A REPORT ONWILDLIFE CONSERVATION PRESENTED BY: VIVEK PRASAD
Table of ContentsS.No. Content Page Number 1. Introduction 1 2. Wildlife Of India 2 3. Need Of Conservation 4 4. Wildlife Protection Act 5 5. Biosphere Reserves 7 6. Conservation Challenges 8 7. Impact Of Introduced Species 8 8. Habitat Destruction 9 9. Chains Of Extinction 10 10. Recent Event 10 11. Role Of An Individual 12 12. Conclusion 13
INTRODUCTIONWildlife includes all non-domesticated plants, animals and other organisms.Domesticating wild plant and animal species for human benefit has occurred manytimes all over the planet, and has a major impact on the environment, both positiveand negative.Wildlife can be found in all ecosystems. Deserts, rain forests, plains, and otherareas 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 byhuman factors, most scientists agree that wildlife around the world is impacted byhuman activities.Humans have historically tended to separate civilization from wildlife in a numberof ways including the legal, social, and moral sense. This has been a reason fordebate throughout recorded history. Religions have often declared certain animalsto be sacred, and in modern times concern for the natural environment hasprovoked activists to protest the exploitation of wildlife for human benefit orentertainment. Literature has also made use of the traditional human separationfrom wildlife.Wildlife has long been a common subject for educational televisionshows. National Geographic specials appeared on CBS beginning in 1965, latermoving to ABC and then PBS. In 1963, NBC debuted Wild Kingdom, a popularprogram featuring zoologist Marlin Perkins as host. The BBC natural historyunit in the UK was a similar pioneer, the first wildlife series LOOK presentedby Sir Peter Scott, was a studio-based show, with filmed inserts. It was in this seriesthat David Attenborough first made his appearance which led to the series ZooQuest during which he and cameraman Charles Lagus went to many exotic placeslooking for elusive wildlife—notably the Komodo dragon in Indonesiaand lemurs in Madagascar. Since 1984, the Discovery Channel and its spinoff Animal Planet in the USA have dominated the market for shows about wildlifeon cable television, while on PBS the NATURE strand made by WNET-13 inNew York and NOVA by WGBH in Boston are notable. See also Naturedocumentary. Wildlife television is now a multi-million dollar industry with
specialist documentary film-makers in many countries including UK, USA, NewZealand NHNZ, Australia, Austria, Germany, Japan, and Canada. Wildlife of IndiaThe wildlife of India is a mix of species of diverse origins. The regions rich anddiverse wildlife is preserved in numerous national parks and wildlife sanctuariesacross the country. Since India is home to a number of rare and threatenedanimal species, wildlife management in the country is essential to preserve thesespecies. According to one study, India along with 17 mega diverse countries ishome to about 60-70% of the worlds biodiversity.India, lying within the Indomalaya ecozone, is home to about 7.6% ofall mammalian, 12.6% of avian, 6.2% of reptilian, and 6.0% of floweringplant species. Many ecoregions, such as the shola forests, also exhibit extremelyhigh rates of endemism; overall, 33% of Indian plant species are endemic. Indias forest cover ranges from the [[The International Red Cross and RedCrescent Movement is an international humanitarian movement with
approximately 97 million volunteers worldwide which started to protect humanlife and health, to ensure respect for the human being, and to prevent and alleviatehuman suffering, without any discrimination based on nationality, race, sex,religious beliefs, class or political opinions. Tropical of the AndamanIslands, Western Ghats, and Northeast India to the coniferous forest of theHimalaya. Between these extremes lie the sal-dominated moist deciduous forest ofeastern India; teak-dominated dry deciduous forest of central and southern India;and the babul-dominated thorn forest of the central Deccan and western Gangeticplain. Important Indian trees include the medicinal neem, widely used in ruralIndian herbal remedies. The pipal fig tree, shown on the seals of Mohen-jo-daro,shaded the Gautama Buddha as he sought enlightenment.Many Indian species are descendants of taxa originating in Gondwana, to whichIndia originally belonged. Peninsular Indias subsequent movement towards, andcollision with, the Laurasian landmass set off a mass exchange of species.However, volcanism and climatic change 20 million years ago causedthe extinction of many endemic Indian forms. Soon thereafter, mammals enteredIndia from Asia through two zoogeographical passes on either side of theemerging Himalaya.As a result, among Indian species, only 12.6% of mammalsand 4.5% of birds are endemic, contrasting with 45.8% of reptiles and 55.8% ofamphibians. Notable endemics are the Nilgiri leaf monkey and the brown andcarmine Beddomes 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 Indias wildlife; inresponse, the system of national parks and protected areas, first established in1935, was substantially expanded. Along with over 500 wildlife sanctuaries, Indianow hosts 15 biosphere reserves, four of which are part of the World Network ofBiosphere Reserves; 25 wetlands are registered under the Ramsar Convention.The varied and rich wildlife of India has had a profound impact on the regionspopular culture. Common name for wilderness in India is Jungle which wasadopted by the British colonialists to the English language. The word has been alsomade famous in The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. Indias wildlife has been thesubject of numerous other tales and fables such as the Panchatantra and the Jatakatales.
