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Wildlife Conservation Efforts in India
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Nishant Aishwarya

Roll Number - 26

Wildlife includes all non-domesticated plants, animals and other organisms. Domesticating wild plant and animal species for human benefit has occurred many times all over the planet, and has a major impact on the environment, both positive and negative.

Wildlife can be found in all ecosystems. Deserts, forests, rain forests, plains, grasslands, and other areas including the most developed urban sites, all have distinct forms of wildlife. While the term in popular culture usually refers to animals that are untouched by human factors, most scientists agree that wildlife around the world is impacted by human activities.

Humans have historically tended to separate civilization from wildlife in a number of ways including the legal, social, and moral sense. This has been a reason for debate throughout recorded history. Religions have often declared certain animals to be sacred, and in modern times concern for the natural environment has provoked activists to protest the exploitation of wildlife for human benefit or entertainment. Literature has also made use of the traditional human separation from wildlife.

Foods, Pets, Traditional Medicine: Anthropologists believe that the Stone Age peoples and hunter-gatherers relied on wildlife, both plants and animals, for their food. In fact, some species may have been hunted to extinction by early human hunters. Today, hunting, fishing, or gathering wildlife is still a significant food source in some parts of the world. In other areas, hunting and non-commercial fishing are mainly seen as a sport or recreation, with the edible meat as mostly a side benefit. Meat sourced from wildlife that is not traditionally regarded as game is known as bush meat. The increasing demand for wildlife as a source of traditional food in East Asia is decimating populations of sharks, primates, pangolins and other animals, which they believe have aphrodisiac properties.
In November 2008, almost 900 plucked and "oven-ready" owls and other protected wildlife species were confiscated by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks in Malaysia, according to TRAFFIC. The animals were believed to be bound for China, to be sold in wild meat restaurants. Most are listed in CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) which prohibits or restricts such trade. “ | Malaysia is home to a vast array of amazing wildlife. However, illegal hunting and trade poses a threat to Malaysia’s natural diversity. | ” | —Chris S. Shepherd |
A November 2008 report from biologist and author Sally Kneidel, PhD, documented numerous wildlife species for sale in informal markets along the Amazon River, including wild-caught marmosets sold for as little as $1.60 (5 Peruvian soles). Many Amazon species, including peccaries, agoutis, turtles, turtle eggs, anacondas, armadillos, etc., are sold primarily as food. Others in these informal markets, such as monkeys and parrots, are destined for the pet trade, often smuggled into the United States. Still other Amazon species are popular ingredients in traditional medicines sold in local markets. The medicinal value of animal parts is based largely on superstition.
Following are the views of wildlife from different aspects:
Many wildlife species have spiritual significance in different cultures around the world, and they and their products may be used as sacred objects in religious rituals. For example, eagles, hawks and their feathers have great cultural and spiritual value to Native Americans as religious objects.
The Douglas Squirrel (Tamiasciurus douglasii) is an example of wildlife.

Wildlife has long been a common subject for educational television shows. National Geographic specials appeared on CBS beginning in 1965, later moving to ABC and then PBS. In 1963, NBC debuted Wild Kingdom, a popular program featuring zoologist Marlin Perkins as host. The BBC natural history unit in the UK was a similar pioneer, the first wildlife series LOOK presented by Sir Peter Scott, was a studio-based show, with filmed inserts. It was in this series that David Attenborough first made his appearance which led to the series Zoo Quest during which he and cameraman Charles Lagus went to many exotic places looking for elusive wildlife—notably the Komodo dragon in Indonesia and lemurs in Madagascar. Since 1984, the Discovery Channel and its spin off Animal Planet in the US have dominated the market for shows about wildlife on cable television, while on PBS the NATURE strand made by WNET-13 in New York and NOVA by WGBH in Boston are notable. See also Nature documentary. Wildlife television is now a multi-million dollar industry with specialist documentary film-makers in many countries including UK, US, New Zealand NHNZ, Australia, Austria, Germany, Japan, and Canada. There are many magazines which cover wildlife including National Wildlife Magazine, Birds & Blooms, Birding (magazine), and Ranger Rick (for children).
Fuelled by media coverage and inclusion of conservation education in early school curriculum, Wildlife tourism & Ecotourism has fast become a popular industry generating substantial income for developing nations with rich wildlife specially, Africa and India. This ever growing and ever becoming more popular form of tourism is providing the much needed incentive for poor nations to conserve their rich wildlife heritage and its habitat.
This subsection focuses on anthropogenic forms of wildlife destruction.
Exploitation of wild populations has been a characteristic of modern man since our exodus from Africa 130,000 – 70,000 years ago. The rate of extinctions of entire species of plants and animals across the planet has been so high in the last few hundred years it is widely considered that we are in the sixth great extinction event on this planet; the Holocene Mass Extinction.
Destruction of wildlife does not always lead to an extinction of the species in question, however, the dramatic loss of entire species across Earth dominates any review of wildlife destruction as extinction is the level of damage to a wild population from which there is no return.
The four most general reasons that lead to destruction of wildlife include overkill, habitat destruction and fragmentation, impact of introduced species and chains of extinction.
Overkill happens whenever hunting occurs at rates greater than the reproductive capacity of the population is being exploited. The effects of this are often noticed much more dramatically in slow growing populations such as many larger species of fish. Initially when a portion of a wild population is hunted, an increased availability of resources (food, etc.) is experienced increasing growth and reproduction as Density dependent inhibition is lowered. Hunting, fishing and so on, has lowered the competition between members of a population. However, if this hunting continues at rate greater than the rate at which new members of the population can reach breeding age and produce more young, the population will begin to decrease in numbers.
Populations are confined to islands, whether literal islands or just areas of habitat that are effectively an “island” for the species concerned have also been observed to be at greater risk of dramatic population declines following unsustainable hunting.
Habitat destruction and fragmentation
Deforestation and increased road-building in the Amazon Rainforest are a significant concern because of increased human encroachment upon wild areas, increased resource extraction and further threats to biodiversity.
The habitat of any given species is considered its preferred area or territory. Many processes associated human habitation of an area cause loss of this area and decrease the carrying capacity of the land for that species. In many cases these changes in land use cause a patchy break-up of the wild landscape. Agricultural land frequently displays this type of extremely fragmented, or relictual, habitat. Farms sprawl across the landscape with patches of uncleared woodland or forest dotted in-between occasional paddocks.

Examples of habitat destruction include grazing of bushland by farmed animals, changes to natural fire regimes, forest clearing for timber production and wetland draining for city expansion.
Impact of introduced species
Mice, cats, rabbits, dandelions and poison ivy are all examples of species that have become invasive threats to wild species in various parts of the world[citation needed]. Frequently species that are uncommon in their home range become out-of-control invasions in distant but similar climates. The reasons for this have not always been clear and Charles Darwin felt it was unlikely that exotic species would ever be able to grow abundantly in a place in which they had not evolved. The reality is that the vast majority of species exposed to a new habitat do not reproduce successfully. Occasionally, however, some populations do take hold and after a period of acclimation can increase in numbers significantly, having destructive effects on many elements of the native environment of which they have become part.
Chains of extinction
This final group is one of secondary effects. All wild populations of living things have many complex intertwining links with other living things around them. Large herbivorous animals such as the hippopotamus have populations of insectivorous birds that feed off the many parasitic insects that grow on the hippo. Should the hippo die out, so too will these groups of birds, leading to further destruction as other species dependent on the birds are affected. Also referred to as a Domino effect, this series of chain reactions is by far the most destructive process that can occur in any ecological community.
Another example is the black drongos and the cattle egrets found in India. These birds feed on insects on the back of cattle, which helps to keep them disease-free. If we destroy the nesting habitats of these birds, it will cause a decrease in the cattle population because of the spread of insect-borne diseases.
History of wildlife in India:
History of Indian wildlife is said to be a significant mix of events as well as people, of forests and species, land and populations, of exploitation and protection. History of Indian wildlife is also about nature and how people feared and respected it and then eventually tried to dominate it. It is believed that history of wildlife is often associated with long names and dates and with news of rare species or conflicts over threatened habitats. The stripping of natural vegetal cover over the past two centuries has been on a high scale, even though if much has vanished, much remains. History of Indian wildlife shows that even a generation back, princes, and middle-class Indians, contended with the British as far as hunting was concerned. As per historical records the royal hunt became an indispensable part of every ruler`s skill range and was adopted sincerely by the British rulers.

The various broad surveys of the past clearly illustrate that across the centuries, the forest has been seen by rulers in various ways. Like for instance, it was seen as a place of scenic beauty; or as the site of great hunts, with their close similarities to warfare. But for many more people, the vast grassland and forests were also a home and a resource catchment area. Two clear events mark the history of Indian wildlife. Firstly the impacts of the British, whose intrusions into the world of the wild were far more extensive than those of their predecessors. And second one was the unleashing of widespread destructive forces, including the state-sponsored slaughter of certain wild animals and the harnessing of the forest for industrial raw material and military supplies. Some of these were not new, however the scale and intensity of the impact was without any equivalent. As a result, about a hundred years ago, even species that were a well-known part of the landscape in large areas of the country began to recede into plain memory. The second major event in the history of Indian Wildlife was the creation of legal and governmental apparatus to administer large stretches of forest, eventually totalling around a fifth of India`s total land area.

With the independence of the country a dominant group emerged with a kinder and gentler approach to nature. However, the legacy of the control system remained despite major changes. The vast history of Indian wildlife signifies that much of the future relies on the reforms or restructures of the system and protection of nature`s heritage.
The wildlife in India is a mix utiof species of different types of organisms.
Apart from a handful of the major famed animals such as cows, buffaloes, goats, poultry and sheep, India has an amazingly wide variety of animals native to the country. It is home to lions, tigers, leopards, snow leopards, black panthers, cheetahs, wolves, foxes, bears, crocodiles, rhinoceroses, camels, monkeys, snakes, antelope species, deer species, varieties of bison and not to mention the mighty Asian elephant. The region's rich and diverse wildlife is preserved in 89 national parks, 13 Bio reserves and 400+ wildlife sanctuaries across the country, Since India is home to a number of rare and threatened animal species, wildlife management in the country is essential to preserve these species. According to one study, India along with 17 mega diverse countries is home to about 60-70% of the world's biodiversity.
India, lying within the Indomalaya ecozone, is home to about 7.6% of all mammalian, 12.6% of avian, 6.2% of reptilian, and 6.0% of flowering plant species. Many ecoregions, such as the shola forests, also exhibit extremely high rates of endemism; overall, 33% of Indian plant species are endemic. India's forest cover ranges from the tropical rainforest of the Andaman Islands, Western Ghats, and Northeast India to the coniferous forest of the Himalaya. Between these extremes lie the sal-dominated moist deciduous forest of eastern India; teak-dominated dry deciduous forest of central and southern India; and the babul-dominated thorn forest of the central Deccan and western Gangetic plain. Important Indian trees include the medicinal neem, widely used in rural Indian herbal remedies. The pipal fig tree, shown on the seals of Mohenjo-daro, shaded the Gautama Buddha as he sought enlightenment.
Many Indian species are descendants of taxa originating in Gondwana, to which India originally belonged. Peninsular India's subsequent movement towards, and collision with, the Laurasian landmass set off a mass exchange of species. However, volcanism and climatic change 20 million years ago caused the extinction of many endemic Indian forms. Soon thereafter, mammals entered India from Asia through two zoogeographical passes on either side of the emerging Himalaya. As a result, among Indian species, only 12.6% of mammals and 4.5% of birds are endemic, contrasting with 45.8% of reptiles and 55.8% of amphibians. Notable endemics are the Nilgiri leaf monkey and the brown and carmine Beddome's toad of the Western Ghats. India contains 172, or 2.9%, of IUCN-designated threatened species. These include the Asiatic lion, the Bengal tiger, and the Indian white-rumped vulture, which suffered a near-extinction from ingesting the carrion of diclofenac-treated cattle.
In recent decades, human encroachment has posed a threat to India's wildlife; in response, the system of national parks and protected areas, first established in 1935, was substantially expanded. In 1972, India enacted the Wildlife Protection Act and Project Tiger to safeguard crucial habitat; further federal protections were promulgated in the 1980s. Along with over 500 wildlife sanctuaries, India now hosts 15 biosphere reserves, four of which are part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves; 25 wetlands are registered under the Ramsar Convention.
The varied and rich wildlife of India has had a profound impact on the region's popular culture. The common name for wilderness in India is Jungle, which was adopted into the English language. The word has been also made famous in The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. India's wildlife has been the subject of numerous other tales and fables such as the Panchatantra and the Jataka tales.

Fauna: India is home to several well known large mammals including the Asian Elephant, Bengal Tiger, Asiatic Lion, Leopard, Sloth Bear and Indian Rhinoceros, often engrained culturally and religiously often being associated with deities. Other well known large Indian mammals include ungulates such as the rare Wild Asian Water buffalo, common Domestic Asian Water buffalo, Nilgai, Gaur, and several species of deer and antelope. Some members of the dog family, such as the Indian Wolf, Bengal Fox and Golden Jackal, and the Dhole or Wild Dogs are also widely distributed. However, the dhole, also known as the whistling hunter, is the most endangered top Indian carnivore, and the Himalayan Wolf is now a critically endangered species endemic to India.[citation needed] It is also home to the Striped Hyena, Macaques, Langurs and Mongoose species.

