Reroute rail track through gibbon sanctuary

Syllabus: Environment conservation

Context: Hollongapar sanctuary has become a ‘forest island’, a Wildlife Institute of India report said

  • Primatologists have suggested rerouting a 1.65-km long railway track that has divided Hollongapar sanctuary in eastern Assam sanctuary dedicated to the western hoolock gibbon (Hoolock hoolock).
  • Housing about 125 hoolock gibbons, India’s only ape, the sanctuary in the Jorhat district covers an area of 21 sq. km.
  • Like the other 19 gibbon species on earth, it is marked endangered due to habitat loss and habitat fragmentation.
  • The sanctuary has become a ‘forest island’ – lost connectivity with surrounding forest patches – gibbons are exclusively arboreal animals inhabiting upper canopy – particularly sensitive to canopy gaps
  • Suggested step: designing an artificial canopy bridge to facilitate the movement of the hoolock gibbons across the broad-gauge line within the Hollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary. The track is yet to be electrified.

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