TODAY -

Editorial of the week

Of Bamboos and Wildlife
Courtesy: The Sangai Express 07th May, 2007



While Forest and Environment Minister, Th Debendra gave a detailed account of the steps taken up by the State Government in the Assembly to tackle the likely effects following the large scale bamboo flowering phenomenon at Chandel, Churachandpur and Tamenglong districts as well as at Jiribam sub-division of Imphal, there are certain basic points that should be addressed to on a priority basis.

Bamboo flowering in Tamenglong found in a bamboo variety called Moubiwa


Bamboo flowering is a natural phenomenon and there is nothing that man can do to stop this fact. The problem is not with the flowering of the bamboo plant but about rodents, whose population rapidly increase after they feed on the bamboo flowers.

The question therefore is how to contain the rapidly growing population of rodents. While the steps taken up or being planned to be taken up by the State Government are laudable and should be encouraged by all, it would also be fruitful to study whether the activities of man have any bearing on the rising population of rodents.

It will definitely not be possible to keep a complete check on the population of rodents, especially during the time of bamboo flowering, but it will prove positive and fruitful to admit to the fact that man's activities have had an adverse impact on nature.

It is when the activities of man begin to interfere in the cycle of nature and natural phenomenon, that consequences, often with disastrous impact begin to unfold. Nature has its own unique system of maintaining its order and the food chain is one of them.

With man increasingly preying on the wilds of the jungles, it has a direct impact on the food chain, which in turn means disturbing the balance of the composition of the different species of wildlife.

Wild cats, snakes, carnivorous birds etc are the natural predators of rodents, but with man hunting down these natural predators, it is bound to promote the imbalance that we have just touched upon.

True, the increase in the population of rodents during bamboo flowering may also be seen as a natural phenomenon, but if man had not intervened and directly impacted on the composition of wild life, then the menace posed to the food grains planted by man may not have been that severe.

Every species of animal are no longer safe in their environs. From the snakes to the wild cats and other creatures that feed on rodents, everything has been hunted down the years and what we see today is a complete break down in the food chain of nature.

Not only rodents, we can also link the growing mosquito menace on the manner in which frogs of different species have been caught to end up on the table as delicacies.

The point we are trying to stress is that along with the remedial and preventive measures taken up by the Government following the bamboo flowering phenomenon, it is also equally important for the people to realise that they too have an important role to play.

And the first step towards this is to respect nature and not interfere in its system which may have an adverse impact on the food chain.





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