Biodiversity conservation envisioned to livelihood development in Nagaland
Nagaland is located in one of the twenty five hotspots of the world in terms of biodiversity. It has a rich and varied heritage of biodiversity owing to its varying physiographic and geo-climatic conditions favourable for luxuriant growth of vegetation in both flora and fauna. It varies from tropical rain forests to alpine vegetation and from evergreen forests to sub-tropical climatic region. A study of Biodiversity conservation was carried out mostly from Kohima and Mon district, villages are namely Viswaema, Jakhama, Kigwema, Mima, Phusama, Jyotsoma, Khonoma, Mezoma, Kohima, Longwa, Mon, Chengmo, Lampong Sheanghah etc. The villages are located on the top of ridges or on slopes, at altitudes of 500 to 2, 500 meters above mean sea level. The survey was conducted on the basis of random sampling. The survey revealed that 50 nos. of species of broad leaved, 22 species of Bamboo, 40 species of medicinal plants, 5 species of canes, 4 species of coniferous and 354 species of orchids were prevailing in the study area and most of them are epiphytes or lithophytes. There are about 41 species of mammalian fauna, 43 species of avian fauna, and 8 species of reptilian fauna. The faunal diversity in study area is also rich with rare birds and animals. World's tallest Rhododendron trees found in Japfu Mountain of Kohima district were recorded in the Guinness Book of World. Most of species, both flora and fauna, appears to be endangered may be due to heavy biotic pressure, interference, reckless deforestation etc. flora like Dipterocarpous macrocarpous (Hollong), Shorea assamica (Makai), Rodhodendron Spp., Mesua ferra (Nahar), Arundinaria graminifolia (Bamboo orchid) etc. Endangered fauna like the largest Asian mammal, Elephant, Melurses ursinus (Sloth Bear), Prionodon pardicolor (Spotted linsang, Tiger-civet), Panthera tigris (Tiger), Macaca assamensis (Assamese macaque).
Study revealed that most of the species, both flora and fauna, appears to be endangered due to heavy biotic pressure/interference and reckliess deforestation.some exotic flora and fauna species has already became extinct. Some flora and fauna are also preserved by the Naga society. They have taken lots of conservation practices like Pani-kheti, bamboo drip irrigation, Terrace cultivation, community land ownership; Zabo farming system, Alder based farming system, and green manuring. This type conservation practices and farming systems has increased at least three times higher socio-economic return of Nagaland than any other conservation practices. Hence, bio-diversity of Nagaland varied with fertile soil, agro-ecological situations of plains as well as valleys, hills, tilla land, immense water resources, human resources of ethnic diversity and cultural groups, could be potential sources for economic development of Nagaland and the north east region as a whole. To preserve the bio diversity of the state, ecology and gene pool, judicious management and care of natural resources are necessary. Local systems of conservation and traditional knowledge may also to be given importance.
Biodiversity Conservation, Livelihood Development, Nagaland.