Wildlife Conservation Efforts

What is the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: CITES, WPA Act

Mains level: Not Much


A person in UP was booked under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, for “illegally” keeping and nursing an injured Sarus crane (Grus Antigone) he found in his village.

About Sarus

  • The Sarus crane is usually found in wetlands and is the state bird of Uttar Pradesh.
  • Standing at 152-156 centimetres, it is the world’s tallest flying bird.

What is Wildlife (Protection) Act, of 1972?

  • WPA provides for the protection of the country’s wild animals, birds and plant species, in order to ensure environmental and ecological security.
  • It provides for the protection of a listed species of animals, birds and plants, and also for the establishment of a network of ecologically-important protected areas in the country.
  • It provides for various types of protected areas such as Wildlife Sanctuaries, National Parks etc.

There are six schedules provided in the WPA for the protection of wildlife species which can be concisely summarized as under:

Schedule I: These species need rigorous protection and therefore, the harshest penalties for violation of the law are for species under this Schedule.
Schedule II: Animals under this list are accorded high protection. They cannot be hunted except under threat to human life.
Schedule III & IV: This list is for species that are not endangered. This includes protected species but the penalty for any violation is less compared to the first two schedules.
Schedule V: This schedule contains animals which can be hunted.
Schedule VI: This list contains plants that are forbidden from cultivation.


What is the law on animals and birds under Schedule IV?

  • Species mentioned under Schedules III and IV relate to the prohibition on dealings in trophy and animal articles without a license, purchase of animals by a licensee, and restriction on transportation of wildlife.
  • Section 48 of the Act specifically states that any wild animal or animal article can be transported only after obtaining permission from the Chief Wildlife Warden or any other officer authorised by the state.
  • Section 44 provides for issuing licenses to taxidermists, eating houses (hotels or restaurants), and dealers in animal articles, preserved animal parts or trophies, uncured trophies (whole or any unpreserved part of an animal), captive animals, and snake venom of such species.


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1 year ago

the schedules in WPA have been revised. please update.


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