Manas National Park Current Affairs - 2019
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The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has undertaken a project to create DNA Profiles of all rhinos present in India. The project which would formally be underway by end of 2019 is set to be completed by 2021 (project’s deadline).
About: After the completion of project, Indian rhino could become India’s first wild animal species to have all its members DNA-sequenced. The database so collected will be hosted in Wildlife Institute of India (WII) headquarters in Dehradun.
Project Highlights: The project being undertaken is a subset of India’s larger, already ongoing Rhino Conservation Programme.
Population: In India, there are about 2,600 rhinos and more than 90% of Indian Rhino population is concentrated in Kaziranga National Park, Assam.
Since 1980s, Indian government is trying to move significant number of rhinos out of Kaziranga. The aim behind it is in interest of the species’ conservation, threats they face from poaching and challenges to their current habitat. Some other locations for translocating are in Assam itself like Manas National Park and Pobitara Wildlife Sancutary.
Project Proponents: includes World Wide Fund for Nature-India (WWF-India) and Centre-funded Wildlife Institute of India (WII).
Current Updates: around 60 samples of tissue of rhinos living outside Kaziranga have been collected so far and researchers are also extracting DNA samples from dung.
Importance: DNA Database exercise would be useful to curb killing and poaching and collecting evidence in wildlife crimes involving rhinos.
Rhino Species: There are three species of rhinos, out of which only one species ‘the Indian rhino’ is found in India.
Tags: Assam • DNA Database • DNA Profiles • DNA Sequencing • Kaziranga National Park • Manas National Park • Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change • Pobitara Wildlife Sancutary • Rhino Conservation Programme • Wildlife Institute of India • World Wide Fund for Nature-India
The two-day Assam Spring Festival was held at Manas National Park. It was organised by Indian Weavers’ Association and Swankar Mithinga Onsai Afat, an association of reformed poachers in Manas who are now engaged in wildlife conservation and preservation.
The aim of the festival was to promote local food and culture of fringe villagers. It also attempted to create model of alternative livelihood through food, handloom and culture. The itinerary of festival included village tours, exposition of local handicraft and handloom, cultural showcase, local folk music and tasting of local cuisines and delicacies. It saw participation of over 300 domestic and foreign tourists. Residents of fringe villages that dot National Park gave tourists experience of lifetime by offering them peek into their rural lives.
Manas National Park
Manas National Park (or Manas wildlife sanctuary) is UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, a Project Tiger reserve, an elephant reserve and a biosphere reserve in Assam. It is home to a great variety of wildlife, including many endangered species viz. tiger, pygmy hog, Indian one horn rhinoceros and Indian elephant. It is located in Himalayan foothills and is contiguous with Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan. It covers five districts of Assam- Kokrajhar, Baksa, Chirang, Udalguri and Barpeta. The Manas river, a major tributary of Brahmaputra River passes through heart of national park.