Jarawa tribe apprehend poachers

September 24, 2008

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Frustrated by the invasion of their land by outsiders, members of the Jarawa tribe of the Andaman Islands, India, have apprehended two groups of poachers in their reserve. The Jarawa tied the poachers to trees and then informed the local authorities.

The authorities on the Andaman Islands have reported a reduction in poaching on the Jarawa’s land following a series of arrests.

The invasion of their land by poachers poses a serious threat to the Jarawa, who have only had regular contact with the outside work since 1998. Entry to the Jarawa reserve by non-Jarawa is illegal without a special permit.

The arrested poachers were caught hunting and fishing in the Jarawa Reserve. Poachers are often local to the Andaman Islands, but many also come from Burma.

As well as depleting the forest and coastal resources on which the Jarawa depend, poachers risk introducing diseases to which the Jarawa have no immunity. Their regular presence on the Jarawa’s land also exposes the tribe to exploitation and to the introduction of alcohol into their communities. Alcohol has had a devastating effect on many tribal societies worldwide.

The Jarawa, whose name for themselves is the ‘Ang’, say they want poachers to stay off their land.