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Wildlife crime prevention training starts in Manas NP

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Guwahati | Sunday, Nov 17 2013 IST
Under the IFAW: WTI Wildlife Crime Prevention Training programme, 100 frontline forest staff of Manas National Park, Manas Reserve Forest, Kachugaon Reserve Forest and Ripu Reserve Forest in Greater Manas are targeted to be trained and equipped in partnership with the Assam Forest Department and Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC).

The first batch of 32 trainees among the four batches from all the three ranges of Manas National Park is undergoing training from today, a Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) release said. Greater Manas is a critical wildlife habitat along the Indo-Bhutan border in Bodoland, Assam, supporting a wide range of flora and fauna including the endangered Asian elephant, Royal Bengal tiger, greater one-horned rhinoceros, golden langur and Bengal florican.

The training that will go on for a month will see the frontline staff, in batches of 25, brush upon their understanding protection of biodiversity of Greater Manas, threats faced and its conservation.

They will learn about identification of animals based on secondary evidence such as pugmarks and horns, about wildlife laws, commercial poaching and trade, important local endemic species in illegal wildlife trade, methods of hunting and the relevant sections of dealing with wildlife crime as per the state's laws (Assam FR 1891) and the Indian (Wildlife) Protection Act of 1972, and a diverse other issues.

Khampa Borgoyary, Deputy Chief of BTC, said, 'Training, morale boosting and equipping front line staff is very important in conservation. Conducting trainings like these in three crucial areas of Greater Manas is a good initiative to control wildlife crime and impose law and order in the region.'

Sonali Ghosh, the Deputy Director - Manas Tiger Reserve, said about the training, 'It is a great initiative taken by IFAW-WTI to train the front line staffs of Forest. It should be done in broader aspects touching the boundaries from western side to eastern landscape of Manas. The local NGOs and CBOs should be included in the learning process as they also stand shoulder to shoulder with Frontline staffs in guarding nature.'

Anindya Sawargowari, Field Director, Manas Tiger Reserve (MTR), D D Boro, ACF along with other senior officials attended the inaugural day session.

Bhupen Talukdar, who is presently serving as Divisional Forest Officer with the Assam State Forest Department is the mentor of the ongoing wildlife crime prevention training conducted by IFAW-WTI at Manas.

'Forest guards are the backbone of India's wildlife and habitat protection system. It is thus important that this force remains trained and highly motivated to tackle diverse threats it is being faced with. IFAW-WTI's training modules aim to supplement the government's efforts in strengthening staff morale and sharpening their skills,' said Vivek Menon, Executive Director of WTI.

In a bid to equip and strengthen the frontline forest staff of the country, IFAW-WTI has been conducting Wildlife Crime Prevention Training Programmes, under the Van Rakshak Project (VRP) since 2001. UNI SG RD1739 NNNN

-- (UNI) -- 17ca18.xml

 
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