Several species of locally available birds and animals have of late entered the poachers’ hit list in Dhubri district.
Of late, new groups of poachers have taken to the illegal trade. They have not only extended their areas of operation, but also included new species of birds and animals to their hit list while adopting innovative methods to kill their unsuspecting prey, sources informed.
In most of the reserve forests of Kokrajhar and Dhubri districts, valuable avian species like peacocks, white-winged wood duck, pheasant, dove, drake, gander, kingfisher etc, besides lesser mammals are coming under increasing pressure from the poachers. The situation has been compounded even further by traditional loss of habitat due to rampant human interference, thus pushing the fauna to the brink of extinction.
Shamol Sanyal, a social worker of Dhubri revealed that poaching of deer for venison is a relatively new phenomenon in Dhubri district. Several deer have been covertly slaughtered in the district in recent times, he informed.
In 2010-12, 26 deer fell to poachers in Kazigaon and Bashbari reserve forests either by a revitalised gang of the notorious group, or by a new group of poachers. The methods applied to kill the animals are either by shooting with guns, poisoning, electrocution or the traditional bow and arrow. Poaching affects birds and animals in more than traditionally understood ways. It disrupts breeding, causing fights between young bulls and older males. Gunshot wounds weaken the animals, forcing them to turn to crop-raiding as an easy way of getting food.