To combat wildlife related crimes, a Wildlife Crime Control Bureau under the Director, Wildlife Preservation has been constituted with 5 Regional Offices viz, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Jabalpur and 3 Sub regional offices at Amritsar, Guwahati, andKochi.And5Border Units located at Moreh, Nathula, Motihari, Gorakhpur and Ramanathapuram Wildlife Division deals with the policy and lawmatters and knowledge management for facilitating processes and analysis for evolution of policy and law for conservation of biodiversity and Protected Area network.Wildlife Division of the Ministry provides technical and financial support to the State/ UT Governments for wildlife conservation under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats and also through Central Sector Scheme – Strengthening of Wildlife Division and Consultancies for Special Tasks, and through Grants in Aid to the Central Zoo Authority and Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.
Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB): The Wild Life Crime Control Bureau has been created under Section 38Y of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972. The mandate has beenspecified under Section 38(z) which includes collection, collation of intelligence and its dissemination, establishment of a centralized Wild Life crime databank, coordination of the actions of various enforcement authorities towards the implementation of the provisions of the Act,implementation of the international Conventions, capacity building for scientific and
professional investigation, assistance to authorities in other countries for a coordinated universal action towards control of Wild Life crime and to advise the government on various policy and legal requirements.
Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats(IDWH): At present India has a network of 700 Protected Areas (103 National Parks, 528 Wildlife Sanctuaries, 65 Conservation Reserves and 4 Community Reserves). The details of the Protected Areas in India may be seen at: http://www.wiienvis.nic.in/Database/Protect ed_Area_854.aspx The Government of India provides financial and technical assistance to the State/UT Governments for activities aimed at wildlife conservation through the Centrally Sponsored Scheme viz. ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats’. The scheme has following three components:
- Support to Protected Areas (National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Conservation Reserves and Community Reserves)
- Protection of Wildlife Outside Protected Areas
- Recovery programmes for saving critically endangered species and habitats.
- Ministry has released an amount of Rs. 5 lakh for the Protection and conservation of Greater Adjutant in Gangetic riverine tract in Bhagalpur district, Bhagalpur Forest Division in Bihar.
- Ministry has released an amount of Rs. 19 lakh for Dolphin Conservation in Non Protected Area Segment of Ganga River in district of Patna, Bhojpur and Buxar, Munger, Bihar.
- For the establishment of Conservation Breeding Centre for Wild water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis arnee) in Nandanvan Jungle Safari, Naya Raipur, Chhattisgarh Ministry has released an amount of Rs. 121.84 lakh to the State Government.
- An amount of Rs. 181.448 Lakhs have been released to the State Government of Haryana for recovery programme for Vultures.
- Ministry has released an amount of Rs. 386.505 lakh for the recovery programme for Snow leopard in Leh Division,
- National Wildlife Action Plan (2017-2031): The National Wildlife Action Plan (2017-31) has been prepared.Effective decision making in development related projects: The frequency of meetings of Standing Committee of NBWL has been increased from four in a year to once in amonth, so as to take quick decisions andexamining developmental projects around Protected Areas. 257 developmental projects were recommended by the Standing Committee of NBWL during the last three years.
- Guidelines for Eco-tourism in Protected Areas: To promote nature tourism and awareness of wildlife habitats, the Ministry has prepared Guidelines for Eco-Tourism in Protected Areas. Identification of Model Protected Areas for Sawchch Bharat Mission: Under Swachch Bharat programme, to makeplastic free and Swachch Protected Areas is the priority of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. Last year 21 Protected Areas have been taken up and in coming years, all the Protected.
Areas of the country will be brought under the Swaccch Bharat Mission scheme. Human Wildlife Conflict Mitigation:
- To reduce the conflict between human and wildlife, compensation is provided for loss of life and property to the victims.
- To enhance and enrich the fodder and water in Protected Areas, number of schemes have been initiated by the Government in the last three years.
