The Himalayan Times, 26 Aug 2017
An eight-year analysis report prepared by District Forest Office, Kathmandu, showed that the leopard remained the most poached animal in Kathmandu Valley.
According to the report prepared from 2008 to 2015, leopards accounted for 34 per cent of the animals poached, while red panda accounted for 21 per cent of all wildlife crimes. Likewise, rhinoceros accounted for 10 per cent, pangolin seven per cent, bear eight per cent, tiger six per cent, Himalayan musk deer five per cent, civet four per cent and elephant three per cent of wildlife crimes.
District Forest Officer Indra Prasad Sapkota said leopard and red panda were the most targeted animals in Kathmandu. “What’’s more worrisome is that Kathmandu has become a transit point for wildlife traffickers,” he told The Himalayan Times.
According to the report, wildlife crime in Kathmandu increased by 4.8 times from 2008 to 2015. In 2008, just eight cases of wildlife crime were recorded in Kathmandu, while it reached 39 in 2015. Kathmandu Valley witnessed eight, six, 17, 31, 30 and 39 cases of wildlife crime in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively. Most wildlife traffickers arrested during the period were from Kathmandu and its adjoining districts such as Nuwakot, Dhading and Kavrepalanchowk. Most of the traffickers were between 26 and 40 years of age.
The reprot shows that most of the wildlife traffickers were from Nuwakot. According to DFO, 43 wildlife traffickers arrested during the period were from Nuwakot, 41 from Kathmandu, 33 from Dhading, 31 from Kavrepalanchowk, 29 from Sindhupalchowk, 25 from Makawanpur, 16 from Rasuwa and 12 from Gorkha.
It also shows that Gongabu, Kalanki and Machhapokhari were the most common places where wildlife traffickers looked for prospective clients.