Call for community involvement in wildlife conservation

Dimapur: A workshop on wildlife control and biodiversity conservation in Wokha district, which often witnesses frequent conflicts between humans and elephants and which is increasing year by year, called for the involvement of the community in wildlife conservation.

Community biodiversity conservation in Nagaland, human-elephant conflict issues in Wokha, identification of commonly traded species and legal process were other highlights of the workshop.

According to the National Synchronized Elephant Population Estimate 2017, conducted by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change, Nagaland has an elephant population of 446 and the density of elephants per square mile in the state is 0.45.

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The one-day workshop was organized by Nagaland Forest Department Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)-India and Nagaland State Biodiversity Board at Tiyi hall at Wokha district headquarters on March 12, official sources said.

Sharing various aspects of community involvement in wildlife conservation, Chairman of the Nagaland State Biodiversity Council, Satya Prakash Tripathi, said that to ensure that wildlife management policies are effectively implemented, such workshops and trainings are essential to raise public awareness. He sought the cooperation of all sections to work together to conserve our wildlife and our environment.

Dev Prakash Bankhwal, Team Leader, WCS-India, said the main threat to wildlife survival is from habitat destruction, fragmentation and degradation. He said that when the ecosystem is drastically changed by the activities of human beings, wildlife can no longer survive.

Bankhwal argued that the community should create a certified wildlife habitat and preserve the forest so the animals can use the water source, food and find good shelter to survive. Also calling illegal wildlife trade a very serious crime, he called on the police and the forest department to work together to enforce relevant wildlife laws to control this threat.

Steve Odyuo of Natural Nagas, an environmental conservation organization, said various human activities are causing wildlife to decline. He stressed that activities such as hunting, illegal mining, poaching, illegal use of chemicals in the river and exploitation of forest resources must be seriously addressed.

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Wokha’s additional assistant commissioner, Lankonsen T Tsanglao, said wild animals have always been an essential resource for human beings.

He added: “Our ancestors practiced hunting from time immemorial as a source of essential food for their survival, but now the age-old practice of hunting should be discouraged and focused on conserving our ecosystem for our current and future generation. since many species are disappearing. »

In the technical session, Rishika Gupta from WCS-India spoke about wildlife crime and law enforcement, while Shubhra Sotie, also from WCS-India, dwelt on listed animals, wild animals, meat, trophies, untreated trophies, weapons, vehicles, etc.

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