Erosion, staff shortage threat to Assam''s national park

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The biosphere reserve, Mathur says is a mosaic ofhabitat types and is characterised by littoral and swamp, semievergreen, deciduous and patches of wet evergreen forests.

This diversity is reflected in the 33 species ofmammals, 500 birds species, 105 butterflies species, 104 fishspecies, 11 kinds of turtles, 18 lizard species and 23 typesof snakes.

"Not only this, the core area is home to 38 species oforchids and augment floral diversity with the BirdlifeInternational declaring the area an Important Bird Area (IBA)while Stattersfield (1998) has classified Dibru Saikhowa asAssam Plains Endemic Bird area", he says.

Further credence is added to its rich natural heritageby the fact that this area is recognised as a rhinocerostranslocation site under the Indian Rhino Vision 2020 as 22per cent of the core area is grassland and the complex of tallgrasslands and swamps make this ecosystem highly productive,says Mathur.

The grassland of Dibru Saihowa are also an excellentresurrection site for the Bengal Florican, a grassland birdwhich has a very restricted distribution, he says.

Even the white winged wood duck, the species for whichthe park was originally created can be re introduced fromplaces like Nameri, he said.

Residents of Tinsukia town, only 10 kms away from thepark also support the forest department''s effort to developthe park and attract tourists.

"A lot of foreign tourists come but lack ofinfrastructure is a serious problem and we demand this sectorhas to be developed", says Susanta Bhadury a resident of thetown.

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