Sunday April 22, 2018
Home India India’s...

India’s Assam State Endeavors to Halt Rhino Poaching

Kaziranga National Park is home to the world's largest population of the rare rhinos, with more than 2,000 of the species

3
//
256
Rhinoceros Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Republish
Reprint

The newly elected government of the northeast Indian state of Assam has launched plans to crack down on the poaching of the area’s famed one-horned rhinos.

The state’s Kaziranga National Park is home to the world’s largest population of the rare rhinos, with more than 2,000 of the species. While overall poaching deaths have dropped over the last few years, a series of rhino killings this year has led the new government to renew anti-poaching efforts.

The state’s new environment minister, Pramila Rani Brahma, said Saturday that local police have been asked to join the offensive against poaching. Previously, Kaziranga’s forest rangers and anti-poaching staff handled this responsibility on their own.

Brahma said allegations that some park staff may be involved in the trade in rhino parts were also being investigated.

On Tuesday, as Brahma and other officials visited Kaziranga to discuss the threat of poaching, a female rhino was shot dead by poachers in the vicinity.

Follow NewsGram on FacebookNewsGram2

In April, poachers killed a rhino at the 480-square-kilometer (185-square-mile) park hours after a visit by Britain’s Prince William and his wife, Kate.

The royal couple had spent several hours at Kaziranga in hopes of drawing attention to the plight of endangered animals, including the park’s one-horned rhinos.

All five of the world’s rhino species are under constant threat from poachers seeking their horns to sell on the black market. Demand is high in countries such as China and Vietnam, where people mistakenly believe consuming rhino horns can increase male potency. It does not.

Follow NewsGram on Twitter- @NewsGram1

This year, eight rhinos in Kaziranga have been killed for their horns, after 17 were poached in 2015.

Despite the threats, Kaziranga is a conservation success story. The reserve had 75 rhinos in 1905. In 1966, the number of rhinos in Kaziranga was put at 366. According to a 2015 estimate, the number has risen to 2,401. (Source: VOA)

ALSO READ: 

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2016 NewsGram

  • AJ Krish

    Protection of wildlife especially the endangered once must be put on top of everything.People who engage in poaching must be punished severley as only then can we eradicate it.

  • Paras Vashisth

    It sounds very good and I wait for the day when all the state government bring such type of actions for prevent the animal species.

  • devika todi

    Kaziranga is indeed a conservation success story. the statistics are a proof of that.
    poaching of endangered animals should be stopped immediately. before we know it, our ecosystem will suffer yet again, because of careless and unmonitored actions of the humans.

  • AJ Krish

    Protection of wildlife especially the endangered once must be put on top of everything.People who engage in poaching must be punished severley as only then can we eradicate it.

  • Paras Vashisth

    It sounds very good and I wait for the day when all the state government bring such type of actions for prevent the animal species.

  • devika todi

    Kaziranga is indeed a conservation success story. the statistics are a proof of that.
    poaching of endangered animals should be stopped immediately. before we know it, our ecosystem will suffer yet again, because of careless and unmonitored actions of the humans.

Next Story

Conservationists Sound Alarm As India Loses 106 Leopards in 2 Months

The Indian leopard is listed as "vulnerable" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List

0
//
41
leopard
According to Dehradun-based WII, there are at least 9,000 leopards across 17 states where tigers are also found. Pixabay

By Kushagra Dixit

A staggering 106 leopards have died in the first two months of this year in forest areas across the country — a number that conservationists and officials said was alarmingly high for the “vulnerable” feline species in India.

According to the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), which compiled the data, the maximum number of deaths was due to poaching as evident from seizures of leopard hides and other body parts. Only 12 of the big cats died of natural causes.

Uttarakhand tops the list with 24 leopard deaths, followed by Maharashtra (18) and Rajasthan (11). The incidents of mortality were reported from 18 states.

leopard
According to official records, a total of 431 leopards died in 2017. These included 159 incidents of poaching. Some 450 big cats died in 2016 and 127 of them were found poached. Pixabay

ALSO READ: Infrared Cameras Capture Rare Wild Amur Leopards and Siberian Tigers in China

Leopards have been targeted by poachers for their expensive hides and other body parts. However, habitat loss, especially due to farming, has posed a new threat to them.

According to experts involved in tracking illegal wildlife trade, an animal skin changes lots of hands before it reaches a possible market in China where it can fetch around Rs 50 lakh — sometimes even higher than that.

A poacher in India sells it to a procurer for about Rs 3-4 lakh. It reaches a trader in Nepal or other neighboring countries where it is sold for Rs 8-10 lakh. The traders in Nepal and other countries then smuggle an animal hide to China — notoriously considered the hub of wildlife black-marketing. By the time it reaches the final trader in China, an animal hide can get Rs 40-50 lakh, experts told IANS.

leopard
The WPSI said there are 10 possible general causes for leopard deaths. Of 106 leopard deaths so far this year, 36 were without clarity on what caused the deaths. Pixabay

ALSO READ: 2016 in Retrospect: Poaching at all-time High, but the number of Tigers still Rose

There were 23 cases of seizure of hides, skulls, and claws. But in such cases, it is usually not known if the animal died a natural death or it was killed for some of its parts and then the body left behind.

However, there were 18 cases of clear poaching. The clarity on such deaths comes because there are clear signs of gunshot wounds or trap marks or poison found on an animal’s body.

The WPSI said eight leopards died in road or train accidents in January and February this year; five were killed by villagers; seven of fighting with other leopards; five were killed by tigers or other animals.

Two of them died in rescue operations or treatments, and one due to electrocution — and one was shot dead by a police official in Uttar Pradesh.

leopard
Besides this, four leopards were rescued alive from smugglers in Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, the WPSI said. Pixabay

 

“The number is unusually high. We don’t see such a large scale of killing or mortality in such a small span of time. It’s a bad start in terms of wildlife conservation,” Tito Joseph, a programme manager at the WPSI, told IANS.

ALSO READ: Conservationists design Fake Leopard Skins in South Africa to Save the Wild Animal

Y.V. Jhala, a senior scientist at the Worldlife Institute of India (WII), said the number could actually be higher because the available figure is what could be detected or reported.

However, the actual leopard population is unknown as no assessment is done in other states like Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, and Jammu and Kashmir where incidents of leopard sighting are random.

The Indian leopard is listed as “vulnerable” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List. It is protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. (IANS)