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Underpasses only for wild animals: expert
DEBASISH BARUAH
 KAZIRANGA, July 31 - The proposed flyovers and underpasses at different corridors on the National Highway 37 passing adjacent to Kaziranga National Park shall have to be constructed in such a way that it ensures the free movements of wild animals through the underpasses only. Underpasses should be made only for the movement of wild animals. This was stated by noted Senior Scientific Advisor to Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), Dr Asad R Rahmani during an exclusive interview at a resort in Kaziranga recently.

He said the flyovers should be constructed only to allow plying of vehicles over it in Kaziranga so that there would be no disturbance in the movement of wild animals in underpasses while trying to cross over to other side of the National Highway 37. Dr Rahmani said that the roads below should be gradually disused and only people going to the local villages should be allowed to use them. He suggested that those flyover and underpasses if constructed at the corridors must be long enough for the safety of wild animals of the Kaziranga National Park.

Dr Rahmani informed this correspondent that proper research work on the turtles of Brahmaputra river must be carried out further as it is said that Brahmaputra river has highest density of turtles in the world. He said Assam has 900 different species of birds and so he urged the wildlife NGOs to carry out research work on those interesting bird species. This will help to know the characteristics and behaviour of those birds. He added that attention must also be given to smaller animals including birds instead of concentrating only on big mammals for research work. He said that the State bird of Assam, the ‘White Winged Duck’ is on the verge of extinction and so proper research must be done on it and steps taken to save the species from extinction.

Dr Rahmani said mapping is recommended for Bengal floricans in Kaziranga, Orang and Manas. He said Palliad Harrier, Swamp Florican and Bengal Florican are some of the globally- threatened birds. He suggested one must go beyond the conventional way of thinking to protect the wildlife and must try to find new ways for the conservation of wild animals.

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