Guwahati, Dec 22: Orang National Park (ONP) in Darrang district of Assam is located in the proximity of some densely populated villages and the cooperation of neighbourhood villagers are absolutely necessary for the forest and wildlife protection personnel to safeguard precious animals of the park.
The Village Defence Parties (VDPs) from these neighbouring villages have been playing crucial role in helping the Park authority to keep poachers at bay.
As part of its sustained efforts to extend support and complement the efforts of government agencies to conserve the region’s wildlife resources and habitats, biodiversity conservation and research organisation, Aaranyak (www.aaranyak.org) today provided field gear to 20 VDPs located near Orang National Park in coordination with State Forest Department and Darrang District Police.
As many as 85 sweaters and 60 torchlights were provided to members of 20 VDPs at a function held at the conference hall of the ONP in presence of Divisional Forest Officers (DFO), Pradipta Baruah, Assistant Conservator of Forest Rajiv Hazarika, Range Officer Dibyajyoti Deori, Officer-in-Charge of Dalgaon Police Station, Manoranjan Gogoi, in-charge of Silbori Police Outpost Mridul Kumar Sarma and COVDP Maheswar Sarma. Presidents and General Secretaries of all the 20 VDPs were also present in the function.
Addressing the function, the DFO Pradipta Baruah conveyed special thanks to Dr. Bibhab Kumar Takukdar, the CEO and Secretary General of Aaranyak for taking initiative for extending support to the VDPs working in the nearby villages of Orang National Park.
He also appreciated the active participation of the VDPs in the programme as well as their proactive support in the monitoring of ONP.
The fringe villagers often faced various problems as they are living with the wild life, but when they understand their role and responsibilities they are motivated to work for conserving the nature and work for the Orang National park.
Organg is facing another issues recently that is the illegal trade of rare ornamental fish species ‘pipli cheng’ in the nearby areas of ONP. This is a rare fish species which, he feels, needs equal importance as Tiger and Rhino in the ONP. He requested neighbourhood villagers to be aware of this and help the forest department to stop this illegal trade of this fish species.
Ashok Dey, Pranab Goswami, Arif Hussain, Sanjib Kumar Bezbaruah and Goura Baidya represented Aaranyak in the event at the ONP today.
Orang National Park (78.81 sq. km.), which is having both the national animal – Tiger and the Assam State Animal, the greater one horned rhino, is known as a mini-Kaziranga National Park (KNP) in view of its rich biodiversity and grassland ecology.
The national park with a rich prey base is a challenge from conservation point of view as constant strict vigil is required all the time as it is located in the proximity of densely populated human settlements.
In order to strengthen the anti-poaching apparatus in Orang National Park (ONP), Aaranyak has also stationed one unit of its K9 dog squad with an efficient handler in the national park for use by the park management in the hour of need.
Aaranyak had earlier provided one speed boat and one 4WD Bolero and one 4WD Gypsy vehicles to Orang National Park to further enhance the efficacy of the forest personnel to secure the future of rhinos, tigers and other animals in the park.