About Indian Wildlife
Government of India and State Governments are also becoming conscious of the
deteriorating wildlife situation and have acted towards creating sager zones
to the wild life within the Reserve Forests by way of creating what are called
area is a board term given primarily to National Parks and Sanctuaries meant
for affording protection to wild animals and their habitat. They also include
game reserves and biosphere reserves. Protected areas have been set up all over
the world with the specific aim of protecting and conserving animals and plants.
In India too these have been set up in various parts of the country.
The country's first wildlife sanctuary was set up towards the close of the
last century as the Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary in Tamilnadu.
At the time of Independence there were only a few National Parks and Sanctuaries
in India. In the year 1987, there were 54 national parks covering an area
of 21,300 Sq.Km and 372 wildlife sanctuaries with 88,649 Sq.Km. Thus with
the combined coverage of 109652sq.km about 3.3% of the total geographical
area of the country has been accorded the status of protected areas. Wildlife
and forests are state subjects under a single administration setup i.e., Forest
Department of each State. The role of the Central Government 9 meaning the
Government of India) is mainly advisory. Two developments have had a greater
bearing on the status of wildlife conservation in different states. The first
was the of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 as a unified piece of legislation.
The legislation interalia requires the creation of the post of Chief Wildlife
Wardens and Wildlife Wardens in the states to exercise statutory power under
the Act. The states have to set up state Wildlife Advisory Boards, on the
lines of the Indian Board for Wildlife as the apex advisory body to advise
the State Government on the conservation of wildlife. The second is the inclusion
of protection of wild animals and birds in the concurrent list of the union
in the Constitution of India. This gives the Centre a degree of legislative
control over the States in the conservation of wildlife.
Government of India have enacted comprehensive legislature in1972 called the
Wildlife (Protection) Act for providing legal protection to the wildlife and
to the endangered species of fauna in particular as the protection of wild animals
and birds and their habitat assumed national importance. This was done at the
time when forest and protection of wild animals and birds were under the State
list. It has a provision of setting up National Parks and sanctuaries where
wildlife can receive fullest protection. This act has been adopted by all the
states except Jammu and Kashmir and Nagaland. The former have enacted their
own legislation largely on the same lines of the Central Act.
Under the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, the State Governments are empowered
to declare any area as a sanctuary or a National Park for the purpose of protection,
propagating, or developing wildlife their in or its environment.
Many protected areas have been created after the enactment of Wildlife (Protection)
Act of 1972. It is aimed that at least 5% of the total geographical area of
India should be set aside as protected area for best results so far as wildlife
conservation is concerned.
a committee appointed by the Government of India in 1984 has summarized that
the protected areas notified are not well distributed across all states/biogeographic
zones/provinces, and so some endangered animals are being protected in some
special areas. It was also observed that these protected areas were selected
on local consideration earlier rather than on sound ecological reasons. So,
It has been suggested that the network of protected areas proposed should ensure
adequate representation of all biogeographic regions in the country.
All National Parks and Sanctuaries are however not alike. Some of them have
been created specifically to protect the rare and endangered species, notable
among which are the Gir National Park and sanctuary for the Asiatic ion, Kaziranga
National Park for the Rhinoceros, Dachigam Sanctuary for the Kashmir stage,
Keibul Lamjo to the Brow antlered deer and Velavadar National Park for Black
buck, point Calimer for Black buck and special Tiger reserves.
Creation of series of National Parks, Sanctuaries aim at wildlife conservation.
Mere Constitution alone may not yield the desired result and achieve the expected
goals unless they are backed by habitat improvement measures, breeding activities,
special projects to save the endangered species from extinction, regulatory
mechanisms by way of Acts and Rules, national and international attention
and understanding, special management practices and funding.
Sanctuaries are accorded a lesser level of regulation, for in sanctuaries
certain type of activities might be permitted not only for the better protection
of wild life, but also for any other good sufficient reason. Not withstanding
any anything contained elsewhere in this Act, no person shall hunt any animal
in a sanctuary or remove there from any wild animal, whether alive or dead
or any trophy, uncured trophy or meat derived from such animal;
that if the Chief Wildlife Warden is satisfied that it is necessary to hunt
or remove any wild life animal in a sanctuary.
For the better protection of wild life or
For any other good and sufficient reason, he may, with the previous
approval of the State Government, grant a permit authorizing any person to hunt
or remove such wild animal under the direction of an Officer authorized by him
or cause it to be hunted or removed. (Section29 (1) of the Act).
The Chief Wildlife Warden shall be authority who all shall control, manage
and maintain all Sanctuaries and for that purpose, within the limits of any
May construct such roads, bridges, buildings, fences or barrier
gates and carry out such other works as he may consider necessary for the purpose
of such Sanctuary;
Shall take steps as will ensure the security of the wild animals
in the sanctuary and the preservation of the sanctuary and wild animals therein;
may take such measures in the interests of wildlife, as he may
consider necessary for the improvement of any habitats.
May regulate, control or prohibit n keeping with the interests
of wildlife. The grazing or , movement of cattle;
May regulate, control or prohibit any fishing. (Section33 of the
act further says that "Wildlife" includes any animal, bees, butterflies,
crustacea, fish and moths; and aquatic or land vegetation which forms part of
any habitat (Section2 (37) of the Act).
The Act has laid down certain procedures for the setting up of National Parks
and Sanctuaries with the following broad objectives.
To identify the extent and boundary of Park of Sanctuary.
To determine rights, if any, that exist within such an area (To be
done by the Collector, or an officer appointed specially for the purpose by
the State Government).
In the case of existing rights, to either compensate the owner of such
rights, if the owner is agreeable or to acquire the land or such rights, where
the owner is not willing to accept compensation voluntarily.
To exclude areas where unacceptable levels of disturbance exists, and
where the disturbance cannot be satisfactorily stopped.
To allow the continuation of those activities which are considered
To provide, for alternatives to public way, or a common pasture, 'as
far as may be practicable or convenient' (Section 25(1) (f) of the Act).
statutory provisions for setting up a National Parks and that of a Sanctuary
are different. In respect of a sanctuary, an area is first declared as a sanctuary
(Section 18 of the Act). Then other steps are followed to determine extinguish
acquire or otherwise adjust rights (Section 19 to 26 of the Act). The activities
that are considered compatible with the interest of wildlife protection are
permitted. On the other hand, for National parks the intention to constitute
an area into a National Park is first notified (Section 35 to the Act) and the
rest of the procedures laid down for constitution of a sanctuary is followed
and completed before declaring an area a National Park (Section 35 (4) of the
Extension in areas to the existing National Parks and Sanctuaries are usually
aimed at making existing areas more ecologically viable and provision for
such alterations is made under Section 35(50 of the Act and for deletion under
Thus it can be seen that as on July, 2000, a total area of 1,15,309.38 Sq.Km
of area has been notified as 481 Wildlife Sanctuaries have been notified as
protected areas in the country covering 3.51% of the total geographical areas.
here for Reservation