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Subject – Environmental Law

TOPIC –WILDLIFE LAWS IN SUKNA REGION


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TABLE OF CONTENTS
__________________________________________________________

Acknowledgement…………………………………………………….……………………………………..…………………1
Synopsis…………………………………………………………………………………………………….…………………….3-4
Chapter – I: Introduction…………………………………………………………….…..…………….…………………..5
Chapter II: Legislative Mechanism………………………………………………………………………….………6-8
Chapter III: Salient Provisions of Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972…….………………………….9-12
Chapter IV: Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary………………………………………..………………………..13-15
Chapter V: Threats & Conservation Issyes in Mahananda WLS…………………..……………………15
Chapter VI: Important Aspects of Biodiversity Conservation in Mahanda Wildlife
Sanctuary…………………………………………………………………………………………………16-17
Chapter VII: Conservation Schemes & Policies of the Government…………………………..…… 19
Chapter VIII: Survey Report……………………………………………………………………………………..….20-23
Chapter IX: Suggestions & Conclusion……………………………………………………………….……….24-25
Bibliography……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..29
Annexure
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SYNOPSIS
___________________________________________________________

STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

This research work is an attempt to have an in-depth study of Wildlife Protection Act and to have
an idea how the law is implemented in the Sukna Region of the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctury. It
is an attempt to know the how the various rules and provisions laid down inm the Act are put to
effect while working on field.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

1. To study whether the objectives of the Wildlife Protection Act have been achieved or
not.

2. To study the rate of convictions under Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

3. To study the overall impact and efficiency of the legal mechanichasim in securing
wildlife in the Region.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

1. Are the objectives of Wildlife Protection achieved till date?

2. What are the measures taken by the Forests Department for protection of wildlife?

3. What are the limitations of the on field officers?


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HYPOTHESIS

The project has following hypothesis:

I. Provisions of wildlife laws, especially Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 are implemented
strictly and uniformly throughout the region.

II. The officials concerned are fully aware of the provisions and intent behind the wildlife
laws.

III. All orders, including interim orders, of the Supreme Court and of the High Courts are
implemented by the executive authorities in their true spirit.

RESEARCH METHOD

“Methodology” implies more than simply the methods the researcher used to collect data. It is
often necessary to include a consideration of the concepts and theories which underlie the
methods. A combination of doctrinal and empirical methods would be used for the purpose of
this project. Few application under Right To Information Act, 2005 were filed in the various
departments to procure Data and information required for the project work.

SOURCES OF DATA

The Primary sources:

Authorities

Statutes

The Secondary sources:

 Articles
 Books
 Website
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CHAPTER – I : INTRODUCTION

India has a rich cultural heritage of wildlife as well as a long history and tradition of
conservation. Animals and plants have been protected as integral parts of religions practices. It
has been observed since ancient times, some animals and plants were worshipped as a
manifestation of God and these practices are still prevalent. Since then conservation and
preservation of nature and wildlife have been considered as the essential part of human
responsibilities.

The rapid extinction of wild animals in India has been a cause of grave concern. Areas which
were teeming with wild life have become devoid of it and even in Sanctuaries and National Parks
the wild life protection need better implementation of Wildlife protection laws. The Supreme
Court of India in State of Bihar v. Murad Ali Khan observed “Environmentalists conception of
the ecological balance in nature is based on the fundamental concept that nature is ‘series of
complex biotic communities of which man is an independent part’ and that it should not be given
to a part to trespass and diminish the whole. The largest single factor in the depletion of the
wealth of animal life in nature has been the ‘civilized man’ operating directly through excessive
commercial hunting or more disastrously, indirectly through invading or destroying natural
habitats.”

