Wildlife parts disposal to begin with ivory
Chief wildlife warden Digvijay Singh Khati has asked officers to submit details of the seized parts.Updated: Feb 03, 2018 21:20 IST
The Uttarakhand forest department will soon dispose of wildlife parts that are in the custody of various divisions and the exercise will start with ivory, officials said.
Under section 5 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, the seized wildlife parts are government property and shall be kept safely by forest officers. In a few cases in which trials are going on, the parts are kept in judicial custody.
Chief wildlife warden Digvijay Singh Khati has asked officers to submit details of the seized parts. For the first time since the state formation, the divisions have been asked to furnish details of the seized ivory for disposal.
“I have asked forest divisions to submit details of the ivory kept in their custody. After getting details, we will dispose of the parts,” Khati said.
The parts with the forest officers are recorded and preserved in store rooms. The data is maintained at division levels. The exercise of creating a database at the forest headquarters in the state capital has been going on for the last two months.
Of around 35 forest divisions, three are yet to submit figures on ivory in their custody. Officials familiar with the matter said divisions have at least 30 ivory pieces in their custody. After receiving details from all divisions, an inventory will be created.
According to state forest department statistics, 357 elephants died in the state since its formation in 2002 till 2017. Fifty-eight cases of crime related to the animals have been reported between 2010 and 2015. The hill state reported 1346 elephants in 2012, which increased to 1839, according to the Synchronisation Population Estimation 2017.
“There is a system in the department wherein the store rooms are regularly checked by divisional forest officers. Other senior officers like conservators and chief conservators also review the registers and monitor the rooms to avoid any issue,” Khati said.
The disposal will be done in the divisions in the presence of local officers and the chief wildlife warden.