Wildlife Conservation Current Affairs - 2020

Guidelines for Import of Exotic Species

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change recently issued advisory to import of Exotic Live Species.

What are Exotic Live Species?

The Exotic Live Species are plant or animal species that move from the original range to a new one.

Under the new guidelines, the Ministry has said that “Exotic Live Species” are to be construed to mean only under Appendices I, II and III of the CITES (Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species).

The species listed under Appendix I of the CITES, no trade happens. To the species that are listed under Appendix II, trade shall be allowed only with minor permission. In Appendix III, there are large number of birds and animals that are listed that can be traded.

Background

The new guidelines have been issued as the global concerns on wildlife trade and zoonotic diseases have increased due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Guidelines

Under the new guidelines, the importer should obtain No-Objection certificate from Chief Wildlife Warden of the state. The persons possessing Exotic live species should make voluntary disclosure within a period of 6 months.

The Forest Officials will check if the facilities where the species are being housed are safe. They will also issue online certificates to owners in six months of date of disclosure.

Assam govt. sets up Anti Depredation Squads to avoid human-wildlife conflicts

The state government of Assam has set up 15 Anti-Depredation Squads of Forest department to deal with human-wildlife conflicts in state. The squads would help Forest Department to reduce casualties in conflict situations.

About Anti-Depredation Squads

These squads will be stationed in 15 major human-wildlife conflict districts of Assam to deal with problem and ensure the safety of both humans and animals. They will be equipped with all logistics required for mitigating conflict and will have 12 bore pump action guns and rubber bullet ammunition.

State Forest Department has engaged specially trained 50 front line staff to handle conflict situations with 100 more staff to be trained in coming days.

Need: The loss of lives of both humans and animals is unwarranted and squads must spread awareness about avoiding man-animal conflicts. There is also a need to bring casualties to zero by completely reducing man-animal conflict situations. Moreover, the peaceful coexistence is a must for both man and animals. and urged the people of the state to cooperate with the squads in spreading awareness about animal behaviour.