When we explore the history of the relation between man and ‘nature’, we find that it was
considered dharma of each individual to protect & conserve the ‘nature’; it’s influence is visible
when we find that people in ancient times used to worship the ‘objects’ of ‘nature’. Trees, water,
land and animals were also given considerable importance in our ancient texts. In fact, the
Manusmriti had prescribed different punishments for causing injury to plants and animals.
Kautilya is said to have gone a step further when he determined punishments on the basis of the
importance of a particular animal. However, the contemporary scenario of this otherwise sacred
relation between ‘man’ and ‘nature’, especially in context to ‘wildlife’ is rather worrisome. The
words of William Wordsworth that ‘And much it grieved my heart to think, What man has made
of man’1 better describes degeneration in relation between man & ‘nature’.
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Wildlife is the most ignored and most vulnerable among all living resources in the world.
Everyday 12 species are getting extinct worldwide and we are being left with increasingly
fewer wild lives for the future generation to witness!1

CHAPTER II: LEGISLATIVE MECHANISM


In modern times, first law on protection of wildlife can be traced back to the mid-nineteenth
century in the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (hereinafter referred as I.P.C.) which defined animals, it
further declared killing or maiming of animals as a punishable offence. However, this was not a
specific provision dealing exclusively with wildlife; instead it talked generally of animals, both,
those who were domesticated and those who were found in their natural habitat. Subsequently, in
1879 the British Government passed the Elephant Preservations Act which prohibited the killing,
injuring or capture of wild elephants, unless it was in self-defense, or, it was in protection of land
and property, or, it was under license by the government. The contravention under the Act was
made punishable by, both, imprisonment and fine. In 1887, Wild Bird Protection Act was enacted
to protect certain specified birds from getting killed during the breeding season. However, the
purpose was limited as it prohibited the possession or sale of only certain birds during the
breeding season. The Act did not have the desired effect of protection of wild birds as their
killing was not prohibited. As a consequence of unnecessary killing of birds and animals, a more
comprehensive legislation was needed. In order to remedy the situation, the British government
enacted the Wild Birds & Animal Protection Act, 1912. Relevant section5 of the said Act had
empowered the Provincial Government to declare the whole year, or, any part thereof, as ‘close
time’, during which specified kind of wild birds, or, animals would not be killed, and it was
made unlawful to capture, or, kill, or, sell, or, buy, or, possess any such bird, or, animal. Further
provision had made contravention of such provision punishable with fine. In the year 1935, the
Act was amended by the Wild Birds & Animals (Protection) Act. By the amendment Act,
amongst other additions & alterations, Section 11 was added by virtue of which the Provincial

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Government could declare any area to be a sanctuary for the birds, or, animals; and their killing
was made unlawful. Any violation of Section 11 was made punishable with fine. It is noteworthy
that for the first time the concept of sanctuary was introduced in India, but the provisions of that
Act also proved to be inadequate for protection of wildlife and birds. For next three decades
nothing much was done in legislative mechanism. The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972,
hereinafter referred as Act, was passed by the parliament under Article 252 of the Constitution of
India, 1950 (hereinafter referred as the Constitution) at the request of eleven states7 to provide a
comprehensive framework for protection of wildlife. However, working of the legislation proved
inadequate in certain matters. Major changes were effected in the principal Act in 1986 by Wild
Life (Protection) Amendment Act, 1986. The ‘statement of object & reason’ for amendment Act
1986 was discussed in the M/s. Ivory Traders & Manufacturers Association, and Others v Union
of India and Others by the Delhi High Court in following words:- “Under the scheme of the Act,
trade or commerce in wild animals, animal articles and trophies within the country is permissible
and regulated under Chapter V. Since there is hardly any market within the country for wild
animals or articles and derivatives thereof, the stocks acquired for trade within the country are
smuggled out to meet the demand in foreign markets. This clandestine trade is abetted by illegal
practices of poaching which have taken a heavy toll of our wild animals and birds.”
Subsequently, in Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act, 1991, extensive amendments were
made in the principal Act. The title of the principal Act was amended to be called as the Wild
Animals, Birds and Plants (Protection) Act, 1972. It brought about changes in Sections 1, 2, 4, 6,
8, 12, 18, 19, 24, 33, 34, 35, 36, 38, 39, 40, 43, 44, 49, 49A, 49B, 49C, 50, 51, 54, 57, 59, 60, 61,
62, 63, 64, &, 66, and Schedule II, Schedule III & Schedule IV of the Principal Act. The main
purpose of the 1991 amendment was to introduce the concept of national parks and sanctuaries to
territorial waters so as to protect the aquatic life in the territorial waters. In addition, zoo
authority was also formed by addition of Chapter IVA under the Act to regulate zoos. In 2003,
the last major amendment was made to Wildlife Protection Act which brought fundamental
changes in the Wildlife Protection Act. The preamble of the Act was amended to highlight the
importance of protecting wild animals, birds and plants in order to ensure the ecological and
environmental security of the country. In addition to legislative changes, numbers of executive
authorities were established to make sure that effective rules are made for implementation of the
Act. ‘National Board for Wildlife’ and ‘State Board for Wildlife’ are two such authorities that
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discharge the function of policy framing; they further play role of advisor as they advise the
government the ways of promoting wildlife; they further suggest ways of controlling poaching &
illegal trade of wildlife and its products. In addition, National Board for Wildlife is responsible
for the management of national parks, sanctuaries and other protected areas. In addition to
National and State Boards, National Tiger Conservation Authority was also established under
Wildlife Protection (Amendment) Act, 2006 with the twin objective of ‘conservation of tigers’
and ‘harmonization of the rights of tribal people living in & around the tiger reserves’

