Assam’s wild animals safer

Posted on 08 July 2009   |  
Some of the vaccinated cattle.
© NBL/WWF-India
Across India’s protected area network, countless people and their livestock neighbour wildlife. But this proximity also is the reason why the wildlife’s survival depends on the people near them. Danger of retaliation from locals against cattle depredation and spread of diseases from their animals to the wild ones is a reality. Hence, WWF-India and its partners are working to ensure a safe future for wildlife of protected areas.
On 23rd and 24th May 2009, WWF-India with support from authorities of Manas National Park (NP), ATREE, Blue Cross Society and some local NGOs, along with doctors from College of Veterinary Science, Khanapara, conducted a cattle vaccination camp in the villages surrounding the Manas NP. A world heritage site, Manas NP is spread over five hundred sq km. It lies at the foothills of the Himalayas, along the border with Bhutan in northeast India. Spectacular species like the tiger, elephant, pygmy hog, golden langur, wild buffalo and gaur are found here. The Indian rhino, which was wiped out from the park due to a political conflict, was reintroduced here by WWF-India and its partners last year. The park is a part of WWF’s North Bank landscape.

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During this drive, one thousand four hundred and thirty four domestic animals from the villages of Pulsiguri (Roharpam), Pulsiguri-Labdanguri, Kahibari, Katajhar, Bhatghali, Daoraiabari were vaccinated against highly communicable and lethal diseases like Anthrax and Hemorrhage Septicemia.

According to Deba Dutta from WWF-India, “Cattle enter the NP to graze and come in contact with wild animals. The only way to check the spread of diseases is through such vaccination drives.” He adds, “Initiatives like these help build the confidence of villagers in WWF and Forest Department. And this is the first but a critical step. The villagers are now our partners. They are eager to help us protect endangered species of Manas NP. In fact, they double as guards to protect the translocated rhinos here!”

A buffalo gets a vaccine shot.
© NBL/ WWF-India

A rhino in Manas NP.
© NBL/ WWF-India

Photo gallery on Manas NP 
WWF-India is working with local communities and turning them into agents of change. Many times locals depend solely on resources from forests to survive. And they virtually live with wildlife. Working in isolation, without their participation can spell doom for the wild animals of India. Without them, the natural heritage of Manas cannot be conserved.
Key contacts:
Dipankar Ghose
Head – Eastern Himalayas and Terai Arc
WWF India, New Delhi
T: +91 11 41504784

Ameen Ahmed
Senior Communications Manager
Species and Landscape Programmes
WWF-India, New Delhi
T: +91 9654440590

More on WWF-India’s initiatives to conserve wildlife in Assam:

Also see:
Some of the vaccinated cattle.
© NBL/WWF-India Enlarge


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