3 booked for poaching seven Himalayan monals in BaijnathUpdated: Feb 15, 2020 22:34 IST
Himachal Pradesh forest authorities booked three people for poaching seven Himalayan Monal birds from a village near Baijnath town of Kangra district on Saturday.
The accused are Parakram of Gwaltikker village, and Ram Singh and Suresh Kumar of Suhru Kandral village.
Forest range officer Ravinder Kumar said a team of forest officials patrolling the forests near Uttrala intercepted three people and found seven dead monal birds – three male and four female – in their bags. The poachers were taken to the forest range office and the police were informed.
A case under provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, was registered against the accused at Baijnath Police Station.
The monal, which belongs to the pheasant family, is poached for its colourful plumes. It is the national bird of Nepal, where it is known as the ‘danphe’, and the state bird of Uttarakhand. It was also the state bird of Himachal Pradesh until 2007. Its colourful crest is used to decorate caps.
Though hunting the monal (lophophorus impejanus) was banned in Himachal in 1982, there has been little check on its poaching and its plumes are easily available in the market.
Wearing a cap with a monal crest is a tradition in upper reaches of Himachal. Such caps are also gifted on auspicious occasions, especially marriages.
The state government, last month, imposed a complete ban on Himachali caps fitted with the monal’s crest.
As per orders issued by the chief minister’s office, anyone found wearing a cap with a monal’s crest may face up to seven years in jail.
Though, the bird is one of the least concerned species in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s list of endangered species, the monal is under threat in this part of the Himalayas due to large-scale poaching.