53201737 Wildlife Conservation Efforts in India

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Wildlife Conservation Efforts in IndiaIntroductionThe Indian subcontinent boasts of serving as the natural habitat of a large and varied wildlife. The sub-continent with its varied geographical spread from the Himalayas in the north to the Cauvery basin in the south and the Kutch region in the west to the plains of Assam in East present a diverse range of environmental conditions for some of the most magnificent as well as the rarest wildlife species of the world in India to exist. The beauty and variety we see in the jungles of India is difficult to be expressed in words and I bring together the breadth through pictures in this project . However, the past few decades have seen the greed and negligence of human beings working to the detriment of this rich wildlife. Large-scale poaching, habitat destruction and conflict with humans have resulted in a rapid decline in the population of most of the wild animals and birds. Some animals like the Indian cheetah due to this are now extinct. Conservation of Indian wildlife was not given the requisite importance for a long time. However, the government as well as the people slowly and gradually understood their responsibility in this context. Today, efforts are being made towards wildlife conservation in India, to preserve this natural wealth. Numerous wildlife conservation projects have been undertaken in India, both at the government as well as the individual level, to protect the rich wildlife of the subcontinent. The private sector has also started stepping in as part of their corporate social responsibility to bring about this change and increase peoples awareness. The Save the Tiger campaign by Aircelwhich is discussed here. I am a wildlife fan and have been to a fair number of national parks around the country. In this project I analyze the threat to wildlife in India and then extensively report the efforts of the government, societies, groups and individuals.

Importance of wildlife conservationDue to the growing impact of deforestation, continuous efforts are being made by some anxious animal lovers to protect the endangered species of wildlife as well as those that are on the verge of extinction and thus save the world from running out its green heritage. Wildlife is important for four main reasons:

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Beauty: Wild life provides aesthetic value to man. By their unique way of existence, wild creatures exaggerate the natural beauty of the earth. Economic value: The financial value of wild species is important to the economies of several nations, as it provides many valuable substances like wood and other plant products, fibers, meat and other foods, and skins and furs. Many wild plants provide useful substances like timber, paper, gums etc. And they also have wide applications in Ayurveda and other branches of medicine. Scientific value: Most important contribution of wild life for human progress is availability of large genepool for the scientists to carry breeding programmes in agriculture, animal husbandry and fishery.By studying wildlife, scientists have gained valuable knowledge about various life processes and discovered important medical products Survival value: To maintain ecological 'balance of nature' and maintain food chain and nature cycles.Wildlife helps in maintaining the balanced living systems of earth, which consequently ensures survival of life. Wild life of a country is its cultural asset.

National Parks of IndiaThe topography of Indian subcontinent is so varied that it supports a wide variety of wildlife. There is a huge population of animals as well as birds living in the wild regions of the country. However, the threat of poaching, along with habitat loss, has led to a rapid decline in the population of wild animals. To reverse this trend, numerous national parks as well as wildlife sanctuaries have been set up in India. These parks and sanctuaries are serving as the natural abode of the majority of wildlife and helping in the augmentation of their population. In the following lines, I have covered some of the famous Indian national park and wildlife sanctuary in India and provided a list at the bottom of the others covering most of them :

Bandhavgarh National Park Bandhavgarh National Park is spread across the Vindhya hills of Madhya Pradesh, over a coverage area of approximately 437 sq km. The topography of the park is characterized by sharp ridges, surging forests and open meadows. Bandipur National Park Bandipur National Park is situated at the confluence of Deccan Plateau and Western Ghat Mountains. The wildlife park falls under the Chamarajanagar district of the SouthIndian state of Karnataka. Jim Corbett National Park Jim Corbett National Park is situated in the foothills of the Himalayas and comes under the state of Uttaranchal. The park was established in the year 1936 and at that point of time, it was known as the Hailey National Park.

Desert National Park is located in the Jaisalmer city of Rajasthan. Stretching in the Thar Desert, over an area of 3150 sq km, the park serves as the perfect example of its ecosystem.