Need for conservation of wildlife in IndiaThe need for conservation of wildlife in India is often questioned because of theapparently incorrect priority in the face of direct poverty of the people. HoweverArticle 48 of the Constitution of India specifies that, "The state shall endeavour toprotect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife ofthe country" and Article 51-A states that "it shall be the duty of every citizen ofIndia to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes,rivers, and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures.The most endangered Indian top predator of 2010, the dhole is on edge ofextinction. There remain less than 2500 members of species in the world.Large and charismatic mammals are important for wildlife tourism in India andseveral national parks and wildlife sanctuaries cater to these needs. ProjectTiger started in 1972 is a major effort to conserve the tiger and its habitats. At theturn of the 20th century, one estimate of the tiger population in India placed thefigure at 40,000, yet an Indian tiger census conducted in 2008 revealed theexistence of only 1411 tigers. Various pressures in the later part of the 20th centuryled to the progressive decline of wilderness resulting in the disturbance of viable
tiger habitats. At the International Union for Conservation of Nature and NaturalResources (IUCN) General Assembly meeting in Delhi in 1969, serious concernwas voiced about the threat to several species of wildlife and the shrinkage ofwilderness in the India. In 1970, a national ban on tiger hunting was imposed andin 1972 the Wildlife Protection Act came into force. The framework was then setup to formulate a project for tiger conservation with an ecological approach.Launched on April 1, 1973, Project Tiger has become one of the most successfulconservation ventures in modern history. The project aims at tiger conservation inspecially constituted tiger reserves which are representative of various bio-geographical regions falling within India. It strives to maintain a viable tigerpopulation in their natural environment. Today, there are 39 Project Tiger wildlifereserves in India covering an area more than of 37,761 km².Project Elephant, though less known, started in 1992 and works for elephantprotection in India. Most of Indias rhinos today survive in the KazirangaNational Park. Wildlife Protection ActThe Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 refers to asweeping package of legislation enacted in 1972 by theGovernment of India. Before 1972, India only had fivedesignated national parks. Among other reforms, theAct established schedules of protected plant andanimal species; hunting or harvesting these species waslargely outlawed.The Act provides for the protection of wild animals, birds andplants; and for matters connected therewith or ancillary orincidental thereto. It extends to the whole of India, except theState of Jammu and Kashmir which has its own wildlife act. It has six schedules which give varyingdegrees of protection. Schedule I and part II of Schedule II provide absolute protection - offencesunder these are prescribed the highest penalties. Species listed in Schedule IV are also protected,
but the penalties are much lower. Enforcement authorities have the power to compound offencesunder this Schedule (i.e. they impose fines on the offenders). Up to April 2010 there have been 16convictions under this act relating to the death of tigers.Definitions under the Act (Section 2): • "animal" includes amphibians, birds, mammals, and reptiles, and their young, and also includes, in the cases of birds and reptiles, their eggs. • "animal article" means an article made from any captive or wild animal, other than vermin, and includes an article or object in which the whole or any part of such animal has been used and an article made there from. • "hunting" includes (a) capturing, killing, poisoning, snaring, or trapping any wild animal, and every attempt to do so (b) driving any wild animal for any of the purposes specified in sub clause (c) injuring, destroying or taking any body part of any such animal, or in the case of wild birds or reptiles, disturbing or damaging the eggs or nests of such birds or reptiles. • "taxidermy" means the curing, preparation or preservation of trophies. • "trophy" means the whole or any part of any captive or wild animal (other than vermin) which has been kept or preserved by any means, whether artificial or natural. This includes: (a) rugs, skins, and specimens of such animals mounted in whole or in part through a process of taxidermy (b) antler, horn, rhinoceros horn, feather, nail, tooth, musk, eggs, and nests. • "uncured trophy" means the whole or any part of any captive animal (other than vermin) which has not undergone a process of taxidermy. This includes a freshly killed wild animal, ambergris, musk and other animal products. • "vermin" means any wild animal specified in Schedule V. • "wildlife" includes any animal, bees, butterflies, crustacean, fish and moths; and aquatic or land vegetation which forms part of any habitat.
