Main Article Content


Even though COVID-19 has drastically weighed upon the humankind, still there is a “silver lining” to see in this dark time. Amidst of this pandemic, most of the human activities were restricted to break the chain of infection which resulted the remarkable change in nature. It has been reported that due to halt in air travel, reduction in the use of fossil fuels, way less functioning of vehicles, shutdown of industries has complied the change in air pollution levels and also change in river water quality. Reports also showed the reduction in particulate matter (PM 2.5 and PM 10), greenhouse gases emissions, massive improvement in the Air quality index (AQI), reduction in the NOX and SOX’s level has clearly stipulated that nature has got it’s time to “revive”. Even the global carbon emission has reported to reduced reluctantly which is expected to be the biggest such drop since World War II. Despite conducting water-cleansing projects and spending a lot of money, the situation of the water bodies were far better now during first lockdown. Moreover, migration and breeding of the birds and animals have been reported to be restored to normal pattern due to depletion in man-animal conflict. Apart from the positive, negative impacts on the nature are also being experienced. Our review work is highlighting such impacts witnessed during the first wave of COVID-19, like, the significant improvement in air and water quality, reduction in environmental noise, therefore an in turn cleaner and quieter habitat for the wildlife to mate and also to quench their curiosities by their surprising excursions; but there are also some negative aspects as well, like reduction in recycling and the increase in waste, increased poaching and even lone shuttering of zoo animals.


Air quality index Biodiversity COVID-19 Man-animal conflict Pandemic Wildlife

Article Details

How to Cite
Sharma, Y. ., Mago, Y. ., & Rawal, V. (2022). The dynamics of the first wave of COVID-19 on environment and wildlife– a boon or a bane?. Environment Conservation Journal, 23(1&2), 183–191.


