In order to keep the sustainability of biodiversity, wildlife conservation activities are being carried out in the Hponkanrazi Wildlife Sanctuary, the centre of the world’s ecosystem, which is located in Machanbaw, Putao and Nagmon Townships, Kachin State where the N Mai Kha (or) Maykha and Mali (or) Malikha Rivers originate.
The Hponkanrazi Wildlife Sanctuary has been a vital glacial region of the global ecosystem among ASEAN countries since various biodiversity — glacial animals, indigenous birds, ice fishes, medicinal herbs, varieties of orchids and hibernating birds — are inhabiting it.
The Hponkanrazi Wildlife Sanctuary contiguous with the Hkakaborazi National Park is a grazing place for the world’s rare water-birds, black-necked cranes. They come from Mongolia to the Hponkanrazi Wildlife Sanctuary in October and November and stay and rest there for about a fortnight or a month to replenish food and water. Then, they move on to the Hukawng Valley, Indawgyi Lake, Inlay Lake, Moeyungyi Wetland and other natural lakes in Myanmar to hibernate. Then again, they rest in the Hponkanrazi Wildlife Sanctuary in March and April and fly on to the North Pole of the world and Mongolia.
Biodiversity conservation activities are being done at the Hponkanrazi Wildlife Sanctuary as in the Hkakaborazi National Park. It is known that there are difficulties in restoring wildlife habitats, due to being short-staffed and budget requirements. The fruits of the long-term development of the nation’s Hkakaborazi National Park and Hponkanrazi Wildlife Sanctuary will be enjoyed by posterity, by holding awareness talks to residents, doing maintenance by patrolling, regularly collecting species and populations of birds, mammals and ice fishes, carrying out research activities and conservation activities for medicinal herbs and wild animals.
“Hibernating birds are not there (the Hponkanrazi Wildlife Sanctuary) anymore. They are now resting in the lakes of Myanmar. Takin, clouded leopard, red goral, red panda, Asiatic black bear, western hoolock gibbon, jerdon’s minivet and monal are rare species. Hornbills live in healthy forests, so we can predict the natural state of the Hponkanrazi Wildlife Sanctuary. Wildlife conservation activities are being conducted by the existing staff. The beauty of the Hponkanrazi Wildlife Sanctuary will last forever if we cooperate with the locals and preserve it for generations,” said Warden U Thein Htay of the Hponkanrazi Wildlife Sanctuary.
There are 36 mammals, 370 bird species, 360 butterfly species, 82 amphibians and reptiles, and 42 local fish species in the Hponkanrazi Wildlife Sanctuary. Myanmar collaborated with scholars from the United States, South Korea and Nepal on plant and biological conservation, and research activities. After 2021, activities were temporarily suspended due to the global pandemic. As Nepal is an ice-covered region, the cooperation with the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development- ICIMOD in Nepal contributed a lot to research activities on global climate change and mutations in wild animals and plants.
If more domestic and foreign tourists enter the Hponkanrazi Wildlife Sanctuary and the Hkakaborazi National Park, which are located in the far north of Myanmar, it will further develop tourism and support the socio-economic development of the residents. As it is the peak season for the ice mountains in PutaO, local tourists and mountaineering teams flock to visit. Therefore, efforts are being made to sustain biodiversity in the Hponkanrazi Wildlife Sanctuary, the centre of the global ecosystem.—Nyein Thu (MNA)/CT