KEIBUL LAMJAO, April 1 - The two-day State-level workshop on North East India’s biodiversity opened here today at the world’s only floating national park which is the natural habitat of rare deer ‘Sangai’, about 50 km south of Imphal.
The correct identification of species should be the first and priority step for conservation of the biodiversity of Northeastern States, said Prof W Vishwanath of Manipur Centre for Life Science of Manipur University at the opening day of the workshop. “We have to identify each and every species in the region and such information should be made available to the public to protect our environment”, he added.
Dr Kh Shamungou, environmentalist, said that Manipur which is the home of 500 bird species, 70 reptile species, 35 amphibian species and four types of deer, has now become the new habitat of Cuckoo (Koyal) while birds such as Jungle Crow and ‘Nong-goubi’ have vanished from the State.
“Even the Mandarin Duck or Sana Nganu – one of the most beautiful water birds – was spotted at Keibul Lamjao National Park and Toubul area of Loktak Lake in 2005 and 2014”, stated Dr Shamungou, who had written several books on wildlife of the State.
Rohit George of Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment, who is also Coordinator of North East India Biodiversity Patrol, expressed the need to actively take part in the newly-launched India biodiversity portal to take up conservation initiatives.
The portal is being designed to help the common people, researchers, scientists and other experts in finding and identifying new species of wildlife.
“So far only about 67 enthusiasts from North East have shared about 9,000 observations. Manipur has just five members who uploaded around 200 observations including pictures of species,” he informed.
Environment enthusiasts including teachers from university and colleges, research scholars, wildlife activists, and NGO representatives attended the workshop.