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Tribals asked to preserve Jangalmahal biodiversity

Kolkata: Traditional hunting in Jangalmahal is destroying the biodiversity of the region and pushing some of the globally endangered species to local extinction. Last year, the carcass of a tiger was found in Kanandihi Forest in West Midnapore with a spear through its face which police suspect was killed as a part of traditional hunting rituals.

The wildlife department, along with Human and Environment Alliance League (Heal) and Lalgarh College, conducted an awareness drive among tribal leaders, elected representatives, government official and students in Jangalmahal on how to protect the animals and conserve biodiversity.

Meghna Banerjee, executive director of HEAL, said the shikar utsav was no longer limited to a particular period of the year or to a particular section. “The killing of animals now taking place throughout the year in different pockets of Jangalmahal and other parts of south Bengal. People from other districts and even neighbouring states come here to hunt. We have identified 40 to 45 days in a year on which groups of people go into the forests to hunt animals. The workshop in Lalgarh College is not only aimed at sensitising the various stakeholders but also to develop a good co-ordination between several government departments for the enforcement of the law,” said Banerjee. The hunting rituals take place in districts like West Midnapore, Jhargram, Purulia and Bankura.

Date: 10 Feb 2019
Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/tribals-asked-to-preserve-jangalmahal-biodiversity/articleshow/67921985.cms