Wildlife Conservation in India Essay Nature is the major part that gave plenty of chances to flourish mankind. When it comes about doing justice, itâ€™s all what nature do, but not us. We learnt from childhood to save others, to think for others first, and rest all the things. In fact, we are living all because of the nature. And when our turn came to save the nature, we are simply sitting back, relaxing as if nothing has happened. Therefore, the government of India started giving advertisements to save the nature or in easy language â€˜Save Wildlifeâ€™. Many wildlife organizations are there who try to save and flourish the wildlife. Many natural projects and programmes have been undertaken by the Indian Government like Project Tiger, Nature Camps, and Jungle Lodges. These have been organized to promote the wildlife awareness among the people in every remote areas of India. All of these projects help preserving the natural heritage as well as encourages the eco-tourism. The wild beings are the gift of the nature that helps decorate the natural beauty by their exceptional ways of existence. Today, due to the rising deforestation and negligence, wildlife is receiving a threat that needs special attention from every human being. The green heritage of this world could only be saved by joining hands together. The population of tigers is day-by-day diminishing, and so to preserve and protect them government has taken some initiatives. It is today very important for every individual to know this major issue of wildlife. The education and awareness will at least help people to stop killing more animals or birds. The major example of efforts to save the endangered Rhinoceros is in the Kazirange Sanctuary in Assam. To protect wildlife like Elephants, Periyar in Kerala is also doing exceptionally well, where as, the Dachigam National Park is also joining its hand to save the Hangul or Kashmiri Stag. Gir National Park that is located in Gujarat is the only surviving home for the almost wiped out Asiatic Lions in India. Wildlife Conservation in India covers some 3.29 million square kilometers of area including the floral and faunal species, mammals, reptiles, insects, and birds. Today, the Wildlife Conservation in India has become the most renowned holiday destinations due to its diverseness. In India, you will get total 571 sanctuaries and reserve parks, sheltered by the Indian Government. Some of the significant Wildlife Sanctuaries that could be found in India are: * Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh * Corbett National Park in Uttar Pradesh * Kaziranga National Park in Assam * Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary in Rajasthan * Sunderbans National Park in West Bengal * Manas Tiger Reserve in Assam * Gir National Park Sanctuary in Gujarat * Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh * Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala * Dachigam National Park in Jammu Kashmir Besides this, there are many other NGOs are also working on the wildlife conservation like Wildlife Society of Orissa, Rhino Foundation for Nature, Friends of Forests, North Eastern Society for Preservation of Nature and Wildlife, Natureâ€™s Beckon, Nature Conservation Society Amravati, The Friends of the Doon and Bali Nature, and Wild Life Conservation Society. Wildlife aids in sustaining the balanced living systems of earth that as a result guarantees survival of life. In fact, by studying about the wildlife further, Scientists achieved lots of precious information about different life processes and discovered significant medical products. Tourists when throng to India to see the major attractions and make some memorable time, they make sure that the nation could offer them good sights of wildlife as well. So be the one to save our environment and wildlife and make India a thriving place for these living beings. Active conservation projects in India Tiger Conservation Programme Geographical location: Asia/Pacific Southern Asia India The project aims at conserving the tiger and the species that cohabit its habitat. Project activities primarily focus on conservation efforts within the protected areas and their adjoining forests. There is also a major effort to work with the local communities; primarily to mobilise support for the cause of tiger conservation, and at the same time bring economic benefits to the communities by means of innovative mutually benefitting activities. Objectives Provide support to protected areas to strengthen their anti-poaching activities. Play a facilitators role to develop, ratify and adopt strategies. Protect high priority landscapes and the biodiversity therein. Restore critical habitats. Solution The project relates to conservation action in the 3 priority tiger landscapes in India, i.e. the Sunderbans, Satpuda Maikal and the Terai Arc. In addition to working in the landscape, WWF will also provide support to protected areas to strengthen their anti-poaching capabilities. The proposed activities in the selected landscapes will involve working closely with the governmental and non-governmental agencies along with the local communities. WWF will play the role of catalytic role in facilitating the agencies to collaborate to develop, ratify and adopt strategies, protect important biodiversity areas, conserve landscapes of high priority and restore critical habitats. Asian Rhino and Elephant Action Strategy (AREAS) Geographical location: Asia/Pacific Asia General Asia/Pacific Southeast Asia Indonesia Asia/Pacific Southeast Asia Malaysia Asia/Pacific Southern Asia India Asia/Pacific Southern Asia Nepal Asia/Pacific Southern Asia Sri Lanka Â© WWF Laos Summary WWFâ€™s Asian Rhino and Elephant Action Strategy (AREAS) was set up to focus on the conservation of these iconic flagship species. The programme was developed on the back of priorities defined by WWF Asia/Pacific Regional Strategy. This project is concerned with the