SHILLONG: Meghalaya opposition leader Donkupar Roy said the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, should be included in school syllabus in the state to create awareness and improve enforcement.
Taking note of the suggestion, forest and environment minister Prestone Tynsong said there are 11 endangered species in the state as per a 1994 report of the Zoological Survey of India. They include the slow loris, hog badger, binturong, clouded leopard, hoolock gibbon, common Indian monitor, yellow monitor, water monitor, Indian rock python, tiger and the great pied hornbill, the minister said.
On the measures taken to preserve these species, he said there is strict enforcement of the Wildlife Protection Act, efforts to monitor wildlife sanctuaries and national parks, improvement of wildlife habitats through provision of waterholes and artificial salt licks and propagation of wild fruit and fodder species.
Other measures include declaration of community reserves to facilitate joint venture between the government and the community for protection of flora and fauna, constitution of joint forest management committees around protected areas and villages situated in the vicinity of animal corridors and organization of voluntary protection squads in villages, he added. When opposition legislator C R Marak pointed out that militants and terrorist groups, who are in possession of sophisticated weapons, have been involved in killing of wild animals in the Garo Hills, the minister said the forest department can seek assistance from the police if and when required.
When the opposition's Jemino Mawthoh questioned the government on religious rituals which involve animal hunting in the Jaintia Hills, the minister said the Wildlife Protection Act has to be implemented in such cases.