6 Important Methods for Conservation of Wildlife in India
2. Establishment of protected area:
Establishment of national parks, wildlife reserves, sanctuaries, zoological garden etc. serves many purposes:
(i) To conserve species in their wild state.
(ii) To provide scientific, educational and recreational opportunities and
(iii) To earn revenue by attracting tourists. In India, at present, there are 89 National parks and 496 sanctuaries constituted under Wildlife (Protection,) Act, 1972. These are now spread over 25 states and 3 Union Territories. Total area covered by these protected places is approximately 1, 83,000 sq. km.
There has been tremendous progress between 1980 and 1985, when the number of National parks has increased three fold. Still these protected areas do not cover representative and viable samples of all significant bio-geographical subdivisions within the country and also quality of management is still to be improved.
3. Rehabilitation of Endangered species:
Under this objective, it is proposed to rehabilitate some threatened species of animals as well as plants in some protected habitats of its erstwhile distribution. Recent translocation of Great one-horned Rhinoceros from Assam to Dudhwa National park is an example to cite with.
On recommendations of the IBWL, a second house of Gir Lion was established in Chandraprobha Sanctuary in southern Uttar Pradesh, as back as, 1957. A lion and two lionesses were released in sanctuary, which have increased to 11 by 1964. But due to lack of proper monitoring by State Forest Department all the animals either died or were killed by local people.
4. Captive breeding programme:
It has been proposed to take up captive breeding programme for species whose survival in wild is severely threatened on account of impaired natural breeding. Efficacy of captive breeding programme for saving gravely threatened species in wild is borne out by success of crocodile breeding project in India. Brow- antlered deer is another example, which needs captive breeding. Recent estimate of its number in wild is only about two dozen.
However, it is breeding successfully in captivity in different zoos in India, where its number has arisen to 49. These animals should be trained to capture their own prey, defend themselves from predators and acclimatize to natural conditions before they may be rehabilitated in suitable areas.
5. Mass education:
For any conservation programme, there is a great need of educating people to achieve their participation. Methods adapted are:
(a) Celebration of wild life week every year.
(b) Publicity through media and film shows.
(c) Holding conducted tours, essay competitions, lectures, seminars, etc.
(d) Setting up nature clubs in educational institutions.
(e) Publication of wildlife books and journals.
(f) Establishment of natural history museums etc.
A faculty of wildlife education is developed at Wildlife Institute of India to train personnel for handling nature education, interpretation, etc. Zoological Survey of India also imparts training on wild life conservation and environmental awareness to persons attached to nature clubs and educational institutions from time to time.
6. Promulgation of laws:
In India, legislative measures for protection of wildlife have a long history. The first game laws were promulgated by “Kautilya” the famous teacher and adviser of Chandragupta Maurya. In recent years, following legislative measures have been adopted for the protection of wildlife in the country.
(i) Directive principles of state policy:
The founding fathers of our constitution had realized the need of wildlife protection. This policy states that “The State shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country”.
Article 51-A inter alia states that “It should be the duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have passion for living creatures.
(ii) Forest and wildlife in concurrent list:
Forests and wildlife have been included in concurrent list in the constitution by the 42nd Amendment in 1976. By virtue of this provision, not only can Central Government control their protection and preservation, but certain Forest and Wildlife Sanctuaries of national importance can also be acquired by the Central Government under its powers of acquisition of property.
(iii) Wildlife protection Act, 1972:
A comprehensive central legislative measure called “Wildlife (Protection) Act” was enacted in 1972 for providing special legal protection to wildlife in general and to endangered species of fauna in particular. It has a provision for setting up of National Parks and Sanctuaries, where our wildlife can receive the fullest protection. Stringent punishments have been provided against infringement of provisions of this Act.
This Act has been adopted by all the States and Union Territories of the country. Prior to this act, protection of wildlife was governed under the State rules, most of which were framed as “Shooting rules” under the Indian Forest Act. Some special legislative measures were also taken by different States.
Of them, the Bombay Wild Animals and Wild Birds Protection Act 1951, the Rhinoceros Preservation Act and the Games Act deserve mention. However, none of these legislations made it possible to coordinate efforts for wildlife protection on the national level.