GUWAHATI: Manas National Park or Manas Wildlife Sanctuary is a national park, UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, a Project Tiger reserve, an elephant reserve and a biosphere reserve in Assam, India. Located in the Himalayan foothills, it is contiguous with the Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan.
The park is set to increase its area by another 350 sq km following clearance of a proposal to that effect by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The national park that harbours wide-ranging flora and fauna has an area of 520 sq km. The floristic composition of the proposed extension area is rich and diverse, with 381 plant species identified so far. Human settlements remain only on the south of Manas road of the proposed area. The proposed area has also recorded a significant presence of tigers.
Speaking to mediapersons, Dr Bibhab Talukdar, secretary general of Aaranyak, a conservation NGO said, “Manas and its surrounding forest areas are rich with biodiversity and contributed towards maintenance of ecosystems services. Bringing such rich forest areas under the protection regime of national park is crucial to give ample space to wildlife to build their population.”
In 1992, UNESCO declared it as a world heritage site in danger due to heavy poaching and terrorist activities. On 25 February 2008 the area was increased to 950 km2. On 21 June 2011, it was removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger and was commended for its efforts in preservation.
Featured image(courtesy): www.thewildlifeofindia.com