Hunting of protected birds, animals ‘on rise’

Hunting of protected birds, animals ‘on rise’

Feb 25, 2015-

Hom Bahadur Thapamagar, 24, of Machapuchhre-8 in the district was held around a week ago with two Kalij pheasants and two common hill-partridges at the Annapurna Conservation Area Project check-post in Sardikhola. Likewise, Dhanraj Tamang, 26, of Lwanghalel-8 was also arrested with a Kalij pheasant a month ago.

Officials said the two men had killed the birds for commercial purpose as they were on their way to Pokhara to sell their catch.

Similarly, officials earlier arrested two youths who were out for hunting at night in Ghandruk as they were caught on the camera traps set up in the area for research purposes. As the two also damaged the cameras, they were fined Rs 10,000 each and released.

ACAP officials said the trend of hunting rare birds and other conserved animal species in the protected area as well as other forests near Pokhara in the night time has significantly increased in the past couple of months.

According to a six-month research conducted by bird conservationist Tulsi Subedi, some hotels are found to be involved in the illegal sale of the meat of rare birds and animals. It has also been found that poachers are supplying them to some high-ranking government officials on demand. The authorities, however, have done little to prevent such illegal activities though the market for illegal meat continues to rise in the area.

“It is important to increase vigil and curb such activities,” said Bishwo Raj Poudel of the District Forest Office. Stating that they hunters are found to be using traps and guns retrofitted with silencers to avoid suspicion, Poudel said the transport facility available even in remote areas has further helped the poachers.

Though the ACAP officials claim that their monitoring has helped control such activities, local stakeholders say the authorities concerned have not been effective in curbing the trend.



Published: 26-02-2015 07:28

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