• The adoption of a National Policy for Wildlife conservation in 1970 and the enactment of
    the Wildlife (Protection) Act in 1972 lead to a significant growth in the protected areas
  • It was further strengthened by a number of national conservation projects, notably
    Project Tiger, Project elephant, crocodile Breeding and Management Project, etc.
  • National Board for Wildlife (NBWL), chaired by the Prime Minister of India provides for
    policy framework for wildlife conservation in the country.
  • The Indian Constitution entails the subject of forests and wildlife in the Concurrent list.
  • 4 categories
    o Sanctuary
    o National park
    o Conservation reserve
    o Community reserve

Wildlife Sanctuary (WLS)

A wildlife refuge, also called a wildlife sanctuary, is a naturally occurring sanctuary,
such as an island, that provides protection for species from hunting, predation or
It is a protected area, a geographic territory within which wildlife is protected or an area
which has ecological, faunal, floral, geomorphological, natural or zoological significance
Purpose of WLS – protect, propagate or develop wildlife or its environment.
Comes under IUCN category 4.
The Wild life (Protection) Act of 1972 provided for the declaration of certain areas by
the State Government as wildlife sanctuaries if the area was thought to be of adequate
ecological, geomorphological and natural significance.
The Central Government may also declare a sanctuary under certain conditions.
Certain rights of people living inside the Sanctuary could be permitted.
Grazing, firewood collection by tribal is allowed but strictly regulated.
Settlements not allowed (few exceptions – tribal settlements do exist but efforts are
made to relocate them).
A Sanctuary can be promoted to a National Park.

Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary

National Park

State government can declare a national park under Wild Life (Protection) Act (WPA) of
National Parks are declared in areas that are considered to be of adequate ecological,
geomorphological and natural significance.
Within the law, the difference in conservation value of a National Park from that of a
sanctuary is not specified in the WPA 1972.

Difference between wild life sanctuary and national park

Difference between wild life sanctuary and national park

General Provision for Sanctuary and National Park

Declaration of the Protected Area by the State Government –
Initial Notification

The State Government may, by notification, declare its intention to constitute any area
within or outside any reserve forest as a sanctuary / National Park if it considers that
such area is adequate for the purpose of protecting, propagating or developing wild life
or its environment.

Final notification

In this notification the state government specifies the limits of the area which shall be
comprised within the sanctuary and declare that the said area shall be a sanctuary/
National park from such date as may be specified in the notification.

Declaration of the Protected Area by the Central Government –

The central government may declare an area as sanctuary/national park by notification if it is
satisfied that an area is of adequate ecological, faunal, floral, geomorphological, natural or
zoological significance, for the purpose of protecting, propagating or developing wild life or its


Notification shall specify situation and limits of such area.
In cases where territorial water is included, the limits shall be determined in
consultation with the
Chief Naval Hydrographer of the Central Government, after taking
adequate measures to protect the occupational interests of the local fishermen.
No alteration of boundaries of a sanctuary/ National Park shall be made except on
recommendation of the National Board for Wild Life.

Settlement of rights

Responsibility of state government to make alternative arrangements for fuel, fodder
and other forest produce to the persons affected, in terms of their rights as per the
Government records.
The State Government appoints an officer as a ‘Collector’ under the Act to inquire into
and determine the existence, nature and extent of rights of any person in or over the
land comprised within the sanctuary/ National Park which is to be notified.
After the issue of a notification no right shall be acquired in, on or over the land
comprised within the limit of the area specified except by succession, testamentary or

Claim of rights

Collector shall pass an order admitting or rejecting the same in whole or in part.
If such claim is admitted in whole or in part, the Collector may either

  • a) Exclude such land from the limits of the proposed sanctuary
    b) proceed to acquire such land or rights
    c) allow, in consultation with the Chief Wild Life Warden, the continuation of any right
    of any person in or over any land within the limits of the sanctuary.

Entry into the Protected Area

No person other than –

  • a) A public servant on duty
    b) A person who has been permitted by the Chief Wild Life Warden or the authorized
    officer to reside within the limits of the sanctuary/National Park
    c) A person who has any right over immovable property within the limits of the
    sanctuary/ National Park
    d) A person passing through the sanctuary/ National Park along a public highway
    e) The dependents of the person referred to in clause (a), (b) or (c) above,

Shall enter or reside in the sanctuary/National Park, except under and in accordance
with the conditions of a permit granted.

Grant of permit for entry

Permission by – Chief Wild Life Warden
Purposes for which permission can be granted –

  • o Investigation or study of wildlife and purposes ancillary or incidental thereto o Photography
    o Scientific research
    o Tourism
    o Transaction of lawful business with any person residing in the sanctuary

Chief Wild Life Warden – authority who shall control, manage and maintain all Protected Areas.

Conservation Reserve and Community Reserves

• They are outcome of amendments to the Wild life protection act in 2003.
• The act provided recognition and legal backing to the community initiated efforts in
wildlife protection.
• It provides for a flexible system wherein the wildlife conservation is achieved without
compromising the community needs.

Conservation Reserves

Can be declared by state govt. in any area which is owned by Central govt. particularly
NP and WLS adjacent area or areas which are linked with protected area.
These areas are declared after consulting with local communities.
Purpose – protecting landscape, seascape, flora and fauna and their habitat
Rights of people living inside area are not affected.
1st conservation reserve established in the country – Tiruppadaimarathur conservation
reserve in Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu
. (to protect bird nests)

Community Reserves

Can be declared by state government in any private or community land, not comprised.
within a NP, WLS or conservation reserve, where an individual or a community has
volunteered to conserve wildlife and its habitat.
Purpose – protecting fauna, flora and traditional or cultural conservation values and
Rights of people living inside area are not affected.
Managed through – a community reserve management committee.
No change in land use pattern shall be made within the community reserve, except in
accordance with a resolution passed by the management committee and approval of
the same by the state government.

