Protest against Tree felling at Gorumara NP

Nature lover people observed earlier in this year that markings have been made in several trees in Gorumara-Lataguri forest patch. Questions were raised, RTIs were done in order to find out the reasons for this kind of serial marking, but the various departments of Central Government were unable to satisfy this very much common query. On 3rd April, 2017 it was observed that sudden felling of forest trees is started. SPOAR, with a handful of local nature lover people protested and protected the trees. Though 10 trees was already cut down by that time, still further felling was prevented for next two days. On 6th April, the saviours were awe stuck when they found that the whole area was cordoned by the police force, RAFs only to safeguard the deforestation process. A total of eight persons including SPOAR members and some others arrested for disturbance in the ongoing process but were soon released. The need of a mightier counter response were felt and that is why SPOAR alone took this issue to the Honorary Kolkata High Court and were able to earn stay order on the tree felling process for next three days. On 10th April, directed by the Honorary Kolkata High Court, the case moved to National Green Tribunal (NGT), Kolkata. The Government has not yet been able to justify the whereabouts of this project. Currently the whole process is stopped by stay order and the legal fight is still going on.

Awarness to Speed limit at Gorumara NP

SPOAR has actively been executing awareness programmes, field based training workshops and conservation related campaigns since 2010. As its birthplace is Jalpaiguri in the lap of Himalayan foothills, SPOAR had to take over problems like human-wildlife conflict, especially roadkills on National Highways which runs between forest areas, being a major malicious outcome of it. There has been speed limit maintenance awareness programme in the 10 km forest patch of Gorumara-Lataguri forest in 2015, besides the roadkill surveys which has been a continuous observation process for the team. The survey results have revealed many surprising facts.

School & Community Awarness

Snakes, being most misunderstood and feared non human neighbour of us, has been being victim of reasonless killing. SPOAR successfully has been running awareness campaigns as well as community campaigns regarding the conservation of rural and urban wildlife. These campaigns largely took place in primary and higher secondary schools in Jalpaiguri town and adjacent areas. Amazing informative facts has been passed down and myths and fallacies have been busted in front of the future generation; students. An effort like these, being both humble and vigorous put an end to killing of snakes driven by fear. Our members have been available for attending rescue calls in and around Jalpaiguri for which many innocent lives have been saved. As an outcome of this continuous rescue release protocol, interesting information regarding distribution and species diversity of snakes have been revealed to us. SPAOR made the present time possible when people choose to press the call button over landing a blow upon a snake. Besides, several awareness programme also took place regarding the hunting of migratory and common water birds by the local peoples in the adjacent localities of wetland habitat.

Executing restrictions at Murti Picnic Spot

A very common behavioural trait in human is to pollute, even destroy their surrounding environment for the sake of some lame enjoyment. Murti river which flows through Gorumara National Park has been victim of it. Every year there used to be a massacre in name of picnic on the river bed. The river was very much polluted with thermocol, plastic utensils, plastic and polythene wrappers and most dangerously broken glass pieces. These foul wastes often would enter the forest by the water flow which would harm the aquatic wildlife and the other thirsty animals. SPOAR in collaboration with locals has been able to stop the practice of picnic on the riverbed and nearby areas by initiating restrictions on picnic parties actively. The polluting wastes was collected and recycled.

Awarness Campaign for People living with forest

It is evident that the residents of forest villages often enter restricted forest areas for collecting timber and non timber forest products. They enter forest as running a very common errand and have done so for a long time without understanding it’s on consequences and it would be quiet rubbish to mention that it obviously invites the threats of wild animal attacks. First of all it is completely illegal to collect forest products (which also includes collecting fallen leaves and branches from forest floor.) from a restricted forest land and secondly, using the cover of common villagers and very useful vicinity of adjacent villages, timber smugglers and poachers also do their thing. The problem discussed is a very common feature in Gorumara National Park and adjacent Lataguri forest, for preventing which, several awareness programmes have been organized by SPOAR. Honorary Wildlife Warden and Range Officers were present on that day. To some extents SPOAR has been able to change mentality of common villagers and the intrusion is lesser than before.

Seminer on Ethical Photography

As Dooars is like, “just outside of window”, it is very common for people to grow interested in Nature and Wildlife photography/filming. Though a fruitful practice for the study of nature, it always has its consequences if not done ETHICALLY. Photographers, driven mad by the lust for appreciation in social media, often cross the very sensitive line which is and should be between world of human and theirs. Several times privacy safety and even existence of wild animals have been threatened. SPOAR organized a seminar regarding laws and ethics of working with wildlives. Respected DFO, ADFO, Asst Director of Fishery were present there on that day.

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