A major threat to the eco-system of the Kaziranga National Park is erosion, siltation, shallowing of wetlands, invasion by tall grassland and reduction of wet short grass area.
The conservation of wetlands plays a vital role in eco-system and vegetation development. The wetlands of Kaziranga support wildlife like one-horned rhino, water buffalo, eastern swamp deer and various species of migratory and resident birds, fishes and reptiles, reports The Assam Tribune.
But the shrinking of wetlands will have bad consequences for wildlife.
The Senior Scientific Officer of Assam Remote Sensing Application Centre Prasanna Baruah informed about this at a conclave held in Kaziranga.
Baruah was speaking on the topic ‘Status of Wetlands in Kaziranga National Park: A Geospatial Analysis’.
Mapping of wetlands by using geo-spatial tool can be done accurately at minimal cost and manpower use for better understanding of the eco-system for assessment.
The conclave on ‘Climate Change Threats on Wetland Eco-system of Protected Areas and their Management’ was organised by Kaziranga Wildlife Society and Assam Science Technology and Environment Council (ASTEC).
Detailing the objectives of the conclave, Mubina Akhtar, secretary of Kaziranga Wildlife Society dwelt on the threats posed by climate change to all eco-systems, especially the wetland eco-system, which was the most vulnerable because they were least protected ecosystems.
The New Wildlife Action Plan 2017-2031 (NWAP) of India sets out the framework for governmental intervention and management plans to be developed in the protected areas in the coming 15 years by prioritising development and conservation goals.
“Kaziranga Wildlife Society now in its golden jubilee year and with the core objectives – to protect, preserve and propagate nature, wildlife and environment – has sought collaboration with the ASTEC for exchange of scientific ideas on the status of wetlands and threats of climate change on wetland eco-system in protected areas and to create a policy discourse between CSOs and government departments/agencies for effective management of wetland eco-system in protected areas,” she said.
Haobam Suchitra Devi, Senior Scientist of North Eastern Space Applications Centre, Shillong gave an analysis of land cover dynamics in Kaziranga National Park by using geo-spatial technology, said that bank erosion is the main cause for the loss in area in KNP and the eastern range of the Park is the most affected one.
The result also showed a gradual reduction in woodland till 1988 and again an increasing trend. Land cover in the park is also very dynamic in nature. Wetlands have changed to grassland and woodland, grasslands to woodlands. Short grassland although occupy less area, is showing an increasing trend. Therefore, monitoring land cover is of utmost priority for management of the park, the scientist warned.