Powered by Blogger.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

CHIRU: The endangered Tibetian Antelope

No comments :

WILD birds and animals form important links of the long chain of our natural environment. If any one kind of animal (or plant) disappears due to human activities, the chain will be broken. It will lead to an imbalance in the environment. And any type of imbalance is sure to cause great challenges to the existence of other organisms of the environment.

Hunting and killing of various types of birds and other animals for sports, meat, skin, fur, feathers, ivory etc. have put the lives of our remaining animals in great danger. Many of our important birds (like DODO) and animals have disappeared due to hunting, killing and trade in their body parts. Such is the tragic story of CHIRU, the endangered Tibetan antelope. This animal is found in some of the harshest regions of Tibet and China. It is a creature of very shy nature, and usually it is very hard to capture this animal. However, nothing is more powerful than the death. People engaged in the illegal trade of soft hair of chiru capture the animal and kill it mercilessly. The fine and soft hair of chiru are used in making shawls that are famous for their warmth and softness. This is the reason behind the illegal international trade of the "Shawls of Shame" made of the hair of chiru by merciless killing of the poor and innocent animal.

One Kg of the hair of chiru (also called as Shahtoosh) can fetch up to Rs. 60, ooo. It has been reported that Queen Elizabeth wore one Shahtoosh Shawl to Prince Edward's wedding and Ms. Julia Roberts, the actress, wore a Shahtoosh Shawl during the premier of the film "Runnaway Bride'.

A ban on the trade of Shahtoosh has been imposed since 1991. Still some rich people in India and abroad are said to be in possession of Shahtoosh Shawls. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the Indian Wildlife Protection Act has placed CHIRU in the RED-LIST. The trade of killing chiru and selling Shahtoosh went of hidden up to 1980 and no one could trace a link between chiru and Shahtoosh shawl. By that time the number of chiru had fallen from over too million to about 75000.Though Chiru is not an Indian animal, it is criminal to encourage trade in its hair in India, along with other countries. Under Section 38 of the Wildlife Act, Shahtoosh obtained from the Tibetan Antelope known as Chiru is the property of the state. Chiru is now a protected animal under the Central Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. India is a signatory to CITES under which any kind of import or trade in animal articles made or derived from Shahtoosh is prohibited.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.