ZIRO/ITANAGAR: As many as 64 new fern species including one rare bird was spotted during a three-day expedition and cleanliness drive at Tale Wildlife Sanctuary in Lower Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh.
The expedition organized by the Hapoli forest division of the district in collaboration with Ngunu Ziro, a local NGO working on conservation concluded on February 13, informed official sources from the district.
During the expedition, around 64 new fern species were spotted including the rare Polystichum polyodon, which is endemic to the State.
Ashish Soni, a researcher from Botanical Survey of India (BSI), who is currently undertaking research on fern species found in Lower Subansiri district, helped in identification of the new species. Soni was also part of the expedition team.
A rare species of bird, the Eurasian Woodcock, which was hitherto never spotted in the Tale wildlife sanctuary, was also photographed by Koj Mama of Ngunu Ziro during the event.
The Tale Valley is one of the most diverse biodiversity spots in the state with an astounding species diversity of butterflies, birds, orchids, rhododendrons, ferns and rare medicinal herbs. The area is also revered in the folklore of the Apatani tribe as being the area where the first men and women from the tribe had settled before finally migrating to the Ziro valley.
The event included cleaning of Pange river bank which lies at the boundary of the sanctuary.
The cleanliness drive was inaugurated by Lower Subansiri Deputy Commissioner Swetika Sachan at the Pange camp in the presence of the Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Abhinav Kumar, extra assistant commissioner Bamin Tarang, Range Forest Officer (RFO) of the wildlife sanctuary Ngilyang Tachang and members of Ngunu Ziro on February 11, said sources.
On the occasion, the DC advised the Forest department to install dust bins along the banks of the Pange river to minimise littering of plastic and other non-biodegradable items left over by the visitors to the area.
The DFO acknowledged the problem of garbage littering in the area and said that plans are underway to regulate the entry of single use plastics in the sanctuary area in collaboration with an Eco Development Committee (EDC) which comprises of the local land donors of the area.
Further, he said that dust bins would be shortly installed along the Pange river and fines would be imposed on visitors who resort to littering in the area.
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