The number of wildlife poaching incidents in India has risen sharply during the lockdown, according to a report by Traffic, an organization working on wildlife smuggling. The incidence of poaching for meat-eating and local smuggling has more than doubled, the report said.
A study on poaching incidents in the country during the lockdown period has been published by Traffic in its report ‘Indian Wildlife in the Covid-19 Crisis: Analysis of Poaching and Illegal Wildlife Trading Trends’. The report notes an increase in poaching incidents during the lockdown, despite consistent efforts by wildlife law enforcement agencies. The report is based on media reports of wildlife hunters published six weeks before the lockdown (from February 10 to March 22, 2020) and six weeks after the lockdown (from March 23 to May 3, 2020).
The wild animals like rabbits, salinders, pangolins, shekru, udmanjars, wild cats, monkeys and other small mammals have been preyed upon in the lockdown. Some of these animals are in great demand in the international market for wildlife trafficking. But, during the lockdown, these animals are hunted only for meat. Six incidents of poaching of these animals were reported before the lockdown.
During the lockdown, 22 cases were reported. Leopard hunting has also increased during this period. During the lockdown, 222 people have been arrested in poaching cases by various law enforcement agencies across the country.
Poaching instances reported in the district, state
The poaching instances were also reported in Peth, Harsul, Surgana and other parts of the district. The district instances were also reported that the poaching was conducted for the meat of the animals like wild boar, monitor lizard, rabbits and other small mammals. The state of Maharashtra has also topped in the poaching reports. The highly endangered species of Shekru and Pangolins were also killed during the lockdown in the state.