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<p>Wildlife Conservation Efforts in India</p> <p>Introduction</p> <p>The Indian subcontinent boasts of serving as the natural habitat of a large and variedwildlife. The sub-continent with its varied geographical spread from the Himalayas inthe north to the Cauvery basin in the south and the Kutch region in the west to theplains 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.</p> <p>The beauty and variety we see in the jungles of India is difficult to be expressed inwords and I bring together the breadth through pictures in this project. However, thepast 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 withhumans have resulted in a rapid decline in the population of most of the wild animalsand 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 theirresponsibility 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 startedstepping in as part of their corporate social responsibility to bring about this change andincrease peoples awareness, e.g. The Save the Tiger campaign by Aircel.</p> <p>Importance of wildlife conservationDue to the growing impact of deforestation, continuous efforts are being made by someanxious animal lovers to protect the endangered species of wildlife as well as those thatare on the verge of extinction and thus save the world from running out its greenheritage. Wildlife is important for four main reasons:Beauty: Wild life provides aesthetic value to man. By their unique way ofexistence, 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. Manywild plants provide useful substances like timber, paper, gums etc. And they alsohave wide applications in Ayurveda and other branches of medicine.Scientific value: Most important contribution of wild life for human progress is availability of large gene pool for the scientists to carry breeding programmes in agriculture, animal husbandry and fishery. By studying wildlife, scientists havegained valuable knowledge about various life processes and discovered important medical productsSurvival value: To maintain ecological 'balance of nature' and maintain foodchain and nature cycles. Wildlife helps in maintaining the balanced living systemsof earth, which consequently ensures survival of life.Wild life of a country is its cultural asset.</p> <p>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 nationalparks 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 thebottom of the others covering most of them:</p> <p>Bandhavgarh National ParkBandhavgarh National Park is one of the popular national parks in India located in the Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh. Bandhavgarh was declared a national park in 1968, with an area of 105 km. The buffer is spread over the forest divisions of Umaria and Katni and totals 437 km. The park derives its name from the most prominent hillock of the area, which is said to be given by Hindu Lord Rama to his brother Lakshmana to keep a watch on Lanka (Ceylon), hence the name Bandhavgarh. This park has a large biodiversity. The density of the tiger population at Bandhavgarh is one of the highestknown in India. The park has a large breeding population of Leopards, and various species of deer.</p> <p>Bandipur National ParkBandipur National Park is one of India's best known protected areas and is an importantProject Tiger reserve. It is located in the Chamarajanagar district of southern Karnatakain South India, The park stretches over 874 square kilometers (337 sq mi), protecting the wildlife of Karnataka. Together with the adjoining Nagarhole National Park (643 km2 (248 sq mi)), Mudumalai National Park (320 km2 (120 sq mi)) and Wynad Wildlife Sanctuary (344 km2 (133 sq mi)), it forms the largest protected area in Southern India,totaling 2,183 km2 (843 sq mi). It is notable as the home to around seventy Bengal tigers, over three thousand Indian elephants, Leopard, Sloth Bear, Chevrotain, Dhole and Hyena. Prey species of grazing Ungulates including Gaur, Sambar (deer), Chital, Wild boar, Barking deer and Four-horned Antelope.