Press Trust of IndiaSeptember 21, 2020 11:53:05 AM IST
Between 2017 and 2019, a total of 1,256 cases of illegal wildlife trafficking and poaching of endangered animals were registered and 2,31
In a written response to a question from CPI MP Binoy Viswam, the Union’s Minister of State for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Babul Supriyo said that between 2017 and 2020, 313 warnings and notices from the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) for preventive action poaching and illegal wildlife trade were issued.
He said forest and wildlife management are primarily the responsibility of states and union territories.
They receive financial support under the centrally funded programs for the integrated development of wildlife habitats in order to offer wildlife, including endangered species, better protection, improve their habitat and ensure the harmonious existence of human settlements with wildlife.
Referring to data available at the WCCB and provided by states and UTs, the minister said 478 endangered animals were killed in 2017, 492 in 2018 and 286 in 2019. The animals were victims of poaching and illegal trade.
“The total number of accused arrested for poaching and illegal wildlife trafficking in the past three years is – 880 in 2017, 858 in 2018 and 575 in 2019,” he said.
Supriyo told House that over these three years 3,275 forest and police officers were trained through 70 capacity-building programs, while 16,728 officers from border guards, customs, central industrial security, judicial officers and other stakeholders received awareness from the WCC.
“The local communities participate in environmental protection efforts through environmental development activities that help the Forestry Department protect wildlife. Rare and endangered species found in India such as tiger, snow leopard, great bustard, gangetic dolphin, dugong, etc. have been included in Schedule-I of Wildlife Life (Protection) Act of 1972 to give them the highest level of protection, “he said.
“The WCCB issued a notice in 2018 on preventing pangolin (scaly anteater) hunting and the illegal trade in pangolin scales. The ministry issued a ‘Notice on Dealing with the Import of Exotic Live Species in India and Declaring the Population’ “said he said.