In wake of severe cold waves sweeping across the Chamba region, the district forest authorities have constituted teams for protection and rescue of wildlife, migrating to lower heights and often stray into human habitations.
“Wildlife, including rare and endangered species of birds and animals, descend to the lower regions during the winter season and often stray into the habitations situated near the forests in search of food,” said chief conservator of forest (Chamba circle) ARM Reddy.
The department, Reddy said, has constituted teams at division and range level for protection and rescue of wild animals and to attend to the calls of the people in case of these animals straying into the habitations.
“We have also set up a control room at the district headquarters and people can contact on 01899-222237 in case of emergency,” said Reddy, adding that the names of the heads and members of the teams had been circulated among the locals.
At circle level divisional forest officer (headquarters) and assistant conservator of forest (forest) will be coordinating with the teams.
He said the new initiative had been taken keeping in view the large number of instances where wild animals and birds like Sambhar, barking deer and Monal had been rescued on the intimation by the locals.
“In the circular issued on December 12, staff and public have been appealed to be vigilant in this regard to bring any such incidence to the notice of the nearest forest office,” said Reddy. These teams will remain effective till March 15, 2015 or onset of summer.
On steps taken to curb the menace of poaching of wild animals, Reddy said hunting was a cognizable offence and the offenders would be dealt harshly under the relevant provisions of wildlife protection Act, which stipulates non billable arrest for the persons involved in such offences.
“A patrolling vehicle is kept at circle office to attend to the emergencies and keep an eye on illegal poaching,” Reddy said.