68,628 wildlife were killed in 2008 in Phek district of Nagaland

Kohima: The Deputy Team Leader of the Empowerment of People through Economic Development (NEPED) and Joint Director Soil and Water Conservation Vengota Nakro has said that a total of 68,628 animal and birds had been killed in 17 sample villages of Phek district by 293 hunters during 2008.
Speaking at the recently concluded 8th General Conference of the Chakhesang Youth Front (CYF) at Phek village under the theme ‘Biodiversity Conservation for Economic Growth,’ Nakro said out of 68,628 killed included jungle wild cat 2012, large animal 1712, small animal-17,144, large birds 5596 and small birds 42,164.
He said hunting has long been known as a primary cause of wildlife species depletion in tropical forests. But in the last few decades the problem has increased exponentially.
A study conducted by NEPED during 2003 revealed that despite the resolution of village councils, prominent civil societies such as Chakhesang Public Organization (CPO), augmented by the action of the CYF, hunting continues unabated.
He stated that a major cause for the drastic depletion of bird population is in the use of air-gun and catapult among young boys to shoot birds. ‘Trapping birds by using traps and tree gum is another cause of depletion of population of birds,’ he said.
Nakro said, while performing extensive and intensive tours across villages of Nagaland by the NEPED project staff, many villagers reported unprecedented rodent (rats) menace destroying their crops in the fields.
These villagers also pointed out that animals and birds that feed on rodent were killed by hunters resulting in the increase in the population of rodents.
In an attempt to quantify the number of wildlife killed during 2008, a survey was conducted.
On an average, only 6 per cent of the total households are involved in hunting and are responsible for the depletion of biodiversity. ‘Scientists working among tribal communities in other parts of the world patronize hunting because they are of the opinion that meat from wildlife is essential as a nutrient supplement.
But this may not be true in Nagaland, particularly among the Chakhesangs, because if it is true, then 94% of the population would have been suffering from malnutrition,’ he said.
Nakro said, the fact that 293 hunters had killed 68,628 revealed that animals and birds are still present in our jungle.
He pointed out that if the present trend of hunting continues, ‘our forests shall become empty sooner than later.’ Monthly hunting figures indicate that January, February, November and December account for 62 per cent of the killings.
These four months are dry seasons providing an ideal setting for hunting and they are also festive seasons. (UNI)

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