The Wildlife Protection Act of India - Seeker's Thoughts

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The Wildlife Protection Act of India


The Wildlife Protection Act of India

The Wildlife Protection Act of India establishes and supports a network of biologically significant protected areas while prohibiting trade in certain species. Furthermore, it creates regulatory bodies like the Central Zoo Authority which oversees Indian zoos.

This law gives the central government authority to implement environmental protection measures and punish those who break them, and also gives authorities permission to declare certain regions as national parks or sanctuaries.




The Wildlife Protection Act establishes and defines various terms related to India's wildlife conservation and management, creating protected areas and forbidding hunting of wild animals, birds, and plants. Furthermore, advisory boards and wardens were set up under this act in order to oversee their safety as well as that of wildlife habitats.

The Central Government can designate certain areas as Sanctuary or National Park if they possess ecological, faunal, floral or zoological significance. Furthermore, this gives the central government power to restrict or regulate import or export or possession of alien species that could impact wildlife habitat negatively.

No person may acquire, possess, sell, offer for sale, transfer or transport any animal specified in the Act - either its meat derived therefrom, its uncured trophy, salted or dried skins thereof, musk or horn of any rhinoceros without prior written approval by either the Chief Wildlife Warden or an authorized officer. Such permission will only be given after taking into consideration relevant antecedents and factors of the applicant.




The Wildlife Protection Act authorizes the central government to designate areas as sanctuaries and national parks, establish hunting limits on animals, and punish those who violate them. Furthermore, this legislation prohibits import, trade and possession of non-indigenous plant and animal species - known as invasive alien species - without prior written approval from Chief Wildlife Warden or Authorized Officer.

The Act establishes six schedules which offer differing degrees of protection to wildlife in India. Schedule I and II offer maximum protection with severe penalties for violations. Meanwhile, Schedules III and IV categorize certain species as vermin which means they can be hunted freely.

The Act also requires state governments and union territories to form Wildlife Boards, while the central government may designate any area as a sanctuary if they consider it sufficiently ecological, faunal, floral, geomorphological, natural or zoological in significance. Furthermore, this law stipulates the creation of a Central Zoo Authority who will recognize zoos while overseeing them.




The Act imposes stiff fines and prison terms on anyone found harming wildlife or disturbing protected species habitat, and also creates State Wildlife Advisory Boards and Wardens responsible for administering protection acts in their jurisdictions. Membership on such boards typically consists of politicians, representatives from non-government organizations (NGOs), environmentalists and prominent conservationists.

The Chief Wildlife Warden is charged with overseeing, controlling, managing and maintaining all sanctuary sites within their state. Additionally, they can inspect any premises and stop vehicles or vessels as needed to conduct inspections as well as seizing any wild animal, animal article, meat product (uncured trophy), specific plant derivative or derivative thereof that enter their jurisdiction.

No one may enter or reside in a sanctuary without first receiving permission from an authorized officer, providing proof of identity and residency. Furthermore, only public servants on duty, owners of land in the sanctuary or people traveling through pathways within it are permitted to enter and reside there.


National Parks


This Act prohibits the import, trade or possession of plant and animal species not native to India - known as "invasive alien species". Additionally, the Act allows the Centre to declare conservation reserves; states can create wildlife zones; fines can be imposed for violations of wildlife laws in general and special instances; anyone can volunteer their animals and products voluntarily to Chief Wildlife Warden (appointed by state governments), who will treat these items as State property for which no compensation will be given as they become property of each State Government.

State governments and administrators of union territories are mandated by law to establish a State Board for Wildlife with an appointed chairperson and members, and this body will be charged with selecting and declaring wildlife sanctuaries, national parks and closed areas etc.

State Board for Wildlife will also be charged with giving recognition and overseeing activities at zoos around the country, while taking disciplinary actions against officials or employees of states/UTs who commit any acts of misconduct. Furthermore, this bill establishes the Central Zoo Authority with one chairperson and 10 members.




The Wildlife Act recognizes that animals have feelings and can experience distress when exposed to cruelty or distress, an idea also supported by India's Constitution which states all citizens should observe ahimsa (compassion for all living things). Furthermore, this Act acknowledges biodiversity conservation - another part of nature's contribution to humanity.

The Act grants Central and State governments the authority to declare any region with endangered flora or fauna as a sanctuary, national park or closed area, prohibit cultivation, import or trade of invasive alien species and provide various levels of protection - with Schedule I and II species receiving maximum protection and penalties being levied against offences against these areas being the harshest.

Each state appoints Wildlife Wardens to administer and enforce the Act within their jurisdictions. The Chief Wildlife Warden may delegate any powers and duties under this Act (other than those specifically mentioned in Section 11(C1)) to an officer subordinate to him as part of his efforts at ensuring effective implementation and efficiency of this law. This process helps ensure compliance and implementation.