Environment

Urgent need to strengthen efforts towards conservation of Manipur's Sangai deer: MP Raju Bista

The MP said that Sangai, also famously known as the ‘dancing Indian deer’ found only in Manipur, is facing the threat of extinction due to climate change and anthropocentric pressures.

ByKangpokpi Correspondent

Updated on 9 Dec 2021, 4:36 am

MP Raju Bista (Photo: Twitter)

MP Raju Bista (Photo: Twitter)

 

MP Raju Bista from Darjeeling, who was born in Manipur and the National Spokesperson BJP, raised the issue concerning the urgent need for strengthening the efforts towards conservation of the endangered Sangai deer, the state animal of Manipur under Rule 377 of Parliament in his speech at Parliament on Wednesday.

He said that Sangai, also famously known as the ‘dancing Indian deer’ found only in Manipur, is facing the threat of extinction due to climate change and anthropocentric pressures. It is listed as ‘Endangered’ in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, and included in Schedule I of the Indian WildLife (Protection) Act, 1972.

“I have highlighted in the house that Sangai deer is found only in Keibul Lamjao National Park, a protected sanctuary around Loktak Lake, which is also the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India,” he added. The deer species lives around the floating biomass of vegetation in the Loktak Lake, also locally known as Phumdi. However, these natural habitats are deteriorating due to the ever-increasing floods caused by climate change, water pollution and other human activities. The natural habitat of Sangai is continuously shrinking, he said.

Informing the house that Sangai, besides being an endangered species, is deeply embedded in the cultural consciousness of the Manipuri people, the MP said that for centuries, the Sangai and the Loktak Lake have stood as the economic lifeline of the people living in the vicinity of the lake. 

"It also holds a significant place in the ancient folklores, art, literature, and traditions of Manipur and any threat to the animal will also pose a great risk that the people of Manipur will lose a big part of our culture, values and pride, '' the MP added.

The MP further said that most importantly, the Sangai deer is an ‘indicator species' and their declining numbers are indicative of the declining health of our environment, particularly the Loktak Lake while adding that the health of Loktak Lake, its flora and fauna, and ecosystem plays a critical role in sustaining the economic and socio-cultural values of Manipur.

Urging the Central Government to increase their assistance to complement the efforts towards the conservation of Sangai Deer and Loktak Lake that is being undertaken by the Government of Manipur, the MP requested the Ministry of Environment and Forest to develop a holistic plan for the conservation and propagation of Sangai and Loktak Lake. 

He conveyed his anticipation that the Union Ministry will take cognisance of the urgent matter and extend all possible assistance towards the conservation of our state animal.

First published:8 Dec 2021, 7:18 pm

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Kangpokpi Correspondent

Kangpokpi Correspondent

KANGPOKPI district, Manipur

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