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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Simlipal Biosphere Reserve under threat

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The Simlipal Biosphere Reserve(SBR) of Mayurbhanj district of Orissa state of India which has recently been included in the UNESCO's World Network of Biosphere Reserves is under threat of poachers and wood mafias due to the absence of forest guards and survillance mechanisms.

Earlier, the left wing extremists had attacked government establishments in March 2009. Apprehending the attack by the naxalites, the officials of the Forest Department left their duty posts on March 28, 2009. It facilitated wood mafias and poachers to exploit resources since about last four months.

A local NGO -the Mayurbhanj Forum has expressed great concern after it conducted surveys of different areas of SBR especially the Lombugada forests and Dhuduruchampa that fall under Naena range, and Pithabata range. The NGO has demanded "immediate restoration of surveillance mechanism for protecting resources of this unique biodiversity." The state government has started keeping close eyes over the condition and has deployed recently a CRPF battalion to treat mafias and poachers.

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The Hindu. July 27, 2009

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