Rangunia: An unique place for biodiversity conservation and recreationSheikh Rashel Aviary and Eco-Park

-- Bipul Krishna Das and Mohammad Ali

“Sheikh Rashel Aviary and Eco-Park, Rangunia” is situated at Nischintapur Mouza of Kodala beat of Rangunia Range at Rangunia Up-Zilla in Chittagong district under the control of Chittagong South Forest Division near to the hill tracts’ border within an area of 210.0 ha.

It is 35.0 Km away from and easternly to Chittagong city and nearer to the Chittagong-Kaptai Highway. The project is nearby Chandraghona town and the renowned Karnafuly paper mill and Kaptai hydroelectricity project. And also due to good communication system, a large number of tourists usually will visit this place round the year. So, the project is already established an attractive eco-Park within this forest area by established a required infrastructures and modern tourism facilities (Ropeway-cable car, Artificial lake, Bird aviary, Deer park, Children park etc) for the nature loving tourist from home & abroad.

The projects objectives are in line with the national and sectoral objectives. Considering the country’s objectives and sectoral targets, proposed actions focus on:

(a)        Establishment of plantations in the park area to enrich bird stock and variety of the trees, herb and shrubs and

(b)        Establish and enrich facilities to attract tourists, recreation and nature lovers.

The area is characterized by natural hill forests, artificial plantations, hillocks, foot hills, tilas and scattered baid (elevated) lands. Once this hilly area was very rich in natural and valuable herbs, shrubs, trees, medicinal plants, birds and wild lives. Many of these species in course of time have become rare/extinct due to high demographic pressure, land and environmental degradations. As a result, some of the hills now are degraded. Some areas are now covered by the old Teak plantations and the recent participatory SF plantations of exotic, indigenous and native species e.g. akashmony, gamar and different long rotation species. Once upon a time the area to habitat destruction and encroachment by man. A good numbers of birds are also found there, which include doves, pigeons, magpie robin, red jungle fowl, wood peekers, owls, eagles, vulture etc. Efforts are undertaken to protect and conserve the existing, rare and endangered birds and to welcome the seasonal alien birds by establishing an aviary park as a shelter and nursing place for those birds, the ever charming part of the nature’s beauty.

 

Versatile plantations are raised to create and develop sources of foods and proper for birds (e.g existing, rare and endangered birds) in the available vacant area and during the second rotation of the existing participatory Social forestry plantation. Birds enclosures and other aviary facilities are already established while a sound habitat will exist for birds.

At present time major attraction of the park

a)         Ropeway-Cable car: The round trip of the Ropeway is already installed for the observation of the whole the natural topographic view of the park.

b)         Bird Sanctuary: Already established bird aviary and abundance with different varieties of colorful birds. Their melodious songs look like a natural paradise for bird habitat.

c)         Artificial lake: Large water bodies are created in the park where abundant with large number of colorful duck species and wetland migratory bird species.

d)         Other Infrastructure: Deer park. hildren park. Rest corner, watch tower, Information centre, Park entrance gate with model mural, Veterinary treatment centre etc.

The Bangldesh Forest Department has successfully achieved the project. All the development activities will be continuing until and unless the aviary facilities are fully established. So The “Sheikh Rashel Aviary and Eco-Park, Rangunia” – An Unique place for Biodiversity Conservation and Recreation and the outputs of the project:

Establishment of an aviary park of International standards for the preservation of birds, animals, trees, herbs and shrubs including endangered and rare species of them is to support education, research and recreations.

An eco- friendly park is established for facilitate tourism and recreation.

Bipul Krishna Das, Divisional Forest Officer and Mohammad Ali, Asst. Conservator of Forest, Chittagong South, Department of Forest.