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- Prelims – Environment and Ecology
Context: Recently instances of tiger deaths in the country became a blot on India’s tiger management records. A tigress strode into a busy marketplace in the district of Almora on the night of November 14, 2022. Then, in a move that has had many outraged across the country, the animal was shot with a service rifle used by forest department staff.
- According to reports emerging from the area, the animal was aged 11-12 years. It had strayed into the Marchula Bazar area from the Kalagarh division of the Corbett Tiger Reserve.
About Corbett Tiger Reserve:
- Corbett Tiger Reserveis an ideal home for many majestic animals like the Royal Bengal Tiger, Asiatic Elephant, Reptiles, Birds and many other wild animals.
- The park was then named as the ‘Hailey National Park’ and was later renamed as ‘Corbett National Park’after James Edward Corbett the noted hunter turned conservationist of the area.
- The area came under ‘Project Tiger’ in 1971 when Gov. of India launched this ambitious conservation project.
- The total area of Tiger Reserve extends 1288.31 sq. kms spreading over three districts of Uttarakhand viz., Pauri, Nainital and Almora. Corbett National Parkcovers an area of 521 sq. km and together with the neighboring Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary and Reserve Forest areas, forms the Corbett Tiger Reserve.
- Geographically it is located between the Shiwalik Himalayas and the terai.
- The park is an ideal home for many majestic animals like the Royal Bengal Tiger, Asiatic Elephant and many other wild animals. Due to healthy population of wild today, Corbett is one of best preserved parks with 164 numbers of tigers and over 600 elephants. Corbett survey reveals the highest density of population of tigers in the country at 20/100 square kilometers.
- As per the recent the various habitat types of Corbett is occupied by Sal forests, Khair-Sisso forests, Mountains, Chaur, and rivers and streams that owes their distinct assemblage of plants.
- According to botanical survey of India Corbett has 600 species of plants – trees, shrubs, ferns, grass, climbers, herbs and bamboos.
About National Board for Wildlife:
- The National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) is constituted by the Central Government under Section 5 A of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (WLPA).
- WLPA provides for the Constitution of the National Board for Wildlife with the PM as its chairperson.
- The National Board may, at its discretion, constitute a Standing Committee under sub-section (1) of Section 5B.
- The Standing Committee shall consist of the Vice-Chairperson (Union Minister in charge of Forests and Wildlife) the Member Secretary and not more than ten members to be nominated by the Vice-Chairperson from amongst the members of the National Board.
- The WLPA mandates that without the approval/recommendation of the NBWL, construction of tourist lodges, alteration of the boundaries of PAs, destruction or diversion of wildlife habitat and de-notification of Tiger Reserves, cannot be done.
The NBWL Standing Committee chaired by the Union Minister, Environment & Forests is duty bound to ensure compliance of the mandate’s statutory processes prescribed by the WLPA in letter and spirit.
Specific provisions in the WLPA include:
- Sec 33 (a): No construction of commercial lodges, hotels… shall be undertaken except with the prior approval of the National Board
- Sec 35(5): No alteration of the boundaries of a National Park except on a recommendation of the National Board;
- Sec 35(6): No destruction, removal of wildlife or forest produce from a National Park or diversion of habitat unless State Government in consultation with the National Board authorizes the issue of such permit
- Sec 38-O (g): Ensure Tiger Reserves and areas linking one protected area with another are not diverted for ecologically unsustainable uses except in public interest and with the approval of the National Board.
- Sec 38-W(1) & (2): No alteration or denotification of Tiger Reserves without the approval of the National Board for Wildlife.
MUST READ: WLPA
Previous Year Questions
Q.1) With reference to Indian laws about wildlife protection, consider the following statements :
- Wild animals are the sole property of the government.
- When a wild animal is declared protected, such animal is entitled for equal protection whether it is found in protected areas or outside.
- Apprehension of a protected wild animal becoming a danger to human life is sufficient ground for its capture or killing.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct? (2022)
- 1 and 2
- 2 only
- 1 and 3
- 3 only
Q.2) Which of the following Protected Areas are located in Cauvery basin? (2021)
- Nagarhole National Park
- Papikonda National Park
- Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve
- Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
- 1 and 2 only
- 3 and 4 only
- 1, 3 and 4 only
- 1, 2, 3 and 4