Factors affecting the wildlife in India

This dissertation explores the colonization of wildlife in nineteenth and early twentieth century British India. It discusses hunting and colonial policies on wildlife to explore the political, social and cultural concerns that influenced British interactions with Indian wildlife, with their compatriots and with natives. Hunting, I argue was deeply implicated in the exercise of power in all these interactions. British policies on wildlife in the nineteenth century favoured a neat categorization of wild animals as "vermin and "game." By the beginning of the twentieth century however, with decreasing numbers of carnivores and native opposition, the perceived complementarily between game preservation and vermin extermination was shattered. While the colonial administration continued both these policies, they also actively sought to formulate policies to protect all animals in areas designated as sanctuaries and national parks. Colonial hunting as it emerged from the late nineteenth century reflects the changing nature of the colonial state and a new imperial ideology of dominance. I also argue racial differences between the colonialists and colonized were articulated in the domain of hunting. While hunting represented domination of nature and natives, the "colonial hunt" also came to signify a paternal benevolent British rule. The importance given to hunting and to the notion of fair play in their hunting served to "identify" the moral and physical superiority of British rulers. The new ideology of paternalism was realized in the figure of the hunter-officer, the Sahib who in hunting dangerous carnivores was seen to act as a protector of the native. The changing nature of the colonial state and creation of racial differences also had a profound impact on colonial society which became increasingly self conscious of its own identity and image. Given the metropolitan engagement with social Darwinism and their location on the fringes of civilization as it were, colonialists became the center of metropolitan preoccupation with racial contamination. The emphasis on fair play, I argue reflects the efforts of the colonial elite to enforce a model code of conduct on its members and reassure an anxious metropole of the racial distance with the native. Policing behavior of their own, through categories like fair play was therefore essential to the agenda of creating racial differences. Due to a perceived connection between hunting, power and privilege, hunting also played an important role in social relations in colonial society. As hunting came to be regulated by laws by late nineteenth century, it often became the focal point of tensions in class and power within the colonial elite on the question of access to animals

Present state of wildlife in India

“Forests & Wildlife Statistics, INDIA, 2004”

1 Andaman 9 1153.938 96 466.218 105 1620.156
2 Andhra Pradesh 4 373.23 21 13096.23 25 13469.46
3 Arunachal Pradesh 2 2468.23 11 7606.365 13 10074.6
4 Assam 5 1977.788 16 888.216 21 2866.004
5 Bihar 1 335.6 11 2993.16 12 3328.76
6 Chandigarh 0 0 2 26.009 2 26.009
7 Chhatisgarh 3 2929.5 10 3419.46 13 6348.96
8 Dadra & Nagar Haveli 0 0 1 92 1 92
9 Daman & Diu 0 0 1 2.18 1 2.18
10 Delhi 0 0 1 17.76 1 17.76
11 Goa 1 107 6 647.96 7 754.96
12 Gujarat 4 479.67 22 16602.61 26 17082.28
13 Haryana 2 46.981 9 287.32 11 334.301
14 Himachal Pradesh 2 1429.4 32 5665.92 34 7095.32
15 Jammu & Kashmir 4 3810.07 16 10163.67 20 13973.74
16 Jharkhand 1 231.67 10 1868.31 11 2099.98
17 Karnataka 5 2472.18 21 4231.439 26 6703.619
18 Kerala 3 536.52 12 1788.2 15 2324.72
19 Lakshyadweep 0 0 1 0.01 1 0.01
20 Madhya Pradesh 9 3656.35 25 7199.52 34 10855.87
21 Maharashtra 5 955.93 36 14729.64 41 15685.57
22 Manipur 1 40 5 706.5 6 746.5
23 Meghalaya 2 267.48 3 34.207 5 301.687
24 Mizoram 2 200 5 775 7 975
25 Nagaland 1 202.02 3 20.35 4 222.37
26 Orissa 2 990.7 18 7961.94 20 8952.64
27 Punjab 0 0 10 316.71 10 316.71
28 Rajasthan 4 3859.37 24 5301.84 28 9161.21
29 Sikkim 1 1784 6 265.1 7 2049.1
30 Tamil Nadu 5 307.84 20 2997.57 25 3305.41
31 Tripura 0 0 4 603.08 4 603.08
32 Uttar Pradesh 1 490.1 23 5185.9 24 5676
33 Uttaranchal 6 4083.31 6 2868 12 6951.31
34 West Bengal 5 1693.25 15 1223.47 20 2916.72 TOTAL 90 36882.13 502 120051.9 592 156934

India is rich in wildlife with its exclusive, fascinating and diverse ecosystem. Wildlife includes any animal, aquatic or land vegetation which forms part of any habitat. India is among the twelve mega biodiversity countries of the world. Country’s wildlife is extended over the evergreen forests of North East India to barren deserts of Rajasthan and from alpine forests of Himalaya to the Western Ghats.
The country has 350 species of mammals, 1224 of birds, 408 of reptiles, 197 of amphibians, 2546 of fishes, 57548 of insects and 46286 species of plants which form 8% of the world’s diversity of life forms. The area under forest cover in India is 23.57% of the total land area. The country has 606 protected areas comprising 96 National Parks and 510 Wildlife Sanctuaries with overlapping of 30 Tiger Reserves and 26 Elephant Reserves which cover 4.58% of the total geographic area and 22.12% of total forest cover of the country. In addition there are 150 recognized large, medium and small Zoological Parks and gardens having around 40,000 wild animals in captivity in the country. A number of factors are threatening the existence of wild animals. Among these the important ones are the loss of habitat, poaching, accidents and wildlife health related. For assiduous sustainability of wildlife in the country it is necessary to maintain it scientifically resolving all the factors.
There is a general lack of knowledge in the field of conservation of nature and the values and benefits of wildlife in our country. The Government of India has always been sensitive and taken several initiatives towards preservation of forests and wildlife in the country from time to time. Enviable financial and other investments by the Indian Government, local communities, multilateral aid agencies and Non Government Originations (NGOs) have been made for conservation of wildlife present under in-situ and ex-situ environment. The main objective of the wildlife courses is to produce wildlife professionals who can enthusiastically promote and advance science - based conservation of wildlife and their habitats.
Career options in wildlife sciences
On obtaining a higher qualification in a discipline of wildlife sciences, there are a wide range of options of a career in wildlife teaching, research, health care, manage-ment and conservation areas in universities, State Forest and Animal Husbandry Departments, research institutes, Ministry of Environment and Forests and in NGOs. The major career options can be summarized as follows :
1. Wildlife biologist : The study of animal populations and their habitat is called wildlife biology. The way of living and the natural environment required by wild animals are the areas of deep study by wildlife biologist.
2. Wildlife ecologist : The existence of an organism is affected by various biotic and abiotic components around it. Wildlife ecologists do studies on, how the living beings are related and affected with their environment.
3. Wildlife Manager : Wildlife manager uses the application of scientific and technical principles to wildlife populations and habitats to maintain such populations essentially for recreational and scientific purposes. The officers of Indian Forest Service and State Forest Service are specially trained on wildlife management.
4. Wildlife academician: To develop knowledge, aware-ness and scientific attitude in the field of wildlife conservation several courses have been started at graduate and post graduate level. The one who is willing to spread the knowledge in wildlife science can start career as Assistant Professor/lecturer in colleges, universities, wildlife institutes etc. Such persons can also do the research work in the relevant discipline and further contribute to the existing knowledge in wildlife sciences.
5. Wildlife Conservationist: They work for the protection, improvement and use of natural resources according to principles that can assure their highest economic or social benefits.
6. Wildlife Forensic specialist: The application of wildlife forensics is widespread in the fields of wildlife biology and ecology. Various morpho-metrical parameters, DNA based techniques, forensic post– mortem examination of wild animals etc. are few techniques used for this purpose. The ultimate aim of most of these techniques is to produce scientific evidences on the cause of death, species, age and sex identification of the animals in wildlife offence cases.
7. Wildlife health and husbandry specialist:
These are the veterinarians specifically trained in wildlife health. They perform the jobs pertaining to health monitoring, prevention and control of wildlife diseases, treatment, wildlife anaesthesia, reproduction, and nutrition and eco-husbandry facets of wildlife management.
8. Wildlife scientists : Wildlife scientists study and discover new things on the ecology, census, morphology, behaviour and physiology, wildlife diseases, wildlife capture and restraining, animal habitat, breeding, rehabili-tation, forensic, conservation and management aspects. Scientific studies by qualified personnel on threatened species of animals are encouraged in order to assess and improve their status.
9. Wildlife researcher : The youngsters with the back-ground of wildlife, forestry, veterinary, environment, botany, zoology etc. and strong interest in wildlife are often engaged in the ongoing wildlife research projects as Junior Research Fellow, Senior Research Fellow, Research Associate, Technical Assistant etc. Options also exist for the candidates who have qualified for the fellowships of UGC/CSIR/others to launch a project according to their area of interest and pursue research on the same. Researchers are often encouraged to register for doctorate/post doctorate studies.
10. Wildlife photographer/journalist : Wildlife photo-graphy is an interesting and exciting field. Wildlife photo-grapher records the happenings in wildlife in shape of photographs or movie. The persons with interest, keen observation, patience, an eye for interesting details and love for adventurous work with nature, wild animals, birds and their habitats may adopt this profession. Animals, natural habitats and surrounding are photographed. The task being challenging is very remune-rative. Wildlife journalists write news, articles, stories or even fiction and scientific books associated with wildlife.
11. Environmental Impact Analyst : These professionals evaluate the environmental consequences of a proposed plan, policy, project or programme and analyze the alternatives by the use of various processes. EIA is an integral part of the planning and decision-making processes.
12. Subject specialist (Ornitholo-gist/Herpetologist/Primatolo-gist etc.) : The wild animals of the country belong to a variety of categories. These animals have peculiarity in the habitat, morphology, behaviour, feeding, breeding etc. For tackling the wide group of species subject specialist are required. These people develop good practical and hypothetical knowledge on specific subjects. The one who studies birds is called ornithologist, a person who studies reptiles and amphibians is called herpetologist and one who study regarding the primates is known as primatologist.
13. Wildlife consultant : These are the wildlife professionals who provide advisory and consultancy services to central and state governments, universities, research institutions and other official and non-official agencies.
Wildlife Science and certain aspects of ecology and environment are closely related to forestry, biology and veterinary sciences. Courses on wildlife at graduate, postgraduate and doctorate level are the part of the course curriculum of these degrees. However, currently specialized degrees are running to train and produce competent wildlife professionals in the country. For doing specialization in wildlife sciences in most of the universities a person needed to have the knowledge of basic science subjects like graduate degree. These aspirants can go for postgraduate degree followed by doctorate in the wildlife disciplines. At present, the degree courses like Post Graduate Diploma, Masters Degree, Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy are running on diverse aspects of wildlife. Various short – term certificate courses or training programs are also run by various agencies.
Wildlife education in Agricultural and Veterinary Science Universities
The courses on wildlife are integral part of undergraduate and post graduate programs in forestry courses curriculum under ICAR system. The role of veterinary science and animal husbandry professionals in wildlife health and management has gain significance in the past few years in our country. Wildlife health and its management are emerging and comparatively newer fields. Special teaching course in wildlife at undergraduate level was started in veterinary college Mathura. After the commencement of Veterinary Council of India, New Delhi the course content in veterinary colleges at graduate level (B.V.Sc & A.H.) has been made uniform throughout the country.
The council has introduced wildlife education in veterinary curricula in the country. Full-fledged wildlife departments in veterinary institutions have also been framed. Now, opportunities exist for veterinary science scholars to choose wildlife veterinary science discipline as a professional career. These veterinary graduates can opt for National Diploma or M.V.Sc & A.H. degree in this discipline. These courses focus on husbandry management (housing, rearing, breeding, nutrition, restraint, rehabilitation), health care (disease diagnosis, treatment, prevention and control, quarantine) of ex-situ and eco-husbandry, health monitoring and disease surveillance facets of in-situ wildlife conservation.
The Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Bareilly started the first National Diploma course on Wildlife Health care and Management in 1995. The Madras Veterinary College, Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Science University, Chennai was first to start M.V.Sc. degree in Wildlife Science in the country in the year 1994, followed by College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, Jawaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya, Jabalpur (M.P.) in the year 2001
The admission procedure for the Masters Degree programmes in most of the universities/institutes is consisting of a National level written test and/or interview of the short listed candidates. The written test assesses the analytical and quantitative abilities, knowledge of basic biology, awareness and interest in current affairs and conservation issues and ability to communicate in english. Candidates desirous of joining Masters degree at Wildlife Institute of India have to appear in the objective type written test of two hours conducted at Dehradun, Bangalore, Kolkata and Mumbai. The test is consisted of multiple-choice questions (60 percent) with sections on general knowledge, general science and optional subjects (life science/forestry/veterinary science/agricultural science) and the remaining 40 percent is made up of essays. Personality and aptitude tests are held at DehraDun. The Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun and National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore both advertise for admission to their master degree programmes once in two years. The degree programme is for two years/ four semester duration. Three semesters for course work and the final semester for dissertation work.
The admission procedure in Tamil Nadu Animal and Veterinary Sciences University involves an all India written test whereas, at Jawaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwa-vidyalaya it is based on the merit list prepared on the basis of marks obtained at B.V.Sc & A.H. level. Special quota for outside state candidates are allowed who have qualified the All India Entrance Examination conducted by ICAR for the award of its Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) and admission to masters degree programme at all the SAUs in the field of agriculture and allied sciences. The course is organized in minimum of four semesters (two years). Two semesters (one year) of this period are for course work and remaining two for research work and thesis preparat
The WII offers financial assistance in the form of fellowship to the selected students. Presently it is the stipend of rupees 1800/- given to the students of M.Sc.
The candidates ranking high in the ICAR entrance exam for Post Graduate programmes can get fellowship amounting to Rs. 12000 per month for two years. Apart from this, contingency grant of rupees 6000 is also given every year. The students who are not getting any fellowship may be absorbed in the ongoing research projects during the tenure of their research work. For pursuing Ph.D. degree, the U.G.C.-C.S.I.R. fellowship is available to the deserving candidates. However, they can also be absorbed in the ongoing research projects as J.R.F./S.R.F./Project Associate etc. and can register for the Ph.D. programmes.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests awards Shri Kailash Sankhla National Wildlife Fellowship Award alternatively each year to inspire and promote the Indian citizens engaged in wildlife management/research for taking up research/experimental projects on mammalian wildlife. Fellowship is normally awarded for two years at the rate of Rs. 4000/- per month. In addition, Rs. 18,000 per annum is paid for meeting the contingency expenditure. The Central Zoo Authority (Statutory Body under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India), New Delhi offers Small Grant Fellowships - for initiating Research Activities at Zoo Level. The Central Zoo Authority provides a grant of up to Rs. 2.00 lakhs per year (upto maximum 3 years) for local need based zoo research projects in the field of ex-situ conservation and scientific management of animals in Indian zoos. The zoos may appoint fresh postgraduates in the field of wildlife science, veterinary science, zoology and botany to work on project mode on the identified areas of research.
Government organizations

The opportunities often comes for engagement as Scientist/Scientific Officer/Research Officer in Government Departments/research institutes viz. Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, Laboratory for Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCONS), Ranga Reddy District (A.P.), Zoological Survey of India, New Delhi, Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), New Delhi.

i. Central Government
a. Curator in National Zoological Parks.
b. Wildlife biologist in National Zoological Parks.
c. Assistant Professor/ Lecturer in Wildlife Science/ Wildlife Health/ Wildlife Management in the Central Agricultural, Fisheries, Science and Traditional Universities.
d. Consultant in CPCSEA, MoEF, Chennai.
e. Scientist/ Scientific officer/ Research Officer/ Assistant Professor in the wildlife research institutes and Government Departments viz. Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, Central Zoo Authority (CZA), New Delhi, Indian Institute of Science, Mudumalai, Laboratory for Conservation of Endangered Species (LaCONS), Ranga Reddy District (A.P.), Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Bareilly, Zoological Survey of India, New Delhi, Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), New Delhi, SACON, Coiambtore, Animal Welfare Division (MoEF), New Delhi.
f. Zoologist in Zoological Survey of India, New Delhi, Natural History Museums.
g. Researcher (Junior Research Fellow/Senior Research Fellow/Research Associate/ Technical Assistant) in time bound projects at WII, IVRI, LaCONS, Salim Ali Center for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), Coiambtore, other institutes, colleges and universities.

ii. State Government

a. Curator in Zoos
b. Wildlife biologist in Zoological Parks/National Park/ Sanctuary/ State Forest Department etc.
b. Scientists/ Research officer in the wildlife Protected Areas.
c. Assistant Professor/ Lecturer in Wildlife Science/ Wildlife Health/ Wildlife Management in the Forestry, Veterinary, Agricultural and Traditional Universities.
d. Wildlife veterinarians are engaged in National Parks/ Wildlife Sanctuary/ Deer Park/ Zoological Park/ Rescue centers as Wildlife Health Officer/ Wildlife Veterinary Officer/ Forest Veterinary Officer.
e. Researcher (Junior Research Fellow/ Senior Research Fellow/ Research Associate/ Technical Assistant) in time bound projects at State Forest Research Institutes, other institutes, colleges and universities.

