New Delhi: Areas surrounding Sikkim`s three sanctuaries, which are home to carnivores, herbivores, birds and magnificent rhododendron forests, will soon be declared as Eco-Sensitive Zones by the Centre.
The Union Environment Ministry today issued draft notifications inviting suggestions on the proposals to declare environmentally-fragile areas surrounding the Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary,
Kitam Bird Sanctuary and Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary as Eco-Sensitive Zones.
The move is aimed at conserving and protecting the ecologically-fragile areas bordering these sanctuaries from developmental activities like mining.
Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary is a trans-boundary protected area in the West District of Sikkim bordering Nepal. The sanctuary, spread over an area of 104 sq.Km, is a rich storehouse of flora.
Kitam Bird Sanctuary in South Sikkim harbours a unique association of Sal and Chir Pine forests which nestle a large number of peafowl, the national bird.
It also houses the common leopard, Assamese macaque, Rhesus Macaque, barking deer, wild boar, Himalayan Palm Civet and Indian rock python.
Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary, lying over an area of 35.34 sq.Km is home to wildlife, dwarf bamboo thickets, rhododendron forests, patches of chestnut and oak and still undiscovered epiphytes.