National Wildlife Board
- It is a statutory body constituted under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 to promote the conservation and development of Wildlife and Forest.
- Recently, in its 60th meeting, the Standing Committee of ‘National Wildlife Board’ (NBWL) has approved consultation for management of human-wildlife conflict in the country.
- The meeting approved the inclusion of a medium-sized wild cat caracal (included in the category of threatened animals) in the Centrally Sponsored Wildlife Habitat Integrated Development Plan, under which this medium-sized wild cat (critically endangered species) financial assistance will be provided for conservation.
Board Structure (National Wildlife Board):
This board is headed by the Prime Minister. Apart from them it has 46 other members. Of these, 19 are ex-officio members. The board also consists of three MPs (2 from Lok Sabha and 1 from Rajya Sabha). The board consists of 10 reputed environmentalists and conservationists apart from 5 NGOs.
Role of Board :
- It advises the Central Government to formulate policies and other measures for the preservation of wildlife of the country. The primary function of this board is to promote the conservation and development of wildlife and forests.
- It has the power to review all subjects related to wildlife and approve projects located in or around national parks and shelters. Without the approval of this board, the boundaries of any national park and wildlife shelter cannot be changed.
Standing committee’s hypothesis :
- The advisory envisages empowering gram Panchayats in dealing with the problematic wild animals as per the section 11 (1) (b) of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
- The advisory also envisages prescribing inter-departmental committees at local/state level, adoption of early warning systems, creation of barriers, dedicated circle wise Control Rooms with toll free hotline numbers which could be operated on 24X7basis, Identification of hotspots and formulation and implementation of special plans for improved stall-fed farm animal etc.
- A state of human-wildlife conflict arises when Wildlife causes a direct and recurring threat to people’s livelihood or safety. This creates the possibility of persecution of that species.
- Reasons for human wildlife conflict include: loss of habitat of wildlife, over-exploitation of livestock, agricultural expansion, etc.
- Caracal wild cat (Caracal) is a rare species of cat found in India. It is a thin and medium-sized cat with long and powerful legs and black tufted ears.
- Key features of this cat include its black tufted ears.
- This cat is shy, nocturnal in nature and is rarely seen in the forest.
The presence of these cats in India has been reported in only three states, these states – Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
Other important facts regarding the Caracal cat:
- In Madhya Pradesh it is locally called Shia-gosh or Siyah-gush.
- In Gujarat, Caracal is locally called Hornotro, meaning Blackbuck’s killer.
- In Rajasthan, it is known as Junglee Bilao or Wildcat.
Caracal is mostly killed for the protection of livestock, but it is also hunted for its meat in some areas of the world.
Source – The Hindu