Securing a landscape for Golden Langur conservation by community in Bodoland Territorial Council, Assam


Manas, Assam, October 29, 2018 : The forest resources are under immense threat due to encroachment for the last three decades throughout the state of Assam and Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC). In such a situation, a firm step taken by the community, Forest department and NGOs has become a radical step for Chirang Reserve Forest under Manas T R. A total of 19 fringe villagers inhabiting an area of around 23 sq km, a contiguous forest patch with First addition to Manas National Park on the west and the Royal Manas National Park of Bhutan on the north, today extended their consent and wholehearted support for creating the “Golden Langur Habitat Conservation”.

The project was conceived by “New Horizon” a community-based organization under the guidance of Chirang Forest Division, BTC and supported by Wildlife Trust of India and its International Partner, IFAW. Today the first boundary pillar and the welcome signage of the “Habitat conservation of Golden Langur” were put up and the area was accordingly demarcated.

The habitat of the area comprises of a mixed moist deciduous forest, which supports a good population of Golden Langur.  The population status of the primate was found to be meagre 74 individuals during the first of its kind census in 2004. Regular sightings encountered by the forest staff and the villagers have been recorded since then.

In the event organized at Salbari fringe village under Chirang District of BTC, Assam, Officials from Department of Environment and Forest, BTC, Officials of Village level committee, Women organization representatives, Members of local NGOs, representatives of WTI-IFAW were present. All the participants took an oath of conserving and protecting the area for Golden Langur, which is also the Endemic species of BTC and the official mascot of the BTC government.

In the coming days, the area demarcation will be completed by the forest department in support of the fringe villagers, subsequently a proposal for declaring the entire area as a “Conservation Reserve” will be moved to the State Wildlife Board, Assam for ensuring legal protection under Wildlife (Protection) Act. The area, if approved by the State Board, will be the first Conservation Reserve in the state and the region.

Amongst the dignitaries present during the event were, Mr Amrit Kumar Das, CF cum Council Head, Forest BTC; Mr Raju Brahma, Divisional Forest Officer-Chirang, CF; Mr H K Sarma, Field Director, Manas Tiger Reserve; D D Boro, OSD, BTC; Daobar Mushahary, Village Council Development committee, Amteka;  Devananda Narzary Gaonburah and Chairman JFMC, Salbari village, women social leaders, Mr Swamblai Basumatary, Member, New Horizon, Maheshwar Musahary, President New Horizon, Mr Samlai Narzary, Adviser, New Horizon, Koilamoila of Chirang district.