- The Government has taken up necessary steps as provided in the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 for conflict mitigation. Population management of wild animals, using immuno-contraceptive measures is also being worked. International Cooperation: India has signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with United States of America for enhancing the cooperation on wildlife conservation and combating wildlife trafficking in Washington D.C.A Species Recovery Programme has been launched for critically endangered species i.e. Great Indian Bustard (GIB), Manipur Deer Sangai, Gangetic Dolphin, Dugong and Amur Falcon the Ministry. Guidelines on “Eco-friendly measures to Wildlife” has been prepared to ensure growth of good network with minimum disturbance to mitigate impacts of linear infrastructure on wildlife.
Wildlife Crime Control:
Operation “Save Kurma”was launched on 15th October in 10 States to stop poaching transportation and illegal trade of live turtles and tortoises.
Operation Thunderbird: Was launched to intensify enforcement operation in association with INTERPOL Operation Wildnet: was launched to encounter the menace of the illegal trade through e-commerce platformAs a significant gesture for commitment of protection to wildlife, large number of wildlife articles involved in wildlife offences, were burnt in public, in an event organized at Delhi Zoo on 3rd March 2017, under the leadership of Hon’ble Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
Ex-situ Conservation: Ex-situ conservation breeding has been started for 23 species which will be upscaled to 73 critically endangered species within next three years The graphical representation of the increasing numbers in few species are illustrated in the graph .
Project Elephant: Project Elephant (PE) was launched by the Government of India in the year 1991-92 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme with the following objectives:
- To protect elephants, their habitat and corridors
- To address issues of man-elephant conflict
- Welfare of domesticated elephants
The implementation of Project Elephant is through the C.S.S. Plan Scheme with the grant to State Governments on items of recurring expenditure on operational costs under Project Elephant at the rate of 100% of approved cost up to October 2015 after that funding pattern changed to the ratio of Central: State share to 60:40 and 90:10 for North East and Himalayan states). Presently the Project is being implemented in 22 States/UTs, viz. Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Andaman & Nicobar, Bihar, Punjab, Gujarat and Haryana (where an elephant rescue centre has been set up supported by Project Elephant). There are 29 notified and 1 proposed Elephant Reserve in the country (Khasi Hills Elephant Reserve in Meghalaya).
Important Initiatives Taken:
- For the first time in India an all India synchronized elephant census was conducted in 2017. One year prior to the actual enumeration of elephant population, Ministry initiated the process in collaboration with ANCF and conducted two regional workshops, subsequent trainings and dung decay experiments (six months before the elephant census was undertaken). The preliminary census report was released by the Hon’ble Minister, MoEF&CC on 12th August, 2017 on the World Elephant Day.
- The Working Group that was constituted for Implementation of Elephant Task Force has been completed in 2015 felt that some of the recommendations of Gajah report of 2010 are not relevant now. Hence it concentrated its efforts on development of “Guidelines for Human Elephant Conflicts”, which have been notified on 05.10.2017. Human elephant conflict is one of the most critical issue in India and Gajah Report has also laid considerable importance on this issue. The Working Group examined the matter and such provisions were incorporated in the “Guideline for management of Human – Elephant conflict”. The Guideline has been finalised by the Ministry and circulated on 06.10.2017.
- Elephants from Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary in Jharkhand spread out all over the eastern region, comprising of Jharkhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, South Bengal and Northern Andhra Pradesh mostly due to degraded elephant habitat and mixed landscape. According to an estimate the region has 10% of country’s elephant population and 70% of human mortality due to elephants.
- To address the issue, it was decided that a Regional Strategic Action Plan for Conservation of Elephants with special emphasis on HEC should be prepared through a Drafting Committee. The Committee has been notified on 02.01.2017 comprising of ADG (WL), elephant experts and CWLWs of the region and the Drafting Committee has met twice on 19.01.2017 and 06.09.2017. Rs. 7.00 lakhs and Rs. 7.50 lakhs has been released to Director WII and ANCF for compilation of baseline data. Data collation by the two agencies has been completed and the format for the Report has been finalised.The Drafting Committee for Strategic Regional Action Plan for Eastern Region has suggested landscape management and zonation approach for conservation of elephants.
