Thursday, November 6, 2014

Intensification in Patrolling to Repress Poaching Along Odisha's Chilika Lake

Chilika Lake

It has recently been reported that Chilika Lake in the Indian state of Odisha has undergone an intensification in patrolling around its vicinity to curb the threat of poaching. The reason is because there is a great demand for eggs, fish, and meat on the day of Chhadakhai which comes after Kartika Purnima. According to wildlife officials, there has been an increase in poaching of waterfowl that migrate down to Chilika Lake every winter from the Himalayas and North Asia. Because of the growing demand for meat on Chhadakhai, the birds are heavily poached to satisfy consumer needs in cities and towns like Balugaon, Berhampur, Bhubaneshwar, and Khorda. According to Divisional Forest Officer Bikash Ranjan Das, there are seventeen camps with ninety personnel have been established along the lake's 16-km coastline. In addition, two boats and vehicles are being used to safeguard the lake. He further added that wildlife personnel are keeping a meticulous watch on the village of Mangalajodi, Sorana, and the island of Nalabana which are known to host the winter visitors.
A flock of lesser flamingos in Chilika Lake

It is very beneficial to see what the authorities are doing to safeguard the populations of migratory birds that flock to Chilika Lake each year to spend the winter before returning back to their native homeland in North Asia. The day of Chhadakhai is known to be the time when Hindus would eat non-vegetarian dishes after spending the month of Kartika resisting the consumption of meat or other animal products. However, when the demand for meat grows high, people would turn to wild birds or other wild animals. This can have a tremendous impact on the ecosystem and wildlife of a particular wild place like Chilika Lake, which is known to be one of the key spots in India where migratory birds come down each year to spend the winter. In addition, the method of illegally poaching these birds would also affect the tourism industry of Chilika Lake, especially when birdwatchers come to view the migratory birds. While it is necessary to increase patrolling around Chilika Lake to look out for and combat any poaching activities, it is also important to raise awareness about poaching in the vicinity of the lake and educate the public about how it threatens the birds and the impact it has on the tourism industry.

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