Locals get involved to save park wildlifeCommunity involvement has increased wildlife conservation and patrolling works in the Chitwan National Park (CNP) of late.
Community involvement has increased wildlife conservation and patrolling works in the Chitwan National Park (CNP) of late. People living in buffer zones are working together with the Nepal Army soldiers to patrol the park’s territory and its adjoining community forests.
There are 21 buffer zone consumer committees and one sub-committee working with the CNP. “Each committee has formed a group whose job is to control wildlife poaching and smuggling of animal parts. These groups work closely with the Nepal Army soldiers to patrol the park territory,” said Nurendra Aryal, assistant conservation officer and information officer of the CNP.
Local groups have also been formed to monitor the community forests close to the park.
“I saw the Nepal Army soldiers doing hard work when I joined their regular patrol during last year’s general elections. So I decided to assist them to make their jobs easier,” said Surajan Shrestha of Sauraha.
These days, young men and women are patrolling the forests in Chitwan and Nawalparasi alongside the NA soldiers.
“We joined the patrol duty with the aim of conserving plants and animals from poachers and traffickers,” said Doma Paudel, a member of Mrigakunja Buffer Zone Consumers Committee.
According to the CNP, the park has lost only two rhinos to poaching in the last five years, which is significantly fewer compared to the past.
“If we take the record from beyond the past five years mark, we can clearly see how vulnerable the park animals were from poachers. Community involvement and heightened security have helped us significantly lower the poaching incidence,” said Aryal. The CNP is home to 605 of the total 645 rhinos in the country.