Captive Slow Loris, Mokakchong, Nagaland

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A statewide Nagaland biodiversity survey was conducted by students and alumni of NCBS, Bangalore, in May-June 2011. Across sites, the teams found wild animals kept by villagers – some as pets, others for eventual consumption. These included rare mammals like Leopard Cats, Slow Loris and Stump-tailed Macaques as well as several bird species. While the team physically didn’t observe any, keeping (Blyth’s) Tragopans as pets also seemed to be a widespread hobby and a delicacy reserved for VIPs.

This Slow … Read More

Betraying India’s Wildlife

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Shekar Dattatri co-authored this article, which originally appeared in the Oct 2011 issue of GovernanceNow.

Poor governance, replete with farcical meetings, subjective and improper application of the law, and unilateral decision-making, mars the functioning of the National Board for Wildlife, the apex body on conservation. The new Union Environment Minister must take urgent corrective action to restore the Board’s credibility, and protect India’s precious natural heritage from the relentless pressures of development.

Forests and wildlife in India are governed … Read More

Captive Hill Myna, Munnar, Kerala

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In many parts of India, people still keep wild animals captive in their homes as pets. This photographer found this captive Southern or lesser Hill Myna (Gracula indica) at a grocery store in Munnar, Kerala. The store also had a captive Malabar (blue-winged parakeet). This photo was taken in March 2012.

The Wildlife Protection Act (WLPA) prohibits any person (other than a recognized zoo including a rescue centre) from keeping any wild animal (species listed in Schedule I … Read More

Captive Malabar Giant Squirrel

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In many parts of India, people still keep wild animals captive in their homes as pets. This photographer found this captive Malabar Giant Squirrel (Ratufa indica) in a plantation owner’s house near Pala, Kottayyam, Kerala. The forest department was alerted and hopefully the squirrel is now free.

The Wildlife Protection Act (WLPA) prohibits any person (other than a recognized zoo including a rescue centre) from keeping any wild animal (species listed in Schedule I to IV) in captivity … Read More

Over 600 Smuggled Star Tortoises Returned To India From Malaysia

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A parcel containing 601 Indian star tortoises was returned to Chennai from Malaysia and handed over to the Forest department. The tortoises were handed over from Kuala Lumpur after customs officials in the airport found it in an unclaimed parcel that allegedly arrived from Dhaka, Bangladesh. Star tortoises are not protected species in either Malaysia or Bangladesh. They are protected under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act (WLPA). The tortoises will be quarantined for a couple of days in the local … Read More

Speedpost Parcel Containing Ivory caught in Guwahati

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Acting on specific intelligence, customs sleuths in the Guwahati airport confiscated an Ahmedabad bound parcel containing 3.45 kgs of Ivory. The parcel was seized as it was being boarded onto a Spicejet flight. The Ivory was concealed under paddy husks and the value of the tusks is estimated to be around Rs. 10.35 lakhs in the domestic market and crores abroad. Smuggling in the north east is increasingly said to be taking an aerial route.… Read More

Guidance Document for Non-forestry Activities in Wildlife Habitats

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The Wildlife  (Protection) Act, 1972 and orders of the Hon’ble Supreme Court make it mandatory for following certain procedures for taking  up any non-forestry activities in wildlife habitats. Now it is mandatory that all non-forestry activities in wildlife habitats  (within PAs and 10 km from PA boundaries), need approval from State and National Board for Wildlife (Standing Committee). In order to facilitate and guide people on the various steps to be followed for taking up non-forestry activities in wildlife habitats, … Read More

Mandate of the Standing Committee of the NBWL

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The National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) is constituted by the Central Government under Section 5 A of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (WLPA). The National Board may, at its discretion, constitute a Standing Committee under sub-section (1) of Section 5B. The Standing Committee shall consist of the Vice-Chairperson (Union Minister in charge of Forests and Wildlife) the Member Secretary and not more than ten members to be nominated by the Vice-Chairperson from amongst the members of the National Board.

The … Read More