Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Continued Poaching in Armenia Shocks Conservationists

Easy Game: Armenian conservationists alarmed by continued poaching of Red Book species
The Armenian mouflon is one of several animals threatened by ongoing poaching.

A recent report has shown that conservationists and environmentalists in Armenia are in a tremendous shock over the continuing poaching of wild animals. On the other hand, those in charge of Armenia's wild places insist that such cases have been decreasing year by year. They also assure that the nation is committed to protect wild animals in the Red Book of Endangered Species. One of them is Aram Aghasyam, head of the Department of Preserves of the Environment Ministry's Bioresources Management Agency. In an interview, he explained that measures were taken in recent years to ensure protection in such areas where the activities were rampant. Among the measures included recruitment of more personnel, provision of vehicles and fuel, etc.

Bezoar ibex
But conservationists still stress that poaching cases occur more frequently, especially in unprotected areas that house endangered species. It has been estimated that an average of five to six cases of poaching occur each month. Most are connected to poaching of fish and crabs. A recent data for the first six months of this year revealed 71 violations. Among those violations included poaching of two bezoar goats near the town of Kapan in the southern Syunik Province. Three people were arrested on suspicion of killing the animals which were included in the Red Book. One of them confessed to the killing of the goats with an illegally kept rifle. Although legalized hunting is allowed in Armenia by the Ministry of Environment Protection, environmental officials say that it is the only time when poaching decreases. An environmentalist named Karine Danielyan pointed out to the condition of Lake Sevan. In her own words, the lake has become "fishless" because of years of uncontrolled fishing and poaching. She further added that the absence of fish led to decline in the lake's water quality, and it is swamping. In addition to that, it is the same problem in forests, in which the areas have declined and food sources of animals like wolves diminished and forcing them onto people's turf.
File:Ursus arctos syriacus.jpg
Syrian brown bear

I'm very much appalled by this news. Here you have authorities in charge of national parks and other protected areas, who insist that the amount of poaching has reduced significantly due to "effective" measures. But on the other hand, there are environmentalists and conservationists who insist based on their studies and data they collected which show that the threat of poaching still persists. I have a feeling that Armenia is not living up to its goal in properly protecting and preserving its wildlife. I firmly believe that authorities should learn from what the environmentalists, and use those findings as a way to further enforce their actions. One of the techniques would be to identify unprotected areas known for having endangered species, and protect them. Right now, legal hunting season is currently going in Armenia. At this time, there are probably no signs of poachers or any illegal activities. But one can never be certain. Some of these individuals can be desperate, and use this time just to blend in with licensed hunters to carry out their dastardly deeds. I personally think that one of the ways to battle this would be vigilance. Locals should collaborate with environment officials, and report any suspicious activities. In addition to that, such illicit activities will affect the tourism in the country. Places like Lake Sevan consists of several popular beach resorts, and with poaching of fish and crabs, the quality of the lake will become swampy for the tourists. This is why I feel that Armenia is in a great need of help regarding its wildlife.

View article here   

No comments:

Post a Comment