forest official, out of the seven matured female Sangais kept at the breeding centre at Langol, four of them are in their mid-pregnancy period. This piece of information is sure to bring smiles not only on the faces of wild life enthusiasts but also the general public, for according to the last official Census of Sangai taken in 2003, only 180 of them were recorded as surviving in their natural habitat at the 40 square kilometre Keibul Lamjao, which is the only floating National Park in the world.

Sangai which faced extinction some years back appear to have received a shot in the arm

The endangered species is facing serious threats in their natural habitat due to a number of factors, including poaching, military operations launched at the floating park to flush out underground cadres as well as infringement on their natural habitat by humans. With the stated objective to conserve and increase the population of Sangai, which had dropped to all time low some years back, a breeding centre for the Sangai was set up at Langol reserve forest area.

At least eleven Sangais including four males are presently kept at the breeding centre, which is also known as the Second Home of the Sangai and located near the Manipur Zoological garden. The zoo employees are presently looking after the breeding centre.

A senior Manipur State Forest official said, "We have detected four female Sangais in their mid-pregnancy stage and they are being cared by the zoo staff including veterinary attendants". The official further said that this is the first time that four female Sangais have become pregnant at a time in the breeding centre and they are likely to give birth probably in November or December.

He added that food supplements and nutrients are currently being fed to the pregnant Sangais and all of them are in good health. The mating period of the Sangais is between February and May and extra caution was taken to ensure that the males did not attack each other and inflict injuries upon themselves during the mating season, he added. Sangai is the State Animal of Manipur is one of the three sub-species of the deer found in Asia. The Forest official said that plans are afoot to release the Sangais at its natural habitat, Keibul Lamjao, if its population increases in the breeding centre.

Much apprehension was voiced over the fate of the Sangais, when security forces launched its "Operation Summer Storm" at Loktak lake, where the Keibul Lamjao Park is located to flush out militants. However much to the relief of the people and wild life enthusiasts, there is no official record of any Sangai being killed in the offensive launched by the security forces.

Courtesy: The Sangai Express
Flood Situation Worsens in Kaziranga National Park

More than 60 per cent of the world famous national park have been submerged by the floodwater of the mighty Brahmaputra. Flooding of the park forces score of endangered animals to escape to safer areas. 

'A vast stretch of the Kaziranga National Park is under water. Animals are migrating from the sanctuary to an adjoining hill for safety,' the park warden said. 

As per the 2009 census report, 2,048 of the world's estimated 3,000 one-horned rhinos lumber around the swamps and grasslands of the 430 sq km park. 

Heavy monsoon rains have sparked flash floods and submerged up to 400 villages, displacing more than 200,000 people in three districts of Assam in the past two days. Meanwhile, the park authorities have ordered truckers to drive slowly as they pass a national highway that winds through the park. 'Special barricades have been put along the highway. Forest guards are asking drivers to drive under 40 km an hour as the animals use the highway to cross over to the hill to escape the floods,' the park warden said. A large number of animals, including deer, get mowed down by speeding trucks while crossing the highway to escape the annual floods.
Park officials are now worried about poachers killing animals, especially rhinos and elephants, as they move from the sanctuary towards the hills. 'Poachers have a tendency to target animals taking advantage of the floods. We have put forest guards on alert in the hills where animals take refuge,' another park ranger said. A Central Water Commission bulletin Monday said the Brahmaputra was flowing above the danger level in at least four places. 

The regional meteorological centre in Guwahati has forecast more rains in Assam till July 1.

(Courtesy: IANS)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

NECEER's Programme Schedule.

June: Launch of two Centres under Research and Development Division.

July: Release of 2nd Issue (2nd Volume) of Ecotone.

August: Release of 2nd Issue (1st Volume) of NeBIO Research Journal.

September: a. Enviro Lecture Series; b. 3rd Phase of Worldwide Save Loktak Lake Campaign at Washington, Bangalore and Chennai; c. Release of BioDiverse

October: Release of 3nd Issue (2nd Volume) of Ecotone and 3rd Issue (1st Volume) of NeBIO

November: 4th Phase of Worldwide Save Loktak Lake Campaign at New York, London and Chandigarh

December: Release of 4th Issue (1st Volume) of NeBIO