May 25, 2012
Union minister of state for forests Jayanthi Natarajan on Wednesday announced a recovery programme for saving critically endangered species and their habitats.
Under the initiative, 16 species have been identified for support. This includes snow leopard, bustards (including floricans), dolphin, hangul, Nilgiri tahr, marine turtles, dugongs and coral reefs, edible nest swiftlet, Asian wild buffalo, Nicobar megapode, Manipur brow-antlered deer, vultures, Malabar civet, Indian rhinoceros, asiatic lion, swamp deer and jerdon’s courser.
Reacting to queries related to conservation of species that are on the verge of extinction, the minister informed Rajya Sabha that financial and technical assistance is extended to the state governments under various Centrally-sponsored schemes.
Under CSS projects ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats’, ‘Project Tiger’ and ‘Project Elephant’ are mooted to ensure better protection and conservation to wildlife.
Besides, CBI has been empowered under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 to apprehend and prosecute wildlife offenders.
A Wildlife Crime Control Bureau has also been set up for control of poaching and illegal trade in wildlife and its products, she said.
Meanwhile, wildlife activists welcomed the Union minister’s announcement. “Tamil Nadu was once a home for large number of vultures and Nilgiri Tahr.
The state should utilise the opportunity to conserve the Nilgiri Tahr, which is our state animal,” said Mr K.V.R.K. Thirunaranan, founder, The Nature Trust.
Ms Jayanthi Natarajan also added that the state governments have been requested to strengthen the patrolling in and around the protected areas and national parks.
Source: Deccan Chronicle