Monday, 30th October 2017

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Primate lessons for conservation staff

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  • Published 14.09.07

Sept. 14: It’s back to books for officials of 19 forest divisions in this Upper Assam district.

Forest officials are taking part in a training session at Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary in Jorhat on conservation of the hoolock gibbon, a primate found only on the southern bank of the Debang.

Mohan Chandra Malakar, the principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife), Assam, inaugurated the programme on September 8. The session will conclude on September 19.

Malakar explained the scientific and ecological value of the species. He said the hoolock gibbon was an important indicator of bio-diversity and that it would not be possible to save the habitat of this endangered species without people’s participation in the conservation programme.

The Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary in Jorhat is the only protected area in the country to be named after a primate species. The sanctuary is home to seven species of primates, including the hoolock gibbon (hoolock hoolock), and is one of the main primate-diverse areas in the country.

The western hoolock gibbon is found on the southern banks of the Debang and Brahmaputra rivers. In 2004, the Gibbon Conservation Centre was established to conduct research, training and conservation in the region with emphasis on the hoolock gibbon.

Malakar appreciated the centre’s work in the field of conservation, socio-economic development of the fringe areas of the Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary and training foresters of the state.

Rajib Kumar Das, the divisional forest officer, released a souvenir during the inaugural function. He said the training would benefit forest officials of the Western Hoolock Gibbon Conservation Centre.

Dilip Chetry, the executive director of the centre, urged the trainees to make the most of this opportunity to upgrade their skills and work for the conservation of the endangered species.