In a historic movement towards preserving the endangered state bird Mrs Hume's Pheasant (Nongin) species, the Jessami village which is blessed with myriads of flora and fauna on Tuesday inaugurated Nongin reserve area.
The move to preserve and protect Nongin came following a rapid decline of bird and animal species in the village. Weyepe N Mekrisuh, a native of Jessami, is instrumental in initiating the conservation concept and bringing it to fruition.
Hume's Pheasant reserve area was inaugurated by Dhritiman Mukherjee, Nature, Wildlife and Conservation Photographer ambassador Roundglass Sustain and Sony India.
“What an amazing time I had today. The beautiful people of Jessami of Manipur did it finally and the Jessami Mrs Humes Pheasant community Reserve was inaugurated. I am grateful to all the people of Jessami for making me a very tiny part of this journey,” Dhritiman Mukherjee said.
He urged visitors to visit the Jessami as it offers people a rare Mrs Humes Pheasant. “I have seen Nongin through my lens. The majestic Manipur state bird is amazing,” he remarked.
SDO Chingai and ADM in charge P Duna Duo Jessami said that it is a historic moment for the people of Jessami village. The conservation spree initiated by the village, especially the Village Council headed by its chairman Nizote Mekrisuh is commendable and worth undertaking, he said. “Climate change is a global issue and Jessami is not an exception. These exemplary steps taken today by your village are a wake-up call for other villages to join the green and eco-friendly mission,” he added.
Generations to come will appreciate the bold steps taken today, he emphasised. He also thanked the district administration and government of Manipur for choosing the right village. Jessami is also one of the cleanest villages in Ukhrul district and the people here are known for their good hospitality, he added.
Weyepe N Mekrisuh said that the whole concept of the Nongin conservation began with just an idea that is ambitious and that wants to translate itself into many possibilities.
“While the blueprint is not in place, we have identified some bright spots for promoting battlefield tourism, eco-tourism, wildlife tourism, cultural tourism, agro tourism. Translating and contextualizing are a collective effort,” he added.
He also encouraged/engaged in more conversation and dialogue for identifying more of those bright spots for future posterity.
According to the Jessami Village Council ((JVC) the Jessami Hume's Pheasant Community Reserve is located around 15 km from the town. It is situated approximately 116 km north of Ukhrul town and 121 km east of Kohima. The village is close to the Indo- Myanmar border.
Local taxi service and overnight stay options (tourist lodge, homestay) are available.
The sanctuary serves as a haven for numerous endangered mammal and avian species. Within its boundaries, visitors can explore elusive creatures such as the clouded leopard, Asiatic black bear, yellow-throated laughing thrush, spot-breasted laughing thrush, among others.
Created in 2022, the Nongin reserve is under the care of the Jessami Village Council. Its primary objective is to safeguard the diminishing population of the indigenous and exquisite Hume's pheasant, while simultaneously nurturing its natural habitat.
The noble endeavour aims to foster a profound appreciation for biodiversity-a vital foundation for the sustainable future of the indigenous community.
Declaring the area as a reserve or protected area will not only preserve the endangered state bird but will go a long way towards safeguarding other wild animals and the flora.