Stray dogs are a major threat to endangered species of blackbucks and chinkara besides peacocks in Hisar region. Nearly 78 per cent of the total 2,682 wildlife animals have fallen prey to dogs in past five years. Shockingly, blackbucks and chinkara deers which are on the brink of extinction are primarily dying due to attacks by dogs.

As per an RTI report procured by Akhil Bharatiya Jeev Raksha Bishnoi Sabha president Vinod Karwasra here on Monday, in view of the prevailing conditions, the wildlife comprising of animals which are under the category of protected species and included in Schedule-I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, fear extinction in the region.

The Hisar division, including Hisar, Fatehabad, Sirsa and Bhiwani districts, located along the Rajasthan borders used to be the abode of thousands of blackbucks, chinkaras and other wildlife creatures. However, with shrinking forest cover and spread of human settlements, the wildlife species are falling prey to stray dogs which have penetrated into the forests along with humans.

Of the total, 411 blackbucks died in the past five years out of which 362 of them were mauled to death by dogs. Similarly, 29 of 35 chinkaras fell prey to dogs in these four districts. The records indicated that of 68 recorded deaths of peacocks, 25 died of dog attacks and 12 were hunted down by the poachers while 23 of them died due to some disease and eight of them died because of some other reasons.

Giving a district wise break-up of dog attacks leading to death of animals, Karwasra said in Hisar district, which recorded 216 causalities of blackbucks, 201 of these were mauled to death by dogs.

Wildlife officials maintained that population of various species of deer, including blackbucks, chinkara and gazelle, besides Neelgai and other animals had come down drastically over the past years in the region for falling prey to stray dogs. Last year, there were reports of nearly 850 incidents of attack by stray dogs, informed a wildlife official.

Karwasra said wild animals reside mostly in agriculture areas and abandoned panchayat land, especially in Adampur, Balsamand in Hisar district and Badopal area in Fatehabad. “This has been a thickly populated area of blackbucks and other species. But there has been a spurt in dhanis (hamlets) as farmers have started constructing houses in the outskirts. They also keep dogs at these dhanis. Besides, deer, which mainly live in forest and sand dunes, have almost vanished with the spread of agriculture areas,” he said.