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Wildlife Protection Act 1972- Salient Features, Amendment

What is Wildlife Protection?

Wildlife protection is the practice of protecting wild species and their habitats in order to maintain healthy wildlife species or populations and to restore, protect or enhance natural ecosystems. Major threats to wildlife include habitat destruction, degradation, fragmentation, overexploitation, poaching, pollution, climate change, and the illegal wildlife trade. The Wild Life (Protection) Act, of 1972 is the main legislation in India that provides for the protection of wild animals, birds, and plants.

Wildlife Protection Act 1972

The Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 is a crucial law in India that focuses on safeguarding and conserving the nation’s wildlife. Its primary objective is to combat illegal hunting, poaching, and trade of wildlife species while preserving their natural habitats. The Act was enacted to establish a legal framework for the protection of animals and plants, along with effective habitat management. It also regulates the trade of wildlife and related products.

The Act is organized into six schedules that classify protected plants, specially protected animals, and vermin species, indicating the required level of protection and monitoring. Additionally, there have been recent efforts to further strengthen wildlife conservation through the Wildlife Protection Amendment Bill, introduced in the Lok Sabha. This bill seeks to expand the protection of endangered species and align regulations with international conservation standards set by CITES

Salient Features of Wildlife Protection Act 1972

Candidates can read here about the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 encompasses various significant features aimed at conserving and protecting wildlife in India. The key aspects of the Act can be summarized as follows:

  • Hunting Restrictions: The Act strictly prohibits the hunting of wild animals, with limited exceptions for educational and scientific purposes.
  • Protection of Plants: The Act also prohibits activities like picking and uprooting of specified plant species to ensure their preservation.
  • Protected Areas: The legislation provides for the establishment and protection of designated areas such as Sanctuaries and National Parks, ensuring the preservation of wildlife and their habitats.
  • Trade Prohibitions: The Act prohibits the trade in trophies, animals, and animal products derived from certain protected species.
  • Ownership of Hunted Animals: If an animal is hunted within a sanctuary or National Park, it becomes the property of the Government.
  • State Government Powers: State governments have the authority to declare areas as Sanctuaries or National Parks based on their ecological, faunal, floral, or zoological significance.
  • Central Government Powers: The Central Government can declare an area as a Sanctuary or National Park if it is transferred by the State Government to the central authority.

These provisions collectively aim to protect and conserve wildlife by regulating hunting, preserving habitats, and controlling trade activities. The Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 plays a crucial role in safeguarding India’s rich biodiversity and promoting wildlife conservation efforts.

Wildlife Protection Act Amendment

The Wildlife Protection Act Amendment 2022 is an amendment to the Wildlife Protection Act, of 1972. The amendment was passed by the Parliament of India in December 2021 and came into force on April 1, 2023. The amendment aims to strengthen the protection of wildlife in India by making a number of changes to the existing law. Some of the key changes include:

  • Increased protection for endangered species: The amendment adds a new schedule to the Act, which lists all the endangered species of wild animals and plants. These species will now have even greater protection under the law.
  • Increased penalties for violations: The amendment increases the penalties for violations of the Act. For example, the penalty for poaching a wild animal has been increased from Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 1 lakh.
  • Improved enforcement: The amendment provides for better enforcement of the Act. For example, it creates a new post of Chief Wildlife Warden in each state.
  • Increased public awareness: The amendment aims to increase public awareness about wildlife protection. For example, it requires the government to run awareness campaigns about the importance of wildlife conservation.

The Wildlife Protection Act Amendment 2022 is a significant step forward in the protection of wildlife in India. The amendment is expected to help to reduce poaching and illegal wildlife trade and to improve the overall conservation of India’s wildlife.

Schedule of Wildlife Protection Act

The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 (WPA) is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted for the protection of plants and animal species. The Act was enacted in 1972 with the objective of effectively protecting the wildlife of this country and to control poaching, smuggling and illegal trade in wildlife and its derivatives. The WPA lists all the wild animals, birds, and plants that are protected under the Act. These are divided into four schedules, with Schedule I containing the most endangered species.

  • Schedule I: This schedule contains the most endangered species of wild animals and plants. These species are prohibited from being hunted, captured, traded, or possessed.
  • Schedule II: This schedule contains the species that are also accorded high protection with the prohibition on their trade. However, they can be hunted or captured under certain circumstances, such as for scientific research or for the control of pests.
  • Schedule III: This schedule contains the species that are protected but with a lesser degree of protection than Schedule I and II. These species can be hunted or captured with a permit from the government.
  • Schedule IV: This schedule contains the species that are included in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES). These species cannot be traded internationally without a permit from the government.

The schedules of the WPA are an important tool for the protection of wildlife in India. They help to ensure that the most endangered species are protected, and that trade in wildlife is regulated.

Wildlife Protection Act 1972 for Protecting Habitats

The Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 holds significant importance in preserving wildlife habitats across India. This legislation establishes legal frameworks and guidelines for the protection and conservation of crucial habitats essential for the survival of diverse wildlife species. The Act recognizes and designates five distinct types of protected areas:

  • National Parks: These areas are established to conserve and protect the natural habitat, biodiversity, and ecosystems of various wildlife species.
  • Wildlife Sanctuaries: These designated sanctuaries serve as safe havens for wildlife, where activities like hunting and poaching are strictly prohibited.
  • Tiger Reserves: Tiger reserves focus specifically on the conservation and protection of the endangered tiger species, ensuring their habitats remain undisturbed.
  • Conservation Reserves: These reserves aim to safeguard and manage areas that are significant for the conservation of specific species, biodiversity, or ecological landscapes.
  • Community Reserves: Community reserves involve local communities in the conservation process, empowering them to participate in the management and preservation of wildlife and their habitats.

Through the identification and establishment of these protected areas, the Wildlife Protection Act plays a pivotal role in safeguarding wildlife habitats and promoting their conservation in India.

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What is the Section 11 Wildlife Protection Act?

Wildlife animals protected under Schedule I of the Act can be hunted only by the permission of the Chief Wildlife Warden.

What is Wildlife Protection Act?

Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 is a law in India that aims to protect and conserve wildlife. It prohibits the hunting, poaching, and trading of endangered species, and establishes penalties for such activities. The act also focuses on the preservation of habitats and the prevention of wildlife exploitation.

When did the Wildlife Protection Act come into force?

The Wildlife Protection Act came into force in 1972, being enacted by the Indian government to protect and conserve wildlife in the country. Recently, Wildlife Protection Amendment Bill 2021 has been introduced.

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