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Biodiversity & Environment

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).

Key Points

  • 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.
World Wildlife Fund
  • 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.

Source: IE

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