Manas National Park may again be in danger list, warns IUCN
The world famous Manas National Park might again be included in the 'World Heritage List in Danger'.
* National Park still faces grave threats
GUWAHATI: The world famous Manas National Park might again be included in the 'World Heritage List in Danger'.
"The site (Manas) was removed from the Danger List in 2011. Continued and enhanced management effort will be required to avoid a return to the situation that led to the site's inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger", said the latest conservation assessment report of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said.
The Manas National Park which is a home to a great variety of wildlife, including many endangered species, such as tiger, pygmy hog, one-horn rhinoceros and elephant, was inscribed in the List of Danger in 1992, seven years after it had entered UNESCO's World Heritage List.
In 2011, the UNESCO had removed the 'danger tag' imposed on the Manas Park, following significant improvement in wildlife conservation.
The report of 'IUCN World Heritage Outlook', which provides conservation assessments on all natural World Heritage Sites, has reported that even though management actions in the Manas National Park have gradually improved through the sustained efforts of the government backed by significant international support, serious threats of significant concern remain.
According to the report published last week, the Manas National Park faces threats such as encroachment (for farm activity), impact from upstream hydroelectric projects in Bhutan, improper protection and management of grasslands, invasive plants as well as "some amount of poaching."
The IUCN report has highlighted that farm encroachments by settlers inside the Manas National Park (in the Bhuyanpara Range) pose the most significant threat to the property. "If left unchecked, the area may be lost in the manner large areas in the Panbari Range of Manas National Park (outside the World Heritage Site) were lost," it warned.
"The eviction exercise by the authorities from about 16 sq km area in Bhuyanpara in 2017 did not succeed and the agricultural settlers now occupy about 22 sq km land in the range," it said.
The report further said that the capacity of Forest guards to effectively respond to any new threat (because of their inability to evict the encroachers) and insufficient law enforcement remain a cause for concern.
"Although killing of rhinos for their horn has stopped since 2016, illegal killing of other animals has continued," said the report.