65th Wildlife Week: Govt committed to conserve wildlife species, says Minister

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Bhubaneswar: The government is committed to the conservation and growth of wildlife species in the state, minister for forest and environment Bikram Keshari Arukh said.

Speaking as the chief guest on the 65th state-level Wildlife Week at Jaydev Bhavan here on Friday, Arukh urged the social organizations to initiate steps for the peaceful coexistence of man and animal. He said a peaceful coexistence is always good for our society.

The minister said Odisha is the only state where one can find three species of crocodiles, black Royal Bengal Tiger, migratory birds, Olive Ridley turtles, and rich mangroves. Arukh said the government has taken due steps to conserve nearly 52 endangered species. He said the department has taken the initiative to conserve 155 species including the above mentioned 52 in Nandankanan.

The minister said the government is providing Rs 4 lakh as compensation for the death of a person due to attack by wild animals and added that Rs 1lakh is being given to the person for injuries. The minister said Balukhand and Chandaka-Dampara sanctuaries are being restructured as these were devastated by severe cyclonic storm Fani.

The press release by Sucheta Priyadarshini said the principal conservator of forest (wildlife) and wildlife warden Dr Harishankar Upadhyya dwelt up the implementation of the Gajabandhu programme to keep track of the elephants at various habitats.

The release said Bichitrananda Biswal of Astaranga, Puri was given  Biju Patnaik wildlife conservation award which carries Rs 2 lakh. He has been working for conservation of dolphin, sparrows, turtles and snakes since the year 2000.

Wildlife photographers of the state were also awarded on the occasion. Three photographers were awarded, while successful candidates in drawing competition also bagged awards.

The minister released Wildlife Odisha-2019, Mammals of Bharatpur-In the lungs of Bhubaneswar, Annual report -2018-19, Community managed nature tourism in Odisha, Newsletter, Olive Ridley and tortoise story and other publications released by Nandankanan and likeminded institutions.

Arukh also inaugurated an exhibition on the wildlife of Odisha. Director, Nandankanan Shashi Paul proposed the vote of thanks.

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