Wildlife Conservation

wildlife-conservation-indiaIndia has a rich natural heritage and a long tradition of conservation. The ashram ( hermitages) of the great sages, which were the seats of learning in ancient times, were almost always located in sylvan surroundings that symbolised the conservation ethics of the day. Indian mythology is relete with references to people's regard and love for wild animals. Different animasl and birds were associated with different gods as their servants and vehicles. These animals and birds, therefore, were held sacred by various communities, which ensured their protection. Kautily in the Arthashastra promulgated the first recorded game laws in the third century BC. In the year 252 BC, Emperor Ashoka passed laws for the protection of many types of animals and forests. These laws created what may well be the earliest instances of protected areas as we call them today.

Though, love and respect for nature is an integral part of India's culture, the country today confronts the sad paradox of fast dissappearing wildlife. A typical developing country, mordern India struggles with the stiff challenge of finding solutions to development problems. But some solutions that have been worked out pose serious threats to the country's Wildlife. Human population pressure, widespread industrialisation, hunger for land and the cruising pressure exerted on the forests by livestock and by people's needs for firewood and small timber are the main causes of the present plight of wildlife. The result is there for everyone to see: our prime forests and wildlife reduced to a shadow of their former self. India has already lost several species of their former self. India has already lost several species of mammals, reptiles, birds, and other life forms. As so little is known about the actual biological diversity of the country, we may not even be fully cognizant of the true extent of the loss and can only mourn the few well - known examples of the tragic extinction of wild animals and birds such as the Indian Cheetah, the mountain Quail, or the Pink - headed Duck.

The population of tiger which was believed to be around 40,000 by some experts only a century ago was down to only 1,827 animals by 1972 ! The asiatic lion, which adorns the country's national emblem, is today confimed to a small pocket in the gir forests of gujarat. A number of deer species like the hangul of kashmir, the barasingha of Madhya Pradesh, the brow-antlered deer of Manipur, and antelope like the Himalayan tahr - all adorn the list of endangered species.

Many Initiatives in Wildlife Conservation have been taken Since then. These Includes.
• The enactment of the wildlife ( Protection ) Act, 1972 and, subsequently, the forest ( Conservation ) Act, 1980 ;

• The inclusion of wildlife conservation in the Concurrent List of the constitution;

• the enlargement of the network of national parks and sanctuaries ;

• the launch of project tiger in 1973;

• the crocodile Breeding project , 1975;

• Project Elephant, early 1991 ;

• Project Hangul, 1970;

• Manipur Brow - antlered Deer Conservation Project, 1973;

• regulation of wildlife trade and commerce;

• strengthening of education and training facilities, which culminated in the establishment of the wildlife Institute of India; and

• various efforts to increase general awarness about nature conservation
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