News: The population of the vulnerable eastern swamp deer, extinct elsewhere in South Asia, has dipped in the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve.
About Swamp Deer:
The barasingha also called swamp deer, is a deer species distributed in the Indian subcontinent.
Populations in northern and central India are fragmented, and two isolated populations occur in southwestern Nepal.
It has been extirpated in Pakistan and Bangladesh, and its presence is uncertain in Bhutan.
Today, the distribution is much reduced and fragmented due to major losses in the 1930s–1960s following unregulated hunting and conversion of large tracts of grassland to cropland. Swamp deer occur in the Kanha National Park of Madhya Pradesh, in two localities in Assam, and in only 6 localities in Uttar Pradesh.
Rucervus duvaucelii is listed on CITES Appendix I.
In India, it is included under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
About Kaziranga National Park:
Kaziranga National Park is a national park in the Golaghat, Karbi Anglong and Nagaon districts of the state of Assam, India. The sanctuary, which hosts two-thirds of the world’s great one-horned rhinoceroses, is a World Heritage Site.
In 2015, the rhino population stood at 2401.
The park is home to large breeding populations of elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer.
Kaziranga is recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for conservation of avifaunal species. When compared with other protected areas in India, Kaziranga has achieved notable success in wildlife conservation.
Located on the edge of the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot, the park combines high species diversity and visibility.
2. DENISON BARB OR MISS KERALA FISH
News: A section of aquarists and ornamental fish breeders are surprised that the Denison barb (Miss Kerala), a native freshwater fish species commonly found in parts of Karnataka and Kerala, has been included in Schedule I of the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2021.
About Wildlife Protection Act 1972:
The Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 is an Act of the Parliament of India enacted for protection of plants and animal species. Before 1972, India had only five designated national parks.
Among other reforms, the Act established schedules of protected plant and animal species; hunting or harvesting these species was largely outlawed.
The Act provides for the protection of wild animals, birds and plants; and for matters connected therewith or ancillary or incidental thereto. It extends to the whole of India.
It has six schedules which give varying degrees of protection.
Schedule I and part II of Schedule II provide absolute protection – offences under these are prescribed the highest penalties.
Species listed in Schedule III and Schedule IV are also protected, but the penalties are much lower.
Animals under Schedule V, e.g. common crows, fruit bats, rats and mice, are legally considered vermin and may be hunted freely.
The specified endemic plants in Schedule VI are prohibited from cultivation and planting.
The hunting to the Enforcement authorities have the power to compound offences under this Schedule (i.e. they impose fines on the offenders).