May 25, 2012
Rangers will not should not be "booked for human rights violations when they have taken action against poachers," said Maharashtra Forest Minister Patangrao Kadam this week.
Authorities will also offer payments to informants who provide information about wildlife poachers and smugglers. The number of rangers and jeeps in the forest will also be increased.
Tiger in Kanha Tiger Reserve. Photo © Belinda Wright, WPSI.
The shoot-on-sight order is not the first in India. Assam has a similar provision, which some credit for the decline in poaching of one-horned rhinos. No tiger poacher has ever been shot in Maharashtra, although illegal loggers and fishermen have been shot, leading to charges against rangers.
Tiger poaching in India is driven by demand for tiger parts in the market for traditional Chinese medicine.