Many might not know, but Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary (NWS) in Ri Bhoi, is a treasure trove for wildlife enthusiasts. Carved out of the Nongkhyllem Reserve Forest, with an area size of 29 sq km, Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary bagged the best “protected area” award by a report on management effectiveness evaluation (MEE).
Successful conservation efforts in the sanctuary are attracting many researchers and tourists from far flung areas and when The Meghalayan reached the sanctuary to take stock of the conservation efforts, Range Forest Officer (RFO), Leening Wahlang said that their model of conservation exercises participatory approach involving the government, local communities and citizens.
“We involve children, organise painting competitions, there are lot of singing and dancing to spread awareness about conservation, and it is working. Whole villages participate in conservation here,” said Wahlang.
Speaking about the sanctuary, Biang La Nam Syiem, a PhD researcher at Deakin University, Australia, said, “Nongkhyllem is the only remaining contiguous old growth forest in Ri Bhoi district, and holds a very important position for conservation.”