The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) saved 955 live baby Gangetic turtles in a crackdown on illegal wildlife trade in multicity Operation “Kachchhap”.
What is Operation Kachchhap?
Operation Kachchhap is a rescue operation of Gangetic turtles by the officers of DRI (Directorate of Revenue Intelligence) at different locations in the country.
- Species rescued are Indian Tent Turtle, Indian Flapshell Turtle, Crown River Turtle, Black spotted/Pond Turtle and Brown Roofed Turtle.
- Intelligence was developed by the officers of DRI (Directorate of Revenue Intelligence) about a syndicate involved in illegal trafficking and trading of ‘’Turtles of Ganges’’, some of which are specified as vulnerable or near threatened species under Schedule I and II of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and IUCN Red List.
- Illegal trade and habitat degradation are major threats to these species.
- After the initial seizure under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, the perpetrators and Gangetic turtles were handed over to the respective Forest Departments for further investigation.
- The operation comes in a series of other such crackdowns over the past months, as DRI continues its resolve to preserve the environment and combat illegal wildlife trafficking.
About Wild Life (Protection) Act of 1972
The Wild Life (Protection) Act of 1972 lays down a legal framework for safeguarding different species of wild animals and plants, managing their habitats, regulating and controlling the trade of wild animals, plants, and products derived from them.
Schedules under the Wild Life (Protection) Act of 1972
- The schedule covers endangered species that require strict protection. If someone violates the law listed under this schedule, they will face the harshest penalties.
- Hunting of species under this schedule is strictly prohibited throughout India, except in cases of self-defense or to prevent the spread of an incurable disease.
- Some of the animals listed under Schedule I include the Snow Leopard, Black Buck, Himalayan Bear, and Asiatic Cheetah.
- Animals listed under Schedule II, including Assamese Macaque, Himalayan Black Bear, and Indian Cobra, are accorded high protection with trade prohibition.
Schedule III & IV:
- Schedule III and IV of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, include species that are not endangered.
- These schedules protect animals that are prohibited from hunting, but the penalty for violating these rules is less than for species listed in the first two schedules.
- Some of the animals protected under Schedule III are Chital (spotted deer), Bharal (blue sheep), Hyena, and Sambhar (deer).
- Schedule IV protects species such as Flamingos, Hares, Falcons, Kingfishers, Magpies, and Horseshoe Crabs.
- This schedule lists animals that are classified as vermin, which are small wild animals that can spread disease and damage crops and food supplies.
- These animals can be legally hunted. The schedule includes only four species of wild animals: Common Crows, Fruit Bats, Rats, and Mice.
- The law regulates the cultivation of certain plants and places restrictions on their possession, sale, and transportation. Both growing and trading these plants require prior permission from the competent authority.
- The plants that fall under Schedule VI protection include Beddome's cycad (native to India), blue vanda (blue orchid), red vanda (red orchid), kuth (Saussurea lappa), slipper orchids (Paphiopedilum spp.), and pitcher plant (Nepenthes khasiana).