Wildlife Conservation Efforts

TN to allow regulated culling of Wild Boars  


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Wild Boars, Vermins under Schedule V.

Why in the News?

  • The Tamil Nadu government has approved the controlled hunting of wild boars causing distress to farmers near forest areas.
    • Presently, Wild boars are NOT listed as Vermin under the Schedule V of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

About the Farmers’ Conflict Resolution Committee

  • The Committee includes representatives from the Departments of Forest, Revenue, Agriculture, and Horticulture, along with scientific experts and wildlife enthusiasts.
  • Objective: The committee was formed to study the impact of raids by elephants and wild pigs on agricultural crops.
  • Implementation Protocol:
    • Approval Process: The culling will require approval from a local three-member checking body.
    • Composition of the Checking Body: The body will include a forester or forest guard, the Village Administrative Officer, and the ward member.
    • Supervision: Culling operations must be conducted in the presence of these three members.

Zoning for Culling Operations

  • Areas adjacent to reserve forests will be divided into three zones:
  1. Zone A: Within one kilometre from forest limits.
  2. Zone B: One to five kilometres from forest limits.
  3. Zone C: Beyond five kilometres from forest limits.
  • Restrictions: Shooting of wild pigs is prohibited within five kilometres of the reserve forest (Zones A and B).
  • Scientific Approach to Culling:
    • Scientific Methodology: The shooting of wild boars must adhere to a scientific approach, considering the intensity and frequency of conflict incidents.
    • Expert Concerns: Experts highlight the ecological role of wild boars and caution against indiscriminate killing.

About Indian Wild Boar

Scientific Name Sus scrofa cristatus
Habitat and Distribution High grass, bushes, forests, high crops, dense forests, grasslands, scrublands, agricultural areas; Indian subcontinent, various altitudes from sea level to mountains
Behaviour and Social Structure
  • Matriarchal ‘sounders’ led by an elder female;
  • Solitary adult males or loose bachelor groups;
  • Active during evening and night;
  • Territorial fights with predators.
  • Omnivorous: excreta, tubers, roots, leaves, fruit, vegetables, standing crops, carrion, small animals, baby deer;
  • Prefers marshy areas and roots in swampy places
  • Breeding year-round, peak seasons vary by region;
  • Gestation: around four months; Litter size: multiple piglets
Ecological Role
  • Seed dispersal aiding plant propagation;
  • Important prey species maintaining predator-prey balance in the ecosystem
Conservation Status
  • IUCN Red List: Least Concern
  • Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule III

Proposed reclassification to Schedule V (vermin) due to agricultural damage.

Present Culling Section 11-B (1) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 allows the Chief Wildlife Warden to issue special orders to kill dangerous wild animals.


Back2Basics: Schedule III of WPA, 1972

  • Protection Level: Lesser degree of protection compared to Schedule I and II.
  • Prohibition: Hunting of these species is prohibited except under special circumstances defined by the Act.
  • Penalties: Violations related to these species attract penalties, though they are less stringent than those for higher schedules.

Species Listed in Schedule III: As per the latest available data, the following are examples of species listed under Schedule III of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972:

  1. Chinkara (Gazella bennettii): Also known as the Indian Gazelle, found in various parts of India.
  2. Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra): A species of antelope native to India.
  3. Blue Bull (Boselaphus tragocamelus): Also known as the Nilgai, the largest Asian antelope.
  4. Indian Wild Boar (Sus scrofa cristatus): A subspecies of the wild boar native to the Indian subcontinent.
  5. Sambar (Rusa unicolor): A large deer native to the Indian subcontinent.

Legal Provisions:

  • Hunting Prohibition: Hunting any animal listed under Schedule III is prohibited except for purposes like scientific research, education, and when permitted by the authorities under specific conditions.
  • Penalties: The penalties for offenses involving Schedule III animals include imprisonment up to three years, or a fine up to Rs. 25,000, or both.



[2017] 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.

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