Lives of endangered species Wildlife Week

National Wildlife Week. The message is, protect the flora and fauna and safeguard the lives of endangered and threatened species of wildlife. And it is in line with the observation of this Week that The Sangai Express has received a number of articles from wildlife enthusiasts and environmentalists, all of which have been published for public consumption. In a way it is a privilege to carry such knowledgeable contribu- tions from people who come from different walks of life, who all have something in common and that is the realisation that in as much as humans have the right to live and prosper on planet earth, the trees, plants and animals too have an equal right. It is an eco-system, a system where humans cannot expect to survive on this earth alone. The air that the people breathe, the water that one drinks and the earth on which crops are grown all go on to make up the planet earth and this is where it becomes indispensable for everyone to think twice before littering the ground, the rivers and streams and the great oceans with plastics. It is the same when calls are being sounded to protect animals in the wild. No animal or species should face the uncertain future of extinction due to man’s vagaries and greed. It is for this very reason why the Government has taken extra efforts to protect the migratory birds, with the Amur Falcon coming to mind at this moment with at least 7 of them being tagged with satellite transmitters to study their migratory route. Understanding their migratory route is but one step towards protecting the species and its close proximity to the fauna and flora of the land  and hence the very existence of mankind need not be overstressed. And when one talks about the endangered species, one is immediately reminded of the rare Sangai which is to be found only at the floating island of Keibul Lamjao which is its natural habitat. The Sangai Captive Breeding Centre at Langol came later but this should underline the efforts that have been taken up to protect the endangered species. Though the pitfalls of in breeding of the species cannot be ruled out, this however has not stopped some well meaning personalities from raising the question of whether it is a good idea to shift the Sangai from its natural habitat. The need to involve the local people in the protection of wildlife especially those on the endangered list cannot be overemphasised and this is where perhaps more efforts from all concerned is called for. The story of Sangai should be a wake up call to everyone.
At the moment, Manipur has approximately 260 plus of the endangered brow antlered deer and this is a healthy jump from the time when there were only 14 Sangais at its natural habitat. The healthy increase in the number of Sangai can be attributed to the efforts taken up by successive Governments, the growing awareness of the public, the inputs from some well meaning individuals with whatever they can as well as sharing of thoughts and ideas from qualified professionals. It was back in 2015 that retired Lecturer of Zoology in the then DM College of Science AK Chisti in an article in The Sangai Express and which was published during the World Wildlife Week had suggested 12 steps to ensure the survival of the Sangai. Remember it was back in 2015 when the fate of the Sangai was precarious. Seven years back it was, but the significance of the steps spelt out by the retired Zoology Lecturer should still stand true for the present and hopefully for the coming generations. As the retired Zoology Lecturer put it, to ensure the safety of Sangai it is important to build a safe enclosure inside Keibul Lamjao area to keep them intact in their natural environment; permanent veterinary section under a very experienced doctor, preferably specialised in the particular field should be immediately established; patrolling by trained guards with transmitters and guns; study of wildlife particularly of this species and salamander should be included in the syllabi of schools, colleges and the university etc. Difficult to say if any of the ideas mooted here have been adopted by the Government such as trained guards for duty there at Keibul Lamjao.