CHAPTER III: SALIENT PROVISIONS OF THE WILD LIFE


(PROTECTION) ACT, 1972
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The Wildlife (Protection) Act (WLPA), 1972 is an important statute that provides a powerful
legal framework for:

 Prohibition of hunting

 Protection and management of wildlife habitats

 Establishment of protected areas

 Regulation and control of trade in parts and products derived from wildlife

 Management of zoos.

The WLPA provides for several categories of Protected Areas/Reserves:

 National Parks

 Wildlife Sanctuaries

 Tiger Reserves

 Conservation Reserves

 Community Reserves

Sec. 9 Prohibition of hunting.—No person shall hunt any wild animal specified in Schedules I, II,
III and IV except as provided under section 11 and section 12.

Section 9 of the act says that no person shall “hunt” any wild animal specified in schedule I. this
Schedule contains, if literally counted sixty three entries in Part I, (Mammals); eighteen entries in
Part II (Amphibians and Reptiles); Four entries in Part II A (Fish); thirty eight entries in Part III
(Birds); three entries in Part IV (Crustacea and Insects); five entries in Part IV A (Coelenterates);
nine entries in Part IV B (Mollusca); and one entry in Part IV C (echinodermata). Elephant is
included in Schedule I, therefore its hunting is punishable under the Act.2
2
State of Bihar v. Murad Ali Baig, A.I.R. 1989 S.C. 1.
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The killing or wounding in good faith of any wild animal in defence of oneself or of any other
person shall not be an offence: Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall exonerate any
person who, when such defence becomes necessary, was committing any act in contravention of
any provision of this Act or any rule or order made there under. [Sec. 11(2)]

To decide whether in killing of an animal the accused acted in self-defence or not, the
nature and ferocity of the animal will be relevant.3

Sec. 17A Prohibition of picking, uprooting, etc., of specified plant.—Save as otherwise


provided in this Chapter, no person shall—

(a) wilfully pick, uproot, damage, destroy, acquire or collect any specified plant from any forest
land and any area specified, by notification, by the Central Government;

(b) possess, sell, offer for sale, or transfer by way of gift or otherwise, or transport any specified
plant, whether alive or dead, or part or derivative thereof: Provided that nothing in this section
shall prevent a member of a scheduled tribe, subject to the provisions of Chapter IV, from
picking, collecting or possessing in the district he resides any specified plant or part or derivative
thereof for his bona fide personal use.

Willful picking, uprooting, etc. of specified plants is prohibited under this section. An act
is said to be willful if it is intentional, conscious and delebrate.4

Sec. 29 Destruction, etc., in a sanctuary prohibited without a permit.—

No person shall destroy, exploit or remove any wild life including forest produce from a
sanctuary or destroy or damage or divert the habitat of any wild animal by any act whatsoever or
divert, stop or enhance the flow of water into or outside the sanctuary, except under and in
accordance with a permit granted by the Chief Wild Life Warden, and no such permit shall be
granted unless the State Government being satisfied in consultation with the Board that such
removal of wild life from the sanctuary or the change in the flow of water into or outside the
sanctuary is necessary for the improvement and better management of wild life therein,
authorises the issue of such permit: Provided that where the forest produce is removed from a
sanctuary the same may be used for meeting the personal bona fide needs of the people living in
and around the sanctuary and shall not be used for any commercial purpose.

