Dehradun: With a view to tighten noose around wildlife poachers, the Zoological Survey of India will soon establish five DNA laboratories in Dehradun, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Pune.

The laboratory set by the country’s premier organisation in zoological research and studies will carry out the DNA test of animals listed under Wildlife Protection Act, in order to keep a tab on poaching of these species.

The main aim behind setting DNA test centers is help the wildlife experts in the investigation of dead animals and body parts smuggled to different countries for therapeutic and spiritual purposes.

Decipher this: If wildlife departments nab shells of a turtle, the DNA test of it will help to find the classification of that turtle. This in turn will to help to find whether that particular specie is listed under Wildlife Protection Act or not.

Generally, smugglers get bail from the court due to lack of evidence as wildlife authorities fail to produce concrete proof on the genetic code of the animals.

By DNA test it will also become easy to trace out that the dead animal found was being poached or killed by another animal. Besides, it will also help to check the series of development in animal genes and the evolution of animals.

Senior scientist Dr Archana Bahuguna informed that Ministry of Environment has given its nod to Zoological Survey of India for setting ups the labs.

“For setting lab in Dehradun, the Ministry has sanctioned Rs 90 lakhs for infrastructure. Already laboratory apparatus and equipments worth Rs 40 lakhs has been delivered at the regional office of Zoological survey department in Dehradun,” said Bahuguna.

Also, Assistant Director of ZSI, PT Bhutia informed that the design of the lab has been sent to Civil Construction unit of CPWD.  “It is expected that the construction work will begin from November,” he said.

Presently, arrangements for DNA test of wildlife and aquatic animals are available only at Hyderabad.

JPN/Bureau