Poaching Increased During Lockdown
- 04 Jun 2020
- 4 min read
Why in News
According to a report released by the TRAFFIC, there has been a significant increase in reported poaching of wild animals during the lockdown.
- The report was named as ‘Indian wildlife amidst Covid-19 crisis: An analysis of poaching and illegal wildlife trade trends’.
- The analysis was carried out by comparing media-reported instances of poaching during a six-week pre-lockdown period (February 10 to March 22) with those from six weeks during the lockdown (March 23 to May 3).
- Incidences of poaching increased to more than double during the lockdown period. The increase in poaching incidents was for consumption and local trade.
- Poaching of ungulates (a group of large mammals with hooves), hunted mainly for their meat, saw the highest increase during the lockdown period.
- Poaching of small mammals such as hares, porcupines, pangolins, giant squirrels, civets, monkeys and smaller wild cats also showed a marked increase.
- Among big cats, nine leopards were reported to have been killed, against four in the pre-lockdown period.
- Several protected Chinkaras (Gazella bennettii), were reported to have been poached in Rajasthan.
- Chinkara is a protected species under the Schedule 1 of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
- IUCN Status: Least Concern.
- Despite being linked to the Covid-19 crisis, Pangolins were targeted by poachers in various parts of the country.
- However, some species, like tortoises and big cats, which need transportation of trafficked parts have not been poached because there was no transportation available.
- Seizures of wild pet-birds also reduced due to lack of transportation and market.
- Issues Involved:
- If poaching of ungulates and small animals remains unchecked it will lead to depletion of prey base for big cats like tigers and leopards.
- This in turn will lead to higher incidences of human-wildlife conflicts.
- It will lead to depletion of the ecosystems and undermine the significant successes that India has achieved in the field of wildlife conservation.
- TRAFFIC is a leading Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network and non-governmental organisation working globally on trade in wild animals and plants in the context of both biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.
- It is a joint program of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), created in 1976.
- TRAFFIC focuses on leveraging resources, expertise and awareness of the latest globally urgent species trade issues such as tiger parts, elephant ivory and rhino horn.
- It is the world’s leading conservation organization and works in more than 100 countries.
- It was established in 1961 and is headquartered at Gland, Switzerland.
- Its mission is to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth.
- WWF collaborates at every level with people around the world to develop and deliver innovative solutions that protect communities, wildlife, and the places in which they live.