Javan Rhinoceros, Wild Ox, Pink Headed Duck vanished from Manipur: Minister

By February 11, 2021Global conservation

A museum specimen of a juvenile Javan Rhinoceros. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Sobhapati Samom, Hindustan Times | February 9, 2021

Javan Rhinoceros, Wild Ox (Santhou), Pink Headed Duck (Nganu Kokngangbi) and Manipur jungle Bush Quail are considered to have vanished from Manipur based on available records, said Awangbow Newmai, Manipur forest, environment & climate change minister.

The minister was responding to a question by opposition Congress MLA, Kangujam Ranjit Singh of Sugnu assembly constituency, on the fourth day of the 12th session of the 11th Manipur assembly on Monday.

Javan Rhinoceros was last sighted at Khuga area of the state in the early 20th century while Wild Ox (Santhou) was seen about 50 years ago near Indo-Myanmar border, as per the official records, said a senior official of the Manipur forest department.

Similarly, the Pink Headed Duck was spotted last at Loktak lake some 50 years ago and Manipur Jungle Bush Quail had not been seen in the wetlands since the last 10 years, the official added.

Reacting to another supplementary question, Minister Awangbow said, “Manipur state animal Sangai or Brow-antlered deer, Slow Loris, clouded leopard, Hoolock gibbon, tiger and elephant are locally endangered animals while the state bird Nongin or Hume’s pheasant, Yellow breasted bunting, Oriental stork are some of the endangered birds.”

On the question of wildlife conservation activities in the state, he said the forest department has been maintaining a record about its wildlife by conducting an annual census.

Besides, there are two national parks, seven wildlife sanctuaries, 11 community reserves apart from Manipur Zoological garden at Eroishemba, Nongin captive breeding centre at Langol, Sangai breeding centre at Langol and Orchid preservation centre Khonghampat-all in the outskirts of Imphal, he said.

Honorary wildlife wardens were also appointed for territorial forest divisions, he added.

Earlier, replying to another question on conservation of Ikop-pat, Kharung-pat, Loushi-pat and Waithou-pat wetlands in the state, Awangbow said the wetlands development programmes will be taken up once the government notifies the wetland areas as per the Wetland (Conservation Management) Rules, 2017.

There are many important wetlands in Manipur including Loktak, the largest freshwater lake in northeastern India.