Searching for data on vermin bird, animals: Goa minister

Panaji, May 31 (IANS) In a bid to identify vermin birds and animals, Goa’s forest department has begun scanning forest areas and other habitations, recording damage to agriculture and horticultural crops, Environment and Forest Minister Rajendra Arlekar said on Tuesday.

“We are getting reports from the different range forest officers who are moving in the forests and we are trying to find out which particular animal has done more damage far,” he said.

Goa’s efforts to declare wild fauna and avia as vermin had seen a volley of criticism, especially after state Agriculture Minister Ramesh Tawadkar in March this year, had said that the state animal, the Great Indian bison and the national bird, peacock were on the list of probable vermin because of the damage they cause to crops.

In face of the protests from the ppposition, as well as green groups, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led coalition government eventually relented and said that both the bison, locally known as the gaur and the peacock would not be included in the vermin list.

Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar had however said that wild boar and monkeys were causing immense damage to agriculture and could be declared vermin following a long-drawn process which involves the state and central government as well as Wildlife Boards in Goa and at the national level.

–IANS

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