3
Chief forest Conservator ( Wild Life) v. Nisar Khan, (2003) 4 S.C.C. 595.
4
R.R.R. Gopala Rao v. N. G. Sehararao, (1989) 4 S.C.C. 225.
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Explanation.—For the purposes of this section, grazing or movement of livestock permitted


under clause (d) of section 33 shall not be deemed to be an act prohibited under this section.

Sec. 30 Causing fire prohibited.— No person shall set fire to a sanctuary, or kindle any fire, or
leave any fire burning in a sanctuary, in such manner as to endanger such sanctuary.

Sec. 31 Prohibition of entry into sanctuary with weapon.— No person shall enter a sanctuary
with any weapon except with the previous permission in writing of the Chief Wild Life Warden
or the authorised officer.

Sec. 32 Ban on use of injurious substances.— No person shall use, in a sanctuary, chemicals,
explosives or any other substances which may cause injury to, or endanger, any wild life in such
sanctuary.

Sec. 33A Immunisation of live-stock.—

(1) The Chief Wild Life Warden shall take such measures in such manner, as may be prescribed,
for immunisation against communicable diseases of the live-stock kept in or within five
kilometres of a sanctuary.

(2) No person shall take, or cause, to be taken or grazed, any live-stock in a sanctuary without
getting it immunised.

Sec. 48A Restriction on transportation of wild life.—No person shall accept any wild animal
(other than vermin), or any animal article, or any specified plant or part or derivative thereof, for
transportation except after exercising due care to ascertain that permission from the Chief Wild
Life Warden or any other officer authorised by the State Government in this behalf has been
obtained for such transportation.

Sec. 49B Prohibition of dealings in trophies, animal articles, etc., derived from scheduled
animals.—

(1) Subject to the other provisions of this section, on and after the specified date, no person shall,

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(a) commence or carry on the business as—

(i) a manufacturer of, or dealer in scheduled animal articles; or 1[(ia) a dealer in ivory imported
into India or articles made therefrom or a manufacturer of such articles; or]

(ii) a taxidermist with respect to any scheduled animals or any parts of such animals; or

(iii) a dealer in trophy or uncured trophy derived from any scheduled animal; or

(iv) a dealer in any captive animals being scheduled animals; or

(v) a dealer in meat derived from any scheduled animal; or

(b) cook or serve meat derived from any scheduled animal in any eating-house. Explanation.—
For the purposes of this sub-section, “eating-house” has the same meaning as the Explanation
below sub-section (1) of section 44.

CHAPTER IV: MAHANANDA WILDLIFE SANCTURY


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The reserved forest in the lower catchment of Mahananda River, in the district of Darjeeling,
West Bengal, had been declared as Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary in 1976.
Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary is located on the foothills of the Himalayas, between
the Teesta and Mahananda rivers. Situated in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, India; it
comes under Darjeeling Wildlife division and can be reached from Siliguri in 30 minutes.. The
sanctuary sprawls over 159 km2 of reserve forest and was started as a game sanctuary in 1955. In
1959, it got the status of a sanctuary mainly to protect the Indian bison and royal Bengal tiger,
which were facing the threat of extinction.
The forest type in Mahananda WLS varies from riverain forests like Khayer-Sisoo to dense
mixed-wet forest in the higher elevation in 'Latpanchar' area of Kurseong hills. The variation in
altitude and forest types helps the existence of a large number of species of mammals, birds and
reptiles. Varying altitude from 500 ft at the southern range of Sukna forest to the elevation up to
4,500 ft at Latkothi beat office covers varied vegetation and is home to superb biome restricted
species. Latpanchar actually forms the highest part of the Sanctuary, with an average altitude of
4200 ft.
The variation in altitude and forest types helps the existence of a large number of species
of mammals, birds and reptiles. The important mammalian species include majestic Royal
Bengal Tiger, gigantic elephants, sturdy Indian bison, timid spotted and barking deer, many
species of lesser cat, Himalayan black bear, leopard including clouded leopard and many other
smaller animals. The Sanctuary also holds hundreds of feathered species. The exciting list
includes some very endangered species like fairy blue bird, Himalayan pied hornbill. Among the
others; swallow, swift, thrush, babbler, warbler, roller, minivet, sunbird can be found in
abundance.5

