Skip to main content

21 pygmy hog nests found in Manas National Park

The smallest and rarest wild pig has been listed as critically-endangered

A survey conducted by the Assam Forest Department in the Manas National Park (MNP) has detected an estimated 21 nests of the critically-endangered pygmy hog (Porcula salvania).

The nests of pygmy hog — the smallest and rarest wild pig — were found in three separate locations. The survey also found pellets of the Hispid hare (Caprolagus hispidus) in almost all of 17 camp site locations, where the study was conducted for grassland species from March 18 to March 22.

Deputy Director of Manas Tiger Reserve Sonali Ghosh told The Hindu that Manas is known to be the last remaining wild habitat of the pygmy hog in the world.

“The finding of the survey is highly encouraging as the number of pygmy hogs was thought to be declining in number at the Park. Both Pygmy hog and Hispid Hare are Schedule I species. The pygmy hog nests were live with indications of the activity of this highly-endangered species, including droppings of the species,” said Dr. Ghosh, who was also a member of the survey team. Schedule I and Schedule II species are given absolute protection under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and offences against them attract heavy penalties.

Dr. Ghosh said pygmy hogs captured from Manas and captive-bred at Pygmy Hog Conservation Centre at Basistha in Guwahati had been released into the Orang National Park, Sonai Rupai wildlife sanctuary and Nameri Tiger Reserve in the State.

Other members of the survey team included grassland experts — Dr. Bibhuti Lahkar from Aaranyak, Dr. Gitanjali Banerji from Zoological Society of London, and Dr. Kaushik Deuti from the Zoological Survey of India besides researchers working in the World Heritage Site.

GPS-based method used

Dr. Ghosh said that GPS-based sign survey method was used in Bansbari and Bhuyanpara ranges of MNP to look for indirect signs such as pygmy hog droppings, nests and Hispid hare pellets and feeding signs.

Dr. Bibhuti Lahkar stated that wet alluvial grasslands dominated by Barenga (Saccharum narenga), Ulu (Imperata cylindrica) species under the two ranges were critical for survival of pygmy hog. These grasses must be protected by taking suitable measures such as early mosaic burning and systematic removal of anthropogenic pressure such as grazing domestic animal from nearby villages and the spread of invasive species, Dr. Lahkar said.

During the rapid survey, direct evidence was also obtained for other grassland species such as hog deer (Hyelaphus porcinus), swamp deer (Rucervus duvaucelii), and Bengal florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis), he added.


Popular posts from this blog

SC asks Centre to strike a balance on Rohingya issue (.hindu)

Supreme Court orally indicates that the government should not deport Rohingya “now” as the Centre prevails over it to not record any such views in its formal order, citing “international ramifications”.

The Supreme Court on Friday came close to ordering the government not to deport the Rohingya.

It finally settled on merely observing that a balance should be struck between humanitarian concern for the community and the country's national security and economic interests.

The court was hearing a bunch of petitions, one filed by persons within the Rohingya community, against a proposed move to deport over 40,000 Rohingya refugees. A three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, began by orally indicating that the government should not deport Rohingya “now”, but the government prevailed on the court to not pass any formal order, citing “international ramifications”. With this, the status quo continues even though the court gave the community liberty to approach it in …

Khar’s experimentation with Himalayan nettle brings recognition (downtoearth)

Nature never fails to surprise us. In many parts of the world, natural resources are the only source of livelihood opportunities available to people. They can be in the form of wild shrubs like Daphne papyracea and Daphne bholua (paper plant) that are used to make paper or Gossypium spp (cotton) that forms the backbone of the textile industry.

Nothing can compete with the dynamism of biological resources. Recently, Girardinia diversifolia (Himalayan nettle), a fibre-yielding plant, has become an important livelihood option for people living in the remote mountainous villages of the Hindu Kush Himalaya.

There is a community in Khar, a hamlet in Darchula district in far-western Nepal, which produces fabrics from Himalayan nettle. The fabric and the things made from it are sold in local as well as national and international markets as high-end products.

A Himalayan nettle value chain development initiative implemented by the Kailash Sacred Landscape Conservation and Development Initiati…

India’s criminal wastage: over 10 million works under MGNREGA incomplete or abandoned (hindu)

In the last three and half years, the rate of work completion under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) has drastically declined, leading to wastage of public money and leaving villages more prone to drought. This could also be a reason for people moving out of the programme.

At a time when more than one-third of India’s districts are reeling under a drought-like situation due to deficit rainfall, here comes another bad news. The works started under the MGNREGA—close to 80 per cent related to water conservation, irrigation and land development—are increasingly not being completed or in practice, abandoned.

Going by the data (as on October 12) in the Ministry of Rural Development’s website, which tracks progress of MGNREGA through a comprehensive MIS, 10.4 million works have not been completed since April 2014. In the last three and half years, 39.7 million works were started under the programme. Going by the stipulation under the programme, close to 7…