</p> <p>Jim Corbett National ParkJim Corbett National Park is the oldest national park in India. The parknamed for thehunter and conservationist Jim Corbett who played a key role in its establishmentwasestablished in 1936 as Hailey National Park. Situated in Nainital district of Uttarakhandthe park acts as a protected area for the endangered Bengal tiger of India, the securesurvival of which is the main objective of Project Tiger, an Indian wildlife protectioninitiativeThe park has sub-Himalayan belt geographical and ecological characteristics. Anecotourism destination, it contains 488 different species of plants and a diverse varietyof fauna. The increase in tourist activities, among other problems, continues to presenta serious challenge to the park's ecological balance.The Jim Corbett National Park is a heaven for the adventure seekers and wildlifeadventure lovers alike. Corbett National Park is India's first national park whichcomprises 520.8 km2. area of hills, riverine belts, marshy depressions, grass lands andlarge lake. The elevation ranges from 1,300 feet (400 m) to 4,000 feet (1,200 m). Winternights in Corbett national park are cold but the days are bright and sunny. It rains fromJuly to September.Desert National ParkDesert National Park, Rajasthan, India, is situated in the west Indian state of Rajasthannear the town of Jaisalmer. This is one of the largest national parks, covering an area of3162 km. The Desert National Park is an excellent example of the ecosystem of theThar Desert. Sand dunes form around 20% of the Park. The major landform consists ofcraggy rocks and compact salt lake bottoms, intermedial areas and fixed dunes.Despite a fragile ecosystem there exists an abundance of birdlife. The region is a havenfor migratory and resident birds of the desert. Many eagles, harriers, falcons, buzzards,kestrel and vultures. Short-toed Eagles, Tawny Eagles, Spotted Eagles, Laggar Falconsand kestrels are the most common among these. Sand grouse are spotted near smallponds or lakes. The endangered Great Indian Bustard is a magnificent bird found inrelatively fair numbers. It migrates locally in different seasons. The most suitable time tovisit the area is between November and January. The Desert National Park has acollection of fossils of animals and plants of 180 million years old. Some fossils ofDinosaurs of 6 million years old have been found in the area.Kaziranga National ParkKaziranga National Park is a national park in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of thestate of Assam, India. A World Heritage Site, the park hosts two-thirds of the world'sGreat One-horned Rhinoceroses.[1] Kaziranga boasts the highest density of tigersamong protected areas in the world and was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006. Thepark is home to large breeding populations of elephants, wild water buffalo, and swampdeer.[2] Kaziranga is recognized as an Important Bird Area by Birdlife International forconservation of avifaunal species. Compared to other protected areas in India,Kaziranga has achieved notable success in wildlife conservation. Located on the edgeof the Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot, the park combines high species diversityand visibility.Kaziranga is a vast expanse of tall elephant grass, marshland, and dense tropical moistbroadleaf forests, crisscrossed by four major rivers, including the Brahmaputra, and thepark includes numerous small bodies of water.Kaziranga contains significant breeding populations of 35 mammalian species, of which15 are threatened as per the IUCN Red List. The park has the distinction of being hometo the world's largest population of the Great Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros (1,855),Wild Asiatic Water Buffalo (1,666) and Eastern Swamp Deer (468). Significantpopulations of large herbivores include elephants (1,940), gaur (30) and sambar (58).Small herbivores include the Indian Muntjac, wild boar, and hog deer. Kaziranga has thelargest population of the Wild water buffalo anywhere accounting for about 57% of theworld population.Kaziranga is one of the few wild breeding areas outside Africa for multiple species oflarge cats, such as Indian Tigers and Leopards. Kaziranga was declared a TigerReserve in 2006 and has the highest density of tigers in the world (one per five km),with a population of 86, as per the 2000 census. Other felids include the Jungle Cat,Fishing Cat, and Leopard Cats. Small mammals include the rare Hispid Hare, IndianGray Mongoose, Small Indian Mongooses, Large Indian Civet, Small Indian Civets,Bengal Fox, Golden Jackal, Sloth Bear, Chinese Pangolin, Indian Pangolins, HogBadger, Chinese Ferret Badgers, and Particolored flying squirrelsGir National ParkGir National Park, is a forest and wildlife sanctuary in Gujarat, India. Established in1965, with a total area of 1412 km (about 258 km for the fully protected area (thenational park) and 1153 km for the Sanctuary), the park is located 65 km to the southeastof Junagadh and 60 km to south west of Amreli.It is the sole home of the