As Mahananda extends across hills as well as plains, the forest types are quite varied. In
the hills we see Sal Forest, Dry Mixed Forest and Wet Mixed Forest. In some portions, Sal
Shorea robusta forms almost pure stands, with an occasional other species such as Gmelina
arborea, Terminalia, Lagerstroemia parviflora, Sterculia villosa and Toona ciliata. The flood
plains of rivers are covered with Phragmites karka and Saccharum munja, with scattered Bombax
ceiba trees. This habitat is under human pressure and only a few undisturbed patches are left.

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This is the habitat of Jerdon’s Babbler Chrysomma altirostre and the Bengal Florican
Houbaropsis bengalensis.6

CHAPTER V: THREATS AND CONSERVATION ISSUES IN


MAHANANDA WLS

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 Poaching
 Illegal felling of trees
 Agricultural intensification
 Forest fires
 Grazing
 Logging
 Road and rail transport

Poaching is a serious problem, mainly due to the fact that the Sanctuary is easily accessible in the
southern part. National Highway-31 passes through the Sanctuary, and there are numerous
villages. Timber smuggling to provide raw material to numerous saw mills in nearby Siliguri
town is another problem which the authorities face all the time. Grazing, a persistent problem of
all sanctuaries in India, is quite severe here also. A large number of cows can be seen on the
roads going towards the Sanctuary. During summer, villagers set fires to promote fresh growth of
grass. This coincides with the breeding season of many ground-nesting birds (pheasants, quails,
francolins, larks) and does obvious damage. There is a plan to widen the National Highway into
an eight lane road. The Indian Railway plans to convert the existing metre-gauge track between
Siliguri and Guwahati to broad-gauge, and also increase the frequency of trains. This would also
affect the Sanctuary adversely.

CHAPTER VI: IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF THE BIODIVERSITY


CONSERVATION IN THE STATE OF W.B.

 PROTECTION OF WILDLIFE AND THEIR HABITATS:


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Protection of Habitat and Control of Poaching of Wild Animals is being given top priority
through regular patrolling on foot, elephant back, vehicle and speed boats. The Protection
Measures are further strengthen through improvement of communication network (Long distance
RT network), supply of improved weapons to the wildlife guards, wildlife squads, Intelligence
gathering including strengthening of information network, installation of watchtower at strategic
points etc. inside the National Parks and Sanctuaries as well as in the areas important for Wildlife
Conservation. Since poaching is always associated with the inter-state and/or international
smuggling of the poached product, a regular coordination between various enforcement agencies
like BSF, Railway Police, Customs, Director of Revenue Intelligence, Police etc. is a must to
control poaching and illegal trade of wildlife products. For this purpose two coordinating bodies
comprising the Forest Officers, and representatives of various enforcement agencies has been
constituted in North Bengal.

 HABITAT IMPROVEMENT PROGRAMME

Like canopy opening in monoculture teak plantations, followed by natural or artificial


regeneration of grasses and under planting with bamboo and tree fodder species. Development of
water holes and wetland development through soil moisture conservation works have been
implemented on top priority basis. Regular maintenance of fire lines are given priority to control
ground fire. Grassland Management is one of the major activities in the Terai and Dooars
Forests. Plantation of indigenous grasses is being regularly done to increase the fodder base of
herbivores.

 REDUCTION OF MAN-ANIMAL CONFLICT

Long term and short term strategies are being implemented to reduce the Man-Animal Conflict.
Habitat Improvement Programme in the elephant range is being done regularly. Maintenance and
development of corridors of large mammals like elephants has been a key activity. Further,
conflict is being reduced through erection of Power fencing, judicious use of tranquilization
techniques, driving of wild elephants from human habitation with the help of anti-depredation
squads and voluntary squads with the help of local people. Programme of Awareness Generation
on wildlife conservation in the forest fringe areas is being taken up to seek co-operation of local
people in combating animal depredation.
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 ECO-DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES AROUND THE PROTECTED AREAS