2. Local Bodies/Municipalities:

a. Curator in Zoos.
b. Zoo Vets in zoos and wildlife centers, rescue centers
c. Wildlife Biologist in Zoos.

3. Private Sector/NGOs/ Societies:

There are number of Non Government Organizations working in the field of wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and conservation at National and International level. It may be a good option if a group of peoples with similar ideology can start an NGO. Such NGOs can apply for grant from the various funding agencies including Government. The fund is given for the specific purposes. However, one can also get jobs in the NGOs viz.
a. Scientist in Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai
b. Program Officer/ Project Coordinator
c. Researcher (JRF/SRF/RA/TA) in the time bound projects
d. Wildlife journalist
e. Wildlife photographer Some of the reputed NGOs working in the country are
(A) Societies for welfare & public awareness
1. Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), New Delhi
2. Peoples for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA-India), New Delhi
3. World Wildlife Fund (WWF-India), New Delhi
4. Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), New Delhi
5. Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), New Delhi
6. Wildlife SOS, New Delhi
7. Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS – India), New Delhi
(B) Scientific societies
1. Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), Mumbai
2. Association of Indian Zoo & Wildlife Veterinarians, Bareilly
4. Self Employment
a. Consultancy in Wildlife biology/ wildlife health/ Zoo husbandry
b. Wild animal hospital c. Disease Diagnostic labs (Pathology, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Parasitology etc.)
d. Wildlife journalist
e. Wildlife photographer
f. Book writing/ Editing a journal – It is a very good option for wildlife professional to write and edit a book or journal. Specially the senior persons can share their experiences through books and also edit some journal for scientific presentation of research findings.

Solution to wildlife

Before the 1900s, conservation of wildlife was of little concern to humans. People assumed that the taking of wildlife was a birthright and that animals would always be abundant. As we now know, the unregulated taking of wildlife, destruction of habitat, and environmental pollution can push wildlife populations toward extinction. Today, we recognize that human activity has an impact on wildlife. If we are to ensure survival of all the diverse species living on this planet, we must understand and pursue conservation.
Wildlife conservation consists of using scientific knowledge and practices to use, preserve, protect, conserve, limit, enhance, and control wildlife resources. People who are trained to do this work are called wildlife biologists or wildlife managers. Their job is difficult, requiring expertise in many different areas of study. They must understand biology, business, law, politics, math, history, communication, forestry, oceanography, geology, geography, meteorology, sociology, and many other subjects to be successful. They must attempt to manage both renewable and non-renewable resources while balancing the needs of people with the needs of wildlife. They try to preserve the complicated web of interdependence between different species and their habitat and strive to enrich the biodiversity found throughout the planet.
To establish a wildlife conservation program successfully, a wildlife manager must:
a. Determine what responsibilities humans have for wildlife conservation.
b. Determine how the public feels.
c. Set goals for the wildlife conservation program.
d. Develop a plan and determine what technical methods will be used to implement the plan.
e. Determine the overall cost to humans and other affected wildlife.
f. Determine how the program will be funded.
g. Implement and monitor the plan.
h. Evaluate the success or failure of the program.

Even though our physical survival skills are not as refined as those of some animals, humans have become the most efficient predators on Earth by using our unique mental abilities. It is a historic fact that we are capable of destroying, protecting, or creating habitat for ourselves and wildlife. Our unique ability to plan and predict probable outcomes of our decisions allows humans to affect wildlife populations. We effectively implement our decisions for the future through considered action as opposed to wildlife’s passive reaction to events of the moment. Humans also realize the decisions they make today have consequences that impact the future of wildlife and its habitat. Because humans are intellectually capable of identifying and solving wildlife problems using scientific methods (and wildlife is not), humans must logically assume responsibility for wildlife conservation.

Most people agree that wildlife conservation is good for society and for wildlife. However, when wildlife conservation policies begin to restrict humans’ jobs, housing, transportation, food, health, and safety, the planning and implementation of conservation programs becomes more difficult for the public to support. The public’s acceptance of a wildlife conservation program increases when theplan is shown to be scientifically sound and to balance the needs of people with the needs of wildlife. Public meetings are used to get input from all interested parties and to explain the plan.


Wildlife managers set goals to solve a wildlife/habitat problem or to prevent a problem from developing. Because accurate wildlife data are difficult to obtain, wildlife managers must often rely on incomplete information to define the problem and set their goal.
The conservation plan requires the wildlife manager to consider a course of action that is scientifically proved and is acceptable to the public. This plan may include direct habitat restoration, public education, industry cooperation, or implementation of laws, restrictions, taxes, and regulations to achieve desired results. The different points of view about what the goals for wildlife conservation should be and about the methods to be used make development of a wildlife conservation plan challenging.

Wildlife conservation costs money. Since 1923, hunters, trappers, and fishermen have paid most of the money for wildlife management and habitat restoration through the purchase of licenses, tags, hunting stamps, and fees. Even today, sportsmen provide 77% of the annual income for state fish and wildlife agencies. In 1937, enactment of a federal excise tax on the purchase of firearms and ammunition provided additional funding for ongoing conservation and hunter education programs. Recently, conservation organizations such as Ducks Unlimited, Safari Club International, Rocky Mountain Elks Foundation, Mule Deer Foundation, Wild Turkey Foundation, and many more private organizations are raising and spending money for wildlife conservation and habitat restoration. It is not just sportsmen that pay for conservation programs. We all pay either directly or indirectly for wildlife conservation in some way or another. When humans decide to regulate an industry in response to wildlife or habitat needs, we pay the cost of these regulations via higher prices for goods and services. When humans require that public land be set aside exclusively for wildlife, we pay via higher taxes, via access fees, or via restrictions to entry and use of the land. When “extreme” wildlife restrictions, mandates, or laws are created, some humans pay by losing jobs, businesses pay by lower sales, and state and local government and schools pay through lower tax revenues. Wildlife conservation costs money.

Once a conservation program is in place, the wildlife manager must constantly monitor the results of the plan. This evaluation includes status of the habitat, population surveys, species health, cost to other wildlife and humans, and achievement of goals. If goals of the plan have been achieved, a decision must be made whether the program should continue or cease.

Wildlife conservation is a complicated process that is still an art rather than a science. It is hoped that teachers will use this information to help students make knowledgeable decisions about wildlife conservation and that both students and teachers will be motivated to use their diverse educational skills to advance understanding of the important issues affecting wildlife and humans in the future. With the power of knowledge, these people can use science to discover positive solutions for the conservation of wildlife.

•Before the 1900s, conservation of wildlife was of little concern to humans.
• Today, we understand that conservation is important to ensure survival of the diverse species living on this planet.
•Wildlife conservation is the use of scientific knowledge and practices to use, preserve, protect, conserve, limit, enhance, and control wildlife resources.
•People who are trained to do this work are called wildlife biologists or wildlife managers.
• To do this job well, these people must be educated in many different fields — biology, business, law, politics, math, history, communication, forestry, oceanography, geology, meteorology, sociology, and many more.
•These people must understand the value of renewable and nonrenewable resources, how to balance the needs of people with the needs of wildlife, how to preserve the web of interdependence between species, and how to enrich biodiversity.
•Humans are efficient predators capable of destroying, protecting, or creating habitat and plans for the future.
•Because humans are intellectually capable of identifying and solving problems, they must assume resonsibility for wildlife conservation.
•The public supports wildlife conservation when it balances the needs of people with the needs of wildlife. People can be either positively or adversely affected by wildlife conservation programs.
• Wildlife managers must set goals and make plans for conservation. These plans may include direct habitat restoration, public education, industry cooperation, or the passing of laws, restrictions, regulations, and taxes.
•People have different points of view on the correct way to conserve wildlife.
• Wildlife conservation costs money.
•Since 1923, sportsmen have paid most of the money for conservation through the purchase of licenses, tags, hunting stamps, and fees, and through an excise tax on firearms and ammunition.
• Today, many conservation organizations also help pay the bill.
• We all pay either directly or indirectly for wildlife conservation through higher taxes, cost of goods and services, increased regulation and restrictions, and in some cases our jobs.
•By monitoring the plan we can decide if it was a success or failure and determine whether to continue or cease the program.
•Students should be encouraged to seek solutions through education. They should be reminded that they can make a difference for the future benefit of humans and wildlife alike.

There was a time humans were wildlife, well! not particularly abundant species of primates coexisting with the wealth of other species in parts of Africa. But, as we humans emerged from this situation and became the dominant species, we have attempted to set ourselves apart from other species. In many respects, this is the root cause of the present-day environmental crisis.

Ecological trauma

Despite the attempts that have been made to undermine progress made in solving environmental problems, major progress has been made. Scientists and, increasingly, the public are realizing that we are in an environmental crisis of global ecological proportions. Human populations are still ascending at an exponential rate, the atmosphere is warming, both tropical and temperate rainforests are being cut at alarming rates, and serious pollution is much more prevalent than admitted previously. From the perspective of wildlife this means species are being lost almost on a daily basis. Acknowledgement of these problems, however, means that we can find solutions for them, although most solutions require enormous economic aids which may anchor these coherent problems.

Suggestion of improvement of wildlife in India-

Protected Areas

The first national park in India was declared in 1935, now famous as the Corbett National
Park. Since Independence, there has been a steady rise in the number of Protected Areas
(PAs) (National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries), especially after the enactment of the
Wildlife Protection Act in 1972. In 1988, there were 54 national parks and 372 sanctuaries covering a total area of 109,652 sq km. By the year 2000, this number had increased to 566, covering 1,53,000 sq km, or 4.66% of India’s geographical area. There are currently about 597 national parks and sanctuaries in India, encompassing 1,54, 572 sq km or 4.74% of the country’s geographical area. The latest review of the Wildlife
Protected Area Network document brought out by the Wildlife Institute of India,
Dehradun, recommends to bring the total area under the Protected Area network to 870, totaling 1,88,764 sq km or 5.74 % of the country’s geographical area. This would translate into 163 national parks covering 54,789 sq km or 1.67% and 707 sanctuaries covering 1,33,975 sq km, or 4.07 % of the countries geographical area. Recently, the
Bombay Natural History Society, in collaboration with various NGOs and government, has identified 463 important bird areas (IBAs). Out of these 463 IBAs, 199 are not officially protected. Many of these IBAs are extremely important for bird and general biodiversity protection and should be included in the PA network system. Similarly, the
Wildlife Trust of India along with the Asian Elephant Research and the Conservation
Centre have identified 88 elephant corridors that also need protection and lie outside the
PA network .
Besides the official PAs, there are numerous sacred groves, scattered all over the country, that are important for biodiversity conservation. Some sacred groves represent forest types that have disappeared from the area. Besides sacred groves, there are many small community conserved areas. Many villagers do not allow hunting in their village ponds and lakes. These serve as excellent habitats for waterfowl. Similarly, the tribal reserves of
Andaman and Nicobar are perhaps the best-protected forests left in these emerald islands.
The present Protected Area network has many serious inadequacies. Several biological regions, communities and species are not or only partially represented, and most of the
PAs are too small in size to give long-term viability. This could lead to genetic isolation of small populations and result in populations becoming unviable, endangered by all the classic threats of an island biogeographic situation There is thus an urgent need that the sanctity of the Protected Areas along with their surroundings and linkages, are preserved.

Biosphere Reserves

Apart from the protected areas system mandated under the WPA,1972, certain areas have also been declared as biosphere reserves by the Government of India. The Wildlife
Institute of India states the following as the reason for the formation of Biosphere
Reserve, The programme of Biosphere Reserve was initiated under the 'Man and Biosphere'
(MAB) programme by UNESCO in 1971. The purpose of the formation of the biosphere reserve is to conserve in situ all forms of life, along with its support system, in its totality, so that it could serve as a referral system for monitoring and evaluating changes in natural ecosystems, In the current situation, the selection of a Biosphere Reserve is based on considerations, which are generally ad hoc. In all instances, significant areas of Biosphere Reserves are managed either as Sanctuaries or National Park and as such all the applicable restrictions in such PAs are operative
There is a need to develop guidelines for the formation of Biosphere Reserves, which lay down clearly not only the criteria but also the management implications. In the existing situation, it is not clear as to how the object of a Biosphere Reserve is significantly different from National Parks and Sanctuaries. It is pertinent to point out that only 3 of the 13 Biosphere Reserves meet the criterion of the Man and Biosphere Programme of the UNESCO.
Since management and conservation applications are stricter under the Wildlife
Protection Act, it should not be that instead of creating a Park or Sanctuary a Biosphere
Reserve be created to avoid the regulations of the WPA. Nor is it advisable to superimpose a biosphere reserve where a PA already exists or to change the category at this juncture. The attempt should be to establish biosphere reserves where it is neither appropriate nor feasible to establish one of the four PA categories listed under the WPA.
Some very apt areas where Biosphere Reserves need to be established are the Abhujmar region of Bastar and the Jarwa Reserve in the Andamans.

Species (Fauna and Flora)

Out of the 12,28,153 life forms described till now in the world, India has about 89,451 or
7.28% and more are likely to be discovered. Nearly 60,000 insects have been identified till now. About 3,000 out of the 35,000 described species of crustaceans are found in
India. Similarly, its fish fauna is very rich with more than 2,500 fish species known to occur in India. Other life forms consist of 210 species of amphibians, 456 species of reptiles, 1225 species of birds and 390 species of mammals.
There are many species of animals endemic to India or the Indian subcontinent. For example, 36 species of mammals are not found anywhere else in the world. Similarly, we have 176 species of endemic birds and 214 species of reptiles confined to the Indian subcontinent, mainly in India. The highest percentage of endemism is found in amphibians – 128 species of frogs, toads, salamander, etc., out of 209 (61%) are restricted to India. Moreover, for some species India has the major population. For instance, nearly 60% of the world’s tigers, 80% of the world’s1 one-horned rhinoceros,
100% of the Asiatic lion, 65% of the Asian elephant and 80% of the world’s gharials, are found in India.
India is reported to have 16,500-19,400 taxa of flowering plants, which is approximately
7% of all described species in the world. Of these, nearly 107 species are aquatic. The country has also recorded 48 gymnosperms, 1,135 pteridophytes, 2,850 bryophytes, 2,021 lichens, 6,500 algae and 14, 500 fungi. These are only such species that have been described till now. Wild plants contribute significantly to livelihood needs with more than 1,000 species having been recorded to have food value and more than 3,000 species being recorded for medicinal purposes, besides use in fibre, fodder, gum, dyes, scents, essential oils and for religious purposes, according to the recently concluded NBSAP process. Policy, Law and Administrative Set-up at the Government of India The Current Wildlife Set-up in the Ministry of Environment and Forests

Forest and wildlife are subjects listed in the Concurrent List of the Constitution. At the
Central Government level, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests is responsible for all matters dealing with policy on wildlife conservation, at the State Government levels the Forest Departments under their control implement the national policies. The
Wildlife Wing in the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, is headed by the Director, Wildlife Preservation, who is also designated as the Additional
Director General of Forests (Wildlife) to the Government of India.
The Wildlife Wing has three Divisions, namely, Project Tiger Division, Project Elephant
Division and Wildlife Division, each headed by an officer designated as Inspector
General of Forests. A Deputy Inspector General of Forest (Wildlife) and an Assistant
Inspector General and Joint Director (Wildlife) provide support to the Wildlife Wing.
These three Divisions look after national policies and projects, international coordination, Centrally Sponsored Schemes and State level implementation of activities relating to the conservation of wildlife in Tiger Reserves, Elephant Reserves, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries of India, wildlife laws, International Conventions and
Treaties, matters relating to zoos, wildlife conservation, international trade in wildlife and wildlife articles, research, capacity building, major policy interventions, court cases,
Parliament related matters, budget, besides a host of other related matters. Two autonomous organizations, the Wildlife Institute of India and the Central Zoo Authority, also headed by officers of the rank equivalent to that of a Joint Secretary to the
Government of India are under administrative control of the Wildlife Wing. The Wildlife
Institute of India is an academic institute recognized as one of the Centres of Excellence in the country. The Central Zoo Authority is the statutory authority for the recognition and technical development of the zoos in India. The Director, Wildlife Preservation is assisted by four regional subordinate offices, each headed by a Regional Deputy Director,
Wildlife Preservation, with headquarters at the four main ports of export and import, viz.,
Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, to check on international trade in wildlife and wildlife articles.

Funding Support for Wildlife Conservation

Government of India provides part financial support to the State Governments under certain Centrally-sponsored Schemes. The rest is borne by the State Governments from their own resources. These Centrally Sponsored Schemes include schemes for
Development of National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries, Project Tiger, Project Elephant,
Eco-development, Beneficiary Oriented Tribal Development, Central Sector Scheme on
Strengthening of Wildlife Division, grants-in-aid to Wildlife Institute and central grant to the Central Zoo Authority. During the IX Five Year Plan the Wildlife Wing provided support to the tune of Rs 463.8 crores under these schemes. During the X Five Year Plan the two schemes on tribal development and eco-development have been merged with the schemes on Project Tiger and National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries. A new scheme for the Protection of Wildlife outside Protected Areas has been proposed. The outlay for the
X Five Year Plan is Rs 820 crores. Further details are given in the reports on the respective Divisions.

Project Tiger Division

Launched in 1973 with nine reserves covering an area of 16,339 sq km., Project Tiger has been extended to 28 reserves in 18 States, encompassing 37,761 sq km. of tiger habitat, with the addition of four new tiger reserves viz. Pakui–Nameri (Arunachal/ Assam: 1206 km2), Bori–Satpura (Madhya Pradesh: 1486 km2), Bhadra (Karnataka: 492 km2) and
Pench (Maharashtra: 257 km2). Further, eight potential areas in the country have also been identified for subsequent inclusion under “Project Tiger”.

Project Tiger is an ecosystem based conservation support project in which an optimum presence of tiger indicates that the complex ecosystem is in its prime health. The outlay of assistance provided to the States under the Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Project
Tiger was Rs 75 crores in IX Five Year Plan which has been enhanced to Rs 150 crores in the X Five Year Plan with the part-merger of the ongoing C.S.S., “Eco-development of
National Parks and Sanctuaries including Tiger Reserves” and the C.S.S. “Beneficiary
Oriented Tribal Development”. Complementary inputs for eco-development and voluntary village relocation provided earlier in separate projects have now been merged with Project Tiger as an Umbrella Scheme.
Under the ongoing externally aided “India Eco-development Project”, as many as 572 eco-development committees have been formed in seven Protected Areas covering
75,600 families, to reduce the dependency of local people on Protected Area resources, with reciprocal commitments.
Initiatives have been taken for evolving a trans-boundary cooperation protocol with
Information and communication technology is being used for linking important tiger reserves in the GIS Domain for evolving a management support system and crime detection, dissemination of information through the web and involving a ‘National Tiger
Monitoring and Habitat Evaluation System’ with regional protocols.
“Project Allowance” has been provided under the scheme to field staff working in tiger reserves. 100% Central Assistance is provided for deploying anti-poaching strike squads in Tiger Reserves, apart from expenditure relating to research, veterinary, monitoring and evaluation, compensation to the legal heir of staff / person killed while performing duty, and for monitoring of tiger population. The threat to the tiger is from poaching, to avenge livestock killed, for international trade in its skins, bones and other body parts and due to reduction of undisturbed habitat and the prey base. The tiger population in the country currently stands estimated at 3642, as per 2001- 02 estimate. The impact of Project Tiger is also visible in the form of arresting soil erosion, recharging of ground water regime and enrichment of forest cover in the tiger reserves. Despite recent tiger population reverses, the Project is recognized as a role model for wildlife conservation. As per a recent report in the media, Project Tiger has been rated as one of the 56 events that changed India since independence. The project, which was a pioneering effort of a unique kind, has shown how a megaspecies could be used to create support for diverse and representative ecosystem conservation, which can and has conserved water, soil, faunal and floral biodiversity and wilderness. The Tiger Task Force Report
Following the uproar caused by the news that the national animal had disappeared from one of the Tiger Reserves, namely Sariska in Rajasthan, the Chairman of the National
Board for Wildlife and the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, set up a Task
Force to assess the situation vis-a-vis Project Tiger and to submit a time-bound report.
Sariska was a crisis waiting to happen and it is bound to occur e1sewhere if matters are not rectified. It also brought into limelight the prevalent situation with regard to wildlife conservation in the country, for if this be the situation in one of the oldest reserves of the prime project initiated by the Government for the conservation of the tiger in particular and of nature in general, one can assess the situation in "lesser" parks and wildlife sanctuaries, not to speak of other habitats and of wildlife in the country. Nature conservation efforts unfortunately, have historically always flowed from the 'top': the
British, the princes, and a couple of Prime Ministers. The conservation movement has not taken root in rural areas and even in the urban areas outside a segment of society.
Considering the short time given for the task, ‘Joining the Dots’ is a very well presented and fairly comprehensive report with a number of appropriate suggestions, some known, others brought into greater focus than before. Some of the notable recommendations cover institutional mechanisms such as creation of two separate departments of
Environment and of Forests and Wildlife within the MoEF and the creation of a subcadre of wildlife specialists and professionals within the forestry services, which this report also stresses upon. It recommends greater powers to the Project Tiger Directorate and periodic independent audit of each reserve; recruitment of local personnel to man the
PAs; the traditional hunting tribes and communities living in and around PAs to be integrated in the conservation efforts and the people to be provided alternatives, relaxing minimum educational qualifications, if required; protection by security forces of any reserves threatened by insurgency; a focus on control over wildlife crime including a special bureau to deal with this menace; development of forensic facilities to assist the bureau; a closer bilateral relationship to be built up with China to combat illegal trade; the introduction of a more scientific method of estimating tiger population and monitoring the habitat; a greater emphasis on research to assist better conservation; an urgent and realistic review of villages and people that need to be relocated from Tiger
Reserves and of assuring acceptable and beneficial relocation; need of deve1oping linkages with the local people to help both the people and wildlife to co-exist, including payment of compensation; and regulation and management of tourism so that it would assist conservation and not be in conflict with it. It also advocates for the payment for ecological conservation rendered by tiger reserves. The NFC endorses these recommendations. There are certain aspects of the report with which the NFC is not in agreement with, as is evident from the text of this report. There are also certain omissions and some inadequate assessment of the different dimensions of some of the topics raised in the report
The Task Force Report wants to have “empirical evidence that the use of habitats by people is endangering conservation efforts”. Any rational person can assess for himself the degree of demographic impact by comparing the qualitative and quantitative difference in the biota in the unexploited core area of a national park such as Kanha, which the Task Force visited, and that surrounding the villages on the periphery of Kanha
Tiger Reserve. Indeed, it is pertinent to know that when the sal borer epidemic struck the forests around Kanha, lakhs of trees died but the core area of Kanha, which is not demographically impacted, had hardly any infestation. This is because the trees in the reserve had the vigour to resist the infestation and the vigour was there because of the lack of biotic and edaphic pressure on the core area. The sal die off was even more prevalent around the inhabited areas than in areas farther from human habitation. The
Tiger Reserves which the task force visited and saw tigers were those in which human habitations have been relocated. If the Task Force had visited the much more problematic ones where there is a greater demographic impact such as Indravati in Chhattisgarh,
Nagarjunasagar -Srisailam in Andhra, Palamau in Jharkhand and Simlipal in Orissa, the opinion formed may have been different in this regard. In some states like Rajasthan and
Gujarat, practically no forests worth the name survive outside the effectively managed protected areas. It must be accepted that forest dwelling communities of today cannot be kept in idyllic isolation and may well exploit forest for commercial purposes and not just for survival.

Project Elephant Division

Project Elephant is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for wildlife conservation aimed at a species that, because of its large rangeland requirements and because of the fragmented range elements, often comes in conflict with human populations. The elephant is not a carnivorous predator, but its requirements of fodder and water compete with the requirements of livestock reared by human beings living in and around its habitat. The main thrust of the Project is on improvement of elephant habitat and mitigation of conflict of interest with human communities. The Project was launched in February 1992 for providing the required support to 12 elephant range States of India, keeping in view the requirements of elephant reserves and approved by the Central Government.
An amount of Rs.61.82 crores has been spent under Project Elephant since its inception in February 1992 till 31.3.2003.The outlay for the Project for the X Five Year Plan is Rs
60 crores. Also, Rs.11.68 crores (Rs. 2.00 crores. for the North-East) had been earmarked under the Project during 2003-04. The States receiving central assistance during 2003-04 under Project Elephant include Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland,
Tripura, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Uttaranchal, Orissa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra
Pradesh and Karnataka.
The population of elephants in India has increased from about 25,000 in 1992 to over
28,000 in 2001. Five new Elephant Reserves, namely Sonitpur, Dihing-Patkai, Kaziranga
Karbi-Anglong, Dhansiri–Lumding and Chirang-Ripu have been recognized in addition to the existing reserves, altogether covering 11 elephant management ranges in India.
Major activities under the Project include: habitat improvement, fire protection, land acquisition for consolidation of habitats and establishment of corridors, procurement of equipment (weapons, tranquillizing sets, wireless sets, vehicles, etc.) for protection, census of elephants, immunization of cattle on the forest fringe, payment of ex-gratia grant for damage to human life and property by elephants, construction of elephant-proof barriers, construction of patrolling tracks and camps, etc.
The main threats to elephant populations arise from the conflict for land, food and water with the people and their livestock and the main thrust of the Project is, therefore, on mitigation of man-elephant conflict and habitat enrichment. The number of human beings killed in encounters with elephants in and around the elephant inhabited forest areas was reported to be 384 during the year 2002-2003. Expenditure on conflict management during 2002-2003 included Rs 2.61 crores financial support provided to the State
Governments for taking up anti-depredation measures and Rs 1.69 crores for meeting the expenditure on payment of ex-gratia relief to the victims of elephant depredations.
Thirty-eight cases of killing of elephants for ivory were reported from the States. Support was also provided for other related items on habitat improvement, infrastructure, antipoaching activities, etc., to the State Governments, as proposed in their Annual Plans of
There is a large population of elephants kept in captivity by people in different parts of the country. Project Elephant has registered 700 elephants by implanting coded microchips for identification of the elephants in Delhi, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
The Project also brought out a book on Management of Captive Elephants during this period to help in the better maintenance of elephants in captive conditions.
On the international scene, Project Elephant is involved in the program for Monitoring of
Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) initiated under the aegis of the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES), to which India is a party.

Wildlife Conservation Division
This Division deals with all matters relating to national parks and wildlife sanctuaries not covered by the Project Tiger and the Project Elephant Divisions. The X Five Year Plan outlay for works relating to this Division is of the order of Rs 485 crores. The Division also acts as a nodal point for the Wildlife Institute of India and the Central Zoo Authority, which are autonomous bodies under the administrative control of the Government of
India. The two organizations receive support from the Government of India in the form of grants processed by the Wildlife Division. The details on these two bodies are given separately. The Division also handles the Centrally Sponsored Scheme “Development of
National Parks and Sanctuaries” and the Central Sector Scheme “Strengthening of
Wildlife Division and Consultancies for Wildlife Conservation.”
The Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 has been amended with effect from 1 April 2003.
The amendments include, inter-alia, provisions that flow from the National Wildlife
Action Plan adopted by the country in 2002. Two new categories of protected areas, namely Conservation Reserves and Community Reserves, have been incorporated in the amended Act to facilitate coverage of all biogeographic zones, forest types and wild species of flora and fauna, and peoples’ involvement in establishment and management
of such protected areas. The amendment has also facilitated the issue of certificates of ownership to the bona-fide possessors of animals, animal articles, trophies, etc., derived from animals listed in Schedule I and part II of Schedule II of the Act, who had not been able to declare their possessions earlier. The law has become stricter for the offenders. It also makes clear that PAs which have areas that have had rights extinguished under any legislation, will be deemed to be finally notified (Sections 26-A(b) and Explanation U/S
35(8) of the Act)

Conservation of National Parks and Sanctuaries
The Government of India through a Centrally Sponsored Scheme “Development of
National Parks and Sanctuaries” provides the financial assistance to national parks and sanctuaries managed by the State Governments. The scheme provides 100% Central assistance on items of works of non-recurring nature. There are a few identified items of recurring nature which are essential and which need support for a few years. The scheme provides assistance on such items on a 50% sharing basis, the matching share coming from the State Government concerned. Under the scheme, an assistance of Rs 72.28 crores was provided to the States during the IX Five Year Plan. The outlay for the X Five
Year Plan is Rs 350 crores, which includes the merged schemes for Eco-development and
Tribal Rehabilitation. Strengthening of Wildlife Division and Consultancies
Under this Centrally Sponsored Scheme the infrastructural and conservational requirements of the Wildlife Division are met. This Division handles the works of the four sub-ordinate offices of the Deputy Directors, Wildlife Preservation located at
Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi, with their supporting offices at Amritsar,
Guwahati and Cochin. The function of these offices is to monitor and take measures to check the international trade in wildlife and wildlife articles passing through the ports of entry into and exit from the country. Besides, research proposals from independent research agencies and institutions on applied aspects of wildlife conservation, are also provided support from this head. There are 10 ongoing research projects, dealing mainly with applied wildlife conservation undertaken by various organizations including the
BNHS (4), Institute of Environment Education and Research, Pune (1), University of
Patna (1), Garhwal University (1), Nature Environment and Wildlife Society (1), Gene
Campaign (1) and the Chilika Development Authority (1). The subjects covered relate to wildlife habitats in the Dangs, Rajaji National Park, Western Ghats, ecological studies on the Gangetic Dolphin, Irravady Dolphin, forest spotted owlet, vultures, spot-billed pelican, endangered wildlife in West Bengal and genetic diversity in the Western Ghats.
The duration of research projects varies between one year and three years and the total support asked for is Rs 88.34 lakhs. Nine more are in the pipeline.
Organization of meetings, workshops, events, awards, etc., is also covered under this scheme. An amount of Rs 10 crores is provided as outlay for this Scheme for the X Five
Year Plan.

