Guwahati, Assam, India: Aaranyak, a wildlife NGO, has developed a customised database for the Manas Tiger Reserve Information System (Mantris) which will help forest officials to get information on various aspects of the range and also facilitate commoners to get an overview of the entire Manas foothill landscape. The GIS-based Mantris is designed for the entire Manas tiger reserve area. There are 18 ranges in the Manas tiger reserve covering an area of more than 2,800-square kilometres.
The system is ready and will soon be soon handed over to the forest department officials. Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the Global Environment Facility, the Japan government, the MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank funded the project.
Aaranyak Bibhuti Lahkar, project coordinator, said, “There is not enough geo-spatial data and information regarding this important biodiversity-rich area. Mantris is the first web-GIS-based database designed by the geo-spatial technology application programme of Aaranyak for this area.” He said that the hi-tech system would provide information on land use, land cover, drainage and road network, vegetation, administrative boundaries, establishments, NGO locations and forest villages within the protected area. Places of eco-tourism have also been demarcated in the system.
Lahkar said, “Mantris is the integration and management of multiple-source biodiversity-related data into the GIS domain and its main objective is to provide support to the managers, researchers, students and common people. The system would be made available to interested public on request. It would be provided free of cost.”