10 August 2016 Current Affairs: There are 909 entries of taxa (including species, families, genus, orders and classes) of animals, birds and plants in the various Schedules of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. Various steps have taken by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) to protect these species. This information was given by Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment, Forest and Climate Change Anil Madhav Dave, in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha.
Steps Taken : The names of protected species of animals, birds and plants have been mentioned at Schedule I of Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. The Union Government has established a country-wide protected area network for protection of these species and their habitats of threatened flora and fauna under Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. The network includes 730 Protected Areas including 103 National Parks, 535 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 26 Community Reserves and 66 Conservation Reserves in different bio-geographic regions. Legal protection has been provided to wild animals under the provisions of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 against hunting and commercial exploitation.
Special programmes like Project Elephant’ and ‘Project Tiger’ have been launched for conservation of these endangered species and their habitats. In Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSC) of ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats’ a specific component of “Recovery programmes for saving critically endangered species and habitats’ is provided for focused conservation action on selected critically endangered species. Financial and technical assistance is provided to the State/ UTs under the CSCs for providing better protection to wildlife including endangered species and improvement of its habitat. Under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has been empowered to apprehend and prosecute wildlife offenders. The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) has been set up to ensure co-ordination among various officers and State Governments for the enforcement of law for control of poaching and illegal trade in wildlife and its products.
National Biological Diversity Act (NBA), 2002 has been enacted to ensure protection of threatened species and their habitats. Under the Section 38 of the NBA, 2002 the species which are on the verge of extinction or likely to become extinct in near future as threatened species, are notified. Botanical Survey of India (BSI) has brought a number of endemic/threatened plants under cultivation (ex-situ conservation) in its and associated botanic gardens.