Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Road kill or are we taking the lives of wild animals for granted....?

Contributed by my fellow conservationists from Royal Manas National Park

 Road kills – Not sparing even a new record.

Chinese Ferret Badger (Melogale moschata) March 2010
In March 2010, Royal Manas National Park (RMNP) claimed Small-toothed Ferret Badger aka Chinese Ferret Badger (Melogale moschata), a new record in the country. Caught in one of the traps set during mammal survey training in RMNP, this species was published in Bhutanese media as welcome addition to country’s rich faunal diversity (cf. Kuenselonline, March 7, 2010).  Since then, the staff of RMNP closely monitored its habitat within and adjoining park boundaries to assess its population and distributions. The park staff encountered this species for the second time on the National Highway at Ipoli-khola about four kilometers from Gelephu town (close to new airport construction site) in November 2011. This time, the park staff collected as the first death specimen of Small-toothed Ferret Badger, a species reported as new record a year ago. The location and nature of kill revealed that an adult member of this species was run over by the speeding vehicle.

Road kill – October 2011
With expansion of road network and increasing traffic, more incidences of road kills are observed on highways inside and outside the protected areas. For wildlife management inside the protected areas, roads cause both positive and negative impacts. While the roads merely provide access to monitor habitat and wildlife population, they also form ecological barrier for movement of wildlife. Wildlife-vehicular collisions are proving fatal for conservation of many fauna species.
Habitat lost due to various developmental activities including roads is one of the major threats to the conservation of bio-diversity and survival of the animal. We are not sure how much of the roads kill draw the attention of the road users but our observation reveals Road kill, october 2011that such incidents are frequent in and adjoining park areas. Many of the incidents go unrecorded, as we do not have reporting system in place. No matter how many new record we add to our biodiversity list, with such road kills taking place elsewhere in the country, there are chances that some species may go extinct even before they are being discover. RMNP pledges all the road users to take precautions while driving and have compassion to these innocent creatures, which they share, habitat with us. They too have right to existence and fear for death like every one of us. Help to protect our wildlife species to protect the eco-system.

Source : RMNP, Gelephu

Road kill – October 2011


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