WII experts, Forest Dept. team up to strengthen wildlife crime investigation in AP

Experts from the Wildlife Institute of India (WII-Dehradun) on Friday offered special training on investigative methods of solving wildlife crimes to the field-level staff in Coastal Andhra Pradesh during a four-day workshop on “Wildlife Crime and Wildlife protection”. This includes how to gather scientific evidence from the scene of offence.

The workshop is being conducted by the AP State Forest Department in collaboration with the WII in Rajamahendravaram in East Godavari district. Experts from Maharashtra too addressed the field staff. They shared their knowledge in wildlife crime investigation with a detailed narrative on the major wildlife crimes and seizures in the country in recent years.

Critical inputs to field staff

Divisional Forest Officer (Rajamahendravaram-Wildlife) Anant Shankar told The Hindu that the four-day workshop addresses the challenges and provide critical inputs to the wildlife staff deployed in the Kolleru Lake, Krishna and Coringa Sanctuaries in Andhra Pradesh.

In a technical session chaired by Forensic Expert (WII) C.P. Sharma, he presented a demonstration to the staff belonging to Kolleru Lake and Coringa Wildlife Sanctuaries on the forensic science tools that help in tracking evidence in wildlife crimes. The field staff was given a site, with a task of collecting possible evidence to trace wildlife crimes during the mock test.

Another expert from Maharastra, Rajendra Dhongde, has stated that the investigation on the wildlife crime depends on a deep understanding of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 to reach a logical conclusion in any crime.

Special plan for Kolleru

“A special action plan is being designed, helping the Kolleru Lake staff to register the wildlife offences as per the existing legal procedures to act on seizures, illegal possession of wild animals and other materials,” said Mr. Shankar. Beat Officers, Rangers, and other wildlife staff were present at the workshop.

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