Management of National Parks and Sanctuaries has taken new dimensions with inclusion of
ecological considerations and incorporation of regional planning and regulations in the planning
process. Emphasis is also being given to management of Reserve Forests and other lands
surrounding Protected Areas in such a manner to reduce biotic pressures on National Parks and
Sanctuaries as well as to meet the demands of local people living in the fringe of the forests. It is
well understood that programme of Wildlife Conservation will succeed with active involvement
and cooperation of local people in planning, implementation and monitoring from the very
beginning.
Since 1991, participatory protected area management has been initiated in the fringe villages
bordering Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary, Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary, Buxa Tiger Reserve and
gradually the eco development programme has been expanded to all the PAs. Eco-development
is basically a strategy which aims to conserve biodiversity by reducing the negative impact of
people on the PA as well as reducing the negative impact of PA on local people. The efforts are
basically to improve the socio-economic conditions of fringe villages through some prioritized,
site specific and need base eco activity package, so that their dependence on forest resources is
sustainable.
Around 103 eco-development committees and 127 forest protection committees have been
formed in the fringe villages of National Parks and Sanctuaries with around 62, 030 members
who are protecting more than 1,82,406.24 ha. of forests. The fringe area population around
various PAs are now less dependent on the forest resources to earn their livelihood as alternate
employment options have been created through eco-development programme in majority of
these areas. The local communities are not only coming forward to protect the nearby forests but
are also helping the forests staff to apprehend poachers. This active involvement of local people
will make the task of bio diversity conservation more effective in the long term.

 RESEARCH AND MONITORING


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Regular census of wild animals is conducted in various protected areas as well as in the reserve
forests. An essential prerequisite for successful wildlife management is monitoring of
investments and evaluation of its effects. Wild animal census is one such management tool.
Surveillance and monitoring of wildlife in protected areas across the state is now a regular
practice. A formal census regime of tiger population in Project Tiger reserves every two years,
and in the rest of the areas every four years, as per guidelines of the Central Government, is
strictly followed. Population composition and the dynamics are quite encouraging. Periodic
monitoring of forests of the state is done with application of remote sensing and GIS technology
for mapping and assessment of bio-resources. Monitoring changes in biodiversity in different
ecosystems is recorded regularly and accordingly management actions are implemented to
correct the negative impacts.

A priority list of research programme has been prepared for each protected area of West Bengal
and different scientific institutions, universities and NGOs are involved to conduct research.
Research has been conducted on various aspects of ecological-biological studies on different
species, habitat requirement and socio-economic pattern of fringe villages. The scientific survey
reports and baseline data on different aspects are included in the management plan which also is
updated from time to time based on scientific findings.

 EXTENSION OF NATURE EDUCATION AND AWARENESS GENERATION

Extension of Nature Education and Awareness Generation has been achieved through setting up
of Nature Interpretation Centres at various National Parks and Sanctuaries. Various awareness
programmes like Film Shows, Slide Shows, Workshops, Nature Camps are being organized with
the help of NGOs, Panchayats and local Organizations and Institutions. Publicity Material like
leaflets, booklets, brochures, posters, stickers etc. is being distributed among the target groups on
the various conservation themes. Emphasis is being given to raise the awareness through Audio-
Visual and Electronic Media.

CHAPTER VII: CONSERVATION SCHEMES & PROJECTS OF


THE GOVERNMENT
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7
The Wildlife Wing is implementing various State Plan Schemes, Centrally Sponsored Schemes
for conservation of wildlife and their habitat in the State. The various Schemes and Projects
implemented by this Wing is as following:
1. State Plan Schemes: Every year fund is received under this scheme for creation and
maintenance of plantations, forest protection, timber operation, control of poaching,
wildlife conservation in various national parks and sanctuaries, infrastructure
development and publicity. For CSS-Project Tiger, 40% share from Non-recurring and
50% share from recurring cost is contributed from the State.
2. National Parks & Sanctuaries Schemes: This is 60:40 Centrally Sponsored Scheme for
development of different national parks and sanctuaries in this State. The fund is being
provided for habitat development, protection, infrastructure development, Research and
Monitoring, awareness generation and eco-development.
3. Project Elephant: This is 60:40 Centrally Sponsored Scheme for conservation of wild
elephant population in the State. The fund is provided for habitat development,
infrastructure development, protection, reducing man-elephant conflict and awareness
generation specially in Eastern Dooars Elephant Reserve and Mayurjharna Elephant
Reserve.
4. Forest Development Agencies (FDA) : The Govt. of India has launched National
Afforestation Programme in the 10th Five Year Plan and for implementation of this
programme decentralized mechanism of Forest Development Agencies at the District
level and Joint Forest Management Committee at the Village level. FDA has been formed
in the Cooch Behar Division for funding under this scheme.
5. Intensification of Forest Management (IFM): This is a new scheme for protection of
forests, fire management and Infrastructure development in the State with 75% funding
from Govt. of India and 25% contribution by the State Govt.

