Arunachal Pradesh-based NGO Singchung Bugun Community Reserve (SBVCR) won the India Biodiversity Award 2018 in the “Conservation of wildlife species” category. It was awarded for its efforts to conserve rare critically endangered bird Bugun Liocichla.
India Biodiversity Award
The award is joint initiative of Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) and United Nations Development programme (UNDP). It recognises contribution of a range of stakeholders towards the conservation of biodiversity. It is given in four categories viz. Conservation of Threatened Species, Sustainable use of biological resources, Successful models for access and benefit sharing and Biodiversity Management Committees.
Singchung Bugun Community Reserve
Singchung Bugun Community Reserve is 17 square km biodiversity hotspot in Arunachal Pradesh. It was instituted under Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. It is home to critically endangered bird species Bugun Liocichla, which is not reported anywhere else in world. It lies right next to Eaglesnest Wildlife sanctuary, a biodiversity hotspot, which is also home to the bird species.
The bird was identified as a new species in 2006 and is reportedly only new bird species to have been discovered in India since 1947. It has been named after Bugun tribe because of their conservation efforts. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified Liocichla as Critically Endangered (CR). There are only about 20-24 pairs which live in the area.
It is established under Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. It enables any state government to declare community-owned forest area as “community reserve” if locals are willing to participate in conservation efforts for same. Under it, community reserve receives same legal protection as National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries.