Environment & Biodiversity Governance

Kerala aims to alter the Wildlife Protection Act

  • The Kerala Legislative Assembly unanimously passed a motion urging modifications to the 1972 Wildlife Protection Act to address the state’s rising human-animal conflict.

What is the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972?

  • The WPA protects the country’s wild animals, birds, and plant species to ensure environmental and ecological security.
  • It protects a number of animal, bird, and plant species while also establishing a network of ecologically significant protected areas throughout the country.
  • It establishes a variety of protected areas, including wildlife sanctuaries and national parks.

The WPA has six schedules for the preservation of wildlife species, which can be summarised as follows:

Schedule ISpecies need rigorous protectionHarshest penalties for violation of the law are for species under this Schedule.
Schedule IIAnimals under this list are accorded high protection.Cannot be hunted except under threat to human life.
Schedule III & IVSpecies that are not endangered.Includes protected species but the penalty for any violation is less compared to the first two schedules.
Schedule VContains animals which can be hunted.
Schedule VIPlants that are forbidden from cultivation.

Kerala’s Demand for Amendment

  • Section 11 Amendment: Kerala recommends changing Section 11(1)(A) to allow Chief Conservators of Forests (CCF) rather than Chief Wildlife Wardens (CWLW) to permit hunting of Schedule I mammals. This aims to speed local decision-making in dealing with human-wildlife conflicts.
  • Declaration of Wild Boars as Vermin: Kerala requests the Centre to designate wild boars as pests under Section 62, allowing for controlled culling to reduce dangers to life and livelihood.

Rising incidents

  • Human-animal conflict in Kerala: Especially with elephants and wild boars, have caused significant damage to lives and crops.
  • According to government data, 8,873 wild animal attacks occurred in 2022-23, with elephants accounting for 4,193 and wild boars for 1,524. These disasters caused 98 deaths and severe agricultural loss.
  • Wild boars, in particular, are known for devouring farmlands, causing 20,957 incidences of agricultural loss between 2017 and 2023.

Challenges and Implications.

  • Urgent Action Required: Kerala’s request for changes emphasises the critical need for appropriate steps to address the human–animal conflict.
  • Local Empowerment: Empowering local forest authorities can result in faster responses to animal hazards, protecting both human safety and wildlife conservation.
  • Balancing Conservation and Livelihoods: Finding a balance between conservation and livelihood issues is critical for long-term cohabitation between humans and wildlife.


  • Kerala’s proactive approach to pressing for revisions to the Wildlife Protection Act demonstrates its commitment to addressing the issues posed by the human-animal conflict.
  • These suggested improvements seek to preserve both citizens and biodiversity, demonstrating a comprehensive approach to environmental and socioeconomic well-being.

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