By Pawan Yadav
Catapults have been banned inside Baghauda region of Chitwan district to protect the bird species and wildlife against poaching. The prohibition was enforced by the young people of Baghauda.
Renu Bhusal, secretary of the Madi-Baghauda Forest Users’ Sub-committee, said poachers are usually active in the region from mid-July to mid-August, and to protect birds and wildlife, the young people of Baghauda and the members of local forest users’ groups started the campaign.
Banning catapult is also expected to reduce the incidents of poaching at the hands of the locals. Farmers taking a break after the season’s harvest and students on summer vacation have been found entering the forests and hunting birds and animals in the past.
“We had taken it upon ourselves to conserve the wildlife and bird species as some of them are on the verge of extinction,” Bhusal said. She added the concerned people have also formed a group to patrol the forests daily.
Prabhu Prasad Mahato, chairperson of Baghauda Buffer Zone Consumers’ Committee, said many vulture, owl, and other bird species that were a common sight in the village in the past have disappeared in the recent time.
“They were wiped out mainly because of unchecked hunting and poaching activities over the years,” he said.
To discourage children from using catapult, Mahato said, they have been distributing copies and pens to children in exchange for their catapult. The children are also taught about the importance of birds and wildlife, he added.
Devilal Poudel, chairperson of the Someshwor Community Forest, said they were also keeping a close watch on the use of toxic chemicals to kill fish in rivers. He said use of chemicals endanger the animals and birds that occasionally stop at rivers to either catch fish or drink water.