‘Situation of Hoolock gibbon in Nagaland is alarming’
DIMAPUR: With an aim to generate conservation tempo in Nagaland, a series of “training of forest guard for the conservation of hoolock gibbon in Nagaland” was organised by Aaranyak in collaboration with Nagaland Forest department, supported by US Fish & Wildlife Service for forest guards (FGs) from February 12-26.
During the training programme at State Environment and Forestry Training Institute (SEFTI), Dimapur, director of SEFTI, M. Shakiba Yimchunger said that the training was first of its kind in the state and acknowledged Aaranyak for organising such type of training.
Primate Research & Conservation Initiatives of Aaranyak, head, Dr. Dilip Chetry requested the forest guards to make use of the training.
He said that the “situation of Hoolock gibbon in Nagaland is alarming” and sought for the support from all quarters in order for the primate species to survive.
Altogether, 35 forest guards from 10 forest divisions which included Dimapur, Kohima, Kiphire, Mokokchung, Longleng, Peren, Phek, Wokha and Zunheboto participated in the week-long conservation training programme.
Meanwhile, a field study was also conducted at Hollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary in Assam.
The forest guards were trained by Dr. I.C. Baruah of Assam Agricultural University, Dr. Bibhab Kumar Talukdar, Dr. Bibhuti Prasad Lahkar, Dr. Firoz Ahmed, Dr. Jimmy Borah, Arup Kumar Das, Jayanta Kumar Pathak and Dr. Dilip Chetry of Aaranyak, Mridy Paban Phukan from Wildlife Conservation & Study Centre and Ajoy Kumar Das of Aaranyak & Guwahati High Court.
Convocation of the training on Saturday was chaired by M. Shakiba Yimchunger.
During the programme, chief guest, director, Intanki National Park, T. Aochuba expressed hope that the training would boost the capacity of the forest guards in the conservation of Hoolock gibbon in particular and biodiversity in general.
He also requested Aaranyak to help the Forest department in biodiversity conservation through capacity building of forest staff, community and the youth.
Certificates, books, posters and other study materials were distributed among the participants by T. Aochuba.
Later, Dr. Dilip Chetry acknowledged the state government, especially the department of Environment, Forest & Climate Change for permitting the training and other logistics.
Aaranyak informed that the next batch of same would be held from April 18 to 23 at SEFTI, Dimapur.
It may be mentioned that the distribution of species of Hoolock Gibbons, Western Hoolock gibbon (Hoolock hoolock) and Eastern Hoolock Gibbon (Hoolock leuconedyes) is limited to the seven states of North East India on the southern bank of Dibang – Brahmaputra river system.
Habitat fragmentation and hunting are the major threats to gibbons in India and added to this situation is the lack of basic information and poor conservation awareness about the species in different sections of the people including the frontline staff of the Nagaland Forest department. Aaranyak is a scientific and industrial research organisation with a mission of carrying out research, training and conservation activities in Northeast India
The training provided participants with initial understanding of basic principles of primatology, experience with methods and techniques used in field research.