What is the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972?

  Wildlife Protection Act of 1972? An overview of different Schedules 

The Wildlife Protection Act was enacted in the year 1972 to protect the plants, animals and birds of the country. The major reason why it was passed was to not only protect these animals but also ensure punishments are given for carrying out their poaching. It also establishes protected areas and management of wildlife habitats.

Taxidermy- preservation of dead animal as a trophy or in any form such as rugs, skins, antler, horn, feather, nail, eggs etc. is also prohibited under this law.

 The key feature of the Act is the 6 schedules that consist of the list of animals. The different schedules provide for different levels of protection.

Poaching, smuggling and illegal trade of animals listed in Schedule 1 to Schedule 4 are prohibited.

Schedule 1 and part II of Schedule 2

They are absolutely protected and offences under these have highest penalties.

Schedule 1 includes- Dugong, Gangetic dolphin, Black Buck, Indian Elephant, Indian Lion, Malabar Civet, Pangolin, Rhinoceros, etc.

Part II of Schedule 2 includes– Red fox, King cobra, Jungle cat, Himalayan black bear, Jackal etc.

Schedule 3 and Schedule 4

The animals in this are also protected, but they invite lesser penalties as compared to those in Schedule 1 and part II of Schedule 2.

Schedule 3 includes- Wild pig, Wild pig, Hyaena, Barking deer or muntjac, Chital, Wild pig etc.

Read more: List of Important Viceroys in India for competitive exams

Schedule 4 includes- Hares, Hedge Hogs, Indian porcupine, bulbul, flamingos etc.

Schedule 5

These animals can be hunted and fall in the category of “vermin”

Fruit bats, Common crow, Mice, Rats- these are the only four animals listed in this schedule.

Schedule 6

Cultivation, planting, extraction, trade and collection of endemic plants and its derivates mentioned in Schedule 6 are prohibited.

It includes 6 plants-  Red Vanda, Beddome’s’ cycad, Blue Vanda, Kuth, Ladies slipper orchids, Pitcher plant.

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