Wildlife Protection Current Affairs

NBWL adds 4 species in Recovery Programme for Critically Endangered Species

The standing committee of National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) has recently added four species- Northern River Terrapin, Clouded Leopard, Arabian Sea Humpback Whale and Red Panda into Centre’s Recovery Programme for Critically Endangered Species. They were added on the recommendation by Wildlife Division of Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC).

Key Facts

Norther River Terrapin: It is species of riverine turtle found in rivers that flow in Eastern India. It is hunted for its meat and carapace. It is native of Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Clouded Leopard: It is found in Himalayan foothills. It is threatened due to habitat loss, poaching for its skin and is also as a live pet trade. The IUCN in its Red List assessment of 2016 has categorized Clouded Leopard as ‘Vulnerable’ and indicating declining trend in its population.

Arabian Sea Humpback Whale: It is a species found in all of major oceans. This species migrates from the Oman coast through the Arabian sea, along the Indian coasts till the Sri Lankan coast. Ship strikes, unforgiving fishing gear and siesmic exploarations pose grave threat to it.

Red Panda: It is closely associated with montane forests with dense bamboo-thicket. It is found Sikkim, West Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh. It is poached for its meat, and for use in medicines, and as a pet. The IUCN has categorized Red Panda as ‘Endangered’. As per its Red List assessment of 2015, population of this species is decreasing.

Recovery Programme for Critically Endangered Species

The progamme is one of the three components of centrally funded scheme, Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats (IDWH). It was started in 2008-09. IDWH is meant for providing support to protected areas (national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, conservation reserves and community reserves except tiger reserves), protection of wildlife outside protected areas and recovery programmes for saving critically endangered species and habitats.

So far, 17 species were identified under this recovery programme. These are Snow Leopard, Bustard (including Floricans), Dolphin, Nilgiri Tahr, Hangul, Marine Turtles, Edible Nest Swiftlet, Dugongs, Asian Wild Buffalo, Nicobar Megapode, Manipur Brow-antlered Deer, Vultures, Malabar Civet, Indian Rhinoceros, Asiatic Lion, Swamp Deer and Jerdon’s Courser.


4th meeting of SAWEN held in Kolkata, India

The fourth meeting of South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN), an inter-governmental wildlife law enforcement agency was in Kolkata, West Bengal (India) from May 8-10, 2018. It was first meeting of SAWEN to be held in India since its inception in 2011.

Key Outcomes of meeting

The two-day conference was attended by representatives of seven (excluding Pakistan) out of eight member countries. Six proposals, including tracking of wildlife smuggling route, review of existing laws and structure for the organisation were tabled during the meeting. Participating countries also adopted many resolutions to curb wildlife crime in the region. They agreed on having operational framework for strengthening the regional body to combat wildlife crime.

South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network (SAWEN)

SAWEN is regional inter-governmental wildlife law enforcement support body of South Asian Countries. It was launched in January, 2011 in Paro, Bhutan during the second meeting of the South Asia Expert Group on Illegal Wildlife Trade. Its secretariat is in Kathmandu, Nepal. Its regional network comprises of eight South Asia countries: Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives.

Mandate: SAWEN aims at working collectively as a strong regional inter-governmental body to combat wildlife crime by attainting common mutual goals and approaches for combating illegal trade in the region. It also seeks to control trans-boundary wildlife crime through communication, coordination, collaboration, capacity building and cooperation in the region.


South Asia region is very vulnerable to illegal traffic and wildlife crimes due to presence of precious biodiversity and large markets as well as traffic routes for wildlife products in the region. It is mainly due to presence of large markets as well as traffic routes for wildlife products in the region. There was need among South Asian countries for collaboration in harmonising as well as enforcing wildlife protection in region for effective conservation of biodiversity. Establishment of SAWEN provided these eight South Asian Countries  common platform for harmonising as well as enforcing wildlife protection in region