- The Steering Committee of Project Elephant was reconstituted on 04.09.2017 and the 14th Meeting of the Steering Committee of Project Elephant was convened on 09.10.2017 under the Chairmanship of Hon’ble Minister EF&CC.
- “Standards/Norms for Giving Recognition to Captive Elephant Housing Facilities, including temple elephants, in accordance with provisions of WLPA, 1972 have been notified on 29.09.2017.
- The Second Meeting of Focal Points of MIKE (Monitoring of Illegal Killing of Elephants) sites in India for reporting to CITES Secretariat was held on 06.10.2017 where the MIKE sites were requested to share the elephant mortality data with Project Elephant in revised data sheets by end of January each year.
- As the situation of human-elephant conflict has assumed serious proportion, it was critical to bring together selected elephant range countries/experts to share, exchange and showcase successes in resolving human — elephant conflict in their region. To that effect, a side event on “Mitigation of Impacts of Human-Elephant Conflicts in Eastern Region of India” was held at the Twelfth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP12 on 26th October, 2017 at Manila, Phillipines to showcase the practices taken up in India and also seek information from other countries in resolving human —elephant conflict in their regions.
- The 2nd dialogue between India and Bangladesh Forest Departments for transboundary elephant conservation elephants was held on 27th July, 2017 at Shillong under the Chairmanship of Shri Siddhanta Das, Director General of Forests &y Special Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of India. A nine member delegation from Bangladesh led by Mohammad Safiul Alam Chowdhary, Chief Conservator of Forests attended the dialogue. The dialogue was held to develop and implement a coordinated and holistic approach for trans-boundary conservation of elephants; to monitor, minimize and mitigate Human Elephant Conflicts caused by migratory elephants across borders.During the meeting the protocol on “Elephant Conservation and Management in India and Bangladesh” was finalised. At the end of the dialogue the Heads of both the delegation signed the Agreed Points of Action on Trans-Boundary Conservation of Elephants in India-Bangladesh Landscape. The Steering Committee suggested that human — elephant conflict many a times could be averted if proper dialogue isestablished between the State Forest Department and other stakeholders. Therefore, it was decided to organize regional level workshops involving the forest department and other stakeholders such as line departments (National Highways, Railways, Power and Canal), civil societies, elephant experts to findmeasures to protect the elephant corridors and methods to mitigate human—elephant conflict. The first of the regional workshop was held on 11th and 12th January, 2018 at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
- The World Elephant Day was conducted at Nehru Memorial and Museum Library, Teen Murti House, New Delhi on 12th August, 2017. The programme included activities with school children where school children prepared clay models of elephants, brought in paintings on elephants and went on a walk and took pledge to conserve the species along with the Hon’ble Minister EF&CC. During this event, the Hon’ble Minister also released the (a) All India Elephant Census Report, 2017 (b) Agreed Points of Action on Transboundary conservation of elephants in India and Bangladesh (c) Elephant corridor document “Right of Passage” and (d) Launched the Gaj Yatra campaign by unveiling an art piece of elephant made of glass fibre and recycled materials. Ministryalso has partnered with Wildlife Trust of India for the Gaj Yatra Campaign.
Project Tiger / National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA):
- Commencement of All India Tiger Estimation 2018
- New feature.
- Spatially Explicit Capture Recapture (SECR) models in a joint likelihood model shall be employed like the
last estimation cycle to ensure statistical comparability.
- M-STrIPES: The M-STrIPES platform is being extended to all tiger reserves in Phase II, training for which
has been completed for all regions at the Bandipur, Kanha, Similipal and Corbett Tiger Reserves. A special
training for computer technicians has already been done at the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun in the
last week ofSeptember, 2017. The said platform is being utilised for the All India Tiger Estimation 2018.
