Myanmar works for wildlife conservation

19:59, August 09, 2010      

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Some local weeklies in Myanmar Monday hailed the declaration by an international organization on the country's Hukaung Valley in northernmost Kachin state as the world's biggest tiger reserve.

The honor was offered recently by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) amid threat of tiger extinction.

In the wake of the threat, Myanmar wildlife police and forest rangers are stepping up combating wildlife trade and crimes in the tiger reserve and special training programs have been introduced jointly by the Myanmar forest ministry and the WCS.

With only 150 tigers reportedly remaining alive in Myanmar's tiger reserve, tiger conservation is being undertaken in Hukaung Valley, the geographical condition of which creates a suitable place for survival of the tigers.

The Hukuang tiger reserve in the remote border area, which was established in 2004, covers an area of about 22,000 square kilometers.

Meanwhile, Myanmar is also modifying an elephant sanctuary named the Po-Kyar into one of the attractive tourist sites of the country to boost tourism.

The Po-kyar elephant sanctuary lies at a location in Bago division, 346 kilometers north of Yangon.

The Po-Kyar zone is accommodating 86 elephants of different ages ranging from 1 year old to 68 years old as well as various kinds of rare bird species, 100-year old-aged tress and wild butterflies.

Myanmar has taken measures for elephant conservation by restricting the catching of such animal in the country's Bago Yoma mountain range in the central part where most of the elephants take sanctuary.

In order to prevent elephant from extinction in the country, the Myanmar forestry authorities allowed catching of the wild elephants in the mountain range's Hlegu area only once in three years, prescribing the ratio of the elephants caught to be handed over to the authorities.

Wildlife keepers in Myanmar have also warned against the tendency of move of sanctuary of wild elephants from a deep mountain range in western Rakhine state to agricultural fields as elephant feed was running short there last year.

Such wild elephants were being found shifting from the May Yu mountain range bordering Bangladesh to agricultural farms with crop plantations of local farmers and destroying the plantations for the sake of feed, forestry officials said, calling on the farmers to take measures to prevent the crop plantations from being spoiled out of the wildlife's move.

The officials attributed the tendency of the elephants to the extinction of bamboo plantation in the Rakhine Yoma natural bamboo forest which the elephants depend on for their feed.

Meanwhile, In June this year, Myanmar caught one more rare white elephant in Maungtaw township, western Rakhine state, registering the second captured in the same state in nine years.

The 38-year-old while elephant, which is in a five-elephant group discovered in the area, was hunted and caught by the Forest Department.

With over 2 meters tall and 3.3 meters in circumference, the elephant is being transported from the area for accommodation in the new capital of Nay Pyi Taw.

The prior 8-year-old white elephant was captured in October 2001 in a village tract in Rathedaung township in the state. That elephant has a height of about 1.8 meters with pearl eye, yellowish eyebrow, reddish eyelids and the back hanging down like the bough of a banana tree.

According to Myanmar's historical records, "White elephants emerged during the time of Myanmar kings and governments who ruled the nation discharging the 10 kingly duties".

Myanmar people regard the emergence of white elephant as an auspicious sign of peace and prosperity.

Source: Xinhua


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