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Lesser-known wild species targeted by Poachers: Experts

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 11, 2014 - 00:31

Zee Media Bureau

Kolkata: Pangolins, monitor lizards, mongoose, spiny-tailed lizards, and mariner turtles are some of the lesser-known wild species falling on prey of the poachers. Our country`s wildlife is slowly witnessing the extinction of these species, according to wildlife experts.

“While the threat posed by illegal wildlife trade to tiger and Indian rhinoceros are well publicised, many of India`s lesser known species are also rapidly vanishing because of poaching, yet their fate remains largely under the radar," Shekhar Kumar Niraj, head of NGO TRAFFIC, said in a release.

TRAFFIC is working globally on Trade in wild animals and plants.
The released added that in India, hundreds of pangolins, lizards and tortoises are poached every year. An estimated of 700,000 birds are illegally trapped, and about 70,000 tonnes of sharks are caught. The exploitation on these species are rarely reported.

“Systematic monitoring by surveys and enhanced field initiatives like identification guides for enforcement personnel and greater sensitisation efforts through the media could be the way ahead for ensuring that wildlife in India reflects beyond the tiger in all glory,” says Wildlife Crime Control Bureau`s joint director Kamal Dutta.
Executive director of the Wildlife Protection Society of India`s Belinda Wright says focus has been on mega species while the lesser-known animals valued in illegal wildlife trade are being quietly and systematically wiped out.

She further states that professional tiger poaching gangs in some areas are now focussing on the lucrative pangoline trade. This is a tragedy in making and we must do something about it before its too late.

(With PTI Inputs)

First Published: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - 22:59
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