Hunting reserve falls prey to encroachmentDhorpatan Hunting Reserve, which is spread over 250 hectares across Baglung, Myagdi and Rukum districts, has been gradually losing large swathes of its land to encroachment for the past several years.
Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, which is spread over 250 hectares across Baglung, Myagdi and Rukum districts, has been gradually losing large swathes of its land to encroachment for the past several years.
According to Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve, till 2012, around 175 hectares of reserve’s land had been encroached while in Myagdi and Rukum, 60 hectares and 16 hectares of was encroached respectively.
The Reserve has not kept records of encroachment since 2012, but officials say encroachment has been rife these days.
Tulasiram Subedi, senior game scout, said locals have indiscriminately encroached upon the reserve land. “We have not been able to anything despite knowing that there has been encroachment,” said Subedi. According to the Reserve, excessive encroachment can be seen in Nisheldhor, Taksera, Dhorpatan and Gurjaghat areas.
Chief Conservation Officer Ananath Baral said people excessively encroached upon reserve land during the Maoist insurgency.
The then Maoist rebels had established “a military training centre” in the Reserve, said Baral.
There are around 3,000 houses near the reserve area.
“Those who are encroaching upon the Reserve land are not landless people, they are locals with strong political affiliation,” said Subedi.
Yam Bahadur Kayat, headmaster of Bobang Secondary School, said “well-connected people” are involved in encroaching upon the Reserve’s land.
“We have limited human resources to check such activities,” said Kayat.
Besides encroachment, illegal hunting and smuggling of animal body parts are other challenges the Reserve staff are facing. Most of the households living around the Reserve possess home-made weapons, according to Reserve officials who said locals are also involved in killing animals in the reserve area.