Wildlife poaching, smuggling under check in Shuklaphanta

- BHAWANI BHATTA, KANCHANPUR

Mar 4, 2018-

A surge in conservation efforts from security forces and local communities has led to decrease in incidents of wildlife poaching and timber smuggling at Shuklaphanta National Park (SNP). 

According to the SNP data, the number of reported incidents of poaching and smuggling in the park in the current fiscal year dropped to five, down from 20 last fiscal year. “Four poaching cases of spotted deer, wild boar, peacock and tortoise as well as a case of timber smuggling were reported in the past nine months. We are investigating into these cases,” said Acting Chief Conservation Officer Gopal Bahadur Ghimire. There has been no incidents involving poaching of major wild animals like tiger, rhino and elephant in the park for the past five years, he added. 

Conservationists estimate the number of various wild animals, including that of tiger has increased in the protected area that stretches in 305 square kilometres in the district. As per the last tiger census held in 2013, there were a total of 198 tigers in the country of which 17 were in the SPN. 

Besides the efforts from the SNP and security forces deployed in the area, the role of the local communities have been crucial in curbing poaching and smuggling. “As well as patrolling the protected area, we have been carrying out awareness campaigns. This has gone a lone in educating the local people about the importance of flora and fauna,” said Bishal Chaudhary, the chairman of youth task force under Shobhatal Buffer Zone Group.    

The task force comprising local people in the buffer zones have been actively involved in wildlife conservation for the past few years. They have been organising various awareness programmes like conservation classes, awareness rallies etc. During the fourth anniversary of national youth awareness campaign held on Saturday, Ghimire and other conservationists hailed the task forces efforts in controlling poaching and smuggling of wildlife in the region. 

Published: 04-03-2018 07:53

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