August 19, 2016

Hunting depletes monkey population in Rakhine State

A boy feeds a monkey. Photo: Myitmakha News Agency
A boy feeds a monkey. Photo: Myitmakha News Agency

THE hunting and selling of primates in the Kyauktaw Nature Reserve, Rakhine State, has cause a drop in the population of the species, according to a local pagoda trustee group.
The one square mile area in the vicinity of the pagoda trustee group has been designated as a nature reserve for the last decade, with the number of primates in the nature reserve estimated at around 1,000.
“There are some cases of monkeys being killed by hunters, but [their dropping numbers] are also caused by a scarcity of food and forest migration. It can be estimated that there’s only going to be about 600 monkeys left in the environment surrounding the stairways of the pagoda. The hunting of monkeys should be effectively prohibited,” said U Maung Win, the head of the pagoda trustee group.
Difficulties arise in the prosecuting of hunting monkeys within the nature reserve as it has not been officially recognised by the government, only demarcated by the local pagoda trustee group. As such, no legal action has been taken to date.
Over 30 animal species rely upon the nature reserve as their natural habitat, while hunters prey on rarer animals, which are then sold to restaurants and alcohol shops in local villages and those further afield, said U Saw Maung Thein, a local resident of Lamadaw Village .
Various species of monkey living in the area live off bananas and other snack fed to them by visitors to the pagoda. — Myitmakha News Agency


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