In a pioneering move, the Forest department has devised a unique ‘nocturnal trail’ initiative tailored for individuals, particularly students and researchers, within the Bharatpur section of the Chandaka-Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary. The wildlife wing of the department has already received a proposal for this initiative from the Chandaka divisional forest officer. Sources reveal that the proposal, currently under active deliberation within the department, is likely to be approved soon, enabling the Chandaka authorities to commence the night trail program by late January or February.
According to Susanta Nanda, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), the program has been primarily crafted to provide students and researchers with an extensive learning experience concerning wildlife interactions within the forest during nighttime. He emphasized that the initiative will also contribute to enhancing the youth’s knowledge of local plant and wildlife species.
Encompassing an expansive area of 194 sq km, the Chandaka-Dampara sanctuary serves as a habitat for diverse wildlife, including elephants, barking deer, and porcupines. The night trail will traverse a portion of the sanctuary situated in the Bharatpur vicinity. Sources assure that stringent measures will be implemented to safeguard the core wildlife area from any disturbances caused by the trail.
Md Jameel, the Divisional Forest Officer of Chandaka, highlighted that this night trail, a pioneering venture in the state, will prove highly beneficial for students and researchers affiliated with institutions such as OUAT, CET, BJB, ILS, Xavier, IIT, NISER, as well as numerous schools and colleges in the state capital and its surroundings. The initiative aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of forests and wildlife, making it an invaluable educational experience.