Wednesday, May 14, 2008

After lion deaths, Wildlife Crime Cell prepares database on offenders

Press Trust of India
Posted online: Monday , May 12, 2008 at 03:18:53
Updated: Monday , May 12, 2008 at 03:18:53

Ahmedabad, May 11 The Wildlife Crime Cell (WCC), formed by the Gujarat government, is in the process of creating a database of the habitual wildlife offenders in the country.
An official associated with the cell said that its members are coordinating with the Central and other state agencies to find out about such type of offenders. The WCC is also coordinating with the police department of other states and also the Coast Guard to ensure that crimes against wildlife are curbed, sources said.

The cell has also set its eyes on intelligence gathering in and around major protected wildlife habitats in the state, they added.

The proposal to form the WCC was mooted by the state government after eight lions were killed in the Gir national park and its surrounding areas in three separate incidents in March and April last year.

“The idea behind establishment of the cell is to curb the crime against wildlife in the state,” principal conservator of forest Pradeep Khanna of the state forest and environment department said.

The Government Resolution (GR) dated August 10, 2007 says the cell will also deal with wildlife experts and other state government agencies. It will collect and collate information on wildlife crime in the state.

Besides, the cell will also suggest measures to effectively deal with such crimes, the GR said.

The cell will comprise Additional DGP, Home Department, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (wildlife), Junagadh Conservator of Forests (wildlife crime), Gandhinagar, states the GR. It was signed by Victor Mecwan, Under Secretary to the state government in the Forest and Environment department.

Gir is the last abode of the Asiatic lions and the 2005 census recorded their number at 359.


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