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Take the face value of the wildlife trust of India for conservation of wildlife in Nagaland



The slow pace of Wildlife conservation in the State is attributed to the inherent factors such as, landholding system, poverty, land-use pattern, traditional hunting urges, etc. Coupled with these is the lack of documentation of bio-diversity and clear-cut management strategies. However, of late there are several individuals and Institutes from outside the State who are taking keen interest in documenting the bio-diversity of the State. The studies on rodents, amphibians, butterflies, spiders, diversity of birds, impact of traditional hunting on wildlife, hornbills, etc. are going on. This will give us a database in formulating the State Wildlife Action Plan for the State.

For conservation and management of Wildlife in the State, particularly in tackling Human-Elephant Conflict and the killings of migratory Amur Falcon, the State Wildlife Wing has tied up with the Wildlife Trust of India. The CEO, Dr. Vivek Menon from the Wildlife Trust of India had physically visited and interacted with the authorities including the villagers from Amur Falcon roasting sites and Elephant bearing areas. The MoU has been signed between the Wildlife Trust of India and Forest Department to help the Department in tackling the problems arising out of Human-Elephant Conflict and Amur Falcon migration.

In tune with the MoU, Wildlife Trust of India has supplied chicks to the identified hunter groups for poultry farming under the Rapid Action Plan in the concept of ‘Bird for Bird’. In response to this gesture, the villagers have signed the MoU with the Wildlife Trust of India to protect the birds in course of migration. The Wildlife Trust of India is also undertaking survey of the Elephant corridors where Human-Elephant Conflict is severely affected by the wild elephants. They have also identified 99 beneficiaries whose crops had been affected by the wild elephants for providing rice grain in the concept of ‘Grain for Grain’. Besides, Wildlife Trust of India is also assisting the Forest Department in the formulation of Management Plans for all the Sanctuaries and National Park including the State Bear Conservation Action Plan. The works undertaken by the Wildlife Trust of India is praiseworthy and deserves appreciation. All the NGOs can emulate the noble works undertaken by the Wildlife Trust of India for conservation of Wildlife of the State.

In view of the landholding system in the State the concept of Community Reserve for management of Wildlife and Environment as mandated under Sections 36 C and 36D of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 (as amended upto 2003) is most appropriate and contextual for the State. There are a number of Community Reserves being managed by the communities or villagers where resolutions have been adopted by the Village Councils to ban hunting during the breeding seasons, restriction on fishing with explosives, ban on indiscriminate burning of forest, prohibition on destruction of Wildlife habitats, etc. The unilateral decisions or actions taken by the communities will have a positive bearing on the conservation of wildlife. The need of the hour is to formulate certain guidelines or modalities of do’s and don’t’s to support the efforts made by the communities for bio-diversity conservation rather than imposing the laws. Community -based -Wildlife Management is to be made a reality for conservation of flora and fauna of the State.

These days, the people are fed up with palatial buildings, man-made environment like air-conditioned markets, urban life, etc. They long for wilderness experience. They want to go out of suffocated life and enjoy over wilderness, with beautiful landscaping, deep valleys, steep rocks-climbing, water boating, fishing in rivers, etc. They want to stay in rock caves, shelter with bushes, on the riversides, would like to drink with local mugs or bamboo junga, eat over leaves, live with the rural lifestyle, basket-making, listen to village folklores, sleep inside bamboo huts, etc., but they want to enjoy with Wildlife and wilderness. This is what we called it ‘Eco-Tourism’. The Community- based Wildlife Reserves alone can offer these opportunities and excitements.

The villagers have forests and Wildlife in their holdings but they do not have resources to manage it. All the NGOs can play a pivotal role in mobilizing resources for them. In the website, it is seen that Bombay Natural History Society (Bird Life in India), through donations has mobilized £9,324.91 for saving Amur Falcon in the State. Lets us see how this is going to be translated into action.
T. Lotha
CCF & Chief Wildlife Warden,
Nagaland, Dimapur.

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