CHAPTER VIII: SURVEY REPORT

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In an enlightening discussion with the Range Officer, Sukna Range (Wildlife-I), we collected
the following information as a part of our empirical project regarding “Implementation Of
Wildlife Protection Laws In Sukna Region”:

 GENERAL INFORMATION

 The Sukna Range falls under the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary.

 The Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary has the following 4 Ranges—


1. Sukna Range
2. West Range
3. North Range
4. South Range

 The Sukna Range covers an area of 2092.69 Hectares.

 There are 3 Beats under the Sukna Range:


1. Chamta – 630.90 Hectares
2. Mahanadi—586.86 Hectares
3. Koklong—874.93 Hectares

 There are currently 2 Beat Officers, 3 Forest Guards, 2 Ban Sramik, and 12 Casual Staff
in the Sukna Range.

 There are 3 Protection Camps under the Sukna Range:


1. Odalpur Camp
2. Khairani Camp
3. Fulbari Camp

 There are 3 watch towers:


1. One situated in Koklong Beat
2. Two in Mahanadi Beat named— Manadia
Sapna Srishti

 Forest Villages under Darjeeling Wildlife-I:


1. Punding
2. Khairani,
3. 10th Mile
4. Chamta
5. Koklong
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6. Ramdhi
7. Chetakpur
8. Paschim
9. Rampuria
10. Dhotaria
11. Rangiram
12. Reshope
13. Khairghora
14. Gorkhey

In these are the 14 forest villages there are 274 registered forest villagers. (According to Annual
Report 2014-2015)

 PROTECTION MEASURES

 Routine Patrolling—Routine Patrolling is done in the Sukna Range during day and night
to keep check on poaching, felling of trees, uprooting specified plants and unauthorized
grazing.

 24 hour stationing of field staff.

 There are active informers within the forest area. These informers pass messages of
elephant or other wild animal spotting to the Range Officer. The information is then
passed to the concerned village heads or other important persons who in turn inform and
warn the people of the concerned area or village.

 Often Birds are used at indications of wild animal spotting. For example, the bird ‘Bok’
(local name) is seen gathering in huge numbers during elephant spotting. This is often
seen as an indication and warning that there may be elephants nearby.

 Arms— Double Barrel Rifles are provided to the field staff for protection.

 Search lights, high beam torches and crackers are used to drive animals away. In extreme
situations tranquilizers are used with the permission of the DFO.
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 Awareness Programmes are conducted by the Forest Department to educate people at


large about the significance of wildlife conservation for the general well being of the
people and keeping the life support system of nature intact and also to make them aware
of wildlife protection measures, conservation of habitat, benefits of afforestation etc.

 IMMUNISATION AND MEDICAL FACILITIES

 Immunisation of live-stock—Immunisation against communicable diseases of the live-


stock kept in or within 5 kms of the Sanctuary is done annually in the Sukna Range,
which is provided u/s 33A of The Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. The object behind
immunisation of live-stock is to prevent the spreading of communicable diseases among
the wild animals of the Sanctuary.

 Medical Facilities—There are no Veterinary Doctors available within the Sukna Range.
Hence animals in need of medical care need to be transferred to the nearby Govt.
Veterinary Hospital situated at Siliguri.

 HABITAT IMPROVEMENT

 Bamboo, various fruits and other plants and trees are planted in order to provide food and
fodder for the wild animals and birds within their natural habitat.

