Updated: January 20, 2022 1:58:06 pm
The Karnataka forest department is set to create a separate section on its website to make public the death of wild animals by uploading postmortem reports and relevant pictures.
Consequent to appeals made by wildlife conservationist Giridhar Kulkarni, the principal chief conservator of forest (PCCF wildlife) Vijaykumar Gogi issued a directive on January 13 to the information technology and communications wing of the forest department (KFD) to make the details of wildlife deaths public within 24 hours of confirmation by the authorities.
Referring to the recommendation of the elephant task force constituted by the Karnataka High Court, the directive read: “In cases of elephant mortality, we recommend that, as is being done now by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), all postmortem examination be held with external observers, and the KFD create a separate section on its website on which to record and display postmortem reports.”
The department in September 2013 issued a similar order to the field officers, which is yet to be implemented.
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“Wild animals like tiger, leopard, elephants and other animals are largely targeted by organised poachers and are also linked to international illegal markets. You are hereby informed that the post mortem reports of wildlife species targeted for wildlife trade shall be put up on the website within 24 hours of conducting post mortem along with the post mortem report and a close-up and long-shot images of the targeted wildlife species on the aranya.gov.in website with an intimation to this office,” the 2013 order read.
“This is a positive development and if implemented, this initiative would bring transparency. This move will also help the forest department in gaining public support for wildlife conservation,” Kulkarni said.
“External agencies are involved in the postmortem but it is not conducted by them. Veterinarians who are experienced in wildlife matters conduct the postmortem. There is a set of procedures laid down by the central government and we follow them,” Gogi told The Indian Express.
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