Antlers : Environment for UPSC Exams

Antlers : Environment for UPSC Exams

  • Antlers are extensions of the skull grown by members of the deer family.
  • They are not true bone structures but they usually grow in symmetrical pairs. In most species, only the male grows antlers with the exception of Caribou.

  • The antlers primarily function in sexual selection as attractions to females and as weapons in fights for control of harems.

  • In many temperate zone species, antlers are shed and regrow each year, while horns are permanent.

  • Deer antlers are mass of solid bone and are shed on regular intervals and regrow again. Whereas in all other bovidae’s the horns are permanent and are not shed.

  • India has a distinction of having the largest number of deer species in the world. The species found in India varies in size as per the areas they live in.

  • Antlers of spotted deer and sambar may find their way to Ayurveda medicines if a recommendation of the State Board for Wildlife (SBWL) finds favour with the National Board for Wildlife and the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

  • The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, has included antler in the definition of wildlife trophy.

  • A wildlife trophy is defined as the “whole or any part of any captive animal or wild animal”.

  • Section 39 of the Wildlife(Protection) Act also states that “no person shall, without the previous permission in writing of the Chief Wildlife Warden or the authorised officer acquire or keep in his possession, custody or control or transfer to any person, whether by way of gift, sale or otherwise or destroy or damage such property”.

  • Wildlife and wildlife trophies are considered as owned by the government.

  • The Act also prescribes imprisonment up to three years and fine of RS. 25,000 for offences involving wildlife trophies

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