Speakers at a discussion yesterday urged the government to take immediate measures to save endangered wildlife, including by stopping the consumption of endangered varieties of frogs and snakes.
They also expressed the need for enhancing the government's capacity to tackle the illegal trade of wildlife, which has seen a massive rise in recent years.
The calls were made at a program to mark World Wildlife Day, organised by the Bangladesh Forest Department at its office in Agargaon, Dhaka.
Jahangirnagar University Zoology’s Prof Monirul H Khan said many endangered species, including certain types of frogs and snakes, were being killed for food by certain sections of the population, a practice which should be stopped for the sake of conserving biodiversity.
To illustrate his point, Monirul said: “The price of one kilogram of pork in the Chittagong Hill District was Tk200, as opposed to Tk250 for the same amount of Frog Flesh. This shows the high demand for frog in the area, where it is considered to be a delicacy.”
He suggested that the government enforce the existing Bangladesh Wildlife Protection and Safety Act 2012 properly, to avoid the spread of such illegal consumption, killing and trafficking of endangered wildlife in Bangladesh.
Echoing the professor, Bangladesh Representative of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Ishtiaq Uddin Ahmed said proper enforcement of the act will help curb wildlife poaching and trafficking for food and other commercial purposes.
According to the Wildlife Crime Control Unit (WCCU), a total of 37,039 wild animals and birds were rescued from traffickers by law enforcement agencies between June 2012 and November 2016.