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Poaching is the principal threat to wildlife after habitat fragmentation. It prevails due to local venison consumption and use of organs and other body parts for traditional medicine. Tigers, elephants and leopards are hunted to meet the demand of high value wildlife products such as skin, nails, bone and tusk to cater to the international trade market.
High meat yielding large-bodied ungulates and primates are the principal targets of local poaching. Spotted deer, sambar, muntjacs (barking deer), chevrotian (mouse deer), wild pig, gaur, and smaller mammals such as giant squirrel, porcupine, pangolin and civet are regular targets of local poachers. Birds like pigeons, hornbills, and peafowl are also not spared. The impacts of poaching are ruinous. It is a threat that directly reduces the number of animals in an area and several species could be locally stamped out due to poaching. Hunting of herbivores has a direct effect on carnivore's numbers as they are directly dependent on them for food.
Poachers use telephone wires and motor bike cables as snares, the most popular tool for hunting, that are set on forest paths regularly used by animals. Snares are effectively used for hunting spotted deer, sambar, barking deer, mouse deer, wild pigs and other herbivores. Often large, critically endangered animals like tigers and leopards also get caught and die in snares. Use of locally made firearms is another popular form of hunting. Though many people do not own a firearm, they are borrowed from others with whom they share the bounty for lending shotguns. Smoking out species such as porcupines, pangolins out of resting burrows, baited explosives are used to hunt pigs, beating of drums and hunting dogs are engaged to corner and hunt muntjac, wild boars and blacknaped hares are all common hunting practices. Water laced with poison is kept in earthenware pots at vantage points to kill wildlife and eliminate carnivores that threaten livestock. Water holes, fruiting trees and crop lands bordering forests are favourite spots for hunting wildlife.
Jaw traps are laid to hunt large carnivores like tigers which have high value in the international bone and skin trade market. The use of jaw traps is prevalent in north India. Once caught in jaw traps they are beaten with clubs or speared through the mouth to obtain undamaged pelts.
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