Friday, February 8, 2008

NGOs mull steps to curb poaching

Hitarth Pandya | TNN

Surat: Environment watchdogs admit that there have been no sustained efforts on part of forest officials to stop bird poaching rampant in South Gujarat. Most activists believe that there is lack of awareness among villagers, who play crucial role in communication link. Villagers in these wetlands say that they are not aware about legal repercussions of poaching.
According to Goldy Gandhi of Surat Nature Club, “In the past, we have tried to keep a couple of volunteers at weircum-causeway, but it proved to be an expensive affair in terms of time. Further, by the time we locate poachers at one end of the river and reach the other end, poachers have already escaped. Now, we have taken a different way to stop their activities. We first organize snake shows in villages to attract local villagers and once they are taken into confidence, we use them as part of our information network.”
Poachers, on the other hand, have no clue about such activities. “We are concerned about our business and we never trust anyone. We don’t even speak to strangers who pose as clients simply because they could be spying,” says a poacher in Nani Kakrad. Another fisherman from Andhra Pradesh who has settled in a small hutment in Variyav in Surat said, “Nobody comes here. It is a known fact that Bihari migrants kill birds, but we don’t see anyone preventing them from doing so.” Interestingly, TOI team found a bunch of Egret feathers making it evident that the bird was killed.
Darshan Desai of Prayas, an NGO, says, “Generally, poaching takes place in winter when migratory birds arrive in unprotected wetlands scattered over thousands of kilometres. NGOs have no legal power to stop any person from poaching, as preventing the person would mean stopping a person physically. Manning the wetlands is very difficult. Therefore, it requires a well-designed and organised campaign to identify and safeguard key wetlands in winters. It should be a joint effort of the government and the NGOs.



Anonymous said...

I have seen young boys are working as volunteers for prayas have lots of problem at home and their studies...prayas can take care that the students should not be disturbed and they can volunteer during vacations...

Anonymous said...


I am student from the University of Glasgow in Scotland, and I would really like to help save the Asiatic Lion.

Is there anyway I can voulenteer?

my email address is -