Following measures have been taken by the Government of India to conserve and protect wildlife, including all the lesser cats’ species, in the country:
- Threatened species of wildlife including all the lesser cats are included in the Schedules of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, thereby affording them the highest degree of protection.
- A network of Protected Areas has been established to conserve wildlife and their habitats including rare animals.
- Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB) has been set up to check illegal trade in wildlife and its products.
- Financial and technical assistance is extended to the State/UT Governments under various Centrally Sponsored Schemes, namely, ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats’, ‘Project Tiger’ and ‘Project Elephant’ for prov iding better protection and conservation of wildlife.
- The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 has been amended from time to time and made more stringent against wildlife related offences.
Lesser cats are part of faunal life along with other species. A network of protected areas, viz., National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Conservation and Community Reserves has been established in the country. Lesser cats, along with other species, are afforded protection in these Protected Areas. The state-wise details of Protected Areas in India are at Table I.
Table I: State-Wise Details of the Protected Area Network of the Country