Assam: Students express concern over shrinking wildlife habitat

Assam: Students express concern over shrinking wildlife habitat

To promote a better understanding of forest ecology in urban landscapes, Aaranyak organized an event titled 'Nature's Wonderland: A Journey of Curiosity'

 GUWAHATI: To promote a better understanding of forest ecology in urban landscapes, Aaranyak organized an event titled 'Nature's Wonderland: A Journey of Curiosity', supported by the Wipro Foundation and LEA Associates South Asia Pvt. Ltd. (LASA), focusing on forest biodiversity at the Rani Reserve Forest, Kamrup District. "With cities becoming the locus of economy, trade, and logistics, landscapes around the world are changing due to rapid urbanization. Cities are swelling with population influx in search of education, employment, lifestyle, and health care at the cost of natural resources like land, air, forests, rivers, streams, wetlands, croplands, etc. Deforestation, the urban heat island (UHI) effect, fresh water scarcity, pollution, flash floods, and climate change are the pertinent issues clouding the metropolis," Aaranyak stated in a press statement.

Ten students of Rani High School participated in the journey organised on Sunday by their faculty, Dr. Prarthana Mudoi and Kakali Buragohain. Aaranyak's biologist, Jigyas Boruah, briefed the participants about the art and science of birdwatching and the use and adjustment of binoculars to take pleasure in birdwatching. Baruah described the ecology and habitat characteristics of the birds: the Scarlet Minivet (Pericrocotus speciosus), Bronzed Drongo (Dicrurus aeneus), Black-hooded Oriole (Oriolus xanthornus), White-throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis), and Black-crested Bulbul (Rubigula flaviventris), spotted by the students while trailing in the Reserve Forest. "Amid the environmental challenges, Guwahati, the bowl-shaped city dotted by green-covered hills, is thriving due to the presence of forest in the city as well as in the periphery of the city. These forests provide multiple environmental services like heat mitigation, air and noise pollution reduction, and groundwater recharge, as well as other nature-based solutions and socio-economic and psychological benefits," said Aaranyak.

Aaranyak's environmentalist Tanvi Hussain gave the participants an insight on the satellite-based navigation device, GPS, and the process of trilateration for determining the geo-location of a place widely used in all modern gadgets. The nature enthusiasts relieved their uphill climb tiredness by meditating to the trickling music of the Kopili stream.

While Aaranyak's Wasima Begum carried out a biodiversity understanding and story-telling session called "Leaves Museum" with the fallen leaves collected by the students on the trail, A group of students arranged the collected leaves as a flower to outline the variety and variability of flora and fauna. Another group arranged the leaves to depict Lord Ganesha to outline the shrinking of wild habitats, emphasising human-elephant coexistence. The activity threw light on the enthusiasm and awareness of Gen Z on environmental issues and biodiversity conservation. The coordination and conduct of the journey were shouldered by Aaranyak's Pranab Goswami and Wasima Begum, facilitated by Bijay Kalita and Bikash Goyari, stated a press release.

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