Wildlife protection act
Summary of Wildlife Protection Act (1972) of India!
The Wildlife Act was passed in 1972 to protect the wildlife and their habitats. The habitat destruction due to agriculture, industries, urbanisation and other human activities had led to the erosion of the country’s wildlife.
The major activities and provisions in the act can be summed up as follows:
1. It defines the wildlife related terminology.
2. Enactment of an All India Wildlife Protection Act (1972).
3. It provides for the appointment of wildlife advisory Board, Wildlife warden, their powers, duties etc.
4. Becoming a party to the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES, 1976).
5. Launching a “national component of UNESCO’s ‘Man and Biosphere Programme’ (1971).
6. Under the Act, comprehensive listing of endangered wildlife species was done for the first time and prohibition of hunting of the endangered species was mentioned.
7. Protection to some endangered plants.
8. The Act provides for setting up of National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries etc.
9. The Act provides for the constitution of Central Zoo Authority.
10. There is provision for trade and commerce in some wildlife species with license for sale, possession, transfer etc.
11. The act imposes a ban on the trade or commerce in scheduled animals.
12. It provides for legal powers to officers and punishment to offenders.
It provides for captive breeding programme for endangered species. Several Conservation Projects for individual endangered species like Lion (1972), Tiger (1973), Crocodile (1974) and Brown antlered Deer (1981) were stated under this Act. The Act is adopted by all states in India except J & K, which has its own Act.
Some of the major drawbacks of the Act include mild penalty to offenders, illegal wildlife trade in J & K, personal ownership certificate for animal articles like tiger and leopard skins, no coverage of foreign endangered wildlife, pitiable condition of wildlife in mobile zoos and little emphasis on protection of plant genetic resources.