New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS) Warning many species of animals are on the verge of extinction due to crimes against wildlife, Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan on Friday called for awareness and sensitisation as well as upholding the law to protect them.
“Certain plants and wild animals have either extinct or are on the verge of extinction. If whatever is now left with us is not taken care of, then in the coming days, we will see forests and wild animals only in books,” said Harsh Vardhan.
A tremendous loss has already been caused to the environment and wild animals due to human mistakes, the Minister said at a seminar on ‘Role of security forces in combating wildlife crimes’ organised by the Sashastra Seema Bal.
Pointing out that development activities have increased tremendously after India’s Independence, he said in the process. people have destroyed the natural abode of wild animals by cutting down forest for agricultural and industrial use.
Appreciating the work of SSB, which is deployed on borders with friendly neighbours in the east, in tackling wildlife crime, Harsh Vardhan assured that the recommendations made during the seminar will be examined by his ministry for implementation.
Mandated to guard 1,751 km of the India-Nepal border, the SSB has a total of 629 border outposts of which 229 are located in classified forested areas. Being a porous border, poaching and trafficking along Indo-Nepal border is high.
SSB Director General Archana Ramasundaram, said that last year the force had not only arrested 62 criminals in 60 cases but had also saved the lives of many tokay lizard and sand boas (snakes).
She added that this year, in just eight months, 85 cases have been registered, while 95 smugglers have been arrested.
“Apart from these, SSB confiscated body parts of endangered spices, deer, turtles, rabbits, pigeons and elephant tusks,” she said.
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