Banepa, August 7, 2015: In recent days smuggling of scales and finding the hide of pangolin, an endangered wildlife species has increased in the rural outback of Kavrepalanchok.
In course of study, Prativa Kaspal of Nepal Rural Development and Environment Protection Council, who is researching this endangered animal, said that scales and the hide of the mammal have been located at the houses of locals in some areas including Jyamadi VDC.
She said that smugglers are using poor rural farmers for their illegal trade. Most of community forests provides a safe habitat for the scaly anteater in the district, according to her. She said that Â the smuggling is found taking place in other VDCs too and focused on the need to protect the mammal which is vital for agriculture and bio-diversity.
She was of the view that members of the community forest users’ group should themselves become active in restraining its smuggling, accusing community forests of helping in the smuggling in collusion with the District Forest Office.
The animal is at the risk of extinction over past 15 years due to habitat loss, deforestation and wild-fire incidents, she said, adding, some community forests should be declared as pangolin conservation centre.
“Conservation of the animal helps increase theÂ identity of community forests, intensify a study on the animal and create job opportunities and maintain the ecosystem”,Â Kaspal said.
Sale of scales and meat of the animal is illegal and that its rise in smuggling to China during the new year of the country in particular and its demand increased during that period, Deputy Superintendent of Police Raj Kumar KC of the District Police Office said supplementing, Â two pangolins were rescued from the district in 2072 BS.
It is said, one-kilogram scales of the animal fetches Rs 100 in Nepal while the same amount costs thousands of rupees in the international market. The animal’s scales are smuggled to Cambodia, Vietnam and Congo in particular.
The Person guilty of smuggling pangolin parts faces a jail term of five to 10 years or a fine between Rs 40,000 to Rs 70,000 or both as per the law.