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SOS Rhino : In the News : Govt to conserve one horned rhinos

Govt to conserve one horned rhinos

  From Basanta Parajuli

The Rising Nepal

CHITWAN: The government has stepped up efforts to conserve the one horned rhino following increasing movement of poachers in the forests adjoining the Chitwan National Park (CNP)

The Ministry of Forest and Soil Conservation organized a seminar to come up with a strategy aimed at controlling the hunting and export of one horned rhino, which is listed among the endangered fauna species.

Representatives of different political parties and conservationists participated in the seminar. The participants said that such forms of illegal hunting of endangered species reportedly go up whenever there is political instability. They called upon the local communities to show active participation with the government to help curb such illegal activities.

Addressing the interaction programme, Minister for Forest and Soil Conservation Gopal Rai reflected the need to have widespread participation from all levels of the society to control the poaching of endangered animals.

Rai's visit to CNP comes in the aftermath of the shooting down of three rhinos, of them pregnant by a gang involved in illegal trade of rhino parts.

He said that poachers had been resorting to illegal hunting of endangered animals taking advantage of the difficult political situation in the country. Rai said that people from all walks of like should extend their cooperation to control illegal hunting.

"It is high time the political parties come up with a concrete programme aimed at conserving rare and endangered animal species,"he told the representatives of different political parties gathered at the interaction programme.

He said that the Ministry would take the responsibility of implementing the conservation programmes worked out by the political parties.

Rai said the political parties must seek widespread peoples' participation to step up conservation efforts in the around the national park.

The shooting of four rhinos in the national park recently has raised a red alarm for the ministry to come up with a concrete conservation policy. Director General of National Park and Wildlife Conservation Department, Narayan Prasad Poudel asked all to remain alert towards unscrupulous elements that raise head and resort to illegal hunting whenever there is some political turmoil in the country.

Chief conservation officer of CNP, Tika Ram Adhikari informed that there were around 100 poachers who were involved in the hunting of endangered animal species in and around the CNP.

He also disclosed that 20 of them were going around with arms to hunt down animals in the forests adjoining CNP.

According to the last census there are 372 rhinos at the CNP. But last year of the 10 rhinos killed, seven of them were killed by poachers while this year three rhinos were killed within a week. Of the rhinos killed recently, one had a baby rhino of 15 months old in the stomach while one other has a surviving eight months old baby rhino.

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