Commuters say that the signboards could attract poachers

Forest: Signboards along the Ura-Nangar bypass providing information on different places and species of birds and animals are inappropriate, say commuters.

Commuters said that the signboards could benefit poachers although put up for a good cause.

“As the area falls under the park, its obvious that there will be different species of birds and animals,” a commuter, who wished not to be named, said. “Providing such information would only attract more poachers.”

Another commuter, who also did not want to be named, said birds like the Monal pheasant and Blood pheasant can be seen along the road as people drive.

The commuter said that placing such signboards could have more negative impact than the intended purpose. “It’ll be easy for poachers to locate where these birds can be found,” he said, adding that there are people who poach these birds for various reasons.

Phrumsingla National Park’s (PNP) chief forest officer Ugyen Namgyel said that as it is a tourist area, the signboards were meant for tourists, who complain that they can’t see any animals in the park area. “The signboards provide information on when these birds can be seen in the identified places,” he said.

Ugyen Namgyel also said that people have to weigh the pros and cons of the signboards. “Local people know where these birds could be found but not the tourists who come here to watch them,” he said.

He said there are also some other endangered species of animals but that their habitat locations are not revealed. “We are also mindful of what we are doing and received different views on these signboards,” he said.

“We discourage people living along the road to rear dogs as they could harm these birds,” he said, adding that the birds do not have much value in the black market.

The signboards placed at different points along the road provide information on the habitat of the Red Panda, and Monal and Blood Pheasants.

Nima Wangdi | Bumthang