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After tigers,genome databank now for leopards,elephants: Wildlife scientist

Wildlife Institute of India Dehradun will soon take up the task of developing genomic databank for leopards,elephants,bears and musk dear,said WII scientist S P Goyal.

Written by Shubhlakshmi Shukla | Ahmedabad |
February 23, 2010 6:57:29 am

Wildlife Institute of India (WII),Dehradun will soon take up the task of developing genomic databank for leopards,elephants,bears and musk dear,said WII scientist S P Goyal.

Goyal,an expert in wildlife forensic techniques,was in Gandhinagar today to participate in the five-day wildlife crime management programme organised by the Gujarat Forensic Science University (GFSU) jointly with the Wildlife Institute of India (WII),National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and Traffic-India.

This is the first time GFSU is organising a workshop for the conservation of tigers in the country. “WII under its ‘Tiger genome project’ is developing a database which will help in developing policies to stop wildlife crime,” he said. There are around 200 species across the country,which are categorised under high risk.

He further said that the ‘Tiger genome project’ is about to complete. At Ranthambore National Park,WII is comparing population estimates obtained after using non-invasive techniques based on pug mark studies,camera trappings and DNA analyses of the wild animals’ hair and scat,he said.

Meanwhile,the head of the Traffic-India Samir Sinha said,“Tigers,anywhere in the wild,are under threat. It is a myth that there are around 50 per cent tigers outside the tiger reserves.” He said,“Every part of tiger is used in China – right from the animal’s reproductive organ to skin. Nearly,4,000 tigers are at China’s tiger farm. There has been huge demand for tiger medicines,wines,and meat in Vietnam,Malaysia,Myanmar and China.”

According to him,nearly 50,000 tigers are in captivity in the US while China comes second to the US.

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