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Nine snow leopards killed by poachers since 2008, reveals RTI reply


Press Trust of India Noida
Nine snow leopards have been poached and killed in the country since 2008 and eight poachers arrested for the crime, according to data obtained under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
These killings were reported from Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Utarakhand and Delhi, according to the data provided by Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), under the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
Noida-based lawyer Ranjan Tomar had sought state-wise data on snow leopards killed by poachers in the last 10 years and offenders arrested from the WCCB, a statutory body formed to combat organised wildlife crime.
"As per data available in the records of the bureau based on the information from the state forest and police departments, nine snow leopards have been killed and eight poachers have been arrested in the last 10 years in India," the WCCB said in a written reply.
Of the nine cases, four were in Jammu and Kashmir -- one in 2010 while three in 2014. Two such deaths were reported from Himachal Pradesh in 2011, two from Uttarakhand in 2012, and one from Delhi in 2016, it stated.
The snow leopard is a vulnerable species found predominantly in central and south Asia, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which estimates their number globally between 2,710 and 3,386.
In India, the species is found in Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh.
Tomar had also sought to know similar details about the lion-tailed macaque, an endangered species endemic to western ghats, but bureau said it does not maintain such data.
The WCCB said it conducts capacity-building programmes for forest and police officials of wildlife cases under provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
It said it also carries out sensitisation and awareness programmes for the officials of border guarding forces, customs, Central Industrial Security Forces, Railway Protection Force, Government Railway Police, judicial officers and other stakeholders like representatives of Panchayat Raj institutions and students on importance of wildlife and its role to combat wildlife crime.
"The WCCB issues alerts and advisories on poaching and illegal trade of wildlife after specific inputs and analysis of modus operandi of arrested wildlife criminals to the state and central agencies concerned for preventive action," the bureau said in the reply.

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First Published: Jan 29 2019 | 7:55 PM IST

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