Kathmandu, March 27
An alarmingly high number of animals from national parks and conservation areas are dying in road accidents of late.
As many as 133 wild animals died in various road accidents in the fiscal 2016/17 alone.
The report based on the data collected from nine national parks, one wildlife reservation area and one conservation area shows that roads passing through such areas have posed a serious threat to wildlife. The report was published by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation.
According to the report, Bardiya National Park recorded the highest number of animals killed in road accidents — 66 animals. Banke National Park stood second in terms of roadkill with 58 animals.
Officials of DNPWC said speeding vehicles along the East-West Highway are the cause of animal deaths in national parks. Ecologist of DNPWC Laxman Prasad Poudyal said, “The easiest way of reducing roadkill in national parks is to limit the speed below 40 kilometre per hour. But we are having a hard time making drivers abide by the rules.”
Officials of DNPWC said the number of animals dying in road accidents might be more than what the data showed.There are 12 national parks, six conservation areas, one hunting reserve (Dhor Patan) and one wildlife reserve (Koshi Tappu) in the country.
The report shows that a total of 326 animals died in the last fiscal. While many of them died due to human activities, some died due to drowning. Spotted dear, porcupines, boars, pythons, weasels and wild cats are some animals that were killed in road accidents.
According to the report, 11 animals were killed by poachers. Rhinos, wild buffalo, spotted deer, musk deer, dolphins and a snow leopard are some of the animals mainly targeted by poachers. The report also says that 23 rhinos, seven tigers and three leopards died natural death in the last fiscal.
The report issued by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation shows that 22 people were killed in animal attacks in as many as six conservation areas in the fiscal year 2016 /17.
A total of 13 people were killed in rhino and tusker attack in Chitwan National Park alone. Five people were killed by elephants in Bardiya National Park, one died in boar attack in Suklafanta National Park, and three people were killed by elephants and wild buffaloes in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Conservation.
Similarly, 43 people got injured in animal attacks and 277 domestic animals were killed by wild animals.
A version of this article appears in print on March 28, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.