LETTERS: Save Bengal Florican

Bengal Florican, declared a critically endangered bird species by the IUCN had their primary habitats across the subcontinent, including Nepal, Bhutan, India, Bangladesh and sporadic populations reported from South China and SE Asia. Unfortunately,  severe habitat encroachments by the exploding human populations in the subcontinent as well as in the SE Asia; and their heavy dependence on forest resources for daily sustenance have wiped out the populations of this majestic species drastically. The species is believed to be already extinct in the wild in South China, Bangladesh and Myanmar due to relentless hunting, habitat destruction and habitat fragmentation. The largest wild populations are now reported only from East (eastern UP, Bihar, Jharkhand & WB) and North East (Assam and Arunachal Pradesh) India and along the Indo-Nepal and Indo-Bhutan borders; and a separate population is reported from the Indo-China region (Cambodia and Vietnam).  By far, India and Bhutan appears to be the last safe refuge of this beautiful species due to successful conservation initiatives by the regional governments and local dedicated NGOs.  Although seen quite frequently in the past in the foothill regions of Nepal bordering India;  the sightings has turned to almost nil in the past decade. It would be extremely unfortunate to find the species extinct in the wild in Nepal. I request the wildlife authorities and avian enthusiasts of Nepal to come forward in establishing a captive breeding program for Bengal Florican for successful multiplication of this critically endangered species and introducing them back to their wild habitats in the foothills of Nepal. Other subcontinent nations have been successful in the reintroduction of the species, and Nepal could do too if we all come forward to save this majestic species.

Saikat Kumar Basu, Canada

No excuse

It is always the general people hardest hit and compelled to bear the brunt of the cheating mentality of business community when crisis befalls in the country.  Since the unofficial blockade imposed by India on the supply of petroleum products Nepali business communities are making excuse of an acute shortage of daily commodities. With the excuses, black marketing is on the rise despite the fact that the government had already directed its concerned agencies to strictly monitor the malpractices around the festive season. Shopkeepers both in the cities and the remote parts of the country are overcharging for the supply of daily commodities. Just yesterday, I was forced to pay Rs. 160 for a liter of cooking oil for which, earlier, I used to pay Rs. 120 though I had warned the shopkeeper of reporting to the concerned authorities for overcharging. Individuals like me have no other option than to pay the amount.

Concerned authorities should understand that this is not the case with me alone. There are tens of thousands people like me facing the same difficulties to afford  the commodities for daily use.

Som Nath Ghimire, Kawasoti