Apoorva Joshi

PhD student - Information and Media; Environmental Science and Policy @Michigan State University

Independent journalist -

Environment, Science, International

20 Animal Skins Seized in Uttarakhand

http://sify.com/news/20-wild-animal-skins-seized-in-uttarakhand-news-national-kgevOedghaa.html



Skins of 20 wild animals were seized in Uttarakhand's Uttar Kashi district Friday, an NGO said. One person has been arrested.

Bullet marks were found on all the 14 skins of gorals, five skins of barking deer, and one of Eurasian otter, the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) said in a statement.
The NGO helped the forest department in seizure at Singoni village.

A poaching gang is currently operating in the region and is suspected to have been involved in the killings. 'One person has been arrested in this connection,' the statement added.
The grey goral, a goat-antelope, is found in the Western Himalayas, and the barking deer or Indian muntjac is found across India except Jammu and Kashmir, the desert areas of Gujarat and Rajasthan and the high Himalayas.

Otters are carnivores specially adapted to living an aquatic life and are found in riverine ecosystems in many parts of India. Like tiger and leopard body parts, otter skins are in high demand in illegal Chinese markets.

All these species are protected under the Wild life Protection Act. Crimes involving these species are punishable with imprisonment.

Poaching is one of the main conservation threats to goral, barking deer and otter. The killing of prey species such as goral and barking deer is also a threat to big carnivores that live in the area.

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