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POST TIME: 11 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Lawachhara wildlife needs protection

Lawachhara wildlife   
needs protection

It is disturbing to note that the wildlife of Lawachhara National Park, a major park in Moulvibazar district, is declining fast due to acute food crisis and habitat problem. The wild animals are coming out of the park and entering localities in search of food. Once out, they are either getting killed by local people or being crushed under the wheels of motorised vehicles in most cases as there are railways and roads inside the forest area. Sources at the Wildlife Management and Nature Conservation Department of the Forest Department said around 50 wild animals were recovered from the forest and its adjoining areas in the last eight months. Among them, seven were found dead. This is not only occurring in Lawachhara forest but also other forests of the country.

In 2017, a total 16 wild animals were found dead among 187 recovered animals. The highest number of animals -- 47 -- was killed in the forest in 2016 among 230 recovered ones. However, WSF claimed that at least 20 wild animals were found dead in the last six months in the forest and its adjoining areas. Among them were barking deer, pythons, snakes and monkeys. Poaching of wild animals is going on unabatedly. Wild animals are also endangered due to the threat to bio-diversity stemming from denudation of the forests, looting of forest resources rampantly by bandits in connivance with a section of dishonest forest department officials and members of law enforcing agencies.

The importance of wild animals of a country is immense for maintaining the balance of nature, environment, ecology and biodiversity.  According to global environment experts, the accepted standard is that a country must have at least 25 per cent of its total land area covered with forests to maintain the ecological balance but our country has now 13. 2 per cent forest coverage, but the environmentalists said it is an inflated figure as the real forest coverage will not be more than 7-9 per cent.

Killing of wild animals must be stopped at any cost. Vigilance of the members of the law enforcement agencies must be intensified to stop poaching of wild animals. Mass awareness should also be created for the protection of wild animals.  The government should take necessary measure to augment afforestation in the country. For the safety of the animals, it is necessary to think about alternative to rail tracks and roads that passed through Lawachhara forest. The rail tracks and roads through the forest are nothing but ‘death traps’ for the wild animals. There is no alternative to relocating the train lines and roads.