Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced on Saturday that Raimona Reserve forest in Kokrajhar in Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) bordering Bhutan has been upgraded to the sixth national park of State.
Announcing this on World Environment Day here, the Chief Minister said that with the new addition, the state now has six national parks.
The process of converting Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary into a national park is also underway, he said.
The Chief Minister said this is a historic step in environmental conservation and the newly declared National Park will be another state initiative to protect its rich flora and fauna.
The notification declaring Raimona a national park was issued on Saturday by the Department of Environment and Forestry.
The Wildlife Protection Act 1972 provides that whenever it appears to the State Government that an area, whether or not within a sanctuary, must, by reason of its association or its ecological, faunal, floral, geomorphological or zoological importance, be established as a national park for the purpose of protecting, propagating or developing wildlife in it or its surroundings, the other five national parks of Assam are- Kaziranga, Manas, Nameri, Orang and Dibru-Saikhowa.
Sarma said it was a step towards realizing the UN’s vision on ecosystem restoration.
Environment and Forests Minister Parimal Suklabaidya said the announcement made by the Chief Minister turned out to be a red day for the state and good news for wildlife lovers, lovers of nature and conservationists.
Raimona National Park falls under Kokrajhar district of BTR and is part of a contiguous forest patch with an area of 422 km2 covering the northern part of the notified Ripu Reserve Forest which forms the easternmost buffer zone. west of the Manas Tiger Reserve in the eastern foothills of the Himalayas. Biodiversity Hot spot.
The boundary of Raimona National Park stretches from the Sonkosh River in the west along the interstate border of West Bengal and Assam from the Indo-Bhutanese border and the Saralbhanga River in the east, stretches northward until it touches the Indo-Bhutanese international border on the north. The new national park shares contiguous forest patches of Phipsoo Wildlife Sanctuary and Jigme Singye Wangchuk
National Park in Bhutan (total area of 1.9 creating a transboundary conservation landscape of over 2,400 km2.
A senior forestry official pointed out that such a secure cross-border ecological landscape will ensure the long-term conservation of endemic species like Golden Langur – BTR’s mascot – and endangered species like the Asian elephant Elephas maximus, tiger Royal Bengal Panthera tigris and various other species of flora and fauna. it supports.
Historically, the region was part of the migratory route of wildlife species from the Himalayan mountains, Indo-Malaysian and Indo-Chinese regions to the west and species from the Peninsular Indian Kingdom to the east, the official said.
The new national park forms the westernmost buffer zone of the Manas Tiger Reserve (TR), which is one of nine such reserves in India first declared by Project Tiger in 1973.
The area is also an integral part of the Manas Biosphere Reserve (BR) and the Chirang-Ripu Elephant Reserve (ER).
The new national park will open up huge ecotourism opportunities for outlying villagers, who are currently partially or totally dependent on forest resources for their livelihoods.
A highly viable tourist circuit through Raimona National Park and the contiguous protected areas of Bhutan will attract domestic and international tourists, who will appreciate not only the wildlife and outstanding scenic beauty, but also the diverse and colorful social landscapes and their rich culture and tradition, the official added.
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