Manipur moves to conserve state’s fabled deer Sangai
KEIBUL LAMJAO, NOVEMBER 24: In a move to develop a conservation strategy for Eld’s deer, popularly called the Sangai in local dialect here, a first ever three-day International workshop on the deer’s conservation was inaugurated with a colourful cultural show and exhibition of local products at this picturesque village, about 50 km south of Imphal in Manipur’s Bishnupur district on Thursday.
The chairman of the Planning and Development Authority Tongbram Mangibabu, also the local MLA, was the chief guest of the inaugural function. Principal Chief Conservator of Forest PN Prasad and state Chief Wildlife Warden Kereilhouvi Angami were the guests of honor; State Information Commissioner Th Ibobi was the functional president, of the event.
Speaking during the occasion, MLA Mangibabu expressed the need to bring out an income-generating project for the local populace in order to ensure for them sustainable livelihood in and around the Keibul Lamjao National Park (KLNP). It is the only floating park in the world and on which the Sangai lives.
The KLNP is located on the southern part of Loktak, the largest freshwater lake in northeast India. He said to expect innovative ideas and strategies out of the event’s technical sessions, to conserve the rare deer.
In his keynote address, the principal chief conservator of Forest, PN Prasad, appealed to the people of Keibul Lamjao and its surrounding areas to exploit the beauty and tourism potential of KLNP as alternative livelihood, considering this is the era of Climate Change and crop failure.
“For this, forest department has taken some livelihood projects including eco-tourism in and around the KLNP”, he added.
Echoing a similar sentiment, the state’s Chief Wildlife Warden K Angami appealed to the local populace to become the protector of Sangai. Former forest official and state information commissioner Th Ibobi also recalled the efforts that were undertaken by both the state authority in association with the public for the conservation of Sangai–they were just 14 in 1972. It has increased to about 260 this year. The global wild population of the species is said to be about 2000 with a few in captivity.
According to organizers, many scientists and wildlife experts from Myanmar,Thailand, Veitnam and the USA besides the Wildlife Institute of India and other associated national and international institutions will discuss Sangai during the workshop.