Annual monsoons are causing floods in Assam affecting wildlife populations in Kaziranga and elsewhere.Introduction:
It’s the time of the annual monsoons and floods in Assam. The onset of monsoon has resulted in a lot of rains in Assam and the neighbouring states for the last few days. This has resulted in floods in many parts of the state both in the west as well as in the east.
Kaziranga National Park: As per the latest reports received, the flood situation at Kaziranga National Park (KNP) is already critical and the water level is rising. In the gauge station closest to KNP the water level in the Brahmaputra River as on June 26th was 86.33m and is flowing more than 1m above the danger level.
Further east in Dibrugarh, the water is also flowing about 1m above the danger level and is very near to the highest flood level ever recorded in 1998, which was also the highest for KNP.
The Agoratoli range of KNP is most affected by the rising water levels and the whole range office campus is under water. Flood water was flowing over the highway between Bagori and Burapahar on the morning of 28th. By the morning of 29th June water was still flowing over the highway but the level had receded by six inches.
Wildlife casualties are being reported due to vehicle hit-and-run cases along the National Highway (NH) 37 that passes along the southern side of KNP. Many deers have been picked up from flooded areas and immediately released in forested areas across the NH. A rhino calf was also rescued on 27th June by the Forest Department.
The District administrations of both Golaghat and Nagaon districts have imposed Section 144 (law & order) on NH 37. The KNP authorities started issuing ‘Time Cards’ from 26th evening between Haldhibari camp under Kohora range to Amguri under Burapahar range to regulate the speed of vehicles on NH 37 to reduce the risk of road kills. All the villages on the southern fringe of KNP, north of the NH are inundated by flood water, which was still rising till the afternoon of 28th June.
In response to an appeal for additional staff for KNP during the crisis period, the Karbi Anglong Forest department has deputed additional personnel in groups from different range offices in different anti-poaching camps along the southern boundary of KNP, from Diring to Burapahar under Dolamora and Parkup Pahar ranges of Karbi Anglong East Forest Division. There will be 20 persons in one group and each group will perform their duty for one month w.e.f 27th June 2012.
WWF-India is helping the park authorities for smooth running of the time card system from 26th and is in the process of providing 150 LED torches for patrolling duties on a request from the department. WWF personnel and vehicles are also involved in rescue operations.
Pobitora WLS: The flood level at Pobitora is increasing gradually but has still not crossed the danger level and there is no record of wildlife casualties due to floods till 27th June.
Dibru Saikhowa NP: The Park is extensively submerged.
Manas NP: The Park is badly hit by the floods and the whole communication network has become almost non-functional.
For further information:
Head, Assam Landscapes
M: +91 9435 485 789
Senior Communications Officer
T: +91 11 4150 4783