next phase of the AREAS programme and priorities will be further developed. Background With a few notable exceptions, populations of the 3 Asian rhino species (Greater One-horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis), Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus) and Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) and the Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus) have experienced major declines over the past few decades as a result of habitat loss, fragmentation, and poaching. Large mammals, like rhinos and elephants, are wide-ranging and require extensive areas to support viable populations. It is possible that rhino and elephant populations in several of Asias relatively small protected areas have reached carrying capacity, and the areas have inadequate ecological resources to support larger populations. The animals are unable to use the surrounding areas as habitat fragmentation of their natural habitat has led to the reserves becoming isolated. In many areas, the only chance to maintain or rebuild viable rhino and elephant populations is to include the larger landscape in conservation planning. Objectives 1. Expand existing reserves and creating new reserves where possible. 2. Link proximal protected areas by corridors. 3. Manage buffer zones so that wildlife conservation activities and other natural resources provide more benefits to the local communities than irreversible extraction of resources. 4. Encourage low-intensity land use throughout the conservation landscape that are compatible with wildlife use and dispersal, yet provide equivalent benefits. 5. Re-establish the traditions of the local people that once allowed a relatively benevolent coexistence with wildlife. 2. Conservation of Red Pandas 3. Geographical location: 4. Asia/Pacific Southern Asia India 5. 6. Â© WWF-Canon / Martin HARVEY 7. Summary 8. Scientific information on the status of the red panda in Sikkim is very scant. While large areas are shown as red panda distribution areas, the reality is that only small pockets are available for the species. Authentic information on where exactly these animals are ranging and how exactly these places are connected and or what threatens these linkages is vital for creating strategies for effective conservation interventions. The Khangchendzonga landscape itself is a large area and the number of stakeholders is huge. Among them are government and non government agencies and influential individuals. These also include educational and research institutions that make key inputs into decision making. Bringing all of these together on a platform to make an alliance for conservation is expected to go a long way in achieving larger conservation goals. It is clear that the entire landscape including the Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve (Sikkim, India) is facing various threats. But there is no scientifically documented information that actually identifies the threats as well as shows levels of damage each one of them is causing or the potential of the damage that is waiting to happen. While this kind of dataset will appraise us of the level of interventions that are needed, it will also help in generating opinion among decision makers. 9. Background 10. Though the red panda (Ailurus fulgens) is the state animal of Sikkim and reported to be found in six protected areas (PAs) within the state (Choudhury 2001), its status in the wild is thought to be steadily declining (Lachhungpa 1997). Choudhury (2001) also reports that a 1,000 times increase in tourists in Sikkim between 1980 and 1995 and their subsequent requirement for firewood has accelerated habitat loss. In addition to this, he mentioned that construction of roads, over-grazing, etc. have also had their toll on the red panda habitats in Sikkim. The ecology of this species has been studied by Pradhan et al. (1999) in Singhalila National Park, West Bengal, an area that is adjacent to the state of Sikkim and has contiguous patches to this stateâ€™s largest PA, i.e. the Kanchenjunga National Park. The state of Sikkim is also likely to hold about 20% of the potential red panda habitat in India (Choudhury 2001). Therefore, in order to propose a conservation action plan for the species, the foremost activity to be carried out is to estimate the current status and distribution of the red panda in Sikkim. This activity will identify the PAs and other areas of red panda habitat that need immediate attention. 11. Objectives 12. 1. Understand the conservation status of the red panda in Sikkim. 2. Strategise for long-term conservation of the red panda. 3. Conduct feasibility for reintroductions of the red panda in order to create populations in identified sites. 13. Solution 14. It is known that the red panda inhabits sub-tropical and temperate forests (Choudhury 2001) wherein they are threatened from habitat loss and habitat fragmentation, competition from domestic livestock, reduction of habitat quality by removal of maternal den trees (Glatstone 1994). Hence, conservation needs for this species in Sikkim is to be determined and addressed. The weaknesses of the red panda habitats within and outside PAs are to be quantified and specific strengthening measures are to be implemented. All these activities will require to build-up a partnership with different government authorities like the Forest Department, the Indian army and NGOs like the Mountain Institute, Resources Himalaya and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). A broad-based awareness programme will also be initiated at the middle of the first year to make the people of the state aware about the conservation issues for this species. In due course of time, a tie up could be done with the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, Darjeeling, which has successfully carried out an ex-situ conservation programme of red panda, by breeding this species in captivity and releasing them in the wild. Interestingly, one of the two individuals that were radio-collared and released in the Singhalila National Park, has mated in the wild and given birth to offspring. 