Sunday, 26 September 2010

Star Tortoise Smugglers Shifting Focus to Bangladesh (Via HerpDigest)

Star Tortoise Smugglers Shifting Focus to Bangladesh
by P. Oppili The Hindu, 9/2/10

Star tortoise smugglers, who were earlier operating through the ports and airports in southern India, have now shifted their activities to Bangladesh, according to Wildlife officials.

With the increased vigil at the airports and ports in the southern States, the smugglers take the star tortoises to Bangladesh by train or road from where they are transported to Southeast Asian destinations.

One of the main reasons for choosing the neighbouring country is that reptile smuggling does not attract any major punishment from the authorities there, say the Wildlife authorities.
According to wildlife authorities, people from Tamil Nadu are mainly involved in the smuggling of this species.

A few months ago one consignment of star tortoises was seized by officials in Malaysia. However, following the intervention of the Central government, the consignment was returned to India. But, when the consignment returned home a sizeable number of the smuggled reptiles were dead. Only one third of the reptiles returned alive. The authorities rehabilitated them at the Arignar Anna Zoological Park, Vandalur, they say.

Recently a consignment of star tortoises was seized in Bangladesh from a person holding a passport issued from Tamil Nadu. Officials from the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau Headquarters office in New Delhi visited Bangladesh. However, as the authorities could not confirm from where the star tortoises were collected from, they did not insist on returning the consignment to the country, said a senior official from the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau in New Delhi.

The State wildlife authorities have to increase their vigil at the border check posts to prevent the movement of star tortoises. Star tortoises are found in large numbers in dry deciduous forest patches in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. A few years ago smugglers used to collect them in large numbers from Palmaner forests in Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh. There is also a need for the wildlife authorities of the southern States to hold a coordination meeting with their counterparts in States such as Orissa and West Bengal to increase vigil both on the roads and trains, added the authorities.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails