Office Of District Forest Office, Jowai Brief Write-Up Of Target Achievements, In Respect Jaintia Hills Wildlife Division, Jowai, West Jaintia Hills District
Introduction:- Jaintia Hills Wildlife Division which was bifurcated from the Khasi & Jaintia Hills Wildlife Division came into existence vide Government of Meghalaya Office order Numberfor/34/88/32 dated 17th December 1988 and started functioning effectively as Jaintia Hills Wildlife Division from the year 1989.
The area of Jurisdiction of the Division covers both the East and the West Jaintia Hills District which covered an area of 3,819Sq.Km. It is located in between 92º- 0'E to 93º -0'E longitude and 25º - 0'N to 26º -10' North Latitude.
The Division is headed by the Divisional Forest Officer in the Rank of a Dy. Conservator of Forests. He is assisted by two Range Officers (1) Range Officer i/c Umkiang Range, (2) Range Officer i/c Jowai Range, Jowai and their subordinates.
The Ministerial staff consist of (i) One U.D.A.-Cum-Account (ii) One L.D.A. Cum Typist (iii) One Office Peon (iv) One Office Chowkidar (v) One Office Driver.
The main functions of the Division are as listed below:-
To implement the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 as amended from time to time and rules framed there under.
To prevent poaching and illegal trade of wildlife and wildlife products including illegal collection, transportation and trade of well flora and fauna.
To undertake measures to minimize chances of Man-Animal conflict especially Man-Elephant conflicts through planning and execution.
To implement various developmental schemes as sanctioned by the Government.
To take up various environmental awareness programmes by commemorating wildlife week celebration, world biodiversity day, etc by conducting debate, Essay writing Drawing competition and organizing educational excursion trip to Nature conservation area for schools amd colleges. Also propagating conservation oriented programmes through posters, Banners and pamphlets.
Execution of periodic estimation of important species of wildlife such as Royal Bengal Tiger and Asian Elephant.
Wildlife Week Celebration: One of the main functions of the Division is to take up environmental awareness programme eliciting the public, the school children of the importance of conservation of flora and fauna species of the District. In this regards, a Wildlife week celebration was organized every year in the whole District by organizing Essay writing Debate & Drawing Competitions.
Eco-Development Activities: These activities were taken up to mitigate man- animal conflicts and to create cordial relationship with the people living in the villages affected by animal’s depredation. The activities taken up were construction of village foot path, providing amenities like distribution of chairs, tables to the villages, reward to informer on wildlife crime, providing amenities to the Village Protection Squads.
Ex-gratia payment: One of the main functions of the Division is to undertaken measures to minimize chances of Man- Animal conflict especially Man- Elephant conflict through planning and execution of various habitat conservation, eco-Development activities and awareness programmes. This issue arises due to the fact that most of the elephant habitats are encroached upon by anthropogenic activities such as road construction, human settlement, stone quarry, mining and jhum cultivation. The impacts have led to serious man-animals conflict. Payment were made to the affected families for the compensation of loss of crops and properties due to wildlife depredation.
Anti Poaching activities: The Department in order to enable to contain the illegal killing, poaching of wild animals of the District. Patrolling duties were carried out every now and then by the State Patrolling Squad Unit-III.
List of Fauna in the District:
- Jaintia Hills District has a high biodiversity of Wildlife. More than 400 species of birds, atleast 120species of mammals which includes 37 species of Bats, 30 species of Carnivores, 7 species of Ungulates and 30 species of rodents. Most of these are found in the pristine habitat of Narpuh Reserved Forest Block-I & II.
- Some noteworthy Mammals species including endangered ones are the Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla), slow loris (Nycticebus coucang), pig-tailed macaque (Macaca nemestrina), Assamese macaque (M.assamensis), rhesus macaque(M.mulatta), stump-tailed macaque (M.arctoides), capped langus (Presbytis pileatus), hoolock gibbon (Hylobates hoolock), dhole or Indian wild dog (Cuon alpines), Himalayan black bear (Ursus thibetanus), sun bear (U.malayanus), sloth bear (U.ursinus), binturong (Arcitictis binturong), fishing cat (Felis viverrinus), marbled cat (F.marmorata), golden cat (F.temmincki), clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), leopard( Panthera pardus), tiger( P.tigris). elephant Elephas maximus, sambar( Cervus unicolor), hog deer (Axis porcinus), gaur (Bos gaurus) serow (Capricomis sumatraensis), Malayan giant squirrel (Ratufa bicolor), common giant flying squirrel Petaurista, crestless Himalayan or Chinese porcupine Hystrix brachyuran(syn. H.hodgsonii)
- Birds. A rich and diverse birdlife exists in the area. About 400 species have so far been recorded while it is certain that the total number of species would be more than 450. Many species could not be authentically identified due to poor visibility in dense forest. Considering the terrain and habitat, the relative abundance of grassland and waterbirds are much less than the forest birds. Among the noteworthy species recorded so far includes, the Greate Cormorant phalacrocorax carbo, Darter Anhinga melanogaster Openbill Stork Anastomas oscitants, Lesser Adjutant Stork Leptotilos javanicus, Jerdon’s or Blyth’s Baza Aviceda jerdoni, Black Baza A. leuphotes, Kaleej Pheasant Lophura leucomelanos, Grey Peacock-pheasant Polyplectron bicalcaratum, Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis, Wrethed Hornbill Aceros undularus, Oriantal Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros albirostris,Giant or Great Pied Hornbill Buceros bicornis, Spangled Drongo Dicrurus hottentottus Slaty-headed Scimitar-babbler Pomatorhinus horsfieldii, and Beautifull Nuthatch Sitta Formosa
- Reptiles. The diversity of reptiles could not be assessed fully, however, a few notable species were recorded in the area. The Asian leaf turtle Cyclemis dentate, The Common Varanus bengalensis and Water monitors.V. salvator y. Among the snakes, Rock python Python molurus, King cobra Ophiophagus Hannah, Common cobra Naja naja, Banded krait Bungarus fasciatus, Common krait B. caeruleus. Striped keelback Amphiesma stolata, Common vine snake Ahaetulla nasutus and Green pit viper Trimeresurus albolabris have been recorded. The Reticulated python Python reticulates have also been reported.
- Jaintia Hills has good forest cover which harbours good animal habitats, recreational values; it has great potential as tourist destination, Nature’s lover paradise and a source for education & Research Development if these activities can be initiated.
(Source (a) (b) & (c) – Dr.A.Chowdhury 1999).