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December 4 – World Wildlife Conservation Day

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World Wildlife Conservation is an international natural movement, to protect and preserve the nature and its inhabitant. A number of wild species are killed daily without caring about the consequences, which could be the end of the environment, biodiversity and ultimately humankind.

Wildlife Conservation Day seeks to raise awareness about the detrimental security, economic, and environmental effects of wildlife poaching and trafficking; discourage consumer demand for products made from endangered species; and demonstrate efforts by citizens, activists, private corporations, and governments to bring an end to the illicit wildlife trade

Threat to Wildlife:

  • Habitat destruction and fragmentation.
  • Over exploitation
  • Poaching and Hunting
  • Culling
  • Pollution
  • Climate Change

Why we need to conserve the Wildlife?

For maintaining a healthy ecological balance on this earth, animals, plants and marine species are as important as humans. Each organism on this earth has a unique place in food chain that helps contribute to the ecosystem in its own special way. But, sadly today, many of the animals and birds are getting endangered. The natural habitats of animals and plants are being destroyed for land development and farming by humans. Poaching and hunting of animals for fur, jewelry, meat and leather are other great factors contributing to wildlife extinction. If soon, no stringent steps are taken to save wildlife, it would not be long when they will find a place only on the list of extinct species. And that would not be all! The extinction of wildlife species will certainly have a fatal impact on human race as well. So, for us as humans, it becomes a great responsibility to save the wildlife, our planet and most importantly, our own selves.

Conservation Methods

  • Wildlife Population Monitoring
  • Governmental approach
  • Non- Governmental Approach
  • Individual Awareness

India’s approach to conserve Wildlife

  • Project Tiger : The project aims at ensuring a viable population of Bengal tigers in their natural habitats, protecting them from extinction, and preserving areas of biological importance as a natural heritage forever represented as close as possible the diversity of ecosystems across the distribution of tigers in the country.

India is now home to nearly 3,000 tigers, a third more than it had four years ago, according to the latest tiger census. The tiger population had risen from 2,226 in 2014 to 2,967 in 2018.

  • Project Elephant : The project aims to ensure the long-term survival to the populations of elephants in their natural habitats by protecting the elephants, their habitats and migration corridors. Other goals of Project Elephant are supporting the research of the ecology and management of elephants, creating awareness of conservation among local people, providing improved veterinary care for captive elephants.

As per 2017’s census of elephants, India is home 27,312 elephants accounting for 55 per cent of total world elephant population.

  • Crocodile Conservation Project : This project is yet another successful venture by Government of India to conserve the Indian Crocodiles, whose species were on the verge of extinction once. The project also contributes towards the conservation in a plethora of related fields. The main objectives of the crocodile project is to protect the remaining population of crocodiles and their natural habitat by establishing sanctuaries; to promote captive breeding; to improve management; and to involve the local people in the project intimately. It is worth noticing that with the initiation of Crocodile Conservation Project, 4000 gharial/aligator, 1800 mugger/crocodile and 1500 saltwater crocodiles could be restocked.

These are the major projects undertaken by Government of India to protect wildlife for a specific habitat. There are other project and steps taken to preserve and protect the wildlife which includes :

  • In the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, GOI created Protected Areas like National Parks, Sanctuaries, Conservation Reserves and Community Reserves for the wildlife and imposed punishments on those indulged in illegal act of hunting.
  • Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rules 2010 have been drafted to protect of wetlands in India. The Central Government has also initiated the scheme, National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Eco-System that lends assistance to the states for the sound management of all wetlands.
  • In order to curb the illegal trade of wildlife and that of endangered species, Wildlife Crime Control Bureau has been established.
  • Special organizations like Wildlife Institute of India, Bombay Natural History society and Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History are formed to conduct research on conservation of wildlife.
  • To check the dwindling population of Gyps vulture in India, Government of India has banned the veterinary use of diclofenac drug.
  • For restocking of the endangered species, the Central Government first initiated Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitat Scheme and later modified it by including a new component, Recovery of Endangered Species which included animals like Hangul/stag deer in Jammu & Kashmir, Vultures in Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat, Snow Leopard in Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh, Swiftlet in Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Nilgiri Tahr in Tamil Nadu, Sangai Deer in Manipur. Financial and technical assistance is also extended to the state government to provide better means of protection and conservation for the specified species.
  • The State Governments have been asked to strengthen the field formations and increase patrolling in and around the Protected Areas.
  • GOI intensified anti-poaching activities and initiated special patrolling strategy for monsoon season. Also, deployment of anti-poaching squad.
  • In order to strengthen tiger conservation, National Tiger Conservation Authority is constituted by Government of India.
  • A Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) has also been constituted and is deployed in Karnataka, Maharashtra and Odisha.
  • E-Surveillance has been started in Kaziranga National Park in Assam and borders of Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh.

Latest Updates in India:

  • Officials of Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) have decided to switch off bright lights at the missile testing centre at Abdul Kalam island near Nasi 1 and Nasi 2 islands within Gahiramatha marine sanctuary to facilitate smooth arrival of Olive Ridley sea turtles to lay eggs.




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