Tiger Parts Trade in Nepal
The Wildlife Crime Unit under Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police arrested Prem Bahadur Shahi with a tiger skin from Ganesh Chowk in Budhanilkantha on Wednesday morning, here in Kathmandu.
This is the fourth tiger skin seized this year in Nepal. CIB’s Wildlife Crime Unit launched their tiger operation in January 2015. The operation was geared mostly in the Mid-West and Far-West Nepal. Since then, a total of 19 seizures in 18 operations have taken place in different parts of Nepal, including the one this week. Altogether 40 men and three women have been arrested in association with tiger parts trade during the same period.
Shahi, a local resident of Chispani in Surkhet district, was arrested while trading tiger skin used for decoration, said a police source. The skin is 8*8 feet long and 2*8 feet wide from head to tail. Shahi is under investigation at the District Forest Office Kathmandu while the skin will be sent for forensic testing on Friday, Utsav Thapa, an investigation officer with DFO, told Onward Nepal.
Despite increasing efforts from all the concerned authorities and conservation partners, security agencies and local communities, tigers remain targeted by poachers.
In early 2015, CIB’s Wildlife Crime Unit launched an operation targeting the activities of Bawariyas, the nomadic community from India involved in tiger poaching and trade in major protected areas namely Bardia National Park, Banke National Park, Chitwan National Park, and Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve. Between January 2015 and March 2016, at least 14 tigers were killed, of which at least 6 were confirmed to be from Nepal.
Said the police source, “The poachers, including Bawariyas, have remained quiet for sometime due to increased monitoring and surveillance from Nepal side. However, the frequent seizure of tiger skins tells that all is not well with tiger conservation in our region.”