MoAF innaugrates Jomotshangkha Wildlife Sanctuary
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forests inaugurated Jomotshangkha Wildlife Sanctuary coinciding with the first birth anniversary of His Royal Highness the Gyalsey on 5 February.
Jomotshangkha Wildlife Sanctuary (JWS) in Samdrup Jongkhar Dzongkhag is the last protected area to be opened, which is expected to fulfill the 11th five-year plan target of the Department of Forest and Park Services (DoFPS).
The new wildlife sanctuary (WS) is also expected to be an important achievement in conservation for DoFPS.
The WS was earlier known as Neoli WS and then Khaling WS.
Jomotshangkha WS is located along the international border with India from Phuntshothang Gewog in the west to Lauri Gewog in the east.
Ngawang Gyeltshen, Conservation officer from Wildlife Conservation Department, DoFPS, said the current area of 337 sq. km will be extended to 1,160 sq. km.
The park area extension is expected to help the sanctuary management to deliver faster public service to the gewogs near the park area.
Ngawang Gyeltshen said, “By extending the JWS, we will receive more recognition at the international level in terms of security.”
JWS will represent pristine sub-tropical forest biome and it is the only habitat for the Pygmy Hog in the country.
It will also conserve the habitat for other endangered species, namely Tigers, Asian elephants, hornbills, and Blyth’s and Temminck’s Tragopan, among others.
The sanctuary will protect ecologically sensitive areas along the southern borders with Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
The park also transcends across seven gewogs under Samdrup Jongkhar Dzongkhag, namely Phuntshothang, Pemathang, Martshala, Samrang, Langchenphug, Serthig and Lauri Gewog.
Likewise, the ministry also launched Southern Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation Centre (SWRRC).
Ngawang Gyeltshen said SWRRC is constructed to provide improved humane, appropriate, and achievable veterinary care and rehabilitation for wildlife patients since human wildlife conflict is on the rise all over the country.
Lyonchen Tshering Tobgay said that SWRRC is important to protect and rescue wild animals.
The centre is also expected to provide immediate diagnostic facilities for the southern region and at the same time serve as an educational centre to students and public.
It will also be the centre for crocodile and gharial conservation.
Currently, the centre is home to 15 gharial, four marsh crocodile, two peacocks, two barking deer and one slow loris.
SWRRC is located within an area of 15 acres at Jigmeling under Dekiling gewog in Sarpang Dzongkhag.
It has been constructed within eight months from March 2015 to October 2015 under the funding support from Regional Wildlife Project of the World Bank.
Currently, there are five national parks, one nature reserve, and four wildlife sanctuaries that cover more than half of the country’s total land area.