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1,256 cases of illegal trading, poaching of wildlife recorded from 2017 to 2019: Centre

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New Delhi, Sep 19: A total of 1,256 cases of illegal trading of wildlife and poaching of endangered animals were recorded between 2017 and 2019, and 2,313 offenders arrested, the environment ministry informed Parliament on Saturday.

Representational Image

In a written reply to a query by CPI MP Binoy Viswam, Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Babul Supriyo said 313 alerts and advisories were issued by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) between 2017 and 2020 for preventive action against poaching and illegal trade of wildlife.

He said management of forests and wildlife is primarily the responsibility of states and union territories.

Financial assistance is provided to them under the Centrally Sponsored Schemes of Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats for providing better protection to wildlife including endangered species, improvement of their habitat and to ensure harmonious existence of human settlements with wild animals, he said.

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Referring to data available with 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 trafficking.

"The total number of accused arrested for wildlife poaching and illegal trafficking of wild animals during the last three years are -- 880 in 2017, 858 in 2018 and 575 in 2019," he said.

Supriyo also informed the House that 3,275 forest and police officials were trained under 70 capacity building programs in these three years, while 16,728 officials of border guarding forces, customs, Central Industrial Security Force, judicial officers and other stakeholders were sensitised by the WCCB.

"The local communities are involved in conservation measures through eco-development activities who help the forest department in protection of wildlife. Rare and endangered species found in India, like Tiger, Snow Leopard, Great Indian Bustard, Gangetic Dolphin, Dugong, etc. have been listed in Schedule-I of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, thereby providing them with the highest degree of protection," he said.

"Advisory on prevention of hunting of Pangolin (scaly anteaters) and the illegal trade of Pangolin Scales was issued by WCCB in 2018. The Ministry has issued ''Advisory for Dealing with Import of Exotic Live Species in India and Declaration of Stock''," he said.

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