By Vimal Bhatia
The state forest department busted a sensational case of cruel hunting of spiny tailed lizards, who are on the verge of extinction, by catching three poachers and recovering 38 rare species of these lizards in half dead condition on Tuesday evening near Beermadera village in the Pokharan sub division of Jaisalmer district based on secret information they received. These poachers had caught 38 spiny tailed lizards and broken their spine. These lizards come in the schedule II list.
Desert national park, deputy director, Devendra Bhardwaj and divisional forest officer M L Sonal said these species are on the verge of extinction and they got the information that a big poacher gang of 3-4 people is poaching spiny tailed lizards by taking out from their holes in Beermadera area and are collecting them for hunting.
The forest department team immediately reached the spot and caught the poachers, namely Om Nath, Hem Nath and Kailash Nath and recovered 38 lizards from them. They had pelted stones on these lizards and had packed them in bags. The officials also took into custody other items including stones and bags that were being used for poaching.
State wildlife advisory board member Rajpal Singh said as the area of farming is increasing, the number of lizards are decreasing. In western Rajasthan, a large number of these lizards existed in Jaisalmer and Barmer's desert national parks and now their population is drastically declining such that they have been reduced to half of their earlier population.
He added that the poachers cook and eat these lizards after extracting oil (by burning their tail) from them. There are even various delicacies that are prepared using these lizards. Also, the poachers sell the oil of these lizards as an aphrodisiac, which is totally a myth.