By Aparna Nair
This year, the Wildlife Week celebrations seem to have changed a bit for the better. Along with programmes marking the occasion in the city, a number of events will be held around the protected areas (PAs) falling under Pench Tiger Reserve. At most of the programmes, active efforts will be made to involve the locals in the celebrations in a bid to draw them closer to forest and its conservation.
Majority of the celebrations have been planned in city and around Bor and New Bor, Chorbauli, Deolapar, Saleghat, Tipeshwar and Umred-Karhandla wildlife sanctuaries. Most of them will be beginning with conservation rallies by students. In Nagpur, the rally will be flagged off from Yashwant Stadium at 8am. "We will also organize an informative exhibition focusing on the conservation of specifically two birds - vultures and the Great Indian Bustards (GIBs). After opening the exhibition at Ambedkar College in city on October 3, we plan to hold it throughout the year in different parts of the region," said Kundan Hate, district honorary wildlife warden.
This year, the organizers are trying to focus on people who live near protected areas and have direct and regular contact with wildlife. "Finding a connect with the locals was on our minds right from the time we started planning the Wildlife Week. Today, the biggest threat is poaching and these villagers will prove to be the biggest support in fight against it," said Roheet Karoo, district honorary wildlife warden.
The forest department and NGOs working in areas around Umred-Karhandla Wildlife Sanctuary have planned a skating rally from Paoni to Umred on October 6. "We have a photo exhibition by Mayank Mishra. We are planning to reach out to at least 32 villages and spread awareness about poaching. The Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) is providing its education van to us. We hope to form a network against poaching through this. We are also promoting the 'Leave Me Alone Campaign' for tigers," said Karoo. More....