Poaching doubled during lockdown, says wildlife trade-THE HINDU-07-06-2020
It points out that reports of poaching for consumption and local trade have more than doubled during lockdown. The report, however, mentions that there was no evidence of stockpiling of wildlife products for future trade. The researchers analysed compared media reports of poaching incidents in a six-week period before the lockdown with those from six weeks during the lockdown .
The second group of animals where there was a marked increase in poaching was ‘small mammals’, including hares, porcupines, pangolins, giant squirrels, civets, monkeys and smaller wild cats. “Cases against this group 17% to 25% between the pre-and lockdown periods,” the report pointed out.
Interestingly, there was a slight decrease in the incidence of bird-related seizures, which dropped from 14% to 7% between the pre-lockdown and post-lockdown periods. There was less reporting of poaching and illegal trade in tortoises and freshwater turtles, with almost no seizures of these species during the lockdown period.
Even though there are reports about pangolins being linked to the COVID-19 crisis, the report states that pangolins were targeted by poachers in various parts of the country. “Live pangolins Manis spp.
A total of 222 people were arrested for poaching related cases in the lockdown period, which is significantly higher than the 85 suspects who were arrested during the pre-lockdown phase. The outcome of this study indicates that “despite efforts by law enforcement agencies, wild animal populations in India are being subjected to additional threats during the lockdown period”.