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Raimona becomes Assam’s sixth national park

The 422 sq ft wildlife habitat in Kokrajhar district adjoins western-most buffer to Manas Tiger Reserve

Raimona in Kokrajhar district has become Assam’s sixth national park.

Eastern Assam’s Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary, under stress for unregulated coal mining in the vicinity is in the process of becoming the seventh national park, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said at a function to mark World Environment Day on Saturday.

The five national parks that existed prior to the 422 sq. km Raimona are Kaziranga, Manas, Nameri, Orang and Dibru-Saikhowa.

Environment and Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya said a notification declaring Raimona as a national park was brought out on Saturday. “Upgrading Dehing Patkai has been a long-felt need for the conservation of rainforest and elephant habitats,” he stated.

Within Bodoland Territorial Region

The Raimona National Park is within the Bodoland Territorial Region. The area of the park includes the northern part of the notified Ripu Reserve Forest (508.62 sq. km), which forms the western-most buffer to the Manas National Park that straddles the India-Bhutan border.

Forest officials said Raimona was bounded on the west by the Sonkosh river along the Assam-West Bengal border running southward from the India-Bhutan border and the Saralbhanga river on the east till it touched the India-Bhutan border on the north and the southern part of the Ripu Reserve Forest.

The Pekua river defines Raimona’s southern boundary.

“Raimona also shares contiguous forest patches of the Phipsoo Wildlife Sanctuary and the Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park in Bhutan (total area of 1,999 sq. km) creating a transboundary conservation landscape of more than 2,400 sq. km,” a senior forest official said.

“Such secured transboundary ecological landscape will ensure the long-term conservation of endemic species like the golden langur, the mascot of Bodoland Territorial Council and endangered species such as the Asian elephant, the Bengal tiger and varied other flora and faunal species it supports,” he said.

Raimona is an integral part of the 2,837 sq. km Manas Biosphere Reserve and the Chirang-Ripu Elephant Reserve.

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