‘HABITAT FRAGMENTATION, HUNTING MAJOR THREATS TO GIBBONS IN STATE’
Aaranyak, a scientific and industrial research organisation, in collaboration with Nagaland Forest department (wildlife), supported by IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group’s Section on small Apes (SSA) organised a two-day workshop on “Hoolock gibbon Conservation Action Plan for Nagaland”, at State Environment and Forestry Training Institute (SEFTI) Dimapur, which got underway on Thursday.
In a press release, Aaranyak informed that while speaking at the programme, chief conservator of forest (Environment, Biodiversity & Research), Supongnukshi Ao urged upon the participants to make use of the workshop.
He also highlighted his experiences on how he had witnessed hoolock gibbon gradually vanishing from his native place.
In this regard, he requested the community to come forward for the conservation of Hoolock gibbon.
Head of Primate Research & Conservation Division of Aaranyak, Dr. Dilip Chetry stated that the endangered Western Hoolock gibbons were distributed in Northeast India, however, “habitat fragmentation and hunting” were major threats to gibbons in Nagaland.
He said the situation of Hoolock gibbon in Nagaland was alarming and support from all quarters in the state was required in order for the species to survive in Nagaland.
He also pointed out that the Hoolock gibbon could be a flagship species for the conservation of biodiversity of Nagaland.
Dr, Dilip said the workshop was unique as it involved the local community from nine districts, Forest department, primatologist, experts from Bodoland University, Guahati University, University of Science & Technology Meghalaya and NGO viz Aaranyak, Rhino Foundation, FES, Primate Research Centre NE, who were coming together to conserve Hoolock gibbon in the state.
Meanwhile, wildlife expert Dr. Anwaruddin Choudhury highlighted his field experience in Nagaland while Head, Department of Zoology, Bodoland University, Prof. Hilloljyoti Singh shared his experiences of Hoolock Gibbon sightings in Northeast India.
Chief guest of the workshop, Prof. Parimal Chandra Bhattachajee also highlighted his experience with Hoolock gibbon in Northeast.
The workshop will be conducted by Dr. P.C. Bhattacharjee from Gauhati Unversity, Dr. H.J. Singha of Bodoland University, Dr. Prabal Sarkar of University of Science & Technology Meghalaya (USTM), Dr. A. Choudhury of Rhino Foundation, Dr. Jihosuo Biswas from Primate Research Centre NE, Yaranajit Deka of FES, Dr. Pranjal Das, Arup Kumar Das, and Dr. Dilip Chetry of Aaranyak, Mridy Paban Phukan from Wildlife Conservation & Study Centre as resource persons.
The workshop was inaugurated by former Principal Chief Conservator of Forests & Head of Forest Forces (PCCF & HoFF), Satya Prakash Tripathi, who is the chairman of Nagaland State Biodiversity Board (NSBB) while welcome addresses were delivered by wildlife warden Dimapur, Tokaho Kinimi and director of Intanki National Park, T. Aochuba. Altogether, 40 participants are attending the workshop.