As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Is forest authority apathy helping lead to the extinction of Rajasthan's state bird?

PUBLISHED: 22:10, 31 May 2013 | UPDATED: 02:00, 1 June 2013

Great Indian Bustards, a critically endangered species, are facing grave threat in the Desert National Park Rajasthan, thanks to potential apathy by state forest authorities.

Despite frequent incidents of poaching of the bird in DNP, the forest department has reportedly referred the inquiries to those officers who are facing allegations of involvement in the crime.

The Great Indian Bustards are incidentally the state bird of Rajasthan. 

One incident of alleged negligence by the forest department came to the fore recently when the son of a forest official was caught red-handed by villagers at the DNP's Sudasari range in Jaisalmer district on May 13. 

The authorities preferred not to register an FIR despite a directive from the chief minister's office, following a written complaint from a local Pradhan, Laxmi Kanwar, on May 23.

A copy of the written complaint that refers to three incidents of poaching – including one on December 20, 2012 and another on March 25 -- is in possession of Mail Today.

Ironically, the forest department referred the case to the same DNP office for inquiry where the official, whose son is allegedly involved in the case, is posted.

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