Bajhang sees increase in cases of poachingLocals of Bajhang say that a large number of wild animals, including rare birds, have been killed and smuggled within the last two months from the district.
Locals of Bajhang say that a large number of wild animals, including rare birds, have been killed and smuggled within the last two months from the district.
They say poachers these days are active in areas such as Kada, Surma, Daulichaur, Rilu, Dahabagar, Lekgaun, Melbisauna and Kailash, and use home-made weapons and muskets and set up traps to kill animals.
“More than 60 wild animals—including wild boars, ghoral, jharals and other endangered species—were killed within the last month in one village alone,” said Chakra Bahadur Shahi, a representative of Jaya Prithvi Municipality, informing that hundreds of lophophorus and kalij pheasants have been killed after the start of snowfall this year. Hunters become active in poaching wildlife after heavy snowfall force wild animals and birds to migrate to lower altitudes, and can be found in the open.
Mangal Bahadur Khadka, former secretary of the Bajhang chapter of the Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal, said thousands of rare animals and birds might have been killed after the start of snowfall this year. “We have been informed that up to 150 wild species were killed in some villages,” said Khadka.
People are found selling the meat of endangered species openly in bazaar areas, including in the district headquarters Chainpur. In Chainpur, a lophophorus is sold for around Rs4, 000, whereas the meat of wild boars, ghorals and jharals costs around Rs1,500 per kilogram. Likewise, the meat of kalij pheasant is sold at Rs2,000. Even government officials, security personnel and leaders of political parties purchase the meat of such endangered species from rural areas.
Gorakh Bahadur Bohara of Kada said lophophorus and deer will soon go extinct in the area if the situation continues. “We hardly see endangered wild animals these days in our villages, as their number is decreasing due to poaching,” he said, adding that they have to go to highlands to see those animals now.
Krishna Raj Neupane, officer at Division Forest Office, said that he is unaware about the poaching and smuggling of rare animals and birds. “We have not received any complaint yet,” said Neupane, informing that he will take action against poachers if complaints are filed.