Prelimsverse: Learn All about Wildlife Protection Act 1972

Objectives of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1872

  1. Applicable to the Whole of India.
  2. One of the main objectives is to prohibit the hunting of wild animals, various species of birds etc. 
  3. It lays down various punishments for the violation of rules and regulations to have proper control over the activities of human beings and to serve the various purposes of this Act. 
  4. Various Schedules contained under this Act give absolute protection to some endangered species so that they can be protected. 
  5. To provide shelter and protect the animals which are not in danger but need protection and security. 
  6. To specially protected animals that can be hunted like ducks, deer etc. For hunting such animals, the hunter has to obtain a license from the District Officer. If the license is granted, he would be given a certain restricted area to shoot the animals and in a particular season. Any of the acts which result in infringement of such a license will be cancelled. 
  7. One of the important objectives is to give powers in the hands of officers to punish the one who is guilty under this Act.
  8. To help the state government and central government to declare any area as sanctuaries or national parks. 
  9. To plant trees and build protected animal parks so that such animals are protected in environment-friendly and natural areas. 
  10. To establish wildlife advisory boards, wildlife warden and to appoint the members with their duties and power. 
  11.  To support the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES, 1976).
  12.  To support the launching of the National component of UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Programme, 1971. 
  13. To provide protection even for some endangered plants. 
  14. To impose a ban on trade and commerce of certain protected species. 
  15. To provide trade and commerce of some wild species by providing a license for possession, sale, and transfer.  
  16. To maintain the diversity of flora and fauna of the country and also to maintain a healthy ecological balance.

Scheduled species 

  1. The Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 has been divided into six schedules. Each schedule gives a varied form of protection. 
  2. Schedule 1 and Schedule 2 provide absolute protection to the wild animals and for the violation of such provisions the penalty charged is very high. 
  3. While in Schedule 3 and Schedule 4 animals are protected here but the penalty charged is low. 
  4. Schedule 5 states the list of animals which can be hunted. This schedule includes rats, common crows, mice, fruit bats, jackals, bats.
  5. Schedule 6 states the list of specified endemic plants which are prohibited for cultivation and planting. It includes blue vanda, red vanda, pitcher plant, kuth, beddomes cycad, ladies slipper orchids, pitcher plant. 

Section 2 of the WPA 1972 defines several terminologies:

  1. ‘Animal’-  According to this section the word animal includes mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds and their eggs.
  2. ‘Wild Animals’- This refers to any animal which is of wild nature as compared to other species of animals and includes any animal which is specified in Schedule 1, Schedule 2, Schedule 4 or Schedule 5 wherever it is found. 
  3. ‘Animal article’- Refers to any article or object made from a wild animal wherein the whole body or a particular part of them has been used. This does not include vermin(wild animals that are harmful to crops, game or farm animals or carry various infectious diseases)
  4. ‘Captive animal’- Any animal which is kept or bred in captivity, which is described in Schedule 1; Schedule 2; Schedule 3; and Schedule 4. It can also be described as animals which live under human care. 
  5. ‘Chief wildlife warden’– It is the statutory authority that heads the wildlife department of a state.
  6. ‘Government Property’- It refers to any property belonging to the government or is in possession of the government, and as described in the provisions of Section 39 of the Wildlife Protection Act,1972. 
  7. ‘Hunting’- It includes poisoning, killing, trapping any wild animal or making an attempt to do so. It also includes driving any animal for any particular purpose, injuring any wild animal or any of their body parts or killing the eggs of reptiles and birds, or disturbing the nest or eggs of the reptiles or birds.  
  8. ‘Reserve forest’- The area which is declared as reserved for forest by the State Government under this Act, as described under section 20 of  The Indian Forest Act, 1972. 
  9. ‘Wildlife Warden’- It means any person appointed by the advisory board members and as specified in Section 4 of this Act.
  10. ‘Zoo’– A licensed dealer who kept captive animals for the public exhibition but not for circus or any other purpose, it can be either stationary or mobile.

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