The Government has taken several steps for protection of endangered species of wild animals in the country, which are as following:-
i. Legal protection has been provided to wild animals against hunting and commercial exploitation under the provisions of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
ii. The Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 has been amended and made more stringent. The punishment for offences under the Act have been enhanced. The Act also provides for forfeiture of any equipment, vehicle or weapon that is used for committing wildlife offence(s).
iii. Protected Areas, viz., National Parks, Sanctuaries, Conservation Reserves and Community Reserves covering important wildlife habitats have been created all over the country under the provisions of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 to conserve wild animals and their habitats.
iv. Financial and technical assistance is provided to the State/ Union Territory Governments under the Centrally Sponsored Schemes of ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats’, ‘Project Tiger’ and ‘Project Elephant’ for providing better protection to wildlife, and improvement of its habitat.
v. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has been empowered under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 to apprehend and prosecute wildlife offenders.
vi. The State/Union Territory Governments have been requested to strengthen the field formations and intensify patrolling in and around the Protected Areas.
vii. The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau has been set up to strengthen the enforcement of law for control of poaching and illegal trade in wildlife and its products.
viii. Strict vigil is maintained by the officials of State Departments of Forests and Wildlife.
The periodic assessments carried out in respect of prioritized species, rhinoceros and lion, have indicated improvement in their population status.
The Ministry of Environment & Forests also provides financial assistance to State Governments for undertaking “Recovery Programmes for saving critically endangered species” as a component of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats’. Budget is not allocated separately for this component. At present, sixteen species have been prioritized for taking up such recovery programmes which include Snow Leopard, Bustards (including Floricans), River Dolphin, Hangul, Nilgiri Tahr, Marine Turtles, Dugongs and coral reefs, Edible-nest Swiftlets, Asian Wild Buffalo, Nicobar Megapode, Manipur Brow-antlered deer, Vultures, Malabar civet, the great one-horned rhinoceros, Asiatic Lion, Swamp deer and Jerdon’s Courser.
Edible Nest Swiftlet
Manipur antlered deer
Under the component “Recovery Programmes for Saving Critically Endangered Species” of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme “Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats” (CSS-IDWH) financial assistance has been provided for eight critically endangered species including Snow Leopard, Hangul, Dugongs, Edible-nest Swiftlets, Asian Wild Buffalo, Manipur Brow-antlered deer, Vultures and Asiatic Lion as per the proposals received from various State/Union Territory Governments.