Some 500 rangers in Gujarat will now learn the basics of Wildlife (Protection) Act,1972 and get an introductory training on the modus operandi of the illegal trade in wildlife.
Gujarat Forest Department officers said the Department of Law and Order and the Department of Forest and Environment are training the District Conservators of Forests and Superintendents of Police on wildlife crime. The rangers will get the training from August.
D K Singh,Chief Conservator of Forest,Wildlife Crime,Gujarat said: Not just the Wildlife (Protection) Act,1972,the rangers are also supposed to have the knowledge of the entire nexus…how it works within and outside the state. There have been instances where ivory has been seized from north Gujarat and recently,from Vadodara.
He added: The state has a rich reptilian population and rangers should know how to prevent their illegal trade. The sale of exotic birds under CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is prohibited and Rangers must be aware of it. Recently,a simian was sold in the UAE for Rs 15 lakh. There are strict instructions from the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau to involve all cadres of officers from the Department. According to Interpol,the illegal trade in wild animals and animal parts is to the tune of 2.5 million dollars.
He said,a recently formed wildlife crime cell comprising the Customs Commissioner,Commandant of the Coast Guard,IG of Police,and CID Crime this Saturday discussed issues related to wildlife crime and improve the coordination between agencies.
A recent study by Wildlife Trust of India has shown that only 16 per cent of the total staff manning Gir actually know about the exact application of the Wildlife Act.
Singh said: The Department is trying to put its maximum efforts.