Kiphire District is endowed with a conglomerate of the bountiful treasures of the Saramati Range – a trekking paradise; the rich Biodiversity of Fakim Wildlife Sanctuary; Limestone Caves in Mimi, Khongjiri, and Salomi villages; the resources and aquatic life of Zungki, Tizu and Likhimro rivers and the rich mineral resources at Pokphur and neighbouring villages.
FOREST TYPES & FOREST COVER OF KIPHIRE DISTRICT
The recorded Forest area in the State is 55.62 percent of the geographical area of the state. According to the legal classification protected and unclassified forests constitutes 5.55 percent and 93.56 percent respectively. Shifting cultivation is widely prevalent in the district. Most of the forest under the unclassified category is privately owned in the state. The major Forest Types occurring in the state are Northern Tropical Wet Evergreen Forests, Northern Tropical Semi Evergreen Forests, Northern Sub-Tropical Broad Leaved Wet Hill Forests, Northern Sub-Tropical Pine Forests, Northern Mountane Wet Temperate Forests, and Alpine Forests. As per the Forest Cover Map of the District prepared by GIS CELL under the Department of Planning & Co-ordination, Kiphire District have 2.37 sq km of Very Dense Forest, 329 sq km of Dense Forest, 561sq km of Open Forest and 0.29 sq km of Scrub Forest. Mount Saramati is the highest peak in Nagaland with a height of 3,841 meters and its range forms a natural barrier between Nagaland and Myanmar. The mountain range is covered with rich, natural and diverse forests, visible at various altitudes, ranging from Sub-Tropical Evergreen and Semi Evergreen to Temperate Broad Leaved and Alpine Vegetation.
OVERVIEW OF THE DISTRICT’S FLORA AND FAUNA (BIODIVERSITY)
Kiphire is one of the districts in the state where the natural habitat of the indigenous plant and animal species are still intact in comparison with some other more ‘advanced and urbanized’ districts. The rich biodiversity of the district is yet to be fully surveyed and scientifically catalogued. However, a cursory glance at the plant and animal life maybe mentioned as follows :-
Important trees found in the district are, Bonsum, Bogipoma, Khasi Pine, Oaks, Amari, Gamari, Hollock, Nahor, Uriam, Alder, Kachnar, Sasi, etc. A good variety of Orchids like Blue and Red Vanda, Rhododendron in White, Red and Yellow which are not commonly found in other parts of the State are also found in Saramati and Jhinkhu mountains.
Fauna:Animals such as Hollock Gibbons, Panther, Jungle Cat, Bison, Sambar, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Slender Loris are commonly found. Rare animals like Kayak, Bears, and Bees of various types and wild Mithuns are also found in the Saramati Forest during summer. Some important Birds found in the District are, Indian Horn Bill, Grey Pheasant, Jungle Fowl, Green Pigeon, Doves,Tragopan etc.
FAKIM WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
Fakim Wildlife Sanctuary lies at the foot hill of Mt.Saramati under Pungro Sub-Division, 79 Kms away from the District Headquarters. This 641 Ha area of virgin forest was notified and declared as Fakim Wildlife Sanctuary by the state Government on 16th January 1984. This Bio-diversity rich area is home to the State Bird Blythe Tragopan and many other floral and faunal species. This tract of pristine dense forest is linked with Myanmar on the Eastern side and serves as an important corridor for movement of animals and plant species. The Fakim Sanctuary receives high rainfall and houses some of the rare species of Flora & Fauna.
COMMUNITY EFFORTS IN CONSERVATION
Some of the proactive conservation efforts by the Village Councils, Student Bodies, and various Stakeholders have significantly ushered in changes and productive results. The approach to the conservation, however vary between villages and imposition of penalties for violators too vary which is usually in terms of financial payments. The concept of Community Forest Reserve in the District could best be exemplified as seen in the of case of Tethuyo Village, under Longmatra Circle, Kiphire District.
Some of the pertinent challenges and predicaments that impede the conservation efforts at the local level include ownership of land and land use pattern such as excessive jhum cultivation. Such land use practices have a negative impact on migration and extinction of plant and animal resources. The other restraining factor concerns non-co-operation of villages that do not have any conservation policy within their jurisdiction.
The mineral rich opheolite belt of the Indo-Myanmar continental plate runs through the district. Consequently, the district is endowed with fairly rich mineral resources like extensive deposits of high grade Limestone, Magnetite and various Dimensional/Building Stones spread all over the district. This however may not be exhaustive because the prospect of mineral inventory is expected to rise after thorough prospecting in other locations in the district. The available Minerals in respect of their occurring locations are listed below:
|Mimi; Salumi; Kamkur
|Mimi and Luthur
|Seyochung, Rishitsu, Chanchore, Old Monger, Kisetong, & other areas
|Boulders &Silty Sand
|River sides of Züngki and Thanaki rivers
|Mimi- Pungro- Salumi road
|Name of the Officer
|Shri. Rama Shankar, IFS
|Divisional Forest Officer
|Shri. M. Lima
|Shri. Siechutho Katiry
|ACF & Incharge- Kiphire Forest Division