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When tigers and jackals get the same protection

  • Published
    18th Oct, 2023

Context:

An inordinate number of species have been included in the new schedules of the Wildlife Protection (Amendment) Act, 2022, with no consultation, process or logic.

Conservation Dilemma

  • Unsubstantiated Listing: The new Wildlife Protection Act includes numerous species without a transparent, replicable process.
  • Prioritization Predicament: Over 2,600 species listed, making resource allocation for conservation efforts unclear and unfeasible.
  • Unintended Legal Consequences: Inclusion of common species, like spotted deer, can lead to counterproductive conservation outcomes.

Impact on Communities and Livelihoods

  • Threat to Public Safety: Schedule 1 species, including crocodiles and leopards, pose risks to human lives, livelihoods, and mental well-being.
  • Disregard for Local Interests: New Act raises concern by upgrading wild pigs and nilgai to Schedule 1, potentially hindering culling policies vital for farmers.
  • Restrictive View on Traditional Practices: Act limits hunting and animal use, even when traditionally practiced, without considering local communities' livelihoods.

Implications

  • Research Hindrance: Cumbersome permit processes for research could stifle scientific endeavors, affecting environmental NGOs and citizen science.
  • Need for Balanced Approach: Balancing conservation, public safety, and research priorities requires nuanced policy adjustments.
  • Ethical Treatment of Animals: Both citizens and ecologists should observe nature ethically and collect data responsibly.
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