Conservationists have estimated that porcupines are reducing by 10% every year now. Which means, a genocide is taking place and within ten years they may be none left. When they go they will leave the environment much poorer, because they are extremely important ecologically in spreading seeds and pollen. New horrors come my way almost every month. The Bhubaneswar unit of People for Animals has just caught hundreds of porcupine quills being sold in the Khandagiri Mela in Bhubaneswar. The sellers were arrested but there are dozens of such poachers in every village mela.
What could these quills be used for? In Orissa they are used for the Bratopayan of Brahmins. This means that they are used to wave about when the sacred thread or janeo is tied on the young Brahmin boy. In other states they are used by villagers to hide in the houses of their enemies, as these quills create strife in the home. So, for two such senseless superstitions, these animals are being killed.