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Vulture smuggler arrested at Khandwa Railway Station in Madhya Pradesh

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In a joint operation of RPF and the Forest Department at Khandwa Railway Station on January 20, a vulture smuggler was arrested at the Khandwa Railway Station in Madhya Pradesh.

What happened:

While travelling, a passenger on the train sensed some foul smell. Hereafter, the person informed this to the ticket inspector. As soon as the train arrived at the Khandwa Railway Station, the ticket inspector informed the RPF. As the legal authorities came up to Khandwa Railway Station for investigation it was found that these vultures are of a rare species, the Egyptian Vulture.

About the accused arrested at the Khandwa Railway Station

While speaking to the sources, RS Solanki, SDO, Forest Department said, “We got information from RPF that a man was carrying white vultures on the train. On receiving the information, the forest department staff immediately reached Khandwa Railway Station and jointly raided the train. Accused Fareed Ahmed has been arrested from Khandwa after seven white vultures or Egyptian vultures were recovered from him. The case has been registered under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.”

He further added, “The accused is being questioned for details. The vultures will be released in the open after getting permission from court”.

The vultures were brought from Kanpur in UP to Malegaon in Maharashtra. This is the first case of smuggling of vultures in Madhya Pradesh. However, all the vultures were handed over to the forest department.

Illegal trade of wildlife:

According to a report published by the Directorate of Revenue intelligence, with a complete ban on wildlife trade of Indian species, there has been a surge in demand in India, for exotic species from different parts of the world. 

Illegal wildlife trade is one of the largest forms of transnational organized crime today. In India, trade in over 1,800 species of wild animals, plants and their derivatives, is prohibited under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

As one of the 17 megadiverse countries of the world, India acts as a source as well as a transit country to meet the growing appetite for illegal wildlife products. While crimes such as narcotic trade, arms trafficking, and human trafficking have received dedicated attention of enforcement agencies and lawmakers, wildlife crimes continue to be treated with exclusivity and as one-off incidents. However, as reports have time and again pointed out the organized nature of wildlife trafficking, dismantling it requires a collaborative action by several stakeholders at both the center and state level within the country.

WCS-India’s Counter Wildlife Trafficking programme aims to support mandated agencies to effectively detect, identify, investigate, arrest, prosecute, and convict criminal organizations that perpetrate wildlife trafficking. Our goal is to work closely with the government to improve conviction rates of wildlife traffickers, and ultimately dismantle organized wildlife trafficking networks, and thereby help ensure all of India’s wildlife can thrive in their native habitats. 

The programme plays the role of a facilitator, enabling government officials to gain access to information, skills, technologies, and expert support required to tackle wildlife related crime in India. 

Egyptian Vulture:

Also known as the white scavenger vulture or pharaoh’s chicken, the Egyptian Vulture is a small Old World vulture and the only member of the genus Neophron. The contrasting underwing pattern and wedge-shaped tail make it distinctive in flight as it soars in thermals during the warmer parts of the day.  

They are odd-looking, pale, medium-sized vultures with a bare, solemn-looking yellow face. Egyptian vultures also use twigs to roll up wool for use in their nest. Egyptian vultures that breed in the temperate regions migrate south in winter while tropical populations are relatively sedentary.

Today, the vulture population in Egypt is drastically declining due to various threats. Six species of vultures are recorded in Egypt today, even though some are quite rare and seldom spotted.

Also Read: UDUPI COLLEGE FORBIDS SIX STUDENTS TO ENTER AS PICTURE OF THEM SITTING ON STAIRCASE WITH HEADSCARVES GOES VIRAL

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