Nilgiris NGO given permission to help detect illegal electric fences around forest areas

The Chief Wildlife Warden of Tamil Nadu has granted permission to Wildlife and Nature Conservation Trust (WNCT), an NGO, to assist the Forest Department for patrolling the fringes of reserve forests to check illegal electric fences in the district.

In his letter, Chief Wildlife Warden Shekhar Kumar Niraj said that permission was granted to N.Sadiq Ali, founder trustee of WNCT and members and volunteers of the NGO under Section 28 (i) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 for a three-month period to help in “patrolling” and “surprise checks at all locations for electrocution areas.”

The Chief Wildlife Warden has also laid down guidelines that the volunteers must follow with regard to obtaining permission prior to embarking on the patrols and also with sharing information and reports on their visits to the areas with the Forest Department and officials concerned.

Illegal or improperly installed electrical fencing has led to the deaths of many animals, including sloth bears, elephants and even leopards over the last few years. Despite clampdowns by both the Forest Department and the district administration, electric fences dangerous to the well-being of wildlife continue to be used across the district.

Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Ali thanked the Forest Department for granting permission to the WNCT to check the use of illegal electrical fences. “This proactive move by the department will help to ensure better patrolling and easier detection of illegal fences, having the potential to save the lives of many animals,” he said.

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