In June 2022, the wildlife Hazara circle foiled a bid to smuggle rare Tarantulas spider and arrested three poachers at Shah Maqsood Interchange.
The poachers were arrested by wildlife officials posing themselves as potential buyers, according to Wildlife Hazara Division Conservator M Hussain. The three poachers were fined a sum of Rs 120,000 under relevant laws of Biodiversity and Wildlife Act of 2015 besides confiscating the spider.
The seized spider is in good health and will be released soon in its natural habitat of semi dry rocky terrain. The rare Tarantulas spider was purchased by the poachers from a person in Chattar Plane area of Battagram district. The details about the seller in Chattar Plane has also been shared with DFO of Battagram who will take action against him.
Tarantulas comprise of a group of large and often hairy spiders of the family Theraphosidae and is a rare species in our region, said SDFO Wildlife Hazara Circle Nawaz. The seized spider was of black colour and large to an ideal size as of a dinner plate when the legs are fully extended.
These spiders have demand in the international market due to the use of their venom for treatment and are also kept by insect lovers as pets. Tarantulas spiders play a key role in the food chain and act as both predators and prey. They keep insects population in check which helps to control the spread of disease and they serve as valuable sustenance for birds and other small animals.
Fake reports on social media about the high demand of different wild species like black scorpions, lizards and spiders lure people to this illegal practice of poaching. The arrested poachers were young and wanted to become rich in less time by selling a few highly demanded rare wild species in the international market.