Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Sunday, Mar 30, 2003

About Us
Contact Us
National
News: Front Page | National | Southern States | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |

National Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

'Sangai' threatened by unbridled poaching

By Our Correspondent

IMPHAL MARCH 29. The brow antlered deer, locally known as Sangai, is a rare species and is found only in its natural habitat, the Keibul Lamjao National Park in Manipur.

A census conducted in 2000 in the park showed that there were just 162 deer (54 stags, 76 hinds and 32 fawns). With reports of unbridled poaching, their population must have dropped yet again, say wildlife enthusiasts.

It is said that just six deer were sighted in 1953 when nature-lovers thought that the particular species had become almost extinct. However, it took two decades for the Government to declare the natural habitat a national park in 1972. A census conducted by the wildlife wing of the Forest Department in 1975 and 1990 showed that the Sangai population stood at 14 and 76 respectively.

The fear that this rare deer will be hunted to extinction vanished somewhat when two notorious poachers, N. Joykumar and Salam Tomba, were whisked away by insurgents in January soon after they were released on bail by a court. The insurgents set free some trapped migratory birds and warned that the poachers would be given exemplary punishment to save the deer from extinction.

People in the villages surrounding the Loktak lake (of which the Keibul national park is a part) have been, for generations, earning their livelihood by fishing and selling edible water plants. It is not possible to prevent them from entering the lake for fishing. In the guise of common fishermen, hardened poachers also enter the lake and hunt down the deer. The meat is sold at Rs.50 a kilogram. There have also been reports of some "drunken" policemen killing birds and animals in the park.

A proposal was mooted to shift some of the deer to sanctuaries in Assam where they have a better chance to multiply their population. But this was rejected on the ground that the food the deer eat — floating biomass — is not found in any sanctuary in any other State. In fact, when the authorities shifted some of the deer to zoos elsewhere in the State, they contracted diseases because they could not be fed floating biomass.

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

National

News: Front Page | National | Southern States | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |

Copyright 2003, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu