Ansari Visits Dachigam; Briefed About Hangul Conservation

Srinagar – Mr. Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Vice President of India, was briefed about the measures being taken by the Government for the conservation of Hangul and other fauna, during his visit to the Dachigam National Park today.

Mr. N. N. Vohra, Governor; Mrs. Salma Ansari; Mrs. Usha Vohra, First Lady; Mr. Omar Abdullah, Chief Minister; Mian Altaf Ahmad, Minister for Forests; Mr. Vinod Ranjan, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests; Mr. A. K. Singh, Chief Wildlife Warden; Mr. M. A. Tak, Conservator of Forests, Wildlife Protection Department, and other senior Forest and Wildlife Department officers witnessed the presentation made on the occasion.

Through a power point presentation, Mr. Rashid Naqash, Divisional Forest Officer/Wildlife Warden, briefed the Vice President about the rich biodiversity of the Dachigam National Park, with particular reference to the measures being taken by the Government for the conservation and propagation of Hangul. He was also briefed about other flora and fauna of this famous Park which spreads over 141 square kilometers. It was stated that there are over 50 species of trees, 20 species of shrubs and 500 species of herbs found in this Park. As far as fauna is concerned, besides Hangul, the dominant species of the Dachigam National Park are Himalayan black bear, common leopard, Himalayan langur, red fox, Himalayan marmot, leopard cat, jungle cat, Himalayan mouse hare and musk deer. This Park also has over 150 species of birds.

The Vice President was briefed that as per the last census of 2011 the number of Hangul recorded in the Park was 218. It was stated that presently a long term Hangul conservation plan is being implemented with the support of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests. The Central Zoo Authority is also supporting the conservation programme of this critically endangered species and, under the Species Recovery Programme, a captive breeding centre will be commissioned at Shikargah, Tral, for the captive breeding of Hangul and thereafter releasing them in the wild.

Similarly, a Habitat Research Study has been initiated in collaboration with SKUAST-Kashmir for satellite collaring of Hangul in order to understand the movement patterns and the habitat, both in and outside the Dachigam National Park. In addition, a massive improvement in conducting census programme of Hangul has been undertaken whereby satellite telemetry and field cameras of high definition are being placed in the Park. Besides, an important research programme has been launched to study the relic population of Hangul outside Dachigam National Park in collaboration with the Wildlife Trust of India.

The Vice President took keen interest in the presentation and observed that it was very informative.

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