Uttarakhand to conduct baseline survey of high altitude wildlife | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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Uttarakhand to conduct baseline survey of high altitude wildlife

The Uttarakhand forest department commencing the baseline survey of high altitude wildlife from this winter season. Amid buzz of poaching of the wild animals, Chief Wildlife Warden Digvijay Singh Khati said without baseline survey the department was in no position to say “anything”

dehradun Updated: Nov 13, 2017 19:56 IST
BD Kasniyal 
Besides Himalayan Bear, Musk Deer remains on the radar of the poachers, officials say.
Besides Himalayan Bear, Musk Deer remains on the radar of the poachers, officials say.(HT File)

The Uttarakhand forest department commencing the baseline survey of high altitude wildlife from this winter season. Amid buzz of poaching of the wild animals, Chief Wildlife Warden Digvijay Singh Khati said without baseline survey the department was in no position to say “anything”.

“Without base survey we are in no position to tell exact number of Himalayan wild animals,” Khati said, adding “to get the exact picture we will start baseline survey from this year.”

In fact last month, two local youth from Munsiyari in this border district were arrested by the special task force at Haldwani for smuggling two bear biles which is used to treat human gall bladder ailment as per traditional Chinese medical system.

The Himalayan black bear can be found at elevation of 10,000 to 12,000 feet high Himalayan meadows and comes down to 5,000 feet in winter months.

Besides Himalayan Bear, Musk Deer remains on the radar of the poachers. Musk is one of the most expensive animal products in the world that is used in the treatment of nerve related problems like seizures. During winter, the animal recedes to 5,000 feet and this is when Musk Deer become vulnerable to poaching.

Anand Goswami, a villager from Madkot who often visits high Himalayan meadows, said the numbers of Musk Deer have dwindled.

“Since 2002, I had been often visiting Panchachuli meadow to collect Yarsa Gumba. I used to spot herd of 5-6 Musk Deer and their excreta. Earlier this year, I visited meadows after a gap of seven years and could not notice neither excreta nor Musk Deer during 22 days of stay,” Goswami said.

The chief wildlife warden did not rule out poaching of wildlife during winters but adds the non visibility of any wildlife species could be due to several reasons. “It might be possible that a particular specie migrated to other portion of Himalayas,” Khati said.

Surendra Panwar, director of local NGO Monal, said species like Flying Squirrel, Fishing Cat, Red Fox, Himalayan Mouse Hare, Himalayan Bazzal are equally endangered due to poaching. “Frankly there is no action plan to save various species,” he said.