Central Zoo Authority
The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) was established as a Statutory Authority under the
Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 in February 1992, with the prime objective of
overseeing the management of zoos and to provide them with the necessary technical and financial inputs to come up to the desired level of management. The Authority specifies the minimum standards for housing, upkeep and veterinary care of the animals kept in a zoo; evaluates and assesses the functioning of the zoos with respect to the prescribed standards or norms and based on it, recognizes or derecognizes zoos. The law does not permit functioning of a zoo in India unless it is recognized by the CZA. The Authority also, inter-alia, identifies endangered species of wild animals for purposes of captive breeding, coordinates the acquisition, exchange and loaning of animals for breeding purpose, coordinates training of zoo personnel in India and outside India, coordinates research in captive breeding and educational programmes and provides technical and other assistance to zoos for their proper management and development on scientific lines.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests provides grants-in-aid to the CZA for providing financial assistance to zoos in the country for improving housing facilities, veterinary facilities and upkeep of animals. During the IX Plan Period, the Authority had provided
Rs. 3748.43 lakhs for the welfare of animals in zoos. The X Five Year Plan outlay for the
CZA is Rs 75 crores, and 83% of the Grants-in-aid of 1080 lakhs during the year 2002-
2003 was released to zoos for improvement of animal housing and upkeep.
Administrative and operational cost was kept to the minimum at 5.6% of the total allocation. The CZA have evaluated 418 zoos in the country and granted recognition to 164 zoos.
Since its inception in 1992, 91 zoos have been closed down and their animals rehabilitated appropriately. Cases of these zoos, which were derecognized, are currently being reviewed for their possible re-recognition. Seven mini zoos in Andhra Pradesh,
Bihar, Daman and Diu, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Haryana were closed, and the zoo at Peshwe Park, Pune was shifted to an alternative site at Katraj. Fourteen zoos, which were having inappropriate housing and existing in very small areas have been extended at their existing site or have moved to alternative larger and better areas.
Since January 2002, the CZA has issued wild animal health care guidelines to the zoos and continuous monitoring by the CZA has resulted in the reduction of death rate among tigers in zoo to an all time low since 1995-96 at 9.74%.
For strengthening of diagnostic facility on a zonal basis six veterinary institutions located at Bhubaneshwar, Chennai, Guwahati, Bareilly (IVRI), Anand and Jammu have been identified and MoU on modalities finalized and signed with the concerned universities.
In order to infuse new technology in the field of assisted reproduction of endangered species, a laboratory is being constructed in collaboration with the Centre for Cellular and
Molecular Biology (CCMB) at Hyderabad.
To facilitate coordination among zoos in ex-situ conservation, a website of the Authority was also launched. With a view to bring transparency in functioning of zoos, an inventory of animals giving details of death and birth was published and distributed widely.
Five Rescue Centres for rehabilitating 300 lions and tigers received from circuses have been established at Vandalur (Tamil Nadu), Bannerghatta (Karnataka), Nahargarh
(Rajasthan), Visakhapatnam and Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh). In coordination with the
Ministry of Social Justice, State Government and field officials, the CZA organized
seizure and transport of 116 lions and 6 tigers from 13 circuses to four rescue centres established by the Central Zoo Authority. A total of 292 animals rescued from circuses have been rehabilitated at these Centres till August 2003. The CZA also coordinated with
CITES authorities to rescue 1,800 star tortoises from Singapore and in their rehabilitation at the Nehru Zoological Park, Hyderabad.
In order to upgrade the technical skills of zoo personnel, 70 zookeepers and 30 supervisory level staff were provided training in 2002.
To further the cause of conservation through ex-situ interventions, a premier conservation effort of a new kind, planned breeding programmes for rehabilitating Red Panda and Lion
Tailed Macaque in their natural habitats, has been taken up by the CZA. As a part of this programme, release of captive bred Red Panda from the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan
Zoological Park, Darjeeling to the Singalila National Park in West Bengal, has been carried out as a first step, on 15 August, 2003.

Wildlife Institute of India
Established in 1982, Wildlife Institute of India (WII) is an autonomous body under the administrative control of the Government of India and is recognized as India’s premier institution that provides both capacity building as well as research inputs for improvement of wildlife conservation in India. Under the Central Sector Scheme, grantsin
-aid to the Wildlife Institute of India amounted to Rs 50 crores for the X Five Year
During the past year the Institute trained 20 officers in wildlife management under their 9 month Diploma course, 23 officers under their 3-month Certificate course and 8 students are attending the MSc Wildlife Biology course conducted biennially by the Institute.
Short term specialized course modules are also being conducted by the Institute in subjects related to wildlife conservation. The subjects covered by the Institute relate to training in eco-development for biodiversity conservation, wildlife protection law and forensic sciences, environmental impact assessment, wetland conservation and legal issues in wildlife management. Between 2001 and 2003 a total of 91 participants attended the courses. The Institute also provides training inputs to Indian Forest Service officers undergoing different training modules at the Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy,
Dehradun. Despite the fact that there are wildlife wings in the States and there are almost
600 PAs in the country, the majority of the PAs are manned by personnel not trained at the WII. Its training facilities are being greatly under utilized, as a result of which the unused training slots are being offered to SAARC countries and others. It is also pertinent to note that even the miniscule number of persons trained at the WII are not, after training, posted in the PAs of the State nor, indeed, into the wildlife wing, all of which defeats the very purpose for which the WII was created. The WII has recently initiated forensic studies and proposed parameters and guidelines.

Olive Ridley Turtle Conservation Project
A significant proportion of the world’s Olive Ridley turtle population nests at nesting sites along the eastern coast of India. The endangered species of sea turtles is also a focus of attention of the international community who looks up to India to provide safety to the nesting sites and to the turtle populations that seasonally arrive there for the propagation
of their species. The Sea Turtle Conservation Project initiated by the Ministry of
Environment and Forests, in collaboration with UNDP in November 1999, with a total allocation of Rs 1.29 crores, has been completed and the report published by the Wildlife
Institute of India. The Project has identified and made an inventory map of the breeding sites of sea turtles, developed guidelines to safeguard the species and minimize turtle mortality caused by human activities. It has also prepared tourism guidelines for ecotourism in sea turtle areas and has developed national and international cooperative and collaborative plans of action for Sea Turtle Conservation. A significant achievement of the project has been the use of satellite telemetry to trace the migratory route of Olive
Ridley turtles in the seas, and the sensitization of fishermen and the State Government of
Orissa to the use of the turtle excluder device (TED) by the fishing trawlers, to check turtle mortality in fishing nets

A National Institute of Coastal and Marine Biodiversity at
Marine biodiversity has immense potential for contributing to the economy of India as a large part of India’s population subsists on the resources available to them along the country’s long coastal region, in 53 coastal districts of 10 maritime States and 6 Union
Territories including the Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep. Marine biodiversity forms the main employment as well as material generating resource. However, the scientific aspects of the management of marine biodiversity have not received the attention it deserves.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests has initiated the process of establishment of a
National Institute for Coastal and Marine Biodiversity. The Wildlife Institute of India,
Dehradun, has been entrusted with the task for development of the Institute. An Action
Plan for 2003-2004 for the establishment of the Institute has been drawn up by the WII, an amount of Rs 20 lakhs has been provided to it for initiating action for this purpose.
A proposal for allocation of 20 hectares of government land at Kanyakumari has been sent to the Government of Tamil Nadu and it is under their active consideration.

UNF–Unesco World Heritage Programme
The Government of India had received funding support for preparing capacity building and awareness projects for the four world heritage natural sites, namely, Nanda Devi,
Kaziranga, Manas and Keoladeo National Parks. The Project Document has been completed and the funding support from UNF-UNESCO is expected. The World Heritage
Committee has encouraged India to prepare the tentative list of its outstanding natural sites and submit details for future nominations. Recognition as World Heritage sites helps in improving conservation values and status, socio-economic development through enhanced funding support, increases eco-tourism activity and conservation awareness among the masses. It enhances the significance of the site in the eyes of the people and the government.

Indo-Russian Inter-Governmental Commission
The Working Group on Environment and Natural Resources is an important component of the Indo-Russian Inter-governmental Commission. In its meeting held in April 2003 at
Moscow several important decisions were taken which included the Siberian Crane
Conservation Project for introduction of captive bred Siberian Crane chicks in the flock of common cranes, so that the migration of the Siberian Cranes in India can be revived and the loss of this magnificent bird to India in recent years, be regained.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild
Flora and Fauna
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna
(CITES), also known as the Washington Convention, is a very important treaty for the conservation of species. CITES came into being in 1976 and currently has more than 160 countries as signatories to it. The CITES through its once-in-two year Conference of
Parties and intervening Committee Meetings decides on the protection levels that need to be accorded to various species in international trade, by placing them in the different
Appendices. For example species on Appendix I are banned from international trade, those on Appendix II have a certain regulatory regimen on trade and those on Appendix
III have regulations applicable only to those species and derivatives that come from a certain region. India was one of the earlier signatories to CITES and has been an active member at all meetings, particularly in the area of tiger, elephant and Tibetan antelope conservation, India has been very pro-active.
A new resolution on the Conservation of Asian Cats was proposed by India in November
2002, during the XII meeting of the Conference of Parties to the CITES. This resolution has been adopted. Whale shark is a highly endangered species. India, Philippines and
Madagascar sponsored a joint-proposal for inclusion of whale shark in Appendix II of
CITES, which was ratified at the Conference of Parties in Santiago, Chile. India and USA also jointly sponsored a proposal for including all species of roofed turtles of genus
Kachuga, in Appendix II, which was also ratified in COP XII of CITES. Others
Other international agreements and instruments, i.e. inter alia the Ramsar Convention,
Convention on Migratory Species and International Whaling Commission are discussed under Chapter 18.

14 Tiger Enumeration Methodology
An all India estimation of tigers is done once in every four years, covering all its habitats in the country, apart from Protected Areas and Tiger Reserves where it is done every two years, and in case of some reserves (e.g. Ranthambhore) every year. Daily tracking records are also kept in Project Tiger areas and record of sightings by visitors are also maintained on a daily basis. The methodology is amenable to being carried out by frontline field staff. The pug marks (foot impressions) of tigers recorded through paper tracings, plaster casts and digital photographs (at some places) which are dated, signed and preserved in the concerned Forests Divisions, enable fixing individual identity, sexing and ageing. These are recorded along with other evidence to arrive at an estimate, after tallying and eliminating duplicates. The methodology yields a total count, rather than a statistical estimate. However, there may be errors in taking paper tracings. Also, there has been a general feeling that tiger numbers may be overestimated in various regions due to several reasons that may include technical and systemic issues. The numbers game puts undue pressure on the system to deliver “a higher tiger count” than
the previous year and this also leads to the failure of a system that otherwise could work in the field in Indian conditions, the authorities giving warped and excessive figures.
The methodology followed so far is based on collection of pugmarks, which are individualistic. In the forthcoming all India estimation, apart from the traditional method, a refined pugmark method having much less scope for human error would be used, in addition to camera traps, for arriving at the population figures density. This would be correlated with relative indices based on evidences for crosschecking. Further, other factors of the habitat would also be taken into account in the Geographical Information
System (GIS) domain. For the first time, the Govt. of India would involve itself in the primary data collection. Stakeholder Views and Suggestions
In the responses received, the following viewpoints in brief, were put forth:- Wildlife Management
Most people feel that a separate wing of the Forest Department should look after management and protection of wildlife. The services of an ecologist have been deemed necessary by some for parks and sanctuaries. Others suggest that silviculture in PAs should aim not only at forest protection but also at augmenting herbivore food and habitat enhancement. Stray concerns have been raised about the quality of nourishment that wild animals find. Many hold that changing crop patterns around PAs will minimize man-animal conflicts. On the issue of people and parks, responses range from asking all habitations to be removed from PAs and closing tourism in all seasons, to arguing for the natural rights of the human inhabitants of PAs. No consensus can be said to emerge.

The common thought is that Ecotourism can boost economy and generate funds for conservation, and that the private sector should be deployed in nature education and ecotourism.
A small number of people also feel that ecotourism may disturb the balance in protected areas.

Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation
• There needs to be an assessment of the extent of livelihood dependence of local communities and their contribution to ecosystem and wildlife conservation.
• The area of PAs must be at least 5% of the geographical area of the country.
• The rights of the people in PAs must be settled in time bound manner.
• Biodiversity conservation must be looked after by the forest department at the central as well as State level, in coordination with other agencies.
• Periodic review is needed of the list of the animals in the different schedules of the Wildlife Protection Act. The species may be added or deleted on the basis of review. The culling /export of the surplus animals may be considered by the
Government to avoid man-animal conflict.
• Rules needed for Community Reserves and Conservation Reserves.
• In view of rising PA-people conflicts a third party arbitration mechanism may be explored. 124

Controlling Poaching, Illegal Extraction and Trade in Wild Flora and Fauna
It is abundantly clear that poaching and trade seriously affects a wide range of wild species. Measures for field control of poaching vary in quality in protected areas, but are practically non-existent in reserved forests and other categories of forests. Nevertheless, non-PA forest areas are vital for species and habitat conservation as well, for the PA network is only representative of the total forests of the country. Even in case of PAs it is observed that foresters at the level of Range Officers and below are not adequately trained and equipped in their duties. In particular, they lack knowledge of the provisions and practice of Wild Life (Protection) Act and that of the CrPC and IPC, which are just as important to bring an offender to book. The contribution of technical non-governmental agencies in training must be looked into and used wherever appropriate.
The control of poaching and trade can only be achieved by intelligence gathering. This aspect of crime control is often not given the importance it deserves and is a sub-set of traditional anti-poaching operations such as camps, patrols, watchtowers, etc. However, rupee for rupee, building and maintaining information sources (even when there is no poaching problem) is critical to controlling crime. The base principle in crime combating should be that there is always a threat of poaching even if it has not manifested itself.
This will be the best pre-emptive step to take.
A distinction not often understood is between anti-poaching and anti-smuggling. The mafia-type gangs operating from cities are the driving force behind poaching. A substantial part of species in trade is meant to be smuggled outside India. Wildlife crime is no different from many other kinds of crime such as narcotics, gunrunning, trafficking in humans, etc., and controlling this requires the same skills, aptitude and equipment as that of any other crime. Though empowered under the WPA, agencies of the government such as the CBI do not take wildlife crime as seriously as it should be taken. Greater motivation, training and empowerment should be provided to non-wildlife enforcement agencies to act in this field. This is particularly true of Customs Department as they are mandated to curb illegal movement of goods internationally. As India has considerably relaxed the import export rules regarding traditional contrabands such as electronic goods, it may well be a good time for them to emphasize on wildlife crime. The World
Customs Union has recently placed greater emphasis on environmental crime, including those on derivatives of wild species. As a signatory to CITES, India is committed to enforce regulations arising out of it and it is in her interest to do so. . It would also be pertinent to point out that the Committee on Prevention of Illegal Trade in Wildlife and
Wildlife Products or the Subramaniam Committee in its report of 1994 had recommended a number of measures for the control of poaching and trade. Partial implementation of the recommendations made in the report had taken place but the creation of a specialized wildlife crime unit and that to provide legal training and support to wildlife law enforcement agencies are still languishing.

