Thursday, June 01, 2006

Rhino, Tiger count down in Bardia

Rhino, Tiger count down in Bardia

 

Kantipur Report

 

 

KATHMANDU, June 1 - The worsening security situation has taken its toll on endangered species protected in various national parks and conservation areas in the country.

A search operation conducted by Bardia National Park beginning May 21, revealed alarming signs of decline in rhino and tiger population in Babai valley of the park, indicating widespread poaching.

 

According to a press statement issued by WWF Nepal on Friday, the team could find evidence of only three rhinos in the southern part of Babai valley, the most favorable rhino habitat inside the park.

 

Of the 83 rhinos translocated to Bardia National Park so far, 72 were released in the Babai floodplain alone.

 

During the search operation, the team also apprehended two persons from two different groups of poachers, each comprising 10 persons, armed with locally made muzzle guns, the statement said.

 

The team also seized a large cache of ammunition, over 300 kg smoked Sambre, spotted deer, and four-horned antelope meat - all favorite foods of tigers and other carnivores, making experts conclude that poachers are also after tigers.

 

Thirteen tigers had been reported in Babai in 2001, but the team could trace the existence of only three tigers during the operation.

 

Furthermore, the camera trap survey that started in January could record only 3 tigers in the Karnali floodplain of the national park and two in Khata corridor, a wildlife corridor between Bardia and Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary in India.

 

No search operation had been conducted in the area for the last two years due to the Maoist insurgency. The operation was supported by WWF Nepal.

 

Posted on: 2006-05-31 20:27:50 (Server Time)

 

http://www.kantipuronline.com/kolnews.php?&nid=75315

 

 

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