Naveen calls for wildlife habitat protection

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Bhubaneswar, Oct 03 (UNI) Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today called for identification of critical wild animal corridors for secure migration of wild animals and restoration of connectivity among the wildlife habitat.

Addressing the Wildlife Conservation week here, Mr Patnaik said world over the strategy of wildlife conservation was to constitute protected areas adding that Orissa has so far notified 20 sanctuaries including a national park and a marine sanctuary which constituted 4.25 per cent of the total land area of the state.

He said, " Under the compulsion of rapid economic growth, we should not allow space for wildlife conservation to diminish and stressed the need for habitat protection, eco-development and eco- tourism as the key elements for wildlife conservation plant for any region. " Mr Patnaik said the challenge for wildlife managers was to find out solution to strike the right balance between the subsistence needs of local and the concern for conservation of bio resources for society at large.

Chief Wildlife Warden and Principal Chief Conservator of Forest S C Mohanty due to sustainable efforts by the wildlife officials,the mass hunting by the tribals in the Simlipal Park had been put to an end and killing of elephants inside the sanctuaries has been controlled to a great extent with the arrest of poachers.

He said as many as 35 water bodies had been created inside the forest habitat and management plan has been drawn up by the state government to protect the wildlife habitat across the state.

Principal Secretary Forest and Environment H S Chahar said Orissa has amazing bio-diversity constituting 4.2 per cent of the total area and 11.3 per cent of the total forest area.He said the government has drawn up comprehensive management plan for each of the protected areas of the state which would also focus on the elephant corridor and migratory path besides the man and animal conflict.

The Chief Minister released two books - ''Wild land of Orissa and Orchids of India'' - on the occasion.

UNI

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