Penalties (Section 51): Penalties are prescribed in section 51. Enforcement can beperformed by agencies such as the Forest Department, the Police, the Customsand the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Charge sheets can be filed directlyby the Forest Department. Other enforcement agencies, often due to the lack oftechnical expertise, hand over cases to the Forest Department. Some Biosphere ReservesThe Indian government has established 15 Biosphere Reserves of India whichprotect larger areas of natural habitat and often include one or more NationalParks and/or preserves, along buffer zones that are open to some economic uses.Protection is granted not only to the flora and fauna of the protected region, butalso to the human communities who inhabit these regions, and their ways of life.The 15 Bio-reserves in India are- 1. Sunderbans 2. Gulf of Mannar 3. The Nilgiris 4. Nanda Devi 5. Nokrek 6. Great Nicobar 7. Manas 8. Simlipal 9. Dihang Dibang 10. Dibru Saikhowa 11. Agasthyamalai 12. Kanchenjunga 13. Pachmarhi 14. Achanakmar-Amarkantak 15. Kachchh
CONSERVATION CHALLENGESThe challenges to conservation of large mammals in a developing country likeIndia are complex. The needs of a burgeoning human population and theconsequent growth of the market where India has become part of the expandingglobal economy has been at the centre of conservation problems of our country.The protected wildlife areas constitute a mere 3% of the total land mass with ever-increasing pressure on thisfragmented landscape. Anyfurther exploitation of the lastremaining bits of protected areasto meet human and developmentneeds, which in any event need tobe met by using 97% of thelandscape, will surely lead to thedecimation of large mammalassemblages.Conservation of large mammals inIndia is beset with seriousproblems such as habitat loss, fragmentation of forests, illegal hunting, commercialexploitation of forest products, livestock grazing, forest fires, unscientificmanagement practises and ignorance of the need for wildlife conservation. Allthese have together contributed to the decline of wildlife and forests, whichtherefore need to be understood in this context.The Challenges>> Progressive loss of habitat including fragmentation>> Illegal hunting and wildlife trade>> Commercial exploitation of forests>> Removal of dead and fallen trees>> Collection of minor forest produce>> Livestock grazing
>> Fire>> Unscientific management practices Impact of introduced speciesMice, cats, rabbits, dandelions and poison ivy are all examples of species that havebecome invasive threats to wild species in various parts of the world. Frequentlyspecies that are uncommon in their home range become out-of-control invasionsin distant but similar climates. The reasons for this have not always been clearand Charles Darwin felt it was unlikely that exotic species would ever be able togrow abundantly in a place in which they had not evolved. The reality is that thevast majority of species exposed to a new habitat do not reproduce successfully.Occasionally, however, some populations do take hold and after a period ofacclimation can increase in numbers significantly, having destructive effects onmany elements of the native environment of which they have become part. Habitat destruction and fragmentationDeforestation and increased road-building in the Amazon Rainforest are asignificant 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 the 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 unclear woodland or forestdotted in-between occasional paddocks.
