Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972

RELEVANCE – UPSC GS PRELIMS

QUESTION ASKED IN UPSC EXAM ON- Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972

UPSC  2017

QUES –  In India, if a species of tortoise is declared protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, what does it imply ?
(a) It enjoys the same level of protection as the tiger.
(b) It no longer exists in the wild, a few individuals are under captive protection; and now it is impossible to prevent its extinction.
(c) It is endemic to a particular region of India.
(d) Both (b) and (c) stated above are correct in this context.

Answer (a)

UPSC 2017

QUES – According to the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, which of the following animals cannot be hunted by any person except under some provisions provided by law?
1. Gharial
2. Indian wild ass
3. Wild buffalo
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer – (d)

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The Government of India enacted Wild Life (Protection) Act 1972 with the objective of effectively protecting the wild life of this country and to control poaching, smuggling and illegal trade in wildlife and its derivatives. The Act has been amended several times and punishment and penalty for offences under the Act have been made more stringent. The Ministry has proposed further amendments in the law by introducing more rigid measures to strengthen the Act.

Objective of the Act

The objective is to provide protection to the listed endangered flora and fauna and ecologically important protected areas.

Jurisdiction

It extends to the whole of India, except the State of Jammu and Kashmir which has its own wildlife act.

Subject matter which the Act deals with

The Wild Life Act provides for state wildlife advisory boards, regulations for hunting wild animals and birds, establishment of sanctuaries and national parks, regulations for trade in wild animals, animal products and trophies, and judicially imposed penalties for violating the Act.

Schedules

It has six schedules which give varying degrees of protection. Schedule I and part II of Schedule II provide absolute protection – offences under these are prescribed the highest penalties.

Species listed in Schedule III and Schedule IV are also protected, but the penalties are much lower.

Schedule V includes the animals which may be hunted. The specified endemic plants in Schedule VI are prohibited from cultivation and planting.

Schedule V  animals which may be hunted include – 

Common crow , Little Indian field mouse , Spiny field mouse , House mouse , Long-tailed tree mouse , Lesser Bandicot rat , Large Bandicot rat , House rat , Brown rat , Himalayan rat ,Soft-furred field rat , Desert gerbil , Indian gerbil , White-bellied rat ,  Indian bush rat , Indian hairy-footed gerbil and Short-tailed mole rat

Amendments

The Law has been amended several times –

1 Wild Life (Protection ) Amendment Act 1982
2 Wild Life (Protection ) Amendment Act 1986
3 Wild Life (Protection ) Amendment Act 1991
4 Wild Life (Protection ) Amendment Act 1993
5 Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act, 2002
6 Wild Life (Protection ) Amendment Act 2006
7 Wild Life (Protection ) Amendment Act 2013