Gir National Park Gir National Park, established in the Junagarh district of Gujarat, is spread over an area of 1412 sq km. The park holds the distinction of being the only natural habitat of Asiatic Lions in the whole world.

Manas National Park of India boasts of amazing wildlife as well as picturesque beauty. The park is situated in the Kamrup district of the northeastern state of Assam.

Periyar National Park lies nestled in the Western Ghats, falling in the Idukki district of Kerala. The lake that constitutes a major portion of the park came into existence after a dam was constructed on the Periyar River, in the year 1895. Sariska National Park lies nestled in the Aravali Hill ranges of Rajasthan. Sariska was declared as a wildlife sanctuary in the year 1958. Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary Sultanpur National Park falls under the Gurgaon district of Haryana. It is situated on the Gurgaon-Farukh Nagar Road, at a distance of 15 km from Gurgaon. Sundarbans National Park Sundarbans National Park forms a part of the largest delta created by the Ganga and Brahmaputra Rivers. Its core area is made up of the largest mangrove forest in the world.

Threats to WildlifeThe major threats being faced by the wildlife in India are:

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The problem of overcrowding is one of the major reasons for the depleting population of wild animals in India. The wildlife sanctuaries of India have become overcrowded and their capacity has decreased to quite an extent. Tourism in the national parks of the country is increasing day by day. One of the reasons for this is a rise in the popularity of eco-tourism and adventure tourism. This has led to a growth in vehicle pollution and wildlife road fatalities, apart from leading to a damage of the natural habitat of birds and animals. With the increase in tourism, the parks have witnessed an increase in wildfires also. Innocent campfires started by visitors have, more often than not, led to menacing wildfires. These fires not only kill animals, but also destroy their natural habitat. The wildlife of coastal areas is constantly disturbed by personal watercrafts, like jet skis or wave runners. These personal watercrafts enter shallow waters and expel nesting birds from their roosts. Such activities are disturbing the mating pattern of birds. Releasing of chemicals and other toxic effluents into the water bodies has led to poisoning of the water. The animals and birds drinking such water face a fatal threat. Even the population of fish, living in such water bodies, is declining at a fast pace. The climate changes taking place in the world today, are affecting not only humans, but also the wildlife. The natural habitat as well as migration patterns of the animals and birds is experiencing disturb patterns. Last but not the least, the threat of poaching has been haunting the wildlife of India since ages. Even after the establishment of wildlife sanctuaries and national parks, the threat of poaching has not been totally eliminated.

Wildlife conservation projects and programsTo promote wildlife awareness among the people, the Indian government has started various natural projects and programs such as Project Tiger, Nature Camps and Jungle Lodges. These projects not only help to preserve our natural heritage, but encourage eco-tourism as well. Project Tiger was formed in 1972 and launched on the 1st April 1973 at Corbett National Park. Till date, the project has been the most successful one in preserving the tiger population at Tiger Reserves in Bandhavgarh, Corbett, Pench, Ranthambhore, Kanha, Bandipur, Panna, Dudhwa, Sunderbans, Manas and Sariska. All these reserves act as Conservation Centers for tigers in India. Besides, there is the Gir National Park, the only habitat for Asiatic lions in India. The Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary is Assam is renowned for protecting the endangered onehorned Rhinoceros. There's also Dachigam National Park, which conserves the Hangul or Kashmiri Stag. Project Elephant, a centrally sponsored scheme, was launched in February 1992 to provide financial and technical support to major elephant bearing states in India for protection of elephants, their habitats and corridors. The Project, involving 25 Elephant Reserves across the country, is being implemented in 13 States and Union Territories in India, namely, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. The NGOs There are also various NGOs working on wildlife conservation in India such as Wildlife Society of Orissa (Orissa), Rhino Foundation for Nature (Assam), Friends of Forests (Maharashtra), North Eastern Society for Preservation of