Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Mainland Serow Photographed for 1st Time in Raimona Park – N.F Times


The Assam Forest Department and conservationists have captured the first photographic evidence of the Mainland Serow in Raimona National Park. This vulnerable species, as classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), was documented near the Ganda Bajrum anti-poaching camp in the park’s western range.

The discovery was made possible through a collaborative effort between Aaranyak, a regional biodiversity conservation organization, and the Assam Forest Department. Using white flash passive Panthera V6 digital camera traps, the team recorded the Mainland Serow in two separate instances.

Bhanu Sinha, Divisional Forest Officer of Kachugaon Forest Division, expressed pleasure about the finding, stating, “The discovery of Mainland Serow in Raimona National Park is good news for biodiversity conservation. Our goal is to conserve this species and other wildlife extensively in the national park.”

The Mainland Serow (Capricornis sumatraensis thar) is found across various habitats from the Himalayas to southern China, mainland southeastern Asia, and Sumatra. However, its populations are fragmented and declining due to poaching, habitat destruction, and loss.

Dipankar Lahkar, a senior conservationist at Aaranyak, highlighted the challenges in conserving the species, noting, “The lack of reliable data on this species’ abundance and distribution makes it difficult to implement effective conservation actions to ensure long-term survival.”

Raimona National Park, declared on June 8, 2021, faces conservation challenges including occasional poaching for bushmeat and habitat alteration due to past logging during periods of ethnopolitical violence. However, with the establishment of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTR) in 2020 and the area’s new national park status, conservation efforts have been reinvigorated.

The presence of Mainland Serow populations in neighbouring Bhutanese protected areas offers hope for population recovery in Raimona. Future conservation efforts will focus on securing and recovering the species’ population and restoring degraded habitats within the park.


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