Coastal Protected Areas or Marine Protected Areas (MPA)

Aim – to protect and conserve the natural marine ecosystems in their pristine condition.
IUCN MPA definition – “any area intertidal or sub tidal terrain together with its
overlaying water and associated flora, fauna, historical and cultural features, which has
been reserved by law or other effective means to protect part or all of the enclosed

Marine productivity in India is concentrated in small areas of coral reefs, lagoons,
mangroves, estuaries and seagrass beds. They provide rich feeding and breeding for fish
and other marine life.
MPA protects the vital life support processes of the sea.
It also ensures sustainable productivity and fish production.
MPA Classification –
Category-I – covers NP & WLS and having entire areas in intertidal/ sub-tidal or
mangroves, coral reefs, creeks, seagrass beds, algal beds, estuaries, lagoons.
Category-II – includes Islands
Category-III A – includes sandy beaches beyond intertidal line
Category IIIB – includes ever green or semi ever green forests of Islands.
Total MPAs in India – 31

  • o Marine National Park and Marine Sanctuary in the Gulf of Kutch form one unit
    (one MPA).
    o Bhitarkanika National Park and Bhitarkanika Sanctuary are an integral part of one

Cover <4.01% of the total area of all Protected Areas of India.

Sacred groves of India

They are patches of forests or natural vegetation – from a few trees to forests of several
acres – that are usually dedicated to local folk deities.
Example – Amrapali donated
mango grove to Buddha.

Q.) Why these places are protected?

Protected by – local communities.
Why – Because of their religious beliefs and traditional rituals that run through several
Degree of sanctity – varies from one grove to another. Example – in some forests even
the dry foliage and fallen fruits are not touched.
People believe any disturbance mean offend to local deity. Examples –

  • o Garo and Khasi tribes of NE India completely prophet any disturbance in the
    sacred grove.
    o Gonds of central India prohibit the cutting of a tree but allow fallen parts to be

Classification of sacred groves

Traditional Sacred Groves – It is the place where the village deity resides, who is
represented by an elementary symbol.
Temple Groves – Here a grove is created around a temple and conserved.
Groves around the burial or cremation grounds.

Ecological significance

Conservation of biodiversity – they are important repositories of floral and faunal
Recharge of aquifers – they are often associated with ponds, streams or springs which
meet the requirements of local people.
Soil conservation – vegetation cover of sacred groves prevents soil conservation.

Distribution of Sacred groves in India

Found all over India
Abundantly along – Western Ghats in Kerala and Karnataka.

Threats to Sacred groves

Disappearance of traditional belief system (now considered mere superstition) which
were fundamentals to the concept of sacred groves.
Many groves have been destroyed due to urbanization + developmental interventions
+ encroachment.
Sanskritisation (social change)” or the transformation of the primitive forms of nature
worship into formal temple worship
Invasion by exotic weeds such as Eupatoritun odoratum, Lantana camara and Prosopis
juliflora is a serious threat to some groves.
Pressures due to increasing livestock and fuelwood collection.

List of sacred groves State Local term for Sacred Groves No. of sacred
1 Andhra Pradesh Pavithravana 580
2 Arunachal Pradesh Gumpa Forests (attached to Buddhist
3 Goa Deorai, Pann 55
4 Jharkhand Sarana 29
5 Karnataka Devara Kadu 1531
6 Kerala Kavu, Sara Kavu 299
7 Maharashtra Devrai, Devrahati, Devgudi 2820
8 Manipur Gamkhap, Mauhak (sacred bamboo reserves) 166
9 Meghalaya Ki law Lyngdoh, Ki Law Kyntang, Ki Law Niam 101
10 Orissa Jahera, Thakuramma 169
11 Puducherry Kovil Kadu 108
12 Rajasthan Orans, Kenkris, Jogmaya 560
13 Tamil Nadu Swami shola, Koilkadu 752
14 UttaraKhand Deo Bhumi, Bugyal (sacred alpine meadows) 22
15 West Bengal Garamthan, Harithan, Jahera, Sabitrithan,


Similarly, several water bodies are declared sacred by people. This indirectly leads to protection of aquatic flora and fauna. (e.g. Khecheoprai lake in Sikkim)

Export-Prohibited Goods

The prohibited items are not permitted to be exported. An export license will not be
given in the normal course for goods in the prohibited category.
Prohibited goods list –

o All wild animals, animal articles including their products and derivatives
(excluding those for which ownership certificates have been granted and also
those required for transactions for education, scientific research and
management under Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 including their parts and
o Beef of cows, oxen and calf. (It was in news last year)
o Meat of buffalo (both male and female) fresh and chilled and frozen.
o Peacock Tail Feathers & its Handicrafts and articles
o Shavings & Manufactured Articles of shavings of Shed Antlers of Chital and
o Sea shells

o Wood and wood products
o Fuel wood
o Wood charcoal
o Sandalwood in any form, (but excluding finished handicraft products of
sandalwood, machine finished sandalwood products, sandalwood oil).
o Red Sanders wood, Value added products of Red Sanders.
o Mechanical, chemical and semi chemical wood pulp.

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