Ministry mulls bureau for wildlife protection

The Pioneer , Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Correspondent : Staff Reporter
TO EFFECTIVELY protect wild parks from poaching, the Environment Ministry has pro posed setting up a National Bureau of Wildlife Crime, modeled on the Narcotics Bureau. The ministry is also in favour of increasing penal action on wildlife related crimes, Environment Minister A Raja said on Monday Envisaged as a multi-agency unit, the wildlife bureau will collect and analyze intelligence data, investigate and prosecute wildlife related crimes. The agency will also integrate operations with the Forest Department, Police Intelligence Bureau, Central Bureau of Investigation. Indo­Tibetan Border police, Border Security Force and Customs. Besides poaching, the agency will trail illegal wildlife parts trade across India's borders. Major markets of, say tiger, parts. lie in China and Thailand while Nepal is used as a conduit to reach the South Asian markets. The agency will also implement Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which is an in­ternational treaty to curb illegal wildlife trade.

But more than poaching, the ministry is worried about poor habitat for tigers. Construction activities and population boom in the villages on its periphery. is exerting pressure on the parks. Ecology of several sanctuaries are of poor quality, unable to sustain wildcats that need vast territory and stable prey base. "Buffer zone sur­rounding parks are under dual control of park and revenue divi­sions. Encroachment, livestock grazing, firewood col­lection and poaching are rampant in these areas;" ministry offi­cials said in a presen­tation. It also said that the State Governments have not been able to ".allocate money or man­power for wildlife pro­tection. Besides this, some parks also bore the brunt of extremist activities.

The ministry rebuffed allega­tions that it was spinning unreal­istic tiger population statistics. Pugmark, tiger sighting and cam­era trap methods co-relate to tiger population except in parks like Sariska and Sunderbans, ministry officials said. "The data collected shows that we are within 95 percent confidence level in terms of " tiger population enumeration," the "officials asserted, The ministry, however, admit­ted that tigers in Sariska were in trouble. "Sightings have been going down since 1998", Project Tiger”director Rajesh Gopal said. Representatives of the CBI, which is investigating vanishing tigers from Sariska, said in its re­port to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that "poaching is a fundamental reason for disappearance of tiger in Sariska"

The ministry came under pressure after vanishing tigers from protected areas made it to the national headlines. The Centre committed, itself to provide financial and technical support to conservation efforts by State Governments.

SOURCE : The Pioneer, Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Back to pevious page

The NetworkAbout Us  |  Our Partners  |  Concepts   
Resources :  Databases  |  Publications  |  Media Guide  |  Suggested Links
Happenings :  News  |  Events  |  Opinion Polls  |  Case Studies
Contact :  Guest Book  |  FAQs |  Email Us