Published On: Sun, Jul 13th, 2014

Protecting crocodiles, otters

PRESS RELEASE

SANGHAR, SINDH: The nature conservationists of Sanghar town of Sindh have showed enthusiasm to protect the worldwide threatened animals, specifically marsh crocodiles and smooth coated otters, which are under threats in the only remaining habitat Chotiari and Nara wetland Complex.
During a meetings with local communities at their villages organized by Sanghar-based non-governmental organization Center for Rural Change (CRC), which has launched a ‘Community-led conservation of Marsh crocodiles & Smooth Coated Otters at Chotiari and Nara wetland Complex in collaboration with UNDP-GEF Small Grants Programme.

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The initiative aims to contribute on marsh crocodile and smooth coated otter conservation efforts in Nara and Chotiari wetland Complex through awareness raising activities. CRC will also design and disseminate the information regarding marsh crocodiles and smooth coated otter and their conservation issues in the target area.

CRC team led by its Programme Coordinator Bux Mangrio and Project Manager Punhal Sirewal visited four villages of Chotiari and Nara Wetland Complex to give orientation regarding the initiative to the local community.

The visiting nature conservationists briefed the villagers on the significance of these species, marsh crocodile and otter for wetland’s health. During the information sharing local activists at village Ghulam Hussain Leghari and Natho Khan Mallah at Chotiari wetland confirmed the presence of marsh crocodile and smooth coated otters in the Nara area and said since the people are unaware there is need to have frequent meetings with the villagers to save the species.

Similarly, the presence of smaller population of both the reptiles and mammal exists in the wetland and the people have seen the presence in the scattered villages.

It was also discussed that now when these areas host these species, the community people should respond effectively to help the conservationists and avoid hunting, poaching and other harmful actions. Because, these species are no more in other areas of the province, they should be protected for maintaining the health of Nara valley ecosystem.

Community people ensured their full support to the CRC team to play their role for the wildlife protection from outsiders as well as local hunters. CRC also asked the community to be alert as they are the naturally custodians of these endangered species, birds, mammals, reptiles and insects.

It is the old practice that the humans are more hostile to kill the common and uncommon animals and reptiles. In result, there has been fast decline in their population. Similarly, habitat loss is another problem, which has disturbed these wildlife species.
CRC team is forming groups within the target villages to be alert for the protection of these species. The nature conservationists has also appealed to the local people, who themselves show love to wildlife species to come forward for taking joint action to save the natural assets in the area.

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