RFSL now focuses on wildlife genus identification | Nagpur News

Nagpur: Scientists from the Regional Forensic Science Laboratory (RFSL) are currently working on sex identification of wildlife. With 90% of the wildlife forensic database already assimilated, RFSL scientists are now focusing on improving their reporting capabilities, striving to achieve zero expectation and expanding their expertise in wildlife affairs.
Started this year, about 39 cases related to cause of death, family or species identification from Vidarbha and six other districts in the rest of Maharashtra have been referred to this center for forensic analysis. The center has reported its findings in about 10 cases over the past four months.
RFSL, the only state government-owned wildlife forensic laboratory in the country, has started receiving requests from adjacent states in central India, such as Madhya Pradesh, for forensic analysis of their cases.
RFSL Deputy Director, Vijay Thakare, who has published research papers on wildlife forensics in international journals, said, “With the help of our toxicology experts, RFSL Nagpur has provided the cause of death. in the case of wild species. We are now refining our expertise in identifying families and species from dead animal remains.
Thakare said the RFSL team will soon be able to identify the gender as well, adding, “General Manager of Judiciary and Technical Branch Sandeep Bishnoi and Institutional Director Sangeeta Ghumatkar are currently focusing on staff development. , especially scientific assistants, and increasing production efficiency.
Along with the country’s other two central government-owned labs in Dehradun and Hyderabad, RFSL Nagpur began to gain recognition after its crucial ballistics and other analysis in the Avani tigress death case in 2018. Thakare had then played a key role in analyzing the controversial case and exposing the violations it contains.
During the critical challenge of analyzing Avani’s death case, the wildlife DNA analysis facility had not even opened at RFSL. The centre, after its inauguration last year, purchased equipment worth around Rs 10 crore for wildlife forensics.
Although the shortage of manpower was a challenge, the RFSL team composed of two officers and as many attendants and scientific assistants was tasked with carrying out DNA sampling and analysis of wildlife. “We are expecting the recruitment drive for the wildlife forensic wing soon,” Thakare said.
The deputy director added that it had taken more than a year and a half to convince the state government of the requirement for the wildlife forensic laboratory in Vidarbha, with substantial forest cover and conservation practices. .

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