Aid for Manas

Published: Saturday 15 March 1997

manas Tiger Reserve in western Assam will soon receive an emergency aid of us $225,000 from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (unesco). In a meeting held in Mexico in December 1996, unesco had decided to grant the emergency aid after concluding that the Manas national park, a World Heritage site, continues to be in peril ever since Bodo tribal insurgents made the park their base during 1990 and 1993.

The park, which is under Project Tiger, has a total area of 2,837 sq km and a core area of 470 sq km. It is home to 22 of India's 41 endangered species listed in the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Enumeration figures in 1993 had put the number of tigers in Manas at 81 out of a total population of 338.

From March 10 onwards, approximately 10,000 people from various non-governmental organisations in Assam and the forest department of the state, will be getting ready to carry out a week-long tiger census throughout the state.

R P Agarwal, field director of the Manas reserve, said that the World Heritage Foundation has agreed to provide the financial assistance over a three-year period beginning this June.

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