File photo of Manas National Park in Assam | Wikimedia commons
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New Delhi: The tiger patrol team of Assam’s Manas National Park was honoured with the ‘Highly Commended’ certification at the 2021 International Ranger Awards (IRA) Thursday.

Called the ‘Manas Tiger Team’, the 12-member mobile patrol unit of the national park was formed by the forest department of the Bodoland Territorial Council in March 2016.

As many as 10 winners were selected from 113 nominations across 43 countries at the IRA. Additionally, 19 rangers and teams across the world, including the Manas Tiger Team, were recognised with special commendations for their work.

The tiger patrol unit from Manas National Park was also awarded $3,000 for the betterment of the park.

Director of Manas National Park, Amal Chandra Sarmah, told EastMojo that Guwahati-based conservationist Bibhuti Lahkar, who is also the 2016 IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) ‘Heritage Hero’, had recommended only one ranger from the park for the award, but the jury decided to recognise the entire team.

The IRA is handed out collaboratively by the IUCN-WCPA (World Commission on Protected Areas), the International Ranger Federation, Global Wildlife Conservation and Conservation Allies.

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Residents of Meghalaya village make nests to preserve hill mynas

Residents of Umpung village, in the South West Khasi Hills of Meghalaya, have found a novel way of preserving the hill myna — by building nests. Called ‘ruh’ in the local dialect, these nests are placed atop tall trees by the villagers for the birds to lay eggs.

The population of hill myna, the state bird of Meghalaya, has been dwindling over the years due to loss of habitat and smuggling.

In 2018, the Dorbar Shnong (local council) of Umpung village, which consists of 133 households, had banned the capture and sale of these birds. It had also declared the areas under its jurisdiction as ‘hill myna sanctuary’.

Due to the continued efforts of the villagers, the population of these birds increased up to 60 per cent in the area, in the past three years.

New species from Arunachal Pradesh added to list of birds found in India

A team of scientists from the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) recently discovered a new bird species, the three-banded rosefinch, in Arunachal Pradesh. The bird is believed to be a ‘resident’ of south China.

This was the first confirmed report of the bird’s sighting in India and it has now been added to the list of birds found in the country.

The research team, led by Girish Jathar, assistant director of BNHS, stumbled upon the new species while undertaking surveys for finches across the Eastern Himalayas.

A pair of the new species was spotted by researchers Atharva Singh and Himadri Shekar Mondal of the team at a height of 3,852 metres above sea level at the Sela Pass between the Tawang and West Kameng districts of the state.

The researchers said that the birds probably used the high altitude temperate coniferous forests of Arunachal Pradesh as a passage while migrating from China to Bhutan.

Assam girl first from Northeast to win medal at national skating championship

Prapti Medhi from Assam won the bronze medal at the 58th National Roller Skating Championship in the girls’ sub-junior quad skate category Friday. She is the first and only skater from the Northeast to win a medal at the national event.

The championship, organised by the Punjab Roller Skating Association and the Chandigarh Roller Skating Association, took place from 31 March to 9 April in Chandigarh and Mohali.

Medhi had earlier bagged the gold medal in the U-14 category at the CBSE National Speed Skating Championship in Belgram, Karnataka.

(Edited by Rachel John)

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