By Prakash Singh
BAJURA: Poaching of wildlife has increased in Bajura of late.
High hilly parts of the district including Martadi, Dahakot, Manakot, Toli, Kailashmandau, Kanda, Rugin, Chhatara and Dogadi villages are witnessing increase in wildlife poaching, according to locals.
Laxmiraj Padhyaya of Martadi said poachers become active as soon as snowfall begins in high hills. Wild animals come down to lower areas to escape effects of snowfall, he added.
Endangered animals and birds including himalayan monal (Lophophorus impejanus), kalij pheasant (Lophura leucomelanos), musk deer, himalayan goral (Naemorhedus goral), tiger and bear are falling prey to the hunters, Padhyaya said.
Local poachers even stay in jungles for one to two weeks in the winter season, he said.
Wildlife living in Badimalika, Budhinanda and Khaptad National Park come down to forests nearby human settlements in Kanda, Jaya Bageshwori, Barhabis, Kailashmandau, Rugin, Bichchhaya and other villages during the snowfall.
Local traders say poachers sell their games at local markets in district headquarters Martadi and surrounding villages.
"A himalayan monal costs Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000 whereas you need Rs 1,000 for a kalij pheasant," a local of Martadi said.
Local businesspersons and employees are customers of such games.
Meanwhile, District Forests Office said it has not received any information about poaching and trade of wildlife.
National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1973 has provisioned imprisonment from five to 15 years and fine from Rs 50,000 to Rs 100,000 for poachers.