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Urgent Action Needed: Joint survey uncovers threats to endangered Shirui Lily in Ukhrul

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Urgent Action Needed: Joint survey uncovers threats to endangered Shirui Lily in Ukhrul

Special Correspondent
Ukhrul, May 26:

In a bid to recognize and mitigate the increasing threats posed to the state flower, the Shirui Lily, by climate change and other environmental factors, a joint team of Ukhrul-based journalists and concerned department officials conducted a comprehensive spot survey on Saturday at Shirui Kashong, the habitat of the state flower.
This initiative, a collaborative effort of the Ukhrul District Information Office (DIO) and the Ukhrul District Working Journalists’ Association (UDWJA), aimed to document the current state of the endangered lily and raise awareness about its precarious situation. The team’s first-hand observation sought to understand the impact of environmental changes on the survival of the lily, which has become increasingly vulnerable in recent years.
Ukhrul DIO Wungkhan Shimray commended the local journalists for their proactive role in spearheading this crucial initiative. He acknowledged the growing concern surrounding the lily’s vulnerability due to climate change and other detrimental factors. “It is imperative that we take immediate action to preserve our natural heritage,” Shimray emphasized, pointing out the significant role of media in raising awareness and driving conservation efforts.
UDWJA President Addie Chiphang expressed gratitude to DIO Wungkhan Shimray for his support in organizing the survey. He highlighted the importance of the trip, which was made possible through the provision of necessary resources, ensuring the team could conduct the survey successfully. “Our mission is to bring the plight of the Shirui Lily to the forefront and mobilize efforts for its conservation,” Chiphang stated.
Upon reaching the peak, the team was greeted by a breathtaking Majestic yet scattered array of blooming Shirui lilies, many of which were already showing signs of wilting. This sight underscored the urgency of the conservation efforts required to protect the lily’s fragile ecosystem.
Discussions with local villagers revealed that the blooming season was nearing its end, and some plants had already started shedding their petals for the current season. The team also observed the challenging conditions under which the lilies thrived amidst the dense undergrowth of ‘Maram,’ a mini bamboo-like plant native to Kashong. The villagers shared their concerns about the Maram plant, which they believe poses a significant threat to the survival of the rare lilies.
An elder from the village explained that the extensive root system of the Maram plant inhibits the sprouting of lily bulbs, hindering their propagation. “The uncontrolled spread of Maram has drastically diminished the available habitat for lily growth,” he lamented. This problem, he noted, has been exacerbated by the suspension of annual controlled burning on the peak, imposed by forest regulations. Controlled burning, which was traditionally practiced, helped manage the spread of Maram and maintained a balanced ecosystem conducive to the growth of Shirui lilies.
While the survey team navigated the sweltering conditions prevailing on most of the hilltops, they found that the highest peak, Shongshang, remained mostly enveloped by chilly winds and sudden cloud cover. This variation in microclimates further highlighted the complex environmental factors influencing the growth and survival of the Shirui Lily.
The survey underscored the pressing need for a multi-faceted approach to conservation, integrating traditional knowledge with modern scientific practices. The involvement of local communities, who possess invaluable insights into the ecosystem, is crucial for the success of any conservation strategy. By fostering collaboration between local stakeholders, environmental experts, and government officials, a sustainable solution can be devised to protect the Shirui Lily.
Furthermore, raising public awareness about the significance of the Shirui Lily and the threats it faces is paramount. The media, through its reach and influence, can play a pivotal role in mobilizing public support for conservation efforts. Educational campaigns, documentaries, and interactive sessions with local communities can help build a collective consciousness towards preserving this natural treasure.
The one-day spot survey of Shirui Kashong conducted by the joint team of Ukhrul DIO and UDWJA marks a significant step towards understanding and addressing the challenges faced by the endangered Shirui Lily. It serves as a clarion call for immediate action to protect this unique species from the adverse effects of climate change and other environmental threats. By working together, we can ensure that the Shirui Lily continues to bloom in its natural habitat, symbolizing the rich biodiversity and cultural heritage of Ukhrul.

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