India reports significant decrease in wildlife crime incidents this year, reveals WCCB data

By December 17, 2021Wildlife Crime

Illegal wildlife products. Image: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Flickr

Staff Reporter, Mirror Now | December 16, 2021


The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau’s stringent measures have resulted in a significant decrease in wildlife crime incidents in India this year. According to WCCB data, that was provided by state forest and police authorities, a total of 281 wildlife crime cases were reported in 2021. The cases of wildlife crimes were 601 in 2020, and 805 the previous year.

According to data obtained by news agency IANS, there has been a drop of 127% this year compared to 2020. The second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has also played a significant role in lowering incidents of wildlife crimes.

Several steps have been taken by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau to prevent the illegal trafficking of endangered animals and wildlife species, as well as to protect India’s flora and fauna.

Occasionally, the department will devise, plan, and coordinate nationwide ‘species-specific operations’ by coordinating with neighbouring countries like Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar and Bangladesh.

The WCCB has been collaborating with state law enforcement agencies to arrest and prosecute wildlife smugglers. In collaboration with Interpol and other law enforcement agencies, a total of 16 species-specific operations have been carried out to date, IANS reported.

The WCCB conducted 717 joint operations between 2014 and 2021, resulting in the detainment of 1488 wildlife perpetrators and the profiling of 3248 wildlife criminals. Rhino horns, leopard skins, pangolins, Ivory, turtles, tiger skins/body parts/bones, mongoose hair, monitor lizards, sea horses, shark fins and other items were confiscated in large quantities.

According to the data, 153 joint operations were carried out in 2019-20, resulting in the arrest of 344 wildlife criminals, while 101 special operations resulted in the prosecution of 304 perpetrators in 2020-21, and 74 joint operations were carried out in 2021-22 until September, resulting in the arrest of 202 wildlife offenders.

The WCCB’s proactive approach appears to be establishing fear in the minds of lawbreakers involved in wildlife crimes.

Wildlife crime is classified as an environmental offence. The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change recently published overall data as well, but only up to 2020.

According to the Crime in India report for 2020, the number of cases recorded for environmental-related criminal offences has risen from 34,676 in 2019 to 61,767 in 2020.