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                         Vol.4, No.28 [*]  May 26, 1999
                             Special Wildlife Issue

   GOLAGHAT:   The  Numaligarh  Refinery Limited (NRL), as part of its
   commitment towards an eco-friendly environment, has  ventured  into
   an  ambitious and pioneering project of setting up a Butterfly Park
   at Numaligarh in Golaghat district.
   The  park, covering an area of around 10 hectares, is designed as a
   butterfly  ecosystem  with   state-of-the-art   facilities   having
   emphasis   on   nature   conservation,   research,   education  and
   NRL has invited proposals from organization, institute or any other
   agency  having  adequate knowledge and capabilities, enthusiasm and
   dynamism to maintain and manage the park, which include collection,
   breeding, research,  and  display  of  butterfly  and  moth.    The
   proposals should reach NRL on or before June 22, 1999.
   For   more   information  on  the  project,  Senior  Manager  (TI),
   Numaligarh Refinery Limited, Golaghat 785699 can be  contacted;  by
   phone  at  +91-376-66431  and  by  fax  at  +91-376-66432. NRL is a
   Government of India enterprise with equity participation of  Bharat
   Petroleum Corporation, IBP Company Limited and Government of Assam.
   SILCHAR:  The golden langur  (Trachypithecus  geei)  listed  as  an
   endangered  species,  was  sighted  by  Thangjam  Pawlen  Singha, a
   naturalists  and  activist  of   Assam   Science   Technology   and
   Environment  Council  (ASTEC),  while  on  a  bird-watching mission
   recently in Barail hills of Cachar.  A  group  of  six  langurs  in
   dense  forests  was  spotted  near  the  Jatinga  river and about a
   kilometre from the Damcherra rail station.
   It was believed worldwide  that  golden  langurs  are  confined  to
   northwestern  Assam  and  Bhutan  areas  encircled by rivers Manas,
   Sankosh and the Brahmaputra.  But, a few years  ago,  this  species
   was  discovered in Kakoijan of Bongaigaon district, and Chakrashila
   of Dhubri district.  Golden langur  was  discovered  by  naturalist
   Edward  Pristichard  Gee  in 1953 in a forest patch on Assam-Bhutan
   More than three decades later, members of Nature's Beacon of Dhubri
   sighted these langurs in the forests of Chakrashila hills, which is
   now  recognized  as the natural habitat of the golden langur by the
   Zoological Survey of India,  World  Wildlife  Fund  (WWF)  and  the
   Department of Forest, Assam.
   Mr Singha has written to the wildlife authorities for conducting  a
   preliminary surveys in the Barail hills in order to obtain relevant
   information  on  the  location, distribution and population of this
   primate and to take up subsequent conservation measures.  The moist
   evergreen and riverine  forests  along  Jatinga  provide  an  ideal
   habitat for the golden langurs, Mr Singha said.
3  NGOs APPEAL TO FOREST MINISTER                        [S:12-MAY-99]
   GUWAHATI:  As many as twelve non-governmental  organizations  (NGO)
   of  Assam  have  appealed  to  the State Forest Minister to declare
   Joypur, Upper Dihing and Dirak rain forests in  upper  Assam  as  a
   wildlife sanctuary.    In the memorandum submitted to the minister,
   the NGOs stated that the three adjoining rain forests in  Dibrugarh
   and  Tinsukia  districts,  covering  an area of 500 sq.km, shelters
   many endangered species of wild animals and birds.
   Besides,   these  rain  forests  are  very  important  corridor  of
   elephants linking their habitats in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh and
   shelters as many as seven rare species of non-human primates.   The
   NGOs   have  also  appealed  to  the  minister  to  give  immediate
   protection to a large number of endangered species of animals.
   The twelve NGOs which submitted the memorandum are:  Megamix Nature
   Club, Early Birds, Dibru-Saikhowa  Wildlife  Conservation  Society,
   Nature   Society   Gauripur,   Centre  of  Environmental  Education
   Northeast cell, Rhino Foundation, Aranyak  Nature  Club,  Kaziranga
   Wildlife  Society,  Prakriti  Samrakshan Bahini, WWF Northeast, The
   Explorers and Nature's Guard.  Guwahati Press Club also signed  the

   TINSUKIA:   Human  activities  is  not  always  detrimental  to the
   freshwater dolphin conservation but appears  to  be  beneficial  to
   certain extent, according to Dr S.P.Biswas, reader in Life Sciences
   department  of  Dibrugarh  University,  and  president  of  Dolphin
   Protection Committee.

   His  observation  was based on a recent sighting of river dolphins,
   locally known as Sisu, in Kulsi, a tributary of the Brahmaputra  at
   Kukurmara on  National  Highway  37, about 35 km from Guwahati.  At
   the point of sighting, the river is only 19 metre wide with a depth
   of one metre, and the surroundings busy with human activities.

   The continuous extraction of about 100  truckloads  of  sand  daily
   from  the  riverbed  and  ferrying  it  through  boats  is not only
   preventing siltation of the riverbed  but  also  help  maintain  an
   adequate water cover for survival of the dolphin population.
   Frequent movement of sand-loaded boats across  the  river,  fishing
   activity  had  reduced  considerably  as  fishermen  failed  to use
   fishing nets in the river.  Besides, social beliefs  regarding  the
   dolphin  among  the  local people greatly helps in conservation, Dr
   Biswas said.
Compiled from newspaper and agency reports for private circulation only.
      [S=Sentinel, AT=Assam Tribune, Agencies = UNI, PTI, PIB]
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