SHAKEN BUT UNDETERRED! Nepal marks yet another 365 days of Zero Poaching of rhinos

Posted on
03 May 2015

Kathmandu, Nepal – Nepal marked yet another 365 days of Zero Poaching of rhinos for the period ending 2 May 2015. This makes it the third time in a span of five years that the country has been able to repeat this success.
This positive news comes amidst the eighth day since a massive earthquake shook Nepal, and it adds to the stories of hope, courage and resilience as people fight back to rebuild their lives, communities and the country at large.
“Nepal is in transition, for the better,” stated Tika Ram Adhikari, Director General of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation. “For the nation to rise from adversity, we need to work together, just as this encouraging success in conservation has shown as an outcome of collaborative working between the government, enforcement agencies, national and international conservation partners and the local communities. The Symposium: Towards Zero Poaching in Asia held in Nepal in February this year also boosted concerted efforts towards zero poaching.”
A coordinated response right from the central to the grassroots level, and heightened protection measures within Protected Areas and buffer zone and community forests, including the use of new technologies such as SMART and real-time SMART patrolling are the key contributors towards Nepal achieving the zero poaching success.
“These are trying times for Nepal and its people,” stated Anil Manandhar, Country Representative of WWF Nepal. “Stories such as this indeed shine the much-needed ray of hope for people to believe that though the ground may have shaken beneath their feet, they still stand tall, undeterred and driven to build back a country that inspires the world.”
During this twelve-month period, more than 650 arrests were made of people involved in wildlife crimes in Chitwan alone, including that of Raj Kumar Praja who was arrested by an Interpol team in Malaysia in January this year. Praja is believed to have poached 20 rhinos in a span of six years until 2010.
Nepal was able to achieve 365 days of zero poaching first in 2011 for rhinos, and for 12 months ending February 2014, for rhinos, tigers and elephants. There are an estimated 534 rhinos in Nepal as the country awaits a fresh estimate from the rhino count that is expected to be announced on 5 May 2015.