Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972

Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972

  • The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted for protection of plants and animal species.
  • The Act provides for the protection of wild animals, birds and plants; and for matters connected there with or ancillary or incidental thereto.
  • Reforms done under the Act:
    • Increase in designated national parks and wildlife sancturies
    • The act established schedules of protected plant and animal species
    • Hunting or harvesting these species was largely outlawed

Permissions for hunting wildlife:

  • The Wildlife Act empowers every State’s Chief Wildlife Warden to authorise hunters to cull animals in a region where they are a proven nuisance.
  • Wildlife laws also consider hunted wildlife as ‘government property’ and impose restrictions on how these carcasses must be disposed.


  • Under this act, an all India list of protected species is published.
  • It has six schedules which give varying degrees of protection.
  • Schedule I and part II of Schedule II members are the best protected, with severe punishments meted out to those who hunt them.
  • Schedule III and IV members are also protected, , but the penalties are much lower.
  • Schedule V members fall in the vermin category, which may be hunted. It includes crows , fruit bat, mice and rats.
  • Schedule VI members includes specified endemic plants that are prohibited from cultivation and planting.


  • Schedule II, III and IV species can be hunted under specific conditions. It includes Wild boars, nilgai and rhesus monkeys

Declaration as Vermin

  • Declaration of an animal species as ‘vermin’ means that those who kill these animals here will, for a year after these notifications come into effect, not be subject to the jail terms and fines that hunting these animals typically invite.