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Twenty Wild Animal Skins Seized


04 June, 2010
 
New Delhi: The Forest Department of Uttarakhand, assisted by the Wildlife Protection Society of India, seized 20 wild animal skins today at Singoni village in Uttar Kashi district, Uttarakhand. The seized items include fourteen goral skins (Naemorhedus goral), five barking deer skins (Muntiacus muntjak) and one Eurasian otter skin (Lutra lutra). Bullet marks were found on all the skins.

The enforcement team, led by Mr. Giridhar Sonar, Divisional Forest Officer of Upper Yamuna Forest Division, arrested one local person in this connection. It is believed that an organized poaching mafia is currently operating in the Western Himalayas in Uttarakhand.
 
The grey goral, a goat-antelope, is found in the Western Himalayas, and the barking deer or Indian muntjac is found through out India except Jammu & Kashmir, the arid/desert areas of Gujarat and Rajasthan and the high Himalayas.
 
Both these species are protected under law and are listed in Schedule III of the Wild life Protection Act. Crimes involving these species are punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years, and a fine which may extend to twenty five thousand rupees, or both.

Otters are carnivores specially adapted to living an aquatic life and are found in riverine ecosystems in many parts of India. They are listed in Part II of Schedule II of the Wildlife Protection Act. Offences committed in relation to this animal are punishable with imprisonment for a term between three to seven years, and with a fine of ten thousand rupees or more. Like tiger and leopard body parts, otter skins are in high demand in illegal Chinese markets.
 
Poaching is one of the main conservation threats to the goral, barking deer and otter. The killing of prey species such as the goral and barking deer is also a threat to big carnivores that live in the area.


 

 

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