Rationalization of PA Boundaries, Relocation of Settlements and
Upgradation and Finalization of the PA Network
A large number of people reside within Indian PAs. This acute problem with all the ramifications of man-animal and people-park conflicts on the one hand, and the denial of
basic facilities to the people on the other, has to be approached on several fronts. There is an increasing realization amongst the people living in the PAs that as long as they reside in the PAs there will always be conflict and their access to the market, availability of goods and services like transport, medical facilities and education, will always be hampered. Many forest communities are willing to move out of such areas if they are given adequate alternative land and other means of livelihood.
Although ‘Protected Areas’ in the form of National Parks, Sanctuaries and Closed Areas were in existence in the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, yet statutorily “Protected
Areas” have been defined only in 2002 through an amendment in the Wild Life
(Protection) Act, 1972. The relevant provision reads as follows: “(24A) “Protected area” means a national park, a sanctuary, a conservation reserve or a community reserve notified under sections 18, 35, 36A and 36C of the Act;’ Further, the amendment also substituted the heading in Chapter IV i.e. “SANCTUARIES, NATIONAL PARK AND
CLOSED AREAS”, for ‘PROTECTED AREAS’. The concept of protected areas as defined in the Act does not include administrative categories such as Biosphere Reserves, Tiger
Reserves and Elephant Reserves.
Further, new PAs are getting increasingly difficult to form. The reasons for the same are:
1. Delayed procedure for the settlement of rights, where required.
2. In recent years, a PA has become politically and socially unpopular due to the fear of displacement, denial of access to bio-resources, etc., especially since the degradation of non-PA areas has left the PAs with more bio-resources in comparison with the neighbouring forests.
3. The protection afforded in PAs has also led to an increase in animal populations within PAs, which has led to greater raids on neighbouring crops and livestock and thus greater man-animal conflicts.
The creation of Protected Areas are only taking place to compensate for the loss of forests due to developmental projects and are specifically insisted upon in Clearance
Conditions of the Ministry of Environment and Forests e.g., the clearance condition of the Lower Subansari, which recommended for the catchments area of the Dam to be declared as a National Park, and the Human River Project adjoining Tadoba Andheri
Tiger Reserve wherein submerged area is to be declared as Sanctuary while submerging prime Tiger Corridor. The clearance of the Narmada Sagar Project in Madhya Pradesh also lays down the setting up of PAs in adjacent forests, which the State has not fulfilled so far.

Achieving Linkages between the PA system
Corridors or linkages between protected habitats must be considered a vital conservation need for biodiversity conservation and conflict reduction mechanism. Such corridors or linkages must be planned keeping in mind animal migrations or movements, representations of ecological gradients between habitats, the needs of local communities as well as planned developmental projects. A number of such areas have been identified and prioritized. For example the Wildlife Trust of India and the Asian Elephant Research and Conservation Centre have recently brought out a publication identifying all the important Elephant Corridors of India, which has been ratified by State Forest
Departments. Similarly the BNHS has coordinated the Important Bird Area programme in India. The Bio-geographic report by Rodgers and Panwar1 mentioned above also recommends the conservation of numerous identified corridors.
Once identified, prioritized and agreed to, respective State Governments must declare them and either make them part of existing protected areas, or declare them as
Ecologically Sensitive Areas under the EPA. If extension of existing PAs – either a
National Park or Sanctuary – is not possible then corridors could be covered under a
Conservation Reserve and on private land under a Community Reserve. Agro/farm forestry and afforestation under the Lok Vaniki can also be encouraged and actively supported to provide forest cover on private lands.
Ecologically Sensitive Areas (ESAs) are declared under the provisions of the
Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and the E.P Rules of 1986. The power to declare the same is vested in the Central Government. Declaration of ESA is a centralized process and aims at addressing specific environmental threats such as mining, industrialization, construction etc in ecologically sensitive areas.

Improved Management of Protected Areas
It is regrettable that despite conclusive evidence that the nation’s incalculable natural wealth vests in our effectively managed protected areas and indeed, have a long-term future mainly in these entities, the forest departments of the States continue to regard them and the wildlife wings in whose charge they are or should be, as unimportant or even extraneous. Protected areas are viewed not as the regulators of water and the last havens of hope of our virgin and climax forests and biotic communities both faunal and floral, but as wasted resources. This mindset prevails despite the change in priorities from the National Forest Policy of 1952 to the current one of 1988 and despite the fact that experience has taught that usage once allowed, cannot be effectively regulated and that the nation’s needs cannot be fulfilled by exploiting the less than 2% of the area that is inviolate today. The PAs and the parent wildlife wings, therefore, are today “suffered” by the State Governments, not supported for what they are and what they mean to the nation.
This attitude is reflected in the lack of importance that is accorded to them, and which in turn manifests itself in financial allocations, allotment of personnel and lack of support to fulfill management pre-requisites and implementation of law.
Firstly, the Wildlife Wings and the PAs are treated as “dumping” grounds of unwanted officers and staff of the forest departments. Such personnel neither have the interest and aptitude for, nor training in wildlife management and once posted, would make endeavours to get away from their postings. It is significant that the few officers in the
States trained in the WII are not given wildlife postings, and the few officers interested in nature conservation and committed to it, are persuaded to go elsewhere. The officer corps which mans the PA system and the Wildlife Wings, therefore, are mostly unprofessional, disinterested and even disgruntled.
Protection is the very basis of conservation, especially in a poor and populous country like India, with its mounting demographic impact. It is ironic, therefore, that the inverse
1 Rodgers, W. A., Panwar, H. S. and Mathur V. B. 2000. Wildlife protected area network in India. – A review. Dehradun, Wildlife Institute of India.
pyramid manifests itself at the cutting edge of conservation i.e. the forest guard/beat guard/ wildlife/ game guard level. This is so in territorial forest divisions as it is in PAs.
While the number of officers has increased, the area/size of the forest/ wildlife guard beat has remained constant for the last sixty years or more, in the whole country. Furthermore, while recruitment of vacancies continues in the case of officers, those of these field staff remain unfulfilled due to financial constraints and the daily wagers who used to complement these field personnel, are also being mostly discontinued. The average age of the forest/wildlife guard is now over 40 years in most States and over 50 in some. In decades gone by, a single guard could patrol alone. That is not possible anymore.
Training in wildlife management is mostly not imparted to the subordinate staff either by their superiors, or in a training school.
A further manifestation of the disregard and distrust of PAs and of the Wildlife Wings, is that the Chief Wildlife Warden, usually a person next in seniority to the PCCFs, is often not fully in control of the PAs ostensibly under his charge, and has no control over wildlife conservation in the territorial divisions. The personnel of the PAs report frequently to the territorial DFOs, who are also their drawing and disbursing officers. The control of the buffer areas surrounding PAs, even major National Parks and Tiger
Reserves, are still vested with territorial DFOs and not with officers, even of the rank of
Conservators, in charge of the PAs concerned. This prevents the PA managers from involving the local people in eco-development activities and as buffers to the core areas of the PAs. MoEF had issued instructions that the Chief Wildlife Warden should make an entry in the CRs of Territorial DFOs as to the contribution made by them for nature conservation. Nowhere is this directive followed.
Each PA should have a Management Plan, for not only for the PA itself, but also for the buffer and it would cover tourism as well. Most PAs, including National Parks do not have them or they are not updated.
Certain duties enjoined upon the PA managers by the Wildlife Protection Act are still not being carried out in a number of PAs. Amongst them are cattle immunization (Section
33-A), registration of arms (Section 34) and removal of encroachments (34-A), etc.
Section 29 of the Act pertaining to the removal of forest produce for the improvement and better management of the PA, was being misused by the State Governments for continued exploitation of the PA under the garb of improvement and better management!
As a result, this section was amended in 2002, and which now not only makes such removal more stringent and accountable, but also lays down that forest produce so accrued shall be given to the local people for their bona fide use. However, in violation of the letter and spirit of this law, some State Governments still continue to exploit PAs. The extraction of tendu leaves, sal seed and other forest produce is also banned now under law in Parks and Sanctuaries. Yet, some States still continue with the practice under some excuse or the other. If the law enforcers themselves violate the law, how effectively can they prevent others from doing so?

Promoting Research and Monitoring
Knowledge about a species, ecosystem and ecological processes is essential for better management of PAs and for better conservation of species, especially when most PAs are becoming ‘islands’ in a sea of humanity. Basic research is required to know the carrying
capacity of PAs and of different ecosystems, to reduce man-animal conflict, to know the impacts of long-term overgrazing, collection of minor forest products, fire, floods, tourism etc, and also to know the benefits that PAs and ecosystems accrue to the nation and to local communities. While everyone acknowledges the role of forests, grasslands, and wetlands in maintaining the water regime of an area or of a river system, there is hardly any empirical data on this aspect in our country. Many species e.g. rhino, lion, swamp deer, hispid hare, have recovered from very small numbers with a small genetic base. At the same time, fragmentation of habitat/ecosystem is creating small isolated populations. There is no long-term study on genetic deterioration of small populations.
With increasing human population (India’s population is estimated to reach 1.4 to 1.5 billion mark in another 40-45 years before leveling off), habitats/PAs will become more isolated, with very little chance of natural dispersal/movement of some animals from PAs into a larger landscape.
One of the goals of setting up PAs is to increase our understanding of the ecosystems and biological processes, for the advancement of science. This can only be achieved through
Research and Monitoring. Research and Monitoring are also essential for planning conservation management and for evaluating its efficacy. This also includes monitoring impact of climate change on natural habitats. Despite the importance of research, there is no legislation that promotes and facilitates research in natural habitats, whether these are
PAs, reserved forests, community land, farmland, etc. In fact, there are several legislations that discourage research. The interpretation of ‘research’ (permits, funds, entry, etc) is often left to the whims and fancies of decision makers. Fundamental research on species and ecosystems may look academic to a PA manager but it is essential for the advancement of science and also for long-term monitoring of species/ecosystem. Both fundamental and applied research should be encouraged, especially the latter. Moreover, basics of research methodologies, and the importance and appreciation of research should be taught to PA managers during their training in
Dehradun and other forest institutes. Presently, many PA managers discourage and deprecate research and researchers. Wildlife disease is an emerging threat all over the world due to various reasons. While we have veterinarians in every district, who mainly look after domestic animals, we lack good wildlife vets. We do not have vets even in national parks. There is no short-term or long-term monitoring of wildlife diseases in any
PA in India. There is not much research on the introduction and reintroduction of species.
With increasing fragmentation of habitats and local extinction of some species, there is a need to gain knowledge about introduction and reintroduction and rehabilitation. For example, the Grey Hornbill (Tockus Birorstris) has become extinct in the Gir; possibly due to hunting pressure a couple of decades ago. However, the situation has improved and the area is better protected now. Can we reintroduce the grey hornbill in Gir? Is the habitat suitable? How many pairs need to be reintroduced? We need to know all this before any reintroduction attempt is made. Similarly, there is a need to captive-breed and reintroduce the Great Indian Bustard in suitable areas in Rajasthan, Gujarat and possibly
Madhya Pradesh. However, before this is done, a feasibility study needs to be done for each area. Investigations and research also needs to be done to evolve techniques to mass capture, translocate and rehabilitate certain species like the nilgai, blackbuck and wild pig. 129
There are some well-managed PAs (e.g. Corbett, Kaziranga, Periyar, etc) where data on major vertebrate fauna have been collected for many decades. Many PA managers also keep scientific information. Each DFO/RFO/Forester keeps a daily diary, sometimes with valuable information on sightings of larger animals, forest fires, poaching cases, etc but unfortunately, there is no system where this valuable information is also made available to researchers. Forest officials are required to submit their diaries/records to their superiors, but these records disappear in the office files or are thrown out after some time.
If a researcher or an institute sends copies of a report/paper to the Forest Department, they are often not available after some time.
India is one of the largest producers and consumers of fertilizers and pesticides. Except for some academic research in universities and government institutes, there is no longterm research on the harmful and persistent effect of pesticides on wildlife, particularly birds, fish and amphibians. Many apparently common bird species are no more common, especially in farmlands, and many amphibians and fish have declined due to pesticide pollution of the water systems.

The cardinal principle when considering tourism, and all other issues, in National Parks,
Sanctuaries and other protected areas is that in all such areas the conservation interests of wildlife, both fauna and flora and of their habitats, must be considered paramount. All other interests must be secondary to this prime and over-riding consideration.
Protected areas are essential for the long-term health of the country as they form what may well be the only remaining nucleus of biodiversity and an invaluable gene pool.
They must be conserved with that objective in mind. Pristine eco-systems, unmodified by human efforts are the aim and not creating reservoirs of animals in manicured settings!
Protected Areas should not be viewed as a mere facility for recreation but rather as a site for preserving an area of natural diversity, including both fauna and flora, that in addition affords nature lovers an opportunity to observe wildlife in its natural state and to have communion with nature.
The temptation to develop tourism at the cost of wildlife interests must be firmly resisted.
While it is true that tourism can generate valuable and needed financial inputs to national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and other protected areas, this must never be at the cost of the interests of wildlife.
Tourism in PAs has the potential to prevent illegal activities such as illegal felling of trees, poaching, encroachments, etc. However uncontrolled tourism disturbs wildlife and even hinders their breeding behavior. Tourism properly regulated can be force for conservation, and create amongst the visitors on empathy for nature and particularly for the PA in question, while it is also true that indiscriminate unregulated tourism can destroy PAs.
In most areas, with only a very few exceptions, all the revenues from tourism go to the consolidated fund of the State Government and are not available directly to the PA. In any case the earnings from wildlife tourism are insignificant compared to the amount spent in maintaining the PAs. Mechanism should be set up for ploughing back the revenues earned and the PAs should also be in a position to receive donations and
assistance from well-meaning NGO’s, institutions, organizations directly rather than only through the department at the State level.
In view of the fact that the conditions prevalent in different protected areas vary widely and also change over time, it is essential that the precise tourism practices permitted in any area be decided after careful consideration of the local situation and then according to a written and approved tourism plan for the particular protected area. ‘The Tourism Plan’ should be a distinct section of the ‘Protected Area Management Plan’. Tourism activities
–those permitted and those prohibited- should therefore not be left to the whims of an individual PA manager but should as a matter of policy be prescribed in the Management
Plan and be known to all. If there has to be changes from time to time, they should be well reasoned and not sudden.
Tourism zones should be clearly defined. The Tourism Plan must also be revised and updated periodically. No new tourist facilities and complexes be established where a 5 km radius of a PA without the prior approval of the State Wildlife Board.
Development around the protected area, particularly in the buffer zone, must be to protect the eco-system and as far as possible to exert a centrifugal pressure on human populations in the area. Steps that serve to attract a population to these sensitive areas are not in the long-term interest of the PA.
Tourism does not occur in Protected Areas alone but is also a feature of other forested areas, particularly those located in mountains near hill stations, along trekking routes and around water bodies. In such situations too the authorities must take steps to educate the public about being eco-sensitive, to avoid damaging natural flora and to ensure that there is no fire hazard caused by their careless picnicking.
There is an especial category of visitors to several protected areas that need particular attention. Pilgrimages to very well known and deeply revered sites impinge on several protected areas where literally thousands of pilgrims go to temples and other sites within
PAs. Fortunately, the biggest influx occurs annually on pre-determined anniversaries, so special arrangements can be made. Some of the best known are the annual pilgrimage to
Sabrimala in the Periyar Tiger Reserve, to the fort in Bandhavgarh by the Kabir Panthis, in Sariska to the ancient temples. Even in Ranthambore the temple in the fort on the hill attracts vast numbers of worshippers. Many, if not most PA’s have a temple associated with it and worshipers do want and need access. Keeping in mind the religious sentiment of the people and the long-standing tradition of allowing access, it is not practical to cutoff access to these sites. However, it is important that the park and forest authorities ensure that traffic is regulated and the safety of both wildlife and pilgrims is ensured.
Permitted periods and routes can be delineated and public awareness enhanced to make the annual event eco-sensitive. Religious bodies and NGOs can be usefully harnessed to be a force for conservation. The aim should be to not only protect the PA and wildlife, but to try and send back pilgrims as a force for conservation.