 OFFENCES REPORTED [From 1st Jan 20158-15th Nov 2018 in the Sukna Range]

 POR (PRELIMINARY OFFENCE REPORT) — 04


 COR (COMPOUND OFFENCE REPORT) — 03
 UDOR ( UNDETECTED OFFENCE REPORT) — 26

 INFORMATION GATHERED THROUGH RTI APPLICATION


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Information received from the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) Kolkata, shows that
during the period between 2010-2018 no case in respect of Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary
has been filed by WCCB under Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.

Few more applications were filed under Right to Information Act, 2005 to the following
departments / offices:

1. To The PIO, Calcutta High Court dated 14.09.2018


2. To The PIO, O/o DFO, Darjeeling Wildlife Division dated 24.09.2018
3. To The SPIO, O/o The District and Session Judge Court, Darjeeling dated 22.09.2018

However, no information/reply has been received till date against these applications.

CHAPTER IX: SUGGESTIONS & CONCLUSION

Our relationship with nature has historically been one of imbalance and overuse. Nearly every
step in human history has unfortunately been accompanied with a leap in environmental
degradation. At first, humans were incredibly in-tune with their surroundings. As society
evolved, populations grew and more and more resources were required to fuel the expansion.
Survival of all organisms is actualized due to ecological balance. Various species survive because
favorable ecosystems were created. Favorable ecosystem ensures that each organism thrive and
multiply as expected. They get enough food to keep them alive. Ecological balance is also
important because it leads to the continuous existence of the organisms. It ensures that no
particular species is exploited or overused. And Wildlife’s are the indispensible part of the
ecosystem and helps to maintain the ecological balance.

With the rapid population growth, the demand for resources increased and to meet this demand.
The wildlife became the victim of this increasing demand of humans. The expansion of
agriculture, industries, development activities, road and rail networks, the forest areas decreased
and slowly the animals started becoming lesser with each passing day. And this resulted in
extinction of several species of plants and animals and many other species are on the verge of
getting extinct. The rapid decline of wild animals and birds has been a cause of grave concern.
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Areas which were once teeming with wild life have become devoid of it. Wildlife conservation is
gradually losing the battle to save many species of plant and animal from extinction. For that wildlife
laws are needed. Preservation of wildlife does not mean a blanket protection to all faunal and
floral species; rather, it implies a proper, judicious control over the multiplication of plants and
animals, which interact together to provide a proper environment to man whose very existence is
in peril today.

Crime is a part of the forest setting. Crime and acts of violence make the work of forest
managers more hazardous and jeopardize the safety of forest resources and wildlife. The illegal
wildlife trade is worth tens of billions of dollars each year and dramatically impacts legally
operating businesses and tourism around the world. Reported wildlife trafficking and seizures of
animal parts have increased dramatically the past few years.8 The laws have kept pace with the
shifts in crime in order to combat them. The shortcomings lie in the Implementation Capacity
which is a result of Lack of funds, lack of man power and lack of equipment to deal with
emergencies.

Once we educate and spread awareness among the people with respect to the significance
of Wildlife, that it is indispensable for their existence, half the job is done. This can however be
achieved by contribution from both officials and Government.

The illegal wildlife trade is worth tens of billions of dollars each year and dramatically
impacts legally operating businesses and tourism around the world. Reported wildlife trafficking
and seizures of animal parts have increased dramatically the past few years.9

We recommended:
 that the patchwork of existing legislation be replaced by a single statute

 existing requirement for protected species lists to be reviewed every five years is
extended to include all relevant lists

 the penalty for the most serious wildlife crimes should be extended from six months to
two years in prison

 vacant posts of the forest departments should be filled

8
http://www.poachingfacts.com/, Visited on Oct. 15, 2018 at 02:07 PM.
9
http://www.poachingfacts.com/, Visited on Oct. 8, 2018 at 02:07 PM.
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 modern and advanced equipments to be provided to the field staff


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BIBLIOGRAPHY
PRIMARY SOURCES
 The Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. No. 53, Acts of Parliament, 1972.
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SECONDARY SOURCES
A. BOOKS:
 Tiwari H. N., Environmental Law, Allahabad Law Agency, 5th ed. 2016.

II. WEBSITES:
 www.wildbengal.com

 www.naturewildlife.org

 www.westbengalforest.gov.in