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Plans to increase swamp deer in Manas
GUWAHATI, Jul 3 (Agencies):
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Published on 4 Jul. 2011 12:20 AM IST
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After rhinos, the forest department is planning to increase the population of swamp deer at Manas National Park in accordance with the suggestion given by Unesco’s World Heritage Committee(WHC).
The WHC, which removed the “danger” tag from Manas on June 21 based on satisfactory report of Unesco-International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), had suggested increase in swamp deer population in Manas.
A Unesco-ICUN team, which visited the park on a “reactive monitoring mission” in January, was satisfied with the improvement at the national park.
The WHC also suggested modification of park boundary and eco-system monitoring mechanism. The forest department said a translocation plan of swamp deer was being worked out for reviving the population of the species at Manas. A senior forest official said a plan has already been charted out for exploring the prospects of translocating swamp deer based on deliberations at a workshop held here in February. The forest department and the Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India organized the event.
The project will be for three years and would be carried out after it gets the nod from the Union ministry of environment and forests.
Swamp deer from Kaziranga, which is also a world heritage site, will be translocated for revival of this species in Manas. While Kaziranga has about 1200 swamp deer, Manas has about 20.
Translocation of 11 rhinos to Manas from Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary since 2008 is a success story on reintroduction of the pachyderm at the national park, where the species was wiped up during the height of Bodo movement in the Eighties and Nineties.
However, principal chief conservation of forest (wildlife) Suresh Chand said proper assessment on habitat and number of swamp deer to be introduced has to be made before embarking on the translocation project. While a proposal for modification of park boundary will be submitted to WHC, the ecosystem-level monitoring for both habitats and species would be carried out with the help of satellite imageries, he added.
“The modification of boundary is necessitated by the fact that when Manas was declared a world heritage site (WHS) in 1985, it was a wildlife sanctuary covering 300-odd sq km. When it was made a national park, its area increased to 500 sq km. But the WHS status still applies to the sanctuary. So, we need to look into the modication of park boundary,” he said.

 
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