There was an urgent need to have honorary wildlife wardens to assist the Forest Department staff to prevent poaching and other illegal activities, Mohammed Saleem of Environment Conservation Group has said.

In an appeal to the department, he said that the shortfall in manpower in the department had come as a boon to wildlife poachers, who were having a free run in forest peripheries and also urban areas. And their business had only increased consequent upon the increase in wildlife population.

Wildlife photographers often stumbled upon such poachers.

Their efforts to alert the department staff and arrest the culprits often end up in vain for want of staff.