Guwahati: The Assam Environment and Forest department has issued a preliminary notification for granting wildlife sanctuary status to Behali reserve forest located in Biswanath district.

A reserved forest get wildlife sanctuary status after the final notification is issued. 

 “The Governor of Assam hereby appoints the Deputy Commissioner of Biswanath District to act as a Collector under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, to inquire into and determine the existence, nature and extent of rights of any person in or over the land comprised within the limits described in the Schedule,” said a gazette notification issued by Assam government on March 9, which was published on May 4.

Behali Reserved Forest (BRF), declared in 1917, is the last remaining semi-evergreen forest, which is home to around 950 plant and wildlife species.

Initially, with a total geographical area of about 140 sq km, the dense patches in the reserved forest have shrunk to only 60 sq km due to illegal encroachment and deforestation.

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