Wildlife at the Nongkhyllem Protected Reserve Forest is under constant threat from poachers from nearby villages who often indulge in illegal hunting in the area.
What is more concerning is that most of the crimes are committed with the help of licensed weapons holders of which are far too many in the neighbouring villages.
The Range Forest Officer of Nongpoh Wildlife Range on Sunday said that as per reports from the informers, people residing in the fringe of Nongkhyllem often use their licensed weapons for illegal hunting inside the protected area which is abundant in wildlife and has porous accessibility from the village.
According to Range Forest Officer, four units of anti-poaching squads comprising of forest and home guards along with local trackers are campaigning to counter the threat.
Recently, the squad of Nongpoh Wildlife Protection Unit apprehended a poacher identified as Marles Mukhim of Umtasor village inside the Lumkdait forest which falls under the Nongkhylliem Reserve Forest.
One SBML licensed gun, cartridges and porcupine meat were seized from his possession.
Forest official said that Dorbar Shnong of nearby villages including Umtasor, Kynjoin and Umran will be apprised of the situation since there are many license weapon holders in the villages.
Records have shown that 90 per cent of the arms seized so far from the poachers inside the protected forest are licensed weapons.
“If the local institutions do not comply then licenses for weapons like SBBL and rifles of all caliber, licenses should not be renewed but declared as government property and surrendered to the nearest Police station,” the Range Forest Officer added.