LETTERS: No need of foreign aid

Apropos of the editorial “Straying leopards” (THT, April 17, Page 6), the problem is not so much about the wandering leopards in the city areas.

It is absolutely clear that unless foreigners come up with the aid package consisting of radio collars, emoluments, SUV, further capacity building training in western schools the leopards are here to stay and occasionally feed on domestic animals and people at the fringe of the Shivapuri National Park.

We do not need to say anything more on our indigenous capacity to be able to work on radio collars in the last 10 months! This is a proof that we are waiting for the leopards to come and eat one of us so that the foreign aid agencies will swing into action and start giving us donations.

Our government and bureaucracy is so dependent on foreign aid that they look for outside help even to carry out a simple project like controlling the prowling leopards and confine them in their natural habitat. The wildlife conservationists are also not so interested in leopard menace unless they get some lucrative project which may help fill their pockets.

There are no projects in Nepal that have been conducted independently without financial and technical help from foreign aid. The wandering leopards can be easily controlled from entering human settlements by fencing the boundaries of the Shivapuri National Park closely guarded by the Nepali Army.

Fencing of the area can be done without much fund and technical assistance from the donor agencies. But we are least bothered about doing our own job without being encouraged by others.

Manohar Shrestha, Kathmandu

Exemplary job

Nepal must be congratulated for the exemplary work for conserving critically endangered vulture species through captive breeding and releasing them into the wild “Vultures moved to Pithauli aviary” (THT, April 16, Page 5).

Only a handful of nations outside India and Nepal have attempted this endeavor. Bangladesh and Myanmar are also attempting to develop vulture conservation centers for protecting their local species.

Unfortunately, in spite of the great ecological services rendered by different vulture species across South and SE Asia; the species have been decimated to 97-98% population downfall in several species due to drugs biomagnified by feeding on carrion of cattle and livestock predominantly.

The rapid loss of large shade trees once prominent nesting sites of local vulture species have been disappearing fast due to infrastructural needs, thriving real estate and due to lack of environmental awareness among local communities.

Unless strict measures are adopted to protect the species from extinction vultures are extremely vulnerable to the changing paradigm of our time. Without human support, the vulture species across South and SE Asia have a dark and unpredictable future ahead.

Saikat Kumar Basu, Canada