Wildlife deaths by road accidents on the rise in Parsa National ParkCrossing the roads for wild animals becomes dangerous during winter when the visibility is poor.
Wildlife death due to road accidents inside the Parsa National Park has raised alarm among conservationists, with 42 animals killed in the fiscal year 2018-19.
In the fiscal year 2017-18, 36 animals were killed in road accidents, whereas the number was 24 in the fiscal year 2016-17. Spotted deer, blue bull, wild boar and jackal, among other wild animals, are killed in accidents every year, as per the record of the park.
Ashok Ram, assistant conservation officer of the park, said that the increasing number of road kills inside the sanctuary is a cause for concern. In the last fiscal year, 75 percent of the accidents took place at the Pathlaiya-Amlekhgunj road section and 25 percent at the Pathlaiya-Pasaha road section.
Park administration blames speeding vehicles and carelessness of drivers for the rise in wild animals’ deaths. According to park officials, most of the accidents occur between November and January due to poor visibility as a result of fog.
“The animals cross the roads in search of food and water. Crossing the roads becomes dangerous during winter when the visibility is poor,” Ram said. “We have been discussing with stakeholders to find ways to curb the number of accidents.”
One of the practices adopted in national parks in most countries is issuing time cards to drivers. Time cards declare the speed and the time limit a driver has to adhere to while driving on certain sections of a road that falls inside wildlife conservation zones. However, officials at the Parsa National Park said that the time card system is impractical given the short distance of the road sections.
The Department of Roads, Nepal Army, Jitpur Sub-metropolis, traffic police, and the park authority have also shown concerns to minimise animal deaths due to road accidents.
“We have also placed information boards in various parts of the road sections to instruct vehicles not to exceed the speed limit of 40km per hour,” said Ram, adding that they are also working in coordination with security agencies to monitor speeding vehicles.