pure Asiatic Lions (Panthera leo persica) and is considered tobe one of the most important protected areas in Asia due to its supported species. Theecosystem of Gir, with its diverse flora and fauna, is protected as a result of the effortsof the government forest department, wildlife activists and NGOs. The forest area of Girand its lions were declared as "protected" in the early 1900s by the then Nawab of theprincely state of Junagadh. This initiative assisted in the conservation of the lions whosepopulation had plummeted to only 15 through slaughter for trophy hunting.The count of 2,375 distinct fauna species of Gir includes about 38 species of mammals,around 300 species of birds, 37 species of reptiles and more than 2,000 species ofinsects.The carnivores group mainly comprises Asiatic lions, Indian Leopards, Sloth bears,Indian Cobras, Jungle cats, Striped Hyenas, Golden Jackals, Indian Mongoose, IndianPalm Civets, and Ratels. Desert cats and Rusty-spotted cats exist but are rarely seen.The main herbivores of Gir are Chital, Nilgai (or Bluebull), Sambar, Four-hornedAntelope, Chinkara and Wild boar. Blackbucks from the surrounding area aresometimes seen in the sanctuary.Manas National ParkManas National Park is a Wildlife Sanctuary, UNESCO Natural World Heritage site, aProject Tiger Reserve, an Elephant Reserve and a Biosphere Reserve in Assam, India.Located in the Himalayan foothills, it is contiguous with the Royal Manas National parkin Bhutan. The park is known for its rare and endangered endemic wildlife such as theAssam Roofed Turtle, Hispid Hare, Golden Langur and Pygmy Hog.Manas is famousfor its population of the Wild water buffalo.Periyar National ParkPeriyar National Park is a protected area in the districts of Idukki and Pathanamthitta inKerala, south India. It is notable as an elephant reserve and a tiger reserve. Theprotected area covers an area of 925 km2 (357 sq mi). 350 km2 (140 sq mi) of the corezone was declared as the Periyar National Park in 1982.The Park is known for its elephants. Altogether 62 different kinds of mammals havebeen recorded in Periyar, including many threatened ones. Periyar is a highly protectedtiger reserve and elephant reserve. There are an estimated 53 tigers (2010) in thereserve. Tourists also come here to view the Indian elephants in the act of ablution andplayfulness by the Periyar lake. The elephant number around 900 to 1000 individuals.Other mammals found here include gaur, Bison, sambar (horse deer), barking deer,mouse deer, Dholes (Indian wild dogs), mongoose, foxes and leopards.Sariska National ParkThe Sariska Tiger Reserve is a national park is India locate in the Alwar district of thestate of Rajasthan. The topography of Sariska supports scrub-thorn arid forests, drydeciduous forests, rocks and grasses. This area was a hunting preserve of the erstwhileAlwar state and it was declared a wildlife reserve in 1955. In 1978, it was given thestatus of a tiger reserve making it a part of India's Project Tiger scheme. The presentarea of the park is 866 km. Some of the wildlife found in the Sariska Tiger Reserveinclude leopard, jungle cat, caracal, striped hyena, golden jackal, chital, sambhar, nilgai,chinkara, four-horned antelope 'chousingha' (extinct), wild boar, hare, hanuman langur,Rhesus monkeys, and plenty of bird species and reptiles. Birds include Peafowl, GreyPartridge, Bush Quail, Sand Grouse, Tree Pie, Golden backed Wood Pecker, CrestedSerpent Eagle and the Great Indian Horned Owl.Bharatpur Bird SanctuaryThe Keoladeo National Park or Keoladeo Ghana National Park formerly known as theBharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India is a famous avifauna sanctuarythat plays host to thousands of birds especially during the winter season. Over 230species of birds are known to have made the National Park their home. It is also a majortourist centre with scores of ornithologists arriving here in the hibernal season. It wasdeclared a protected sanctuary in 1971. It is also a declared World Heritage Site.Thesediverse habitats are home to 366 bird species, 379 floral species, 50 species of fish, 13species of snakes, 5 species of lizards, 7 amphibian species,7 turtle species, and avariety of other invertebrates.Sundarbans National ParkThe Sundarbans National Park is a National Park, Tiger Reserve, and a BiosphereReserve located in the Sundarbans delta in the Indian state of West Bengal. This regionis densely covered by mangrove forests, and is one of the largest reserves for theBengal...</p>

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