How State Fisheries Provisions Complement Wildlife Law in Protecting the Listed Marine Species?

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Introduction

The menace of illegal wildlife trafficking is primarily understood in the context of terrestrial species from a layperson’s perspective. However, the definition of ‘wildlife’ under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 (WLPA) includes aquatic life and their habitat. The WLPA, in its current form, protects marine species like sea turtles, sea cucumber, sea fans, sea horses, some species of sharks and rays, corals, mollusca, etc., under its Schedules. In addition to these, ITCHS Based Import Export Policy provides for … Read More

Mugger Basking in the Glory, Girnar, Gujarat

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Plastic waste is a common sight in aquatic habitats like ponds, rivers, lakes and oceans and is a major problem. There is a growing body of scientific evidence of the slow degradation of plastic and its impact on aquatic food webs. Plastics also act as physical barriers to animals and impede their movements.

This marsh crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) was seen basking in a pile of plastic waste in a river in Girnar close to the Gir Forest in Gujarat. Muggers … Read More

Raid to Rescue Freshwater Turtles, Malda, West Bengal

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On 12th April 2022, members of the Human & Environment Alliance League (HEAL), led by Jayanta Chakraborty got a turtle dealer arrested in a joint covert operation with the Forest Department at Malda, West Bengal. The operation began with a tip-off by local informers about a trade happening in the Gazole area in Malda. On 10th April 2022, our volunteers posing as buyers interacted with the turtle trader and confirmed his whereabouts.

12 Indian flapshell turtles (Lissemys punctata) and 5 … Read More

The Offence of Illegal Possession under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972

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Wildlife trafficking is the fourth largest transnational crime after arms, drugs, and human trafficking as per United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. When it comes to South Asia, India is considered as the source country for the wild species and its body parts. The World WISE database shows 1000 to 62,000 seizures reported by India from 2004 to 2015. The Wildlife (Protection Act), 1972 is the primary legislation that protects the species listed under Schedule I to IV of … Read More

Proposed Development Tsunami will Engulf Great Nicobar Islands

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In a set of developments that have unfolded with unprecedented speed and uncharacteristic coordination in recent months, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has cleared the first hurdle for Niti Aayog’s mega development plan for Great Nicobar Island. In two meetings held in quick succession in March and April earlier this year, MoEFCC’s Environment Appraisal Committee (EAC) Infrastructure – 1 “recommended” the project “for grant of terms of reference (TOR)” for undertaking environmental impact assessment (EIA) studies, … Read More

Precious Amrit Mahal Kavals are not Wastelands

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Amrit Mahal Kavals are semi-arid grasslands in Karnataka that were set aside several centuries ago, during the Vijayanagara empire, and protected as grazing grounds for a sturdy local breed of cattle known as Amrit Mahal, which was once highly prized as a military draught animal. The protection of these grasslands was continued by subsequent rulers, including Hyder Ali, Tippu Sultan, and the Maharajas of Mysore, as well as the British during their colonial reign in India. Although these grasslands … Read More

Pelicans in Peril – Nematode Infestation Alert!

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On the morning of December 20, 2020, when international birders Mike Prince and Chris Bowden visited Sonnapura Lake near Chikkaballapur Town, about 23 km from Bengaluru, they were not prepared for what they found along the water’s edge — two dead Spot-billed Pelicans (Pelecanus philippensis). Subsequent visits to the lake resulted in the matter being brought to the attention of the Karnataka Forest Department, which promptly despatched the dead birds to the Bannerghatta Zoo on the outskirts Read More

How the tiger can regain its stripes

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This article was written for/first published in The Hindu, OpEd page, August 13, 2020, titled “How the tiger can regain its stripes”.

Tiger conservation needs a reboot to match the scale of India’s aspirations in other domains.

On International Tiger Day, July 29, authorities proudly declared that India should “celebrate” the increase in tigers from about 2,000 in 1970 to about 3,000 now. This is an annual growth rate lower than 1% after 50 years of incredible, sometimes heroic, efforts. … Read More

Hunting Festivals of West Bengal — An Untold Story of Wildlife Massacre

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Ritualistic Hunting — The Silent Wildlife Killer of West Bengal

HEAL has been documenting South Bengal’s hunting festivals since 2016 and working with enforcement authorities to put an end to this indiscriminate mass killing of endangered wildlife.

This is the earlier documentation of their work on CI. 

All of us are acutely aware of the hunting of megafauna connected with the multi-billion dollar illegal wildlife trade. Many of us also know of the problem of hunting that persists in the … Read More

Is It Time to Rethink Wildlife Crime and its Data In India?

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COVID-19 emerged as an endemic zoonotic disease and has now become a pandemic that poses a critical threat to global health security. Over the past several years, humanity has faced a number of zoonotic diseases such as Ebola, Hanta, Influenza A (H1N1), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and now COVID-19. It is estimated that the top 56 zoonotic diseases are responsible for 250 crore cases of human illness and 27 lakh deaths worldwide each year. Researchers from the … Read More

Peregrine Falcons and other Raptors being Brutally Killed by Pigeon-fanciers in Punjab

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Pigeon-fancying is a popular hobby for many around India. Across the world, raptors are viewed as a threat to the pigeons kept by pigeon-fanciers. However, in Punjab (especially in the regions of Doaba and Malwa), some who participate in this activity have taken it upon themselves to deal with these threats in the most extreme manner.

Several shocking videos showing raptors, particularly falcons and accipiters, being caught and brutally “executed” have surfaced on online platforms such as Tik Tok, Whatsapp, … Read More

Trade in Dolphin Oil and Body Parts in Central West Bengal

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South Asian River Dolphin, also known as Ganges River Dolphin (Platanista Gangetica) is an endangered species found in Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna river systems in India and Bangladesh. It is listed as Endangered by IUCN and protected as Schedule I species under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. It is also the National Aquatic Animal of India and the focus of a number of conservation projects.

Around mid-2019, Human and Environment Alliance League (HEAL), a conservation focused NGO in Kolkata, started receiving news of … Read More

Uncovering India’s Illegal Jackal Trade

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Religious beliefs in superstition, coupled with extensive online advertisements, have helped sustain local and transnational markets in a talisman called the ‘jackal horn’. In a recent study published in Journal of Threatened Taxa, scientists from the Wild Canids–India Project team document that the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (Government of India) has seized 126 skins, 8 tails, more than 370 ‘jackal horns’, 16 skulls and two live jackals between 2013 and 2019. The findings indicate that the illegal wildlife trade … Read More

India’s Protected Area (PA) Network

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Here is a short primer on Protected Areas in India.

What is a Protected Area (PA)?

PAs in India comprise National Parks, Sanctuaries, Conservation / Community Reserves and Tiger Reserves. It does not include Reserved Forests.

Protected Area (PA) has been defined in the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (WLPA). Section 2(24A) says: “Protected Area” means a National Park, Sanctuary, Conservation / Community Reserve. These are notified under Chapter IV of the WLPA titled “Protected Areas”. 

A Tiger Reserve on the … Read More

Q: I am a law student and want to purchase a legal commentary on the Wildlife Protection Act 1972. Unfortunately I am not able to find it anywhere. Law book store owners state that there no such detailed commentaries available. Can you help? 

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Answer from the CI Team:

Thank you for your interest. This book would be really helpful for a commentary on the WLPA : Wildlife Law for Rangers.

It is a practical guide to the effective implementation of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 (WLPA). Prosecution of offenders requires Forest Officers to also have a reasonable understanding of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) which is explained in the book.

You can buy the book on Amazon India hereRead More