Environment & Ecology
In News: A new species of old-world monkey recorded from Arunachal Pradesh has been named after a strategic mountain pass at 13,700 ft above sea level.
The Sela macaque was geographically separated from the Arunachal macaque ((Macaca munzala) of Tawang district) by Sela, the Eastern Himalayan pass at 13,700 ft (phylogenetic analysis revealed).
- Acted as a barrier by restricting the migration of individuals of these two species for approximately two million years.
- Protection Status: Not yet included in the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 of India.
- Potential threats: Hunting by locals for consumption and habitat degradation due to urbanization and infrastructure development.
- Located in
- West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh
- Will provide an alternate axis to the Sela pass (at 13,700 feet)
- On the BCT Road – the Balipara, Charduar, and Tawang axis (more than 300 km long)
- Being executed by: Border Roads Organisation
- Includes two tunnels and a link road; Tunnel 2 will be one of the longest tunnels to have been constructed above an altitude of over 13,000 feet.
- The total length of the project, including the tunnels, the approach and the link roads, will be around 12 km.
- Why does the project matter?
- All-weather connectivity to Tawang and other forward areas in the sector
- Will provide a new alignment on the axis towards the LAC, and allow movement of military and civil vehicles all through the year (Sela pass stays closed for a few winter months).
- Reduction in more than one hour of travel time from Tezpur to Tawang and travelers avoiding dangerous snow-covered Sela top at a height of 13,700 feet.
- All-weather connectivity to Tawang would be a game-changer for the local population ahead of Sela apart from the much-required strategic edge for our security forces.
- Phylogenetics relates to the evolutionary development and diversification of a species or group of organisms.
- Sela is situated between Dirang and Tawang towns in western Arunachal Pradesh.
Source: The Hindu
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