By Anjali Wadhwa:
Our childhood memories were made sweeter by stories like Jungle Book and Lion King. Life in the woods used to amuse us a lot through the different characters of wild animals residing in jungles. What if our coming generations only knew those beautiful and vivacious animals in tales and stories?
The diverse terrain of India abodes scores of exotic wildlife species of flora and fauna. However, there are several reasons behind the rising need for wildlife conservation. Illegal trading and poaching is one of the most significant reasons of alarming decrease in wildlife population. Each year, lots of animals are poached for their teeth, skin, flesh and bone in exchange of money, weapons and gold. Additionally, demand for the items made of bone, skin or fur is high in the western markets.
Deforestation is also a major reason leading towards the habitat loss for wildlife species. In several instances, animals wander into the towns in quest of food and they are killed by frightened people living there.
Major Wildlife Conservation Projects In India
Showing the brighter side, there are several initiatives taken in India in order to conserve wildlife. Here are some of the significant projects.
Project Tiger: Considering the notably low tiger population in India, Project Tiger was launched in the year 1973. The major aim to roll out this project was to set up several tiger reserves in the country to make the regal beasts feel safe and augment their population by breeding in their natural habitat. Corbett National Park was first to be listed under this project.
Project Elephant: Initiated in 1992, Project Elephant was started with the aim to offer technical and financial support to elephant bearing states in order to protect these giant mammals. This project takes comprehensive to subsidiary concerns of human-elephant conflict. Project Elephant also looks at research on issues related to elephant management. Moreover, the project targets the development of scientific methods to restore the existing migratory routes and natural habitats of elephants.
Crocodile Conservation Project: This project was initiated in 1976 with the objective of protecting the three most endangered crocodile species i.e. salt-water crocodiles, gharials and fresh water crocodiles. This project carries out captive breeding of assorted crocodile species. It looks after the rearing and hatching of gharials to lower their mortality rate.
What You Can Do
It is not only the responsibility of government and NGOs to put effort in conserving. Every individual living in the country has a responsibility to lend the hands in conserving flora and fauna and hence the environment. Apart from volunteering with wildlife conservation organisations, here are some of the basic ways through which you can contribute:
• Avoiding using animal products: This is an indirect yet highly effective way to reduce poaching. Decrease in demand will lead to decrease in poaching.
• Avoid throwing harmful wastes in water: The water gets polluted because of the disposal of harmful chemicals and items like plastic. Wild animals drink this water and die of dire diseases.
• Cutting back on use of herbicides and pesticides: Herbicides and pesticides also harm wild animals as they contain harmful chemicals.
• Creating awareness on social media: The reach of social media is remarkably broad today. You can create awareness among the people towards wildlife conservation.
• Following the rules in wildlife sanctuaries: While in a wildlife sanctuary or national park, always follow the guidelines. Drive slowly and never throw waste en route.
Wildlife conservation is a duty of every inhabitant of India to ensure a free roaming of wild animals in verdant woods and hence maintaining the environmental balance.