Mumbai: SGNP to set up a wildlife forensic medicine laboratory

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Mumbai’s Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) will soon have a wildlife forensic laboratory. They will perform DNA analysis of the animals based on swab samples and feces.

Maharashtra’s wildlife protection chief said that after much delay the laboratory will be operational from March 2022. The laboratory will be set up on the model of a similar facility which will be inaugurated in Nagpur on Friday 22nd. October.

This is now incorporated into the State Wildlife Action Plan, which was previously sanctioned by the Chief Minister of Maharashtra at the State Wildlife Council meeting. Development has been on hold since 2019, when the forestry department first offered a dedicated wildlife forensic facility in the city.

Maharashtra’s Chief Wildlife Custodian Sunil Limaye said that whenever they need to do a forensic analysis, they send the samples to Jabalpur or Hyderabad. It would take months for the results to arrive and make it difficult to solve wildlife crime. He further added that having a dedicated facility here can come in handy later and help build a database of vulnerable animals through dung samples.

SGNP officials have already found a location to set up the on-site laboratory and are currently seeking to acquire the funds. An approximate budget for the same is INR 3.5 crores. Last week, it was reported that Maharashtra had become the first state to approve the Wildlife Action Plan.


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