In an operation led by the personnel of Seling Forest Range and Tawi Wildlife Sanctuary, three individuals were arrested for contravening the Wildlife Protection Act. Acting on precise intelligence, forest authorities intercepted the poachers en route to Tawi Wildlife Sanctuary, armed with rifles and intent on illegal hunting.
The joint patrols conducted by teams from Seling Forest Range and Tawi Wildlife Sanctuary proved fruitful as they apprehended the suspects in Tlungvel village. Upon inspection, the poachers were found in possession of birds and squirrels they had unlawfully killed, along with two air rifles, ammunition, and other hunting equipment seized from the Phulmawi area of the village.
The arrested individuals, identified as Lalchhuanawma (33), H.S. Tlangkhuma (68), and Lalthazuala (41), residents of Tlungvel Village in Aizawl District, were presented before the magistrate and remanded to Central Jail overnight.
The extent of their illicit activities was alarming, with a total of 142 birds, including several endangered species, and specimens of seven different species of squirrels discovered among their possessions. The enforcement authorities emphasized the severity of such violations, highlighting the maximum penalty of three years imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 25,000/- as stipulated by the Wildlife Protection Act, with doubled penalties for offenses occurring within wildlife sanctuaries.
Prompted by suspicion that the recent poaching took place within the sanctuary's boundaries, officials from the Environment, Forest & Climate Change department have launched an investigation.
In related news, Conservation Mizoram, in collaboration with the Sailam Ecological Conservation Society, recently conducted the Mizoram Bird Census, Chapchar Awllen Sava Chhiarpui 2024 (CASC2024), recording approximately 200 bird species across the region. Noteworthy among these is the Mount Victoria Babax, a unique bird exclusive to Mizoram's Mt. Phawngpui area, underscoring the rich biodiversity the state hosts.
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