Mitigating Man-Animal Conflict
Man-animal conflict is going to be the most important issue that will threaten wildlife in
India in the coming years. With over 60% of the world’s tigers, 65% of its elephants,
80% of the Asian rhinos and 100% of Asian lions, the country is home to a large number
of the world’s mega-fauna. It is also home to over one billion human beings. Large animals need space to live, move, breed and feed. Inevitably, with fast shrinking habitat they come into conflict with human beings. This is accentuated by human development unthinkingly cutting into their migration paths, breeding grounds or core habitats.
Conflict will be most acute when both animals and man first come into contact i.e. a new road cutting through a park, new settlements coming up in forest. There can be no more poignant example than the 11 elephants that were poisoned in 2001 in the reserve forests around Nameri Wildlife Sanctuary in Assam due to illegal encroachment of forest.
Conflict will reduce either if the animal components have diminished in a landscape to an extent that there is no problem or if well thought out conflict mitigation measures that involve landscape level planning and local site level implementation, is put in place. In most cases, be it with elephants in North Bengal, leopards in Maharashtra or the western
Himalaya, blackbuck in western India or nilgai in northern India, the final solution lies only in land use planning and implementation. Interim solutions include putting up barriers between man and animal, shifting problem animals or illegal encroachers out of conflict areas, etc. The current issues can be considered by looking at the three major species specific conflicts that occur in India involving elephants, carnivores (especially big cats) and ungulates, although, monkeys and bears also cause high levels of conflict in urban and Himalayan belts, respectively.
a) Elephants are large, migratory beings that require large habitats connected by wellestablished movement paths, which when they lie outside the habitat and when they connect two strips of habitat are called corridors. Broadly, man-elephant conflict can be addressed and mitigated in four ways: (1) Introducing barriers such as trenches, fences or repellants such as crackers, watcher squads etc between the elephant and man (2) Change in cropping patterns around elephant areas to include non-palatable crops i.e. diminishing of attractants (3) Securing corridors of elephant movement (4)
Culling or capture of rogues and problem herds. The first method is the most often used for temporary alleviation and when using this it is important to see that barriers do not impede migration, as this will only increase conflict and is used largely to enclose human settlements rather than fence elephant habitat. The second and third are extremely important long-term measures that need to be done for any semblance of a permanent resolution of the problem. The last method should only be used in case of identified and established rogue animals and in such cases, mercy killings are warranted. Capture of elephants should not be encouraged as it increases aggression and conflict in the herd and because the overall utility of elephants in captivity is decreasing in the modern context. Capture of entire problem herds could be attempted as has been done in Sri Lanka, but the question then would be as to where could they be translocated to.
b) Large carnivores (especially big cats): The emphasis should be on leopards and in certain areas tigers, or wolves. The critical fact to consider here is that on most occasions such conflict is due to lack of the correct sized prey, the increased familiarity of the animal to man and a lack of understanding of wildcat or canid biology. Prey-base is the most important factor to consider for ameliorating such conflict. Local subsistence hunting is what normally depletes such prey-base and this should be stopped. Problem animals, if identified as threats to human life, must be eliminated and not caught and kept in captivity. Translocation of animals must be
done after obtaining adequate knowledge of species biology. This may be done under strictly scientifically monitored manner only and in case of big cats with an essential pre-requisite of radio-collared monitoring.
c) Ungulates: There is recurring and severe conflict between crop grazing ungulates that live in proximity of human beings such as the nilgai, blackbuck, etc., in many parts of India. The emphasis should be on protection of crop using intensive protection methods during peak raiding periods This should be a priority wildlife conservation measure as crop damage is driving local people into poisoning indiscriminately, sometimes leading to casualties of humans, livestock and much more endangered animals. Conflict must therefore be viewed as a very important threat to wildlife in the current scenario. A very appropriate measure would be to develop alternatives to the current cropping pattern, involving agriculture experts/institutions and taking into consideration the animal/bird species that are causing the major damage in a given area, the soil and climate suitable to the crops suggested as alternatives, their profitability, etc. For instance, it is known that crops like chillies, “jeera”, “karela” and aloe vera are not damaged by blackbuck and others.
Lack of compensation or delay in the disbursement for the damage causes to the life and property by wild animals, is another cause for the animosity against PAs and species.
Compensation could be divided broadly with two categories – for death of a human being and secondly death to livestock and damage to crops and other property.
Normally, it takes weeks, if not months before compensation is paid and that too often after paying a bribe to expedite payment. The compensation amount is frequently very meagre and retribution comes by way of poisoning of carnivores, electrocution by dangling live wires, trapping or outright killing.
An example could be had from the endeavor of the tiger conservation programme of
WWF-India under which arrangements were made to reward anyone bringing news of a carnivore kill, making compensation payment within the day if possible and then having paid full compensation of the value of the animal, to be decided by the elders of the affected village, taking possession of the kill and then allowing the killer to have its food.
This would prevent the concerned predator from hunting again, of the “kill” being taken away, and prevent the kill from being poisoned, as it would be watched over by a nominee of the people and being paid for it. The most important impact of the efficacy of the system was that not one tiger or panther was poisoned in the vicinity of the Corbett
National Park despite over 1500 livestock having been killed, over a period of about 15 months. Human kills should be compensated even more expeditiously, but they are not.
Attempts have been made to insure crops against damage by wild animals. The commercial banks, however, are very reluctant to insure. This needs to be pursued and an acceptable formula for crop damage insurance needs to be worked out.
Paying compensation by government for damage caused to crops by wild animals such as the elephant, wild pigs, or blackbuck, is very problematic and involves on spot inspection and assessment of damage, to be done by the “lower” staff, and numerous complaints of corruption have occurred. . It was attempted in Meghalaya for two years, but was given up for the expenses of almost 60 lakhs in compensation it was causing.

Ex-situ Conservation
The priority of conservation must overwhelmingly be upon in-situ conservation, as thereby protection is accorded not only to species as naturally evolved in biotic communities, but in the process, habitats, ecosystems, biodiversity and wilderness itself are also protected. Nonetheless, with the threat of extinction facing so many species of flora and fauna, especially micro fauna, ex-situ conservation assumes increasing importance. The guiding principle should be that no living species however insignificant or useless it may appear to be, should be allowed to go extinct. There are two methods of insuring this as a safeguard against extinction in the wild.
a) Propagation in captivity, and
b) Gene bank preservation of genetic material/ and cloning/resurrection of the species that may have gone extinct.
As regards (a) above, India has a large number of zoos and safari parks, some owned by the government, others by municipal and other bodies. Almost universally the upkeep and management is well below acceptable standards. Furthermore, instead of complementing in-situ conservation, zoos and safari parks are a drain upon it. Capture of wild specimens for zoos has now luckily stopped, but unhygienic conditions prevalent in zoos result in almost universal infestation of animal diseases like TB, which precludes the possibility of captive animals being released into the wild for the danger of contagion to wild populations. Besides, to give one example, the Chatbir Zoo of Haryana consumed over
80% of the State’s outlay on wildlife, thereby eating into the capital that could well have served the fund-starved PAs and other in-situ conservation efforts in the State, and in the process they had over 40 tigers which were of no conservation use and over 80 lions of mixed Afro-Indian strain, which were worse than useless from the wildlife standpoint.
Zoos must also serve as centres for arousing empathy for animate beings and a love for and interest in the nation’s fauna, and not just places for recreation. Our zoos have failed on this account as well. Happily, with the establishment of the Central Zoo Authority of the Government of India, things are improving.
In the context of (b), it may be appropriate to mention the case of the Indian or Asiatic cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus), which is the only large Indian mammal that has gone extinct in the last hundred years. Project Tiger has proved that under the aegis of a mega species like the tiger, its prey species and diverse habitats can also be saved. The reintroduction of the cheetah – through cloning of the Asiatic race with genetic material derived from Iran – would arouse great interest and pride. This project is vital not only for this superb animal, but for its endangered prey species and its arid and semiarid habitats, which are fast depleting. If genetic propagation of the Asiatic race poses too many problems, introduction of the African cheetah from Namibia is also a possibility.
Biotechnology as a science has perhaps the greatest potential for providing health, sustenance and well being to mankind, in the face of exponential population increase.
Genetics play a major role in this science and, from the economic standpoint, the most valuable gene pools of all are the wild counterparts of species domesticated and
cultivated by man. The human race has a terrible track record of depleting, degenerating and making extinct the wild counterparts of the species , both floral and faunal, that it has domesticated and used. The wild dromedary and the Kouprey, the progenitor of our domestic cattle, are but two examples. Ironically, however, nobody takes any notice. The syndrome continues in India and no one seems even to notice.
The wild buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) is a classic example of “genetic swamping” of the living dead. There are more domesticated buffalo in the world than all the other livestock species put together. The wild animals are far larger than their domesticated brethren, and the foetus of a calf sired by a wild bull is so large that mortality of the mother is a common feature during birth. The wild buffalo from the human welfare viewpoint is perhaps the most valuable wild animal in the world. There are now possibly no true wild buffaloes outside India.
In India, in the recent past, they occurred only in Assam and Chhattisgarh; and in Nepal only in the Kosi Tappu Sanctury. The ones in Kaziranga got degenerated in past decades, as did the Kosi Tappu population. Manas Tiger Reserve in Assam had the largest surviving “pure” wild buffalo. But no more. Genetic degeneration has changed the composition of the entire population. The malaise has started affecting the remnant population in the Udanti sanctuary in Raipur. There are perhaps less than 30 true wild buffalo left in the world, severely pursued and harried in the insurgent – controlled
Indravati National Park in Bastar. The Government is at present not even contemplating a serious programme to save the genetic purity of this magnificent animal.
The progenitor of the domestic fowl is the red jungle fowl, another most “valuable” genetic resource for man. But here too crossbreeding with domestic fowl has started and the wild counterparts are being affected. Interbreeding is also occurring amongst wild and domestic pigs. In the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the survival of the indigenous and ecologically adapted Andaman pig (Sus scrofa andamanensis) as a wild taxa is under threat. Wild mangoes perhaps exist nowhere in India except in the Satpura National Park in
Madhya Pradesh. Wild citrus, wild rice and others are also threatened by genetic infusion from domestic counterparts.
A special survival strategy will have to be worked out to save the remaining truly wild buffalo on the highest priority. Domesticated chickens and pigs should not be allowed within National Parks and efforts need to be made to segregate the wild and domestic stocks of these two animals.
Genetic material will have to be kept of the pure wild buffalo, if any do remain by the time this action is initiated, to someday revive the species in a test tube. The same is true of many gravely endangered faunal and floral life forms.

Recovery of Endangered Species
There are a number of species of fauna and flora, listed under Schedule I of the Wild
Life (Protection) Act, 1972, which are critically endangered. They need to have special recovery plans prepared to ensure their recovery and to prevent extinction, local or total.
Under these individual plans, which need to be revised every five years or so, the
prevalent status and distribution of the species, its coverage under the PA system and which prominent habitats are left out of it, the threats, etc., would be assessed. The concerned States, assisted and motivated by MoEF, would be responsible for the implementation. Species covered under special projects like Project Elephant etc., need not have such recovery plans
The Indian Wildlife Protection Act has various schedules and species/taxon are included in different schedules depending upon threat levels. However, there is a misguided tendency that as soon as anyone suggests to the MoEF to include a particular taxon in
Schedule I (mostly without any basic information), the MoEF obliges. The MoEF and the
State Forest Departments think that just by including a species in Schedule I or Schedule
II, their responsibility is over and the species is safe. It is suggested that this tendency to include every species in Schedule I should be stopped. We further suggest that detailed status and threat assessments of each species and taxa should be done by experts and only on the basis of their opinion species should be included in various schedules.

Relocation and Rehabilitation of Species
Relocation and rehabilitation of species is done mainly for three reasons. Firstly, to translocate excess or troublesome individuals and groups of species (which has been dealt with under item 5.12), secondly, to reintroduce species locally made extinct or to augment populations rendered critically low, and thirdly to rescue temporarily displaced individual wild animals.
As regards the first category above, while it may be necessary to destroy individual animals that may be dangerous to human life, the option of translocation and rehabilitation should be explored in the case of animals harmful to human property. Only where such an option is not feasible should the option of destruction as vermin or permanent captivity, be undertaken. It must be borne in mind that while there may be excess of certain species in some parts, the species is not surplus everywhere in its habitat in the country. An example in point is the nilgai. It could be translocated to many PAs where it could augment the prey base of the tiger. It could be introduced in the Kunu-
Palpur Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh where shortage of prey is one of the factors hampering the re-introduction of the lion. The proposal of the re-introduction of the lion in Kunu-Palpur has also been delayed greatly and the process must now be expedited on a priority basis.
The techniques of mass capture, translocation and rehabilitation of herds of animals as social units, especially of “bothersome” species like the nilgai, blackbuck and wild pig, have not been developed as yet in India. This, despite the WII having been assigned this special task and the Southern African countries who are the world leaders in this field, having offered India their expertise. The MoEF and WII need to take up this work urgently and evolve techniques which are suitable to India for mass capture, translocation and rehabilitation, and then pass on the techniques to the State Governments, who can then establish special units for this purpose. In this endeavour, captured animals must not be kept captive unduly long or to contact pathogens which are the bane of our captive animals. In the case of reintroduction of the second category above – i.e. where they have become locally extinct or greatly reduced in numbers – it must be first ascertained, through a
detailed analysis, as to the reasons for the local extinction or severe reduction and what needs to be done to overcome these constraints. Only when these deleterious factors have been overcome should the reintroduction be carried out. The individuals/herds so reintroduced, need to be constantly monitored.

Genetic Degeneration
A most insidious and overlooked aspect of loss of biodiversity and the extinction of gene pools in the wild, is the inter-breeding between wild species and their domestic counterparts. This is particularly relevant in the case of the wild buffalo (Bubulus bubalis), the red jungle fowl (Gallus gallus gallus) and the wild pig (Sus scrofa). There are more domestic buffalo in the world than any other domestic livestock, but surviving wild population of pure wild buffalo is perhaps restricted to the relict, isolated groups totalling less than 30 in the insurgency plagued Indravati National Park in Chhattisgarh, and a few individuals in the Udanti Sanctuary in the same State. The red jungle fowl, with the grey one (Gallus sonnerati), is the progenitor of all domestic fowl, but studies have revealed that inter-breeding between the domestic fowl and wild red jungle fowl has occurred to a far greater extent than believed, with the consequent loss of the wild genetic resource. The ubiquitous domestic pig is breeding with the wild specimens, with the same result. In the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, they have their own indigenous races (Sus scrofa andamanensis, etc.). Thus, genetic “swamping” may well now cause the very extinction of these isolated indigenous races on which the local tribes, like the Jarawas, depend for their protein intake.
The intrinsic value of these wild genetic resources as the counterparts of the country’s most common domesticated animals and birds is incalculable. Yet no attention is being paid to this loss of biodiversity so important to human welfare.

