Nature’s Beckon, an environmental activists’ group, has appealed the Assam Government to constitute two different wildlife sanctuaries in Goalpara district, viz. Pancharatna Wildlife Sanctuary and Ajagar Wildlife Sanctuary.
Recently, Soumyadeep Datta, Director of Nature’s Beckon submitted a formal proposal to Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in regards to the issue.
The proposal appealed the Assam Chief minister to create two separate protected areas in Goalpara district – the Pancharatna Wildlife Sanctuary and the Ajagar Wildlife Sanctuary.
On June 30, the formal proposal for the proposed Pancharatna WLS and Ajagar WLS was over to Assam Forest minister – Parimal Suklabaidya.
Speaking to this correspondent, Soumyadeep Datta said, “Various important points regarding elephant conservation and other issues related to environment protection and biodiversity conservation were also discussed. The Assam Forest minister displayed a very encouraging outlook towards wildlife conservation in Assam.”
He further said: “The forest minister said that wildlife conservation goals in Assam will be fulfilled under the able leadership of present Chief Minister of Assam.”
Datta said, “I had an exhaustive discussion with the Political Secretary to the Chief Minister of Assam, Jayanta Malla Barua regarding the forests and wildlife in Assam. We have complete faith in the leadership of Chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and we remain hopeful that under his able leadership, Assam will set an example in the field of biodiversity conservation.”
“The ongoing field investigations conducted by Nature’s Beckon has enlisted 168 species of wild birds in the Pancharatna forest and 196 species of wild birds in Ajagar forest so far. Nature’s Beckon’s field investigation team has enlisted a total of 36 species of mammals in Ajagar and Pancharatna forests till date,” Datta said.
Datta further added, “These two forests in Goalpara district harbour very rich biodiversity of rare flora and fauna despite imminent threats. The immediate protection of these forests in the form of wildlife sanctuary is of utmost importance. The Ajagar forest must get protected as Ajagar Wildlife Sanctuary and Pancharatna forest as Pancharatna Widlife Sanctuary.”
It is noteworthy that the proposed Pancharatna Wildlife Sanctuary constitutes an approximate forest area of 976.08 hectares and the proposed Ajagar Wildlife Sanctuary constitutes an approximate forest area of 4240.0 hectares.
The forest of Pancharatna WLS continues into the Garo hills towards its southern border. This enables the free movement of Asian elephants between Assam and Meghalaya across this forest area. On the other hand, the proposed Ajagar Wildlife Sanctuary provides home to a very large resident population of Asian elephants in this forest.