Apoorva Joshi

PhD student - Information and Media; Environmental Science and Policy @Michigan State University

Independent journalist -

Environment, Science, International

Poaching and Illegal Wildlife Trade Everywhere.. 4 stories in one


BHUBANESWAR: Wildlife officials have seized 96 live fresh water turtles from a town in Orissa and arrested one person on charges of smuggling them, police said Saturday.

Acting on a tip off, a police team caught the man with the reptiles at Pipili town, some 20 km away, here Friday evening, inspector in charge of the Pipili police station Amulya Kumar Champatiray said.

"They were live turtles of different shapes and sizes. They were kept in three bags," he said. "We caught the man when he was waiting for a bus."

The arrested man, Durgasankar Mana, is a resident of Midnapore area of West Bengal and wanted to take the turtles to his state, Champatiray said.


LUCKNOW: Three people have been arrested with the skins of four spotted deer in an Uttar Pradesh district bordering Nepal, a forest official said on Wednesday.

"The three men, who are in their late 30s, were nabbed Tuesday night from their hideout in a village adjoining the Motipur forest of Sohelwa
wildlife sanctuary," Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) V.P. Singh told IANS over the phone from Balrampur, some 200 km from Lucknow.

According to officials, the three men have admitted that they were in the poaching trade for the last two years and worked for a Nepal-based wildlife poaching gang.

The three men also admitted to having clients in Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand and other states of the country.

Under the Wildlife Protection Act (WPA), 1972, killing a spotted deer is a criminal offence.

Spotted deer, popularly known as chital in Hindi, is the most common deer species in India's forests. Its coat is reddish fawn, marked with white spots.

BERHAMPUR: Orissa's famed blue lagoon, the Chilika Lake, which becomes home to hundreds of migratory birds in winter, is failing to curb poaching despite a strong security net.

Wildlife officials registered four cases and arrested two persons allegedly for poaching recently. The lake hosts over four lakh migratory birds during winter. The latest incident of poaching was reported from Sorana on Friday night. Forest officials and police seized 16 different birds, one pintail and 15 Indian moorhens, from a person.

"The poacher, identified as Anwar Khan, was caught red handed by the staff when he was returning to his village after poaching in Chilika," said divisional forest officer B P Acharya. Khan was identified as a habitual bird poacher and was arrested by wildlife officials.

Although wildlife and police officials have seized 15 different birds from poachers on three occasions, only one person was arrested. The other three, however, have managed to escape, the DFO said.

"While poaching was reported from Sorana and Kalupadaghata, no poaching was reported from the Nalabana
Bird Sanctuary, where most migratory waterfowls congregate," he said.

Wildlife authorities have set up 21 camps, including two mobile camps, to guard the avian guests. "Several local youths have also engaged to protect the birds," the DFO said.

The birds concentrate in the 1,150 sq km Chilika Lake, mainly in Bhusandapur, Sorana and Mangalajodi areas. Flocks of migratory birds arrive from the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, remote parts of Russia, central and south East Asia, Ladakh and the Himalayas for feeding and roosting. The lake is recognized as the wintering zone for the largest congregation of waterfowls in the country. They start arriving in mid-October and roost here till the first week of March. But the peak congregation period is between mid-December and mid-January.

NEW DELHI: Minister of state for environment and forests Jairam Ramesh, while inaugurating a media workshop on wildlife conservation here today confessed that 17 out of 38 tiger reserves are in an unstable condition.

Ramesh said then state of affairs around the tiger reserves would be improved and assured to develop and irrigate the barren areas around the reserves.

"Wildlife Management is very much an integral part of my ministry's priority. It may not get the headlines as much as
global warming does, but I hope after Copenhagen, this global warming madness will subside. 2010 is the year of biodiversity. In 2010, we have a summit in October on biodiversity in Nagoya (Japan). And now we all need to focus on biodiversity, which is far more fundamental than many of these things we are talking about in relation to Copenhagen," he said.

The Minister of State for Environment and Forests said that in the next Budget session, a
WildlifeConservation and Management Amendment Bill would be introduced, adding that strict actions will be taken against all those violating the forestry laws.

Ramesh also eyed upon strengthening the policing across the international borders.

"The year 2010 is the year of Tiger in China, that will put more pressure on poaching in China. But India also has to control illegal trade and needs to strengthen policing on the India-Nepal, India-Myanmar border. We have talked to a large number of international organisations including the World Bank, and they are also talking to the Chinese that China must phase out Tiger farms," he said.

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