- Spatially Explicit Capture Recapture (SECR) models in a joint likelihood model shall be employed like the
- A meeting of Chief Wildlife Wardens of Tiger Range States and Field Directors of Tiger Reserves was held on 30.10.2017,which was chaired by Secretary (EF&CC) and DGF &SS, MoEF&CC.
- Training of Trainers
- New feature.
- Commencement of All India Tiger Estimation 2018
|1||December 5-7, 2017||Pench Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra||Maharashtra only|
|2||December 5-7, 2017||Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Karnataka
Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu
Telangana and Goa
|3||December 19-21, 2017||Kanha Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh||Madhya Pradesh,
Rajasthan and Jharkhand
|4||December 26-28, 2017||Valmiki Tiger Reserve, Bihar||Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand|
|5||January 8-10, 2018||Kaziranga Tiger Reserve, Assam||Assam, Arunachal
Pradesh, Buxa (West
Nagaland and Manipur
|6||January 15-17, 2018||Sundarbans Tiger Reserve,West Bengal||Sundarbans Tiger
Reserve (West Bengal)
- Commencement of MEETR :Independent assessment of Tiger Reserves based on IUCN criteria, as adapted to our conditions is done once in four years. The fourth round of MEE has commenced and analysis of team findings shall be finalised in 2018. Evaluation work of twenty five (25) tiger reserves has already been completed.
- Economic Valuation of six tiger reserves done in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Forest Management. Similar exercise is ongoing in 10 more tiger reserves.
- Tiger re-introduction has been approved in-principle at the Satkosia Tiger Reserve, Odisha, Buxa Tiger Reserve, West Bengal and the Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan.
- A trainer drone has been fabricated along with preparation of a trainer manual for field staff. Project titled CE-Bird Technology for Tiger Conservation : Development and Integration of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles as a Surveillance and Monitoring tool for Protection of Tiger and Capacity Building of Frontline Staff’ has commenced for thefollowing 13 tiger reserves, viz. Corbett (Uttarakhand), Dudhwa (Uttar Pradesh), Ranthambhore (Rajasthan), Panna (Madhya Pradesh), Melghat (Maharashtra), Similipal (Odisha), Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam (Andhra Pradesh & Telangana), Bandipur (Karnataka),
Sathyamangalam (Tamil Nadu), Parambikulam (Kerala), Kaziranga (Assam), Namdapha (Arunachal Pradesh), Sundarbans (West Bengal).
- The NTCA has issued generic guidelines, for preparing a security plan which inter alia covers the issue of electrocution. Further, an advisory has been issued in context of electrocution by this Authority which recommends exploring solar fencing.
- M-STrIPES : Steps taken for modernizing the infrastructure and field protection, besides launching ‘Monitoring system for Tigers’ Intensive Protection and Ecological Status (M-STrIPES)’ for effective field patrolling and monitoring.
- GAITS : To assess status of tiger bearing areas outside tiger reserves, the CA ITS (Conservation Assured ‘Tiger Standards) framework is being used, which helps to identify inadequacies in management interventions in such areas so that gaps can be addressed through appropriate strategies.
- Cooperation on tiger conservation with Cambodia: Expert Committee Meeting for Tiger Re-introduction was held in Cambodia from 25th September to 28th September, 2017.
- Indo-Nepal bilateral: India has a bilateral understanding with Nepal on controlling trans-boundary illegal trade in wildlife and conservation, apart from a protocol on tiger conservation with China.
- Tiger Mortality : (as reported by States)
Year Natural and other causes Unnatural(poaching / seizure) Unnatural(not poaching) Cases under scrutiny Total 2013 29 22 2 1568 2014 40 19 7 1379 2015 45 21 5 1081 2016 50 38 5 29122 2017 20 27 2 66115 2018 0 1 0 45