Friday, July 1, 2022

Training on ‘Hoolock gibbon’ conservation concludes

The first batch of Hoolock gibbon conservation training which got underway on February 7 concluded on Saturday. The inaugural programme at State Environment and Forestry Training Institute (SEFTI), Dimapur was graced by director of SEFTI, M. Shakiba Yimchunger.
Speaking at the programme, he said that the training was first of its kind in the state and would help the forest guards gain more insights into the conservation of biodiversity.
In his speech, head, Primate Research & Conservation Initiatives of Aaranyak, a society for biodiversity conservation in Northeast India, Dr. Dilip Chetry welcomed the trainees and asked them to make use of the training to enhance their knowledge of conservation on Hoolock gibbon in particular and biodiversity in general. The inaugural session was also addressed by deputy director, SEFTI, Obed B. Swu.
The forest officials were trained by Dr. I.C. Baruah of Assam Agricultural University, Dr. Bibhab Kumar Talukdar, Dr. Bibhuti Prasad Lahkar, Dr. Dipankar Lahkar, Dr. Jimmy Borah, Dr. Dilip Chetry, Arup Kr. Das of Aaranyak, Mridy Paban Phukan from Wildlife Conservation and Study Centre, and Ajay Kr. Das of Aaranyak & Guwahati High Court trained the forest officials.
During the valedictory programme, certificate, books, posters and other study materials were handed over to the trainees by conservator of forest (Research, Planning & Utilization), Raj Priy Singh.
Altogether, 28 forest guards from five wildlife divisions attended the week-long conservation training programme. A field study was also conducted at Hollongapar Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary in Assam.
The training programme was carried out by Aaranyak, a scientific and industrial research organisation with a mission of carrying out research, training and conservation activities in Northeast India in collaboration with Nagaland Forest department and supported by US Fish & Wildlife Service.
It may be mentioned that the species of Hoolock Gibbons, the Western Hoolock gibbon (Hoolock hoolock) and the Eastern Hoolock Gibbon (Hoolock leuconedyes) are distributed in North East India.
Their distribution in India is limited to the seven states of North East on the southern bank of Dibang–Brahmaputra river system.
A press release from Aaranyak disclosed that habitat fragmentation and hunting were major threats to gibbons in India.
Added to this situation, it stated that there was a “lack of basic information and poor conservation awareness” about the species in different sections including the frontline staff of the Nagaland Forest department.

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