Wildlife Protection Act 1972

Prior to Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, India only had five designated national parks. This was the first umbrella act which established schedules of protected plant and animal species. By this act, hunting or harvesting these species was largely outlawed.

  • Extends to the whole of India, except the State of Jammu and Kashmir which has its own wildlife act.
  • There are six schedules which give varying degrees of protection.
  • Out of the six schedules , Schedule I and part II of Schedule II provide absolute protection and offences under these are prescribed the highest penalties.
  • The penalties for Schedule III and Schedule IV are less and these animals are protected.
  • Schedule V includes the animals which may be hunted. These are Common crow , Fruit bats, Mice & Rats only.
  • Schedule VI contains the plants, which are prohibited from cultivation and planting. These plants are as follows
    • Beddomes’ cycad (Cycas beddomei)
    • Blue Vanda (Vanda soerulec)
    • Kuth (Saussurea lappa)
    • Ladies slipper orchids (Paphiopedilum spp.)
    • Pitcher plant (Nepenthes khasiana)
    • Red Vanda (Rananthera inschootiana)]

Important Points:

Declaration of Sanctuary:

The State Government may, by notification, declare its intention to constitute any area other than area comprised with any reserve forest or the territorial waters as a sanctuary if it considers that such area is of adequate ecological, faunal, floral, geomorphological, natural. or zoological significance, for the purpose of protecting, propagating or developing wildlife or its environment. The boundary of the Sancuary will be fixed by the state Government by a notification specifying the limits of the area which shall be comprised within the sanctuary and declare that the said area shall be sanctuary on and from such date as may be specified in the notification.

  • No alteration of the boundaries of a Sanctuary shall be made except on a resolution passed by the Legislature of the State.

Declaration of the National Parks:

Whenever it appears to the State Government that an area, whether within a sanctuary or not, is, by reason of its ecological, faunal, floral, geomorphological, or zoological association or importance, needed to be constituted as a National Park for the purpose of protectin& propagating or developing wildlife therein or its environment, it may, by notificLtion, declare its intention to constitute such area as a National Park. The Government will define the limits of the area which is intended to be declared as a National Park by notification.

  • No alteration of the boundaries of a National Park shall be made except on a resolution passed by the Legislature of the State.

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