GUWAHATI- As part of Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav and 67th Wildlife Week celebrations, Manas National Park and Tiger Reserve hosted the Rally on Wheels – India for Tigers in a befitting manner at its Bansbari range in Chirang district on Monday.
This rally coinciding with the events – comprising participants from different tiger reserves of North Eastern States – arrived at Manas to take part in the celebrations.
It focused on tiger conservation and creating extensive awareness on collaborative efforts on conservation of the big cat.
Minister for Environment and Forest, Fisheries and Excise, Parimal Suklabaidya flagged off the event in the presence of CEM, BTC, Pramod Boro, Executive Member (Forest), BTAD, Vice Chairman, AIDC, SP, DC, Chirang, Field Director, Manas Tiger Project and Chief Head of Department (Forest).
Minister Suklabaidya emphasised on conservation of the big cat to protect the ecosystem. He also heaped praises on the tremendous efforts put by BTC authorities to save nature and to usher in development of BTC.
A ‘Pledge for Tiger Conservation’ was administered to the participants.
The Minister also released a coffee table book on Manas NP&TR on the occasion.
This rally, joining India’s tiger dots, is being organised from October 2 to 8 by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to also coincide with the the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ celebrations (October 4-10) by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
The Rally on Wheels will cover a distance of over 7,500 km in seven days (October 2 to October 8) traversing the diverse and picturesque landscapes spanning across India.
“The pan-India outreach activity has twin objectives of celebrating India’s 75 years of independence and spreading the message of biodiversity conservation under the ambit of Project Tiger and Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats programme of the Ministry,” said Field Director, Manas Tiger Project, Amal Chandra Sarmah.
The idea is to culminate at Ranthambore, Kanha, Melghat, Bandipur, Similipal, Sunderbans, Manas, Palamau, and Corbett tiger reserves, representing our country’s initial nine tiger reserves (TRs) designated under The Project Tiger in 1973,” he quipped.
Meanwhile, Palamau, Sundarbans and Simplipal hosted the events on October 2, Corbett on October 3, Manas on October 4, Bandipur on October 5 while Melghat will follow suit on October 6, Kanha on October 7 and Ranthambore on October 8.
All 51 tiger reserves will participate at landscape level and myriad of events throughout the rally will see active involvement of diverse range of stakeholders and the amalgamation of events will showcase the overarching presence of tiger, which is deep rooted in Indian culture, mythology, history, literature with an appeal to give this majestic big cat its due right to flourish in peace and safety.
The charismatic species, the tiger’s presence is vital in regulating and perpetuating ecological processes which makes it an umbrella species. Its protection also conserves habitats of several other species and thereby ensures continuity of the natural evolutionary process in the wild.
The All India Tiger Estimation 2018 data shows that the overall tiger population in India stands at 2,967 (error range 2,603 to 3,346). India has doubled its tiger numbers in 2018; well before the targeted global deadline of 2022.
Even when India has more than 70 per cent of the global tigers, yet there is an increasingly uncertain future with the risk of reduction in numbers for wild tigers persisting due to poaching, illegal trade, and land use changes.