GUWAHATI, Jun 27: Manipur’s brow antlered deer ‘Sangai’ has been included in the Centre-sponsored endangered species recovery programme. The other animals to be included in the list are the great Indian bustard, Gangetic dolphin and dugong.
Found only at the Keibul Lamjao National Park, it is the only species from the North East to be included in the list. Once found throughout Manipur, the Sangai is now restricted to the 40 square km area park and has a population of less than 100 in the park. It is listed as “endangered” in IUCN Red List and Schedule I of the Indian Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
The Wildlife Institute of India has prepared a plan to secure long-term survival of Sangai after extensive research. The Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority under the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change will fund the programme. A multi-pronged approach has been chalked out which includes conservation research, technology-aided management support, training and capacity building of the implementing agencies, monitoring population and habitats, stakeholder sensitisation and mobilisation and mitigation of threats in priority habitats.
For strengthening of existing population of Sangai in the park, the wildlife institute will monitor its population trend through scientific and genetic methods, set up a veterinary lab and rescue-cum-conservation breeding centre.
The Wildlife Institute of India is also working with the Manipur Forest Department to get a World Heritage Site status for the Keibul Lamjao Conservation Area, which comprises of the Keibul Lamjao National Park and the Loktak lake and covers 223 square km. The institute is also looking to establish a second population of Sangai in the wild.
Courtesy: Northeast Today