Aaranyak marks International Primates Day with collaborative initiatives

Guwahati: In observance of International Primates Day, Aaranyak, a biodiversity conservation organisation, led several collaborative awareness programs in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, emphasising the vital role of primate species in local ecosystems.

One of Aaranyak’s initiatives took place at the Government Upper Primary School in Tafragram, Lohit district, Arunachal Pradesh. This event was organised through the dedicated efforts of the school’s head teacher and featured the screening of short films on primates, audio-visual lectures on primates in NE India with a special focus on ‘Hoolock Gibbons’, and interactive sessions with students.

The event concluded with the distribution of educational materials, including books and posters on Gibbon conservation. Key contributors to the program were Aaranyak’s Mridupaban Phukan and Akshay Upadhya.

Additionally, Aaranyak partnered with the Department of Zoology at Jawaharlal Nehru College, Boko, Assam, for International Primate Day. The event commenced under the guidance of the Head of the Zoology Department and featured an audio-visual lecture on Primates of Northeast East India, followed by discussions with students regarding primate conservation in Assam. Dr. Rekha Chetry, Associate Professor, and Mrs. Nanda Devi, Associate Professor, both from the Department of Zoology, served as resource persons for the occasion.

In the western Assam zone, Aaranyak collaborated with the Aie Valley Forest division, Bongaigaon district, and the Department of Botany at Abhayapuri College to commemorate International Primate Day at Hapachara Madhya & High School, Bongaigaon district. The program included a drawing competition among students, an awareness meeting presided over by the school’s Head Teacher, Ramen Chandra Barman, and informative lectures. Dharam Ranjan Roy, an Aaranyak member, shed light on the significance of International Primate Day, while Dr Ashoke Kumar Das, Coordinator of Aaranyak West Zone, discussed non-human primate species in Assam. Dr. Subrata Sarkar from Abhayapuri College’s Botany Department emphasised the vital role of primates and other animals in the forest environment and the necessity for their conservation. The event also featured the distribution of prizes to drawing competition winners.

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Kachugaon Forest Division and Aaranyak jointly celebrated International Primate Day at No.999 Oxiguri LP School, located in Oxiguri Forest Village within the Western Range of Raimona National Park. The event aimed to raise awareness about the importance of Golden Langurs and strengthen park-people relationships. The program featured notable guests, including Assam Gourav awardee Dharanidhar Boro, Divisional Forest Officer Bhanu Sinha, Dr. Firoz Ahmed from Aaranyak, and interaction with students and local villagers. An art competition involving 29 students further enriched the event, which saw participation from 120 individuals, including schoolchildren, villagers, and forest staff.

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