Panda, Special Issue, Illegal Wildlife Trade in India
WWF-India has been working closely with the national and the state governments as well as other enforcement agencies to help study, monitor and influence action to curb illegal wildlife trade in the country. India is one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. Its porous borders allow for a wide range of products such as mongoose hair, snake skins, rhino horn, tiger and leopard claws, bones, skins, whiskers, elephant tusks, deer antlers, shahtoosh shawl, turtle shells, musk pods, bear bile, medicinal plants, timber and caged birds such as parakeets, mynahs, munias to be trafficked. This is endangering many of its species, including the iconic tiger, the rhino and smaller species such as the pangolin and otters. India has a strong legal and policy framework to regulate and restrict wildlife trade. Trade in over 1800 species of wild animals, plants and their derivatives, is prohibited under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
While government and other enforcement agencies are well-positioned to act, WWF-India through TRAFFIC India engages in training and building capacity of its frontline staff to quell this trade. Challenges in the field faced by conservationists, including our own teams, bring to light experiences that other agencies can act on. This will not only prove effective in combating illegal wildlife trade which is in need of scaling up, but also be able to curb the wildlife crime nexus. In keeping with the overall objective of WWF-India, this issue of the PANDA alerts its readers to the plight these animals are subjected to and calls for mass public awareness in order to sensitize its readers to the issue of wildlife crime and lead to a call for action.
Read the e-version here