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Soon, govt to track wildlife crimes across country

The government would soon be able to have a track of the wildlife crimes across the country. The Ministry of Environment and Forests has asked the states to prepare detailed information on the wildlife crimes occurring within their jurisdictions.

The Ministry, presently, does not have any data on the nation-wide crimes occurring under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.

Such a comprehensive data would enable the ministry to have tougher and effective intelligence on crimes pertaining to wildlife anywhere in the country.

 ‘We are in the process of compiling a National Wildlife Crime Data and have asked the states to submit elaborate information on the wildlife crimes, as only state governments are authorised to deal with the such crimes,’ said a senior official of the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, the wildlife intelligence wing of the ministry, on conditions of anonymity.

‘Most of the states have submitted their data except a few ones. The compilation is in the final stages and we would soon be able to prepare it. It would be an unprecedented data and go a long way in identifying the species that are mostly hunted, poached or illegally traded. This would also strengthen our intelligence on wildlife crimes, considerably,’ the official said.

According to wildlife crime control officials, although tigers, elephants, rhinos and pangolins continue to be the most vulnerable species for trade in international markets, the national data would reflect the actual threat scenario with many more species also likely to figure in the crime data.

Several species of reptiles, fishes, amphibians and even crocodiles have been known to be hunted for their parts. Recent reports have suggested organised linkages of the poaching of Gharials in the Chambal region and other river streams to the local smuggling gangs.

‘We are looking into all such aspects and are gathering on-ground information on such poaching issues,’ the official said. India has around 395 species listed in the Appendices of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
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