15. Terai Arc Landscape securing corridors, curbing poaching and mitigating HWC 16. Geographical location: 17. Asia/Pacific Southern Asia India 18. 19. Â© WWF-Canon / Helena Telkanranta 20. Summary 21. The Terai Arc Landscape contains spectacular forests, savannahs and grasslands, providing vital habitat for three endangered large mammals: tiger, elephant and rhinoceros. This project will focus on restoring wildlife corridors, poaching and mitigation of human/wildlife conflict (HWC). These activites will have an overall positive impact on wildlife and will be focused on the states of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. 22. Background 23. The Terai Arc Landscape (TAL) is spread over approximately 49,500 sq km and stretches from Nepalâ€™s Bagmati river in the east to Indiaâ€™s Yamuna river in the west. TAL in India covers approximately 30,000 sq km across the states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. This area of India is about 50% forested. Vegetation in TAL-India consists of sal forests, sal mixed forests, riverine forests, mixed forests, grasslands and open scrubs. Some of the charismatic mega-fauna in TAL-India includes tiger (Panthera tigris), Asiatic elephant (Elephas maximus), great Indian one-horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis), swamp deer (Cervus duvauceli duvauceli) and the Gangetic dolphin (Platanista gangetica). TAL is also drained by major rivers such as Sharda, Kosi, Ramganga, Gandak, Bagmati, Sonanadi, Rapti, and Saryu. TAL in India has 9 protected areas (PAs) which are Rajaji National Park, Corbett National Park and Tiger Reserve, Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary, Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary, Dudhwa National Park and Tiger Reserve, Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, Suhelwa Wildlife Sanctuary, Sohagibarwa Wildlife Sanctuary and Valmiki National Park and Tiger Reserve covering a total area of 4,500 sq km. TAL in India is among the most densely populated rural areas in the country as more than 20 million people reside here (2001 census). During the last two decades the population in TAL has increased by as much as 54.2%, which is 9% above the national average. Most of the poorer communities depend on the forest for their subsistence. Firewood, fodder and grass for thatching and rope making are the most significant resources extracted from the forests. Wild fruits, honey, medicinal plants, and leaves are some non-timber forest products (NTFPs) which are also extracted from the forests and these also contribute to the household economy of rural populations. Natural resource based occupations are predominant across TAL-India. Only 7% of the population uses purchased fuel such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), coal and kerosene in the entire TAL-India, the remainder using fuel wood collected from the forests. This landscape faces several threats like loss of wildlife and its habitat at an alarming rate. Habitat degradation and fragmentation due to biotic pressures and developmental activities are causing immense damage to the TAL. Livelihoods of millions of people are also at risk, as the natural resources in the TAL provide a means of income as well as vital ecological services, which are being lost as the landscape is further degraded. There are direct threats to wildlife in terms of poaching and conflicts with humans. There are tribes who have been hunting animals as a tradition and many of these still continue to do so. Meager amounts are offered to the villagers residing near forests by organized poachers to kill animals. On the other hand when the wild animals move out of the forest areas due to shrinking of natural habitat and come in conflict with the local people, most of the time it is the animal which loses out in the fight. Species which are already stripped of their habitats often face retaliatory killing. The main threats to wildlife conservation in the Indian part of TAL include corridor degradation; poaching, illegal extraction of natural resources and wildlife trade; high levels of human wildlife conflict; lack of participation from the local people; inappropriate policies and inadequate infrastructure support for implementing the wildlife conservation measures by the state departments. The root causes of some of these problems include limited capacity within the Forest Department (particularly staff outside the PA system, i.e. in the territorial forest divisions) to undertake effective wildlife conservation measures in the critical wildlife corridors and tackle the illegal wildlife trade. Another underlying cause of habitat degradation is weak community institutions and limited alternative livelihoods which lead to over-extraction of forest resources. 24. Objectives 25. Secure critical wildlife corridors within TAL-India; Curb wildlife poaching and illegal wildlife trade in TAL-India; Mitigate human-wildlife conflict in TAL-India; and Build strong community based institutions. 26. Solution 27. WWF-India proposes to work with the forest department and other government agencies securing critical corridors and curbing poaching and illegal wildlife trade. It will work with the forest department, local administration and with local communities and community based organizations to mitigate human-wildlife conflict. WWF will also work on the building of a community based institution for wildlife conservation. 28. Achievement 29. 1. Moved the Central and State Government to secure Gola wildlife corridor. 2. Working with different stakeholders for reducing wildlife trade. 3. Human wildlife conflict mitigated substantially around the Corbett Tiger Reserve.
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