Examples of habitat destruction include grazing of bush land by farmed animals,changes to natural fire regimes, forest clearing for timber production and wetlanddraining for city expansion. Chains of extinctionThis final group is one of secondary effects. All wild populations of living thingshave many complex intertwining links with other living things around them. Largeherbivorous animals such as the hippopotamus have populationsof insectivorous birds that feed off the many parasitic insects that grow on thehippo. Should the hippo die out, so too will these groups of birds, leading tofurther destruction as other species dependent on the birds are affected. Alsoreferred to as a Domino effect, this series of chain reactions is by far the mostdestructive process that can occur in any ecological community.Another example is the black drongos and the cattle egrets found in India. Thesebirds 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 result a decrease in thecattle population because of the spread of insect-borne diseases. Recent EventAccording to the websitewww.saveourtigers.com,which has been put up byAircel as part of theirincredible campaign a totalof 118,191 people havelogged on to sign theirsupport for the tiger. Thetruth is that the campaignhas touched a chord with
young persons. And the tiger needs young people more than anyone else in theworld.Recently at a climate change panel discussion organised in New Delhi by the TataConsultancy Services, Lord Nicholas Stern made an impassioned plea to thisgeneration to take quick action on climate change and he emphasised thatprotecting biodiversity, forests and ecosystems was the fastest and surest way tomove in the right direction for climate stability. This is what everyone who hasever worked to protect Indias tiger reserves has been doing for over three decades.What Aircels campaign has done is to create a solid constituency for the tiger inIndia and this constituency, almost entirely made up of young persons, is notwilling to take things lying down any longer: "Why is our government not doingthe obvious things -- equip and support our guards, enhance intelligence, preventhabitat destruction?" they ask.This morning I met a truly vibrant bunch of people at the Gateway of India inMumbai, who were inspired by Aircels save our Tigers campaign. Their group hascome up with a name and a mission for themselves: SEWA TIGERS. "We reallydo not want to wait for others to act," said Hans Dalal one of the young activists."I am a sound engineer and have worked with professional documentary filmproducers. I want to channel my talents to the advantage of the tiger."I believe that there are lakhs of "ready to walk the talk" guys like Hans and thetruth is they can make a huge difference. So, heres hoping young people inspiredby this latest tiger campaign will a) learn more about the real issues b) support orjoin existing groups working for the tiger and c) get vocal to place pressure on thePrime Minister and all politicians so that the development priorities of our countryinclude the protection of tigers and tiger habitats. This is not really very difficult.Vast Reserved Forest lands are languishing... they must be regenerated. Connectingcorridors between good tiger reserves must be strengthened.
How can one help conserve the environment and wildlife? Since public opinion and awareness are two critical factors that will finally make a difference, here is an outline of some activities that you could consider.• Try to learn as much as possible about India’s wildlife (from books, the internet, seminars and talks), and about the importance of the ‘Web of Life’.• Get people involved in your cause - in your colony, in your colleges and schools as well as your local MLAs.• Organise trips to local wildlife areas, or botanical gardens and the zoo.• Keep in touch with media people.• Keep in touch with Forest Department - often they need volunteers for some of their field activities.• Keep in touch with the Honorary Wildlife Warden and conservation NGOs in your area. Offer assistance wherever possible.• In day to day life, remember the six Rs: Refuse Reduce Re-use Reinvent Recycle (paper, plastic etc) Replenish (water-harvesting, planting trees etc).
ConclusionThe natural world is a complex system. Only by understanding how species relateto each other and their environment can we hope to properly protect wildlife andpreserve their habitat for the future.The best scenario would imply integrated community development and wildlifeconservation promoted by national park managers and supported by localpopulations. Community-based conservation should give indigenous people theright to limited and sustainable use of natural resources while promoting tolerancetowards wildlife, responsible interaction with their natural villagers, appreciatenature’s intrinsic value and agree with the necessity to protect forests and theirwildlife inhabitants for future generations. Their positive attitude towardsconservation arises from the use of natural resources such as regulated harvestingof non-timber forest products, the use of waterholes and fishing.Local peoples’ participation is now widely advocated in development andconservation, as well as a reduction in the dependence of rural communities onagriculture and farming. In order to enhance protected area effectiveness,conservation should be based on sound scientific knowledge, practical localindigenous knowledge and collaboration.Protected areas and the presence of wild animal populations inflict costs on localcommunities and can erode local support and tolerance. In turn, indigenous peoplecan develop a negative attitude towards reserves and wildlife, exacerbating theconflict and undermining conservation efforts. In order to break this cycle, there isa need to protect rural livelihoods, reduce their vulnerability, and counterbalancelosses with benefits and foster community-based conservation. Both people andwildlife suffer tangible consequences and different stakeholders involved shouldcommit themselves to tackle and resolve the conflict in the near future.Jawaharlal Nehru had truly said “A country is known by the way it treats itsanimals”.