Hyderabad

A new weapon in fight against wildlife crime

The kits can be used by forest officers to secure and transfer biological evidence for subsequent forensic analysis and prosecuting the perpetrators.

The kits can be used by forest officers to secure and transfer biological evidence for subsequent forensic analysis and prosecuting the perpetrators. | Photo Credit: Representational photo

Telangana Forest staff will soon be equipped with ‘wildlife evidence collection kits’ to be able to fight the illegal trade in body parts of wild fauna.

Minister for Environment and Forests A. Indrakaran Reddy launched the kits on the occasion of International Tiger Day on Friday, for use by all the divisions and wildlife ranges in the State.

The kits, supplied by the Wildlife Conservation Society-India as part of the existing collaboration with the Forest department, include protection gear such as surgical gloves, and masks, containers to store evidence, preservatives, sample collection equipment and notepad.

The kits are accompanied by an illustrative guidebook titled, ‘Biological Sample Collection for Wildlife Forensics’, which aims to provide reference for law enforcement officials on best practices and procedures to be followed while collecting and preserving various kinds of samples found at wildlife crime scenes.

Together with appropriate training, the kits can be used by forest department officers to secure and transfer biological evidence for subsequent forensic analysis and support forest department in prosecuting the perpetrators, a statement from the Forest department said.

Mr.Indrakaran Reddy said forest officials will be trained in using the kits which will help collect biological evidence towards more stringent punishments for the wildlife crime, and thus help conservation of species on the verge of extinction. The kits will be used in all protected areas, sanctuaries and forest divisions, he said.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Head of Forest Forces R.M. Dobriyal said the Forest department is keen to equip the staff with best tools and knowledge for conservation, as the tiger numbers are increasing in Amrabad Tiger Reserve and Kawal landscape. Tigers are also colonising closer areas such as Old Warangal and Khammam districts.

Chief Wildlife Warden Swargam Srinivas said protection and successful prosecution is key to tiger conservation anywhere in the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the need for protection and conservation and also the safeguards that need to be followed while handling wildlife to avoid risk of zoonoses.


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Printable version | Sep 23, 2022 3:40:47 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/a-new-weapon-in-fight-against-wildlife-crime/article65699367.ece