  1. Abc news (2020) Pandas mate for the 1st time in 10 years after zoo closes to public over coronavirus. Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  2. Bar, H. (2021). COVID-19 lockdown: animal life, ecosystem and atmospheric environment. Environment, development and sustainability, 23(6), 8161-8178.
  3. BBC (2020a) Coronavirus: Seahorses return to Dorset coast amid lockdown. Retrieved June 2, 2020,
  4. BBC (2020b) Coronavirus: Wild animals enjoy freedom of a quieter world. Retrieved April 29, 2020,
  5. Bhat, B. A., Kumar, P., Riyaz, S., Manzoor, S., Geelani, S. N. Z., Tibetbaqal, A., ...& Sultan, M. M. (2020). Local perception of climate change, COVID-19 and their impact on birds in Jammu and Kashmir. International Journal of Science and Healthcare Research, 5(2), 183-192.
  6. Chakraborty, S., Sarkar, K., Chakraborty, S., Ojha, A., Banik, A., Chatterjee, A., ...& Das, M. (2021). Assessment of the surface water quality improvement during pandemic lockdown in ecologically stressed Hooghly River (Ganges) Estuary, West Bengal, India. Marine pollution bulletin, 171, 112711.
  7. Chen, K., Wang, M., Huang, C., Kinney, P. L., &Anastas, P. T. (2020). Air pollution reduction and mortality benefit during the COVID-19 outbreak in China. The Lancet Planetary Health, 4(6), e210-e212.
  8. ESA (2020a) Coronavirus lockdown leading to drop in pollution across Europe. Retrieved March 27, 2020,
  10. ESA (2020b) Sulphur dioxide concentrations drop over India during COVID-19. Retrieved July 1, 2020,
  11. Forbes (2020) Six Places Where Oceans, Rivers And Marine Life Have Rebounded During The Coronavirus Pandemic. Retrieved May 16, 2020,
  13. Gautam, S. (2020). The influence of COVID-19 on air quality in India: a boon or inutile. Bulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology, 104(6), 724-726.
  14. Global Times (2020) China upgrades protection of pangolins from second to first class, same as giant panda. Retrieved June 5,
  15. Gwinner, E. (1996). Circannual clocks in avian reproduction and migration. Ibis, 138(1), 47-63.
  17. Hindustan Times (2020) COVID-19 lockdown cuts PM2.5, PM10 levels by half in Delhi: CPCB. Retrieved April 28, 2020,
  18. India Today (2020) Coronavirus impact: Dip in elephant tourism puts 8,000 families at risk in Jaipur. Retrieved June 15.
  19. Kanniah, K. D., Zaman, N. A. F. K., Kaskaoutis, D. G., &Latif, M. T. (2020).COVID-19's impact on the atmospheric environment in the Southeast Asia region. Science of the Total Environment, 736, 139658.
  20. Le Quéré, C., Jackson, R. B., Jones, M. W., Smith, A. J., Abernethy, S., Andrew, R. M., ... & Peters, G. P. (2020). Temporary reduction in daily global CO 2 emissions during the COVID-19 forced confinement. Nature Climate Change, 10(7), 647-653.
  22. Lokhandwala, S., &Gautam, P. (2020). Indirect impact of COVID-19 on environment: A brief study in Indian context. Environmental research, 188, 109807.
  23. Lo, Y. C., & Janta, P. (2021). Balancing Commercialization and Sustainability in Community-Based Tourism Practices-A Qualitative Study of Factors Affecting Elephant Habitat Communities in Northern Thailand. Frontiers in Psychology, 12.
  24. Mahato, S., Pal, S., &Ghosh, K. G. (2020). Effect of lockdown amid COVID-19 pandemic on air quality of the megacity Delhi, India. Science of the total environment, 730, 139086.
  25. Manenti, R., Mori, E., Di Canio, V., Mercurio, S., Picone, M., Caffi, M., ...&Rubolini, D. (2020). The good, the bad and the ugly of COVID-19 lockdown effects on wildlife conservation: Insights from the first European locked down country. Biological conservation, 249, 108728.
  27. Muhammad, S., Long, X., Salman, M., (2020). COVID-19 pandemic and environmental pollution: a blessing in disguise? Sci. Total Environ. 728, 138820.
  28. National Geographic (2020) China promotes bear bile as coronavirus treatment, alarming wildlife advocates. Retrieved March 26, 2020,
  30. Roe, D., Dickman, A., Kock, R., Milner-Gulland, E. J., &Rihoy, E. (2020). Beyond banning wildlife trade: COVID-19, conservation and development. World Development, 136, 105121.
  31. Sangkham, S. (2020). Face mask and medical waste disposal during the novel COVID-19 pandemic in Asia. Case Studies in Chemical and Environmental Engineering, 2, 100052.
  32. Sharma, S., Zhang, M., Gao, J., Zhang, H., & Kota, S. H. (2020). Effect of restricted emissions during COVID-19 on air quality in India. Science of the Total Environment, 728, 138878.
  33. Silva, A. L. P., Prata, J. C., Walker, T. R., Duarte, A. C., Ouyang, W., Barcelò, D., & Rocha-Santos, T. (2021). Increased plastic pollution due to COVID-19 pandemic: Challenges and recommendations. Chemical Engineering Journal, 405, 126683.
  34. The Hindu (2020) Deserted Thai beaches lure rare turtles to build most nests in 20 years. Retrieved April 20, 2020,
  35. The Guardian (2020) Florida: endangered sea turtles thriving thanks to COVID-19 restrictions. Retrieved April19, 2020,
  36. Times of India (2020a) COVID-19: Noise pollution falls as lockdown rings in sound of silence. Retrieved April 23, 2020,
  37. Times of India (2020b) For famished monkeys of Poondi temple, there are feeding hands. Retrieved April 8, 2020,
  38. Times of India (2020c) Over 3,000 critically endangered gharials born in Chambal. Retrieved July 2, 2020,
  39. Zambrano-Monserrate, M. A., Ruano, M. A., & Sanchez-Alcalde, L. (2020).Indirect effects of COVID-19 on the environment. Science of the total environment, 728, 138813.
  40. Zellmer, A. J., Wood, E. M., Surasinghe, T., Putman, B. J., Pauly, G. B., Magle, S. B., & Fidino, M. (2020). What can we learn from wildlife sightings during the COVID?19 global shutdown?. Ecosphere, 11(8), e03215.