Restoration Ecology
During the last 100 odd years, massive plantations of exotic trees have taken place, all over India. Sometimes prime forest was cut down to plant fast-growing, commercial timber and fuelwood trees. However, during the last 10 years, the Forest Department has stopped or curtailed growing such exotics in protected areas. There are many protected areas where these exotics or introduced species have matured and are ready for harvesting (e.g. teak and eucalyptus in Dudwa National Park in Uttar Pradesh, eucalyptus, pine and Acacia mearnsii in Mukurthi National Park in Tamil Nadu, teak again in Buxa tiger reserve, etc.) but due to the national park status of the sites, the State
Forest Departments have not harvested them.
At the same time, trees growing outside forests (TOFs), including farm forestry, play more important role in meeting national timber requirements than government forests.
Present level of availability of timber is more from TOFs than government forests.
Productivity is much higher and cost of timber production is much lower under farm forestry, as compared to forests (natural forests as well as plantations).

Involvement of the Military and Paramilitary
Armed and paramilitary forces deployed on the nation’s borders have effective control over vast habitats that are critical to a number of montane and other species. Their active involvement in the conservation of these areas would not only prevent poaching by these
personnel themselves as has been the case in the past, but will prevent poaching and habitat degradation by others, prevent illegal transit of wildlife products and will provide periodic data to the wildlife authorities concerned as to the status and distribution of a large number of taxa about which very little is known. Similarly, if sensitized, the Air
Force and the Navy could also be of invaluable help in this regard, to both carry out surveys in remote areas and to prevent illegal traffic in wildlife products.
The Army has set up a special unit called the Environment and Ecology Cell, which deals with conservation aspects. It has been in touch with the MoEF for a number of years. It would be appropriate if MoEF, the cell and concerned State Governments work out collaborative projects in different selected areas for long-term conservation efforts, involving strict protection of areas and species, especially endangered species, their status surveys, and the prevention of the passage of illegal wildlife trade.
The Indian Army today is one of the largest landholders in the country with establishments located in different ecosystems and biogeographic zones. Their locations, deployment, and nature of duty, binds them with land and nature. Today, the real estate of the Army comprises 62 cantonments, 192 military stations, depots/training establishments, maneuver areas, firing ranges and military farms.
The Indian Army is deployed in many areas rich in ecological diversity, like the Rann of
Kutch, the Thar Desert, the length and breadth of the Himalaya, the tropical rain forests of northeast India, the Western Ghats and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. This and the fact that the bulk of the manpower is recruited from rural areas, gives the jawan an edge in understanding nature and the intricate web of life. The very organizational structure, training, motivation, discipline inter-communications and mobility, make the Army ideally suited for environmental protection, when not otherwise employed on the prime task of national security.

List of Proposed Wildlife Sanctuaries in India

State/ U.T. | Biounit | Wildlife Sanctuary | Area (in .) | Andhra Pradesh | 06C | DONUBHAVI | 700.00 | | 06C | GUDEM MARRIPAKALA | 700.00 | | 06D | ANANTGIRI | 200.00 | | 06E | MUDINANIPALLI | 60.00 | | 08B | NAVPADA | 20.00 | | 08B | SRI HARIKOTA | 20.00 | Arunachal Pradesh | 02D | KARSINGA NALA | 20.00 | | 02D | LADO | 500.00 | | 02D | MOULING | 700.00 | | 02D | PALIN | 250.00 | | 02D | RANGEGHAT | 20.00 | | 02D | TAWANG | 300.00 | | 02D | WALONG | 300.00 | Assam | 09A | DESANGMUKH | 90.00 | | 09A | KURUA | 40.00 | | 09A | MIKIR HILLS | 200.00 | | 09A | PABHA | 49.00 | | 09A | POBA | 90.00 | | 09A | RIPU CHIRANG | 300.00 | | 09B | BARAIL | 300.00 | | 09B | BARAK | 190.00 | | 09B | DHANSIRI | 100.00 | | 09B | INNERLINE | 100.00 | Bihar | 07B | BARAITAL | 6.00 | | 07B | BLACKBUCK REFUGE | 5.00 | | 07B | GOGABIL | 6.00 | | 07B | KUSHESHWARASTAN | 25.00 | Chhattishgarh | 06A | AMARKANTAK | 300.00 | | 06A | KAWARDHA | 200.00 | | 06C | GOLLAPALLI | 300.00 | | 06C | SAIMURA | 300.00 | | 06D | HAZDO BASIN | 200.00 | Goa | 08A | CARAMBOLIM | 1.00 | Gujarat | 03B | BANNI | 20.00 | | 03B | MANDVI | 20.00 | | 04B | GIRNAR | 77.00 | | 04B | SUNDERPURA | 2.00 | | 04B | WETLAND | 100.00 | | 08A | CAMBAY | 20.00 | | 08A | KORI CREEK | 50.00 | Haryana | 04A | MORNI HILL | 60.30 | | 04A | NIMBI-DALOTH | 6.00 | | 04A | SOHLA-BUDDIN | 5.00 | Himachal Pradesh | 01A | PANDRABIS | 575.00 | | 01A | PIN VALLEY | 200.00 | Jammu & Kashmir | 01A | BOODH KARBU | 80.00 | | 01A | GYA-MIRU | 340.00 | | 01A | KANJI | 300.00 |

State/ U.T. | Biounit | Wildlife Sanctuary | Area (in .) | | 01A | LOWER SURU | 100.00 | | 01A | RANGDUM | 550.00 | | 01A | RIZONG-BASGO | 400.00 | | 01A | SABU-CHAKUR | 70.00 | | 01A | TONGRI | 70.00 | | 01A | HEMIS | 3300.00 | | 01A | LUNGNAG | 1000.00 | | 02A | KHANDADAR | 50.00 | | 02A | PIR PANJAL | 100.00 | Jharkhand | 06B | MUTA MUGGER | 5.00 | | 06B | OLD RESERVE | 60.00 | Karnataka | 05A | PILARKHAN | 10.00 | | 05B | AMMEDIKAL | 100.00 | | 06D | CHINCHOLI | 172.00 | | 06E | BILGI | 20.00 | | 08A | HONAVAR RIVERINE | 20.00 | | 08A | KUNDAPUR | 1.00 | | 08A | SAND-ROCK COAST | 2.00 | Kerala | 05A | CHIRIKALA | 20.00 | | 05A | KURATHIMALAI | 200.00 | | 05A | PALAMALA | 100.00 | | 05A | BHARATHAPUZHA | 5.00 | | 05B | AGASTYAMALAI | 281.00 | | 05B | ANAMUDI | 207.00 | | 05B | KARIMPUZHA | 225.00 | | 05B | SABARIGIRI-ACHENCOIL | 244.00 | | 05B | SHOLA FOREST | 100.00 | | 08A | MALABAR WETLAND | 5.00 | | 08A | KUMARKON | 5.00 | Madhya Pradesh | 06A | SHYAMGIRI | 100.00 | | 06A | CHACHAI FALLS | 254.00 | | 06A | KALIBHIT | 425.00 | | 06D | BALAI | 200.00 | | 06D | LANGUR-KHARIA | 250.00 | | 06D | RANGAWANA DAM | 50.00 | | 06D | SOUTH KHARGAON | 100.00 | | 06D | TURUV-BARIA | 150.00 | | 06D | WEST CHINDWARA | 200.00 | Maharashtra | 05A | VIKROHOLI | 7.00 | | 05B | MAHABELESHWAR | 50.00 | | 05B | RAJAMACHI (REV. FATHER SANTAPAU ) | 70.00 | | 05B | MULA MUTHA | 1.00 | | 05B | TAMNI-SUDHAGAD | 224.24 | | 06D | DAREKASA | 100.00 | | 06D | ITIADOH-RAJOLI | 388.00 | | 06D | MAHADEO HILLS | 200.00 | | 06D | MALKHED | 144.00 | | 06D | MAYANI LAKE | 4.00 | | 06D | UJANI | 100.00 | | 06D | KOPELA | 300.00 | | 06D | ISAPUR | 121.55 |

State/ U.T. | Biounit | Wildlife Sanctuary | Area (in .) | | 06E | AKOLA GRASSLAND | 100.00 | | 08A | DASGAON | 5.00 | Manipur | 09B | DZUKO | 200.00 | | 09B | IMPHAL BOTANICAL GARDEN | 2.00 | | 09B | KANGPOKPI | 89.00 | | 09B | KONUNG GROVE | 1.00 | | 09B | MAHABALI GROVE | 1.00 | | 09B | SIROI | 200.00 | | 09B | BUNNING | 115.80 | | 09B | JIRIMAKRU | 198.00 | Meghalaya | 09B | RONGRENGRI | 200.00 | | 09B | SAIPUNG LINK | 300.00 | | 09B | GARAMPANI | 5.00 | | 09B | MAWSMAI | 5.00 | Mizoram | 09B | PHAWNGPUI | 60.00 | | 09B | LUNGKULH (RENGDIL) | 10.00 | Nagaland | 09B | DZUKO-PULIEBADZE | 70.00 | | 09B | KISA | 30.00 | | 09B | MACAQUE | 30.00 | | 09B | SHARAMATI | 200.00 | | 09B | SHILOI | 100.00 | | 09B | TIYI PEAK | 5.00 | Orissa | 06B | KAPILASH | 126.00 | | 06B | SAPTASAJYA | 20.00 | | 06B | MALYAGIRI | 114.00 | | 06B | KUKUDADHAR | 174.00 | | 06B | ANANTAPUR | 186.02 | | 06B | LACHMIDUNGURI | 3.18 | | 06B | PRADHANPAT | 105.00 | | 06C | BALIMELA | 260.00 | | 06C | BELGHAT | 493.00 | | 06C | CHANDRAPUR | 471.00 | | 06C | KONDAKAMBERU | 430.00 | | 06C | MAHENDRAGIRI SINGARAJ | 50.00 | | 06C | NARAYANPATNA | 430.00 | | 06C | SRIRAMPUR | 109.00 | | 06C | GANDHAMARDHAN | 62.00 | | 06C | GUPTESWAR | 517.00 | | 06C | MUKTESWAR | 20.00 | | 06C | RUSHIKULYA-MAGARMUKH | 120.18 | | 08B | CHILIKA | 100.00 | | 08B | BHETNOI | 150.00 | Punjab | 04A | KANJALI | 5.00 | | 04A | NARA | 20.00 | Rajasthan | 03A | GAJNER | 10.00 | | 03A | KANDOWALA RANN | 200.00 | | 03A | SIWANA | 200.00 | | 03A | DIYATRA-BAP | 10.00 | | 03A | JODHPUR SAFARI | 10.00 | | 03A | NOKHA | 50.00 | | 03A | PANCHPADRA | 20.00 |

State/ U.T. | Biounit | Wildlife Sanctuary | Area (in .) | | 06E | AKOLA GRASSLAND | 100.00 | | 08A | DASGAON | 5.00 | Manipur | 09B | DZUKO | 200.00 | | 09B | IMPHAL BOTANICAL GARDEN | 2.00 | | 09B | KANGPOKPI | 89.00 | | 09B | KONUNG GROVE | 1.00 | | 09B | MAHABALI GROVE | 1.00 | | 09B | SIROI | 200.00 | | 09B | BUNNING | 115.80 | | 09B | JIRIMAKRU | 198.00 | Meghalaya | 09B | RONGRENGRI | 200.00 | | 09B | SAIPUNG LINK | 300.00 | | 09B | GARAMPANI | 5.00 | | 09B | MAWSMAI | 5.00 | Mizoram | 09B | PHAWNGPUI | 60.00 | | 09B | LUNGKULH (RENGDIL) | 10.00 | Nagaland | 09B | DZUKO-PULIEBADZE | 70.00 | | 09B | KISA | 30.00 | | 09B | MACAQUE | 30.00 | | 09B | SHARAMATI | 200.00 | | 09B | SHILOI | 100.00 | | 09B | TIYI PEAK | 5.00 | Orissa | 06B | KAPILASH | 126.00 | | 06B | SAPTASAJYA | 20.00 | | 06B | MALYAGIRI | 114.00 | | 06B | KUKUDADHAR | 174.00 | | 06B | ANANTAPUR | 186.02 | | 06B | LACHMIDUNGURI | 3.18 | | 06B | PRADHANPAT | 105.00 | | 06C | BALIMELA | 260.00 | | 06C | BELGHAT | 493.00 | | 06C | CHANDRAPUR | 471.00 | | 06C | KONDAKAMBERU | 430.00 | | 06C | MAHENDRAGIRI SINGARAJ | 50.00 | | 06C | NARAYANPATNA | 430.00 | | 06C | SRIRAMPUR | 109.00 | | 06C | GANDHAMARDHAN | 62.00 | | 06C | GUPTESWAR | 517.00 | | 06C | MUKTESWAR | 20.00 | | 06C | RUSHIKULYA-MAGARMUKH | 120.18 | | 08B | CHILIKA | 100.00 | | 08B | BHETNOI | 150.00 | Punjab | 04A | KANJALI | 5.00 | | 04A | NARA | 20.00 | Rajasthan | 03A | GAJNER | 10.00 | | 03A | KANDOWALA RANN | 200.00 | | 03A | SIWANA | 200.00 | | 03A | DIYATRA-BAP | 10.00 | | 03A | JODHPUR SAFARI | 10.00 | | 03A | NOKHA | 50.00 | | 03A | PANCHPADRA | 20.00 |

State/ U.T. | Biounit | Wildlife Sanctuary | Area (in .) | | 10A | INTERVIEW ISLET GROUP (13) | 0.00 | | 10A | KAMORTA | 0.00 | | 10A | MIDDLE BUTTON | 0.60 | | 10A | NORTH ANDAMAN PENINSULA | 100.00 | | 10A | NORTH ANDAMAN RIDGE | 100.00 | | 10A | MOUNT DIAVOLO | 100.00 | | 10A | SOUTH-WEST MANGROVE | 50.00 | | 10A | SOUTH ISLET GROUP (13) | 0.00 | | 10B | CAMPBELL BAY PEN. | 10.00 | | 10B | GREAT NICOBAR ISLANDS | 200.00 | | 10B | MOUNT THULLIER | 100.00 | | 10B | KATCHALL ISLAND | 50.00 | Dadra & Nagar Haveli | 05B | SATMALIYA | 90.00 | Daman & Diu | 08A | NATURE PARK | 1.00 | | 08A | BIRD SANCTUARY | 5.00 | Lakshadweep | 08C | BALIAPANI | 0.00 | | | Total 217 | 33663.03 | Source : Rodgers, Panwar & Mathur, 2002 & NWDC 2006 |


Wildlife Of India By Shobhna Gupta
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India's Wildlife History: An Introduction By M. Rangarajan

Wildlife Biodiversity Conservation By Mallapureddi Vikram Reddy

Trends in Wildlife Biodiversity Conservation and Management By B.B. Hosetti, M. Venkateshwarlu

Sustainable Development, Poaching, and Illegal Wildlife Trade in India By Shekhar Kumar Nira


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