11-member task force to curb lion poaching
Times of India By Himanshu Kaushik
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Ahmedabad/11-member_task_for ce_to_curb_ lion _poaching/articleshow/4044128.cms
Ahmedabad : Anxious about the poaching going on in and around Gir sanctuary, state forest department has decided to form a task force to tackle the illegal activity.
In March and April 2007, eight lions were poached in Babariya range in Una taluka, Bhavnagar district. Six lions were poached on March 3 and March 29, while two carcasses were recovered from Bhanderiya village near Jesar in the same district. Five more lions were killed after a farmer passed electric current to save his standing crop.
Officials said the Greater Gir Protection Task Force' would be a 11-member team headed by deputy conservator of forests, (DCF). The first DCF to head the team would be GA Mistry. It would consist of four range forest officers and six foresters.
A similar task force is being formed for Jim Corbett National Park in Uttaranchal. However, the rapid action team on the prowl for tiger poachers will have rangers, ex-army jawans and forest volunteers.
Gujarat team would also keep a check on animals that stray into human settlements on the park's edges. It would also tackle the jungle mafia smuggling forest produce.
The task force is similar to one in a Zambian national park where poaching had reached alarming proportions five years ago. With this force in place, hopes have risen that poaching incidents will become rare.
The force will be formed and start taking action soon. Officials said it would have power to act as per wildlife protection Act, Indian penal code and criminal procedure code.
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