WILDLIFE PROTECTION ACT Conservation of living natural resources, plants, animals and microorganisms and the non-living elements of the environment on which they depend is crucial for development and progress. The plants, animals and microorganisms living in their natural habitats in wild state other than the cultivated plants and domesticated animals constitute wildlife. Animals and plants living in their natural habitat constitute wildlife. Wildlife resources constitute a vital link in the survival of human species as every one of us are dependent on the plants and animals for all vital components of our welfare. The whole environment runs in the form of a food chain and the survival independence of all these species is vital and interdependent. The extinction of wildlife would ultimately lead to the extinction of the human species itself. As said by honourable Justice Markandey Katju that preservation of wildlife is important for maintaining the ecological balance in the environment and sustaining the ecological chain. It must be understood that there is interlinking in the nature. The challenge that the world faces is not the idea of conservation, but can conservation be implemented in national interest and within the means available to each country. Need for Conservation of wildlife 1. ecological balance for supporting life. 2. preserving different kinds of species (biodiversity). 3. preserving economically important plants and animals. 4. conserving the endangered species. Legislative History In India, the wildlife laws have a long history. Governance with a focus on clean environment and wildlife conservation, particularly protection of elephants in India date back to 3rd century BC during the time of Chandragupta Maurya and Ashoka. Under the Indian Penal Code 1860, the term “animal” is defined, and it declares maiming, killing of animals as an offence punishable under various sections.