A novel tool for combating wildlife crime

Staff members of Telangana Forest will soon be given “wildlife evidence gathering kits” so they can combat the unlawful trafficking in wild animal body parts.

On Friday, International Tiger Day, Minister for Environment and Forests A. Indrakaran Reddy unveiled the kits for use by all of the State’s divisions and wildlife ranges.

As part of their ongoing partnership with the Forest department, the Wildlife Conservation Society-India has provided the kits, which come with protective clothing like surgical gloves and masks, containers for storing evidence, preservatives, sample collection tools, and a notepad.

An instructional manual titled “Biological Sample Collection for Wildlife Forensics” is included with the kits and serves as a guide for law enforcement officers on the best methods for gathering and maintaining the various types of samples discovered at wildlife crime scenes.

According to a statement from the Forest department, the kits can be used by officers of the department to transfer and secure biological evidence for later forensic investigation and assist the department in prosecuting the offenders.

According to Mr. Indrakaran Reddy, forest officials will receive training on how to use the kits that will help gather biological evidence in support of more severe penalties for crimes against wildlife and so aid in the protection of species that are in danger of extinction. According to him, the kits will be employed in all sanctuaries, protected areas, and forest divisions.

R.M. Dobriyal, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Head of Forest Forces, stated that the Forest Department is eager to provide the employees with the greatest resources and training for conservation, as tiger populations in Amrabad Tiger Reserve and the Kawal landscape are rising. Tigers are also settling in nearby places like the Khammam and Old Warangal districts.

Protection and effective prosecution, according to Chief Wildlife Warden Swargam Srinivas, are essential for tiger conservation everywhere in the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the necessity for conservation and protection, as well as the precautions that must be taken while handling wildlife to reduce the possibility of zoonoses.

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