Flood awareness campaign helps Assam’s wildlife
TigerTime supported NGO, Aaranyak and the Numaligarh Refinary Limited in association with the Kaziranga National Park authority has carried out a series of pre-flood awareness camps to minimize the death of wild animals during the flood and sought support of the communities to ensure the safe return of the flood-displaced animals to the park.
A series of 12 camps were organized covering villages from Agoratoli Range to Buhrapahar Range on the southern fringe of the park.
Kaziranga, a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its one-horned rhino and high density of tigers, is a flood plain ecosystem. Flooding is considered a lifeline of the ecosystem and it usually causes more benefit than loss. Last year, during one of the worst waves of flooding, nearly one thousand animals died in the park and many died outside when they moved to the nearby hills of the Karbi Anglong to escape the rising water. Some rhinos were also poached during the period.
With last year’s casualties in mind, Numaligarh Refinery and Aaranyak joined forces to create awareness before the flood so that fringe villagers, who are often the first to see an animal outside the park ,can help save those distressed animals.
For the animals a safe return to the park is sometimes difficult as they either get killed by speeding vehicles on the National Highway, attacked by domestic dogs,killed by opportunists or poached by people backed by the illegal wildlife trade network.
The Aaranyak team have reached about 3000 villagers during the campaign with the target audience including villagers, housewives, students and young people. The villagers, most of which have never visited the national park, were awed at the rich natural resources, particularly the wildlife, in the park and vowed to save them at all costs.
Arif Hussain and Munjali Tokbipi from Aaranyak educated the audiences with audio-visual presentations and documentaries under the guidance of Dr Firoz Ahmed,Conservationist of Aaranyak.
Raising awareness is a key to conservation and Aaranyak has been working hard to deliver the message around Kaziranga National Park and the Numaligarh Refinery, Golaghat is now supporting this education campaign. In the first phase of then 2013 campaign a series of street drama and school awareness programmes were carried out on the 5th June, World Environment Day.
Source: Assam Times
For more information on TigerTime’s vital work with Aaranyak see here.