Hyderabad: Increasing instances of wildlife deaths in the city in recent weeks raise safety concerns for wildlife. Activists say it is high time the state government pulled up its socks to ensure safety of wildlife and Nature Conservation.
Around 50 spotted deer and over 10 wild boars were found dead in the summer season at lakes in the Hyderabad Central University Campus. These deaths were mostly due to stray dog attacks, hunting, and poaching.
Due to less greenery, deer are easily targeted by poachers as well as stray dogs. The main challenge for any state forest department including that of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh is to identify the consumers of wildlife trade and educate them, or come down hard on them through the wildlife protection act.
Sumanth Madhav, campaign manager for Wildlife, Human Society International/India, said, “Often, birds such as parakeets and small mammals like Malabar Giant Squirrel being sold in pet shops are ignored on assumption they are exotic species not covered under the act. This happens due to lack of training for ground-level staff on identification of the species in trade that are protected under the wildlife protection act. In addition, a centralised crime database would help the enforcement agencies identify repeat offenders so that information can be presented before the judicial system for suitable action.’’
“Most important, however, is the need to stress on the importance of education and awareness of the general public. As more and more of the general public are made aware of the illegal sale of wildlife both online and offline, the enforcement agencies will have more eyes on the ground to detect the illegal trade,’’ he said.
L Subhadra Devi, deputy conservator of forests (DCF) and In-charge of WildLife Telangana, said, “The main challenge we face is in relation to birds such as parakeets used by fortune-tellers. Many a time, when we catch hold of these fortune-tellers, even educated people ask us why we are harassing these poor people. They are not aware that even birds are getting harassed. People are also not aware that a few birds and animals are not allowed to be kept as pets. So, the biggest challenge for us is to create awareness among people. Regarding the UoH deaths, we are holding a meeting soon with officials to check instances of wildlife deaths at the university. The university should tighten security to avoid poachers as well as stray dogs.’’...