Guwahati, April 12: It was bountiful fun and hands on learning on nature conservation for a group young students in the bio-diversity rich Ultapani Forest Range of Chirang Reserve Forest, where a nature camp was organised during 7-9 April by the region’s leading biodiversity conservation and research organisation- Aaranyak (www.aaranyak.org) in partnership with the Bodoland University, Kokrajhar under Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) of Assam.
Aaranyak’s nature camp is an annual event, organised with the objective to build capacity of students and nature lovers to create a workforce of trained and capable citizens who will work for nature conservation and environment protection.
Twenty-five students, some of whom are members of Aaranyak, participated in the camp wherein they learned many aspects of ecological research and conservation activities through theory classes, field visits, interactions with the experts and hands-on sessions which included nature walks, bird-watching, village walks and social surveys to understand the perception of local communities towards local environmental issues and challenges.
Besides they were taught how different tools such as the Remote Sensing and GIS are useful in wildlife conservation, use of Global Positioning System (GPS), data analysis and interpretation, and presentation on human wildlife conflict and its mitigation.
Collaboration with Bodoland University added value to the camp, as many faculty-members and scientists interacted with the participants as resource persons and shared their expertise.
The camp was inaugurated by Prof. Laishram Ladu Singh, the Vice Chancellor of the varsity, who encouraged the participants through his speech. Besides, the presence of Professors from various departments of the varsity made the camp fruitful.
From Bodoland University, Prof. Hilloljyoti Singha, Prof. Pralip Narzary, Dr. Kushal Choudhury, Dr. Sanjib Baruah, and Sanswarang Basumatary, a PhD research scholar, interacted with the participants as resource persons.
Moreover, Promothesh Debroy, ACF, Haltugaon Forest Divison was present during the valedictory programme.
During the camp Aaranyak was represented by Dr. Bibhab Kr. Talukdar, CEO and Secretary General, Dr. Dilip Chetry, Vice President, Dr. Bibhuti P. Lahkar, Programme Secretary, Arup Kr. Das, GIS Specialist, and Dr. Jayanta Kr. Roy, a herpetofauna expert.
The other resource persons included Dr. Namita Brahma, Asst. Professor at TISS Guwahati, and Nirmal Kanti Dey, a retired environmental officer at BRPL, Bongaigaon and nature enthusiast.
They also enjoyed the picturesque landscape and biodiversity rich area of Ultapani range. Ultapani is a part of Manas Biosphere Reserve comprising of dense semi- evergreen and moist deciduous forest which harbours many rare and threatened species such as the Golden Langur, Great Pied Hornbill, besides high-profile species like big cats and elephants.
It is also home to many butterfly and orchid species. Aaranyak remains grateful to all the volunteers, and local community members, without whose participation the camp would not have been a success.
Organisers are grateful to Kanak Narzary, President of Ultapani Bathow Research society who put in an immense effort in arranging the venue for holding the camp.