Forests and Environment Minister Nabam Rebia on Monday inaugurated the country’s first ‘Wild Orchid Conservation Trail’ at Pange near here on the occasion of the 64th National Wildlife Celebration Week.
The one and a half kilometer long hilly ‘Orchid Trail’ houses 70 different and rare varieties of wild orchids which have been relocated from various parts of the forest into the trail.
Pange is located around 15 kms from Ziro and is the gateway to pristine Talle Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.
Lauding the efforts of the Hapoli forest division and DFO Koj Rinyo, Rebia said, “The world today is broiling with environmental issues and changes in ecological systems. Initiatives like these are the need of the hour and should be emulated by others.”
The minister who was impressed on knowing that the NGOs, civil societies, panchayat leaders and the local communities were volunteering as guardians of the jungles said, “The peaceful and harmonious co-existence of man with nature, animals and birds is possible only if public sentiments can be molded to love nature and stop killing wildlife. I am glad and proud that all of you have collectively taken up the responsibility of protecting nature and wildlife.”
Taking a strong view on deforestation in the name of development, Rebia added, “The Ziro Valley is abundantly blessed with virgin forests, beautiful landscapes and pleasant weather. The natural beauty of the valley should not be compromised in the name of development. Development activities should be planned in a proper manner without disturbing the ecological balance.”
He also expressed his desire to track to Talle Valley which is another 15 kms from Pange.
Speaking on the occasion local MLA Tage Taki said, “Conservation of the forest cover of Talle Valley is very crucial for maintaining the delicate environmental balance of Ziro.”
“The rain fed streams and rivers that cater to the water needs of the entire plateau will eventually dry up with the decrease in the forest cover. The government and the local communities will have to protect the forests jointly,” he said.
For this, he requested the minister to facilitate the construction of a guard track around Talle Valley and equipping the forest guards with tools through which they can prevent theft of forest wealth.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Dr Rabindra Kumar also suggested for developing a medicinal plant garden and a rhododendron garden to increase the tourism USP of the area.
A joint memorandum signed by members of Ngunu Ziro, an NGO pioneering in conversation activities in the area, officials of the Hapoli forest division and the local MLA was also submitted to the Minister on the day in which the demanded declaring the Talle Wildlife Sanctuary as a Butterfly Sanctuary and declaring Kaiser-e-Hind as the state butterfly of Arunachal Pradesh.
Responding to it, Rebia assured all possible help and promised to prioritize the memorandum submitted.
It is worth mentioning here that more than 200 butterfly species have been found in Talle Valley. The co-existence of three very rare butterflies namely Kaiser-e-Hind, Bhutan Glory and Brown Gorgon in one single place is rarest of the rare case, as per butterfly experts. As butterflies are very sensitive indicators of biodiversity of the area, it is important that the habitat is protected.
Also Kaiser-e-Hind a rare butterfly was first photographed live in Talle Valley in March, 2014 for the first time in India after its sighting in Manipur and Cherrapunji around 60 years.