Meghalaya: Wildlife Week celebrated in Tura
Wildlife week celebrations in Tura

Tura: Wildlife Week 2022, a week-long event, concluded at the Social Mobilisation Experimentation and Learning Centre at Tura on Friday.

The programme was organised by the divisional forest officer, East and West Garo Hills Wild Life Division, Tura in collaboration with the Integrated People for Tourism Conservation (IPTAC).

Various competitions were organised from October 17 to 21 to mark the event. The theme for the week celebration was “Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration”.

Addressing the gathering on the occasion, West Garo Hills deputy commissioner Swapnil Tembe highlighted the significant role of every individual in preserving the ecosystem and co-existence of humans with wildlife.

Emphasising the importance of honey bees, he said that though they are small, they are vital for our survival as they pollinate plants and flowers that bear fruits, providing us with food. He also spoke about the importance of the food chain and interdependence of plants and animals which if disrupted, could lead to ecological imbalance.

Tembe expressed hope that the presentations during the week had provided insight on the importance of wild animals in our forests. He stressed on sustainable development and urged the youth to spread awareness about protecting forests and wildlife in the region.

Divisional Forest Officer, East and West Garo Hills Wildlife Division, Rupankar K Marak said that the week is celebrated every year to create awareness about the conservation of wildlife as well as the ecosystem.

Speaking about the biodiversity of the region, he urged everyone to preserve and maintain it to protect the natural habitat of the state.

Wildlife biologist Smarthe G Momin gave a presentation on “Biodiversity assessment and wildlife population”, providing information on the population of wildlife in the area.

The presentation stressed on the importance of protecting wild animals and their natural habitat as well as their role in maintaining the ecosystem. Illegal wildlife trade, habitat loss, and indiscriminate hunting are some of the many factors leading to the decline in wildlife population of the area, Momin said.

Fifty-eight camera traps were installed at the Nokrek National Park for a period of 62 days after to enable authorities to assess the animals inhabiting the national park. The recorded animals include clouded leopards, marbled cats, leopard cats, sambar deer, barking deer, Asiatic elephants, large Indian civets, Asian civets, and porcupines.

Competitions including drawing, painting, poetry, and photography on wildlife and endangered species were organised. Public awareness campaigns on wildlife protection were also organised at Rari, Kherapara and Dadenggre.

Students visited the Mini Zoo at Nehru Park and were informed on the protection and preservation of fauna in the region.

Schoolchildren at the wildlife week celebrations in Tura

The winners of the drawing competition are Amrea T Sangma, Yishai William Ch Momin and Vaibhav Debnath in the group A category. Azeka Cheana B Marak, Achillee A Sangma, Nokinte Batera M Marak were the winners in the group B category.

Sengnarik Winona Sangma and Ishika Das, Ridhi Dey and Suzan Korin and Bakrime Rikande Sangma and Rudra Burman were the winners in the painting competition.

Rene Chiara Momin, Jehiel R Marak and Aryan Sun Arengh were the winners in the poetry competition. Abbey Kadim N Sangma, Brilliant Cindy S Marak and Aayan Zubair Marak bagged the prizes in the photography contest.

Forester (Grade I) Nine Pray Pharson Momin was awarded a certificate, memento and cash prize for his dedicated service. He was also promoted to deputy ranger. Wildlife Conservationist and Member of IPTAC Sengkan N Sangma was also given a certificate of appreciation, memento and a cash award.

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