Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act, 2002

  • The phrase conservation, protection and management of wildlife has been introduced as the purpose of the Act in place of protection of wild animals, birds and animals.
  • Definition of Invasive Alien Species: Earlier the Wildlife Protection Act did not define Invasive Alien Species. However, the amendment defines Invasive Alien Species as a species of animal or plant which is not native to India and whose introduction or spread may threaten or adversely impact wildlife or its habitat.
  • Definition of Zoo: Zoo has been defined as an establishment, whether stationary or mobile, where captive animals are kept for exhibiting to the public or ex-situ conservation and includes a circus and off-exhibit facilities such as rescue centres and conservation breeding centres but does not include an establishment of a licensed dealer in captive animals.
  • Constitution of Standing Committee of State Board of Wildlife: Earlier only National Board of Wildlife had the power to constitute a Standing Committee. However, the Amendment has empowered even the States to constitute Standing Committee to be headed by Vice Chairperson who is the state minister in charge of Wildlife or Forests and will not have more than 10 members.
  • Arms Act: No renewal of any licence under the Arms Act, 1959, shall be granted to any person residing within ten kilometres of a sanctuary except under the intimation to the Chief Wild Life Warden or the authorised officer.
  • Protected Areas:
    • Central Government can declare an area as conservation reserve.
    • For a community reserve declared on private land, the community reserve management committee shall consist of owner of land, representative of State Forests or Wildlife Department and also representative of Panchayat concerned or Tribal community.
    • For Wildlife Sanctuaries: Wildlife Sanctuaries to be managed in accordance with management plans for sanctuary approved as per guidelines issued by Central Government. Also, if the sanctuary falls under Scheduled Areas or areas under Forest Rights Act, 2006 the management plan of the sanctuary should be prepared after due consultation with Gram Sabha concerned.
  • Animal Ownership:
    • If any Government property is a live animal, State Government shall ensure that it is housed and cared for by a recognised zoo or rescue centre when it cannot be released to its natural habitat.
    • Also, any animal article, trophy or uncured trophy or meat derived from any wild animal can be disposed by State Government or Central Government in such manner as may be prescribed by Central Government.
    • Any person having a certificate of ownership in respect of captive animal, trophy etc. can surrender the same to Chief Wildlife Warden. No compensation will be paid for such surrender. The item surrendered to Chief Wildlife Warden will become property of State Government.
    • Transfer or transport of a captive elephant for a religious or any other purpose by a person having a valid certificate of ownership shall be subject to such terms and conditions as prescribed by Central government.
  • Rationalisation of Schedules: Protected Species have been clubbed with their common English names and scientific names. The Wildlife Protection Act now has only four Schedules as compared to five Schedules earlier.
  • Schedule I: Includes Mammals, Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians, Fishes, Echinodermata, Mollusca, Arthropods, Butterflies, Odonata, Corals. They are animals which have been accorded highest protection under the Wildlife Protection Act.
  • Schedule II: They are animals which have lesser protection. Like Nilgai, Chitals, Bats, Badgers, Hares, Hedgehogs, Rodents, Pigs, Hanuman Langur, Shrews,  Squirrels, Tree Mice etc.
  • Schedule III: Specified plants protected are Neel Kurinji, Gold threat, Mishmi teeta, Tree turmeric, Common Yew, Blue Vanda, Pitcher Plant, Red Vanda, Daffodil Orchid, Indian podohyllum and Kuth.
  • Schedule V which earlier related to Vermins has been removed. Vermins are now any wild animal specified by the Central Government for any period and any area.  


  • Management Authority: Central Government will by notification designate an officer not below the rank of Additional Director General of Forests as Management Authority for discharging these functions. Functions of Management Authority:
  • Responsible for issuance of permits and certificates for trade of scheduled specimens in accordance with CITES.
  • Prepare and submit annual and biennial reports to Central Government.
  • Scientific Authority: Central Government may be notification designate one or more institutes engaged in research on species as Scientific Authority for fulfilling functions under CITES. The Scientific Authority will advise the Management Authority in its functions and monitor export permits granted for specimens listed in Appendix II of Schedule IV and actual export of such specimens. Whenever a Scientific Authority is of the opinion that export of specimens of such species requires to be limited to maintain that species throughout its range at a level consistent with its role in ecosystems in which it occurs and well above the level at which that species might become eligible for inclusion in Appendix I of CITES, it will advise Management Authority to limit grant of export permits for specimens of that species as the Scientific Authority may deem necessary.
  • No person shall engage in trade of scheduled specimens until when they meet conditions prescribed by Central Government under CITES.
  